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Old 11-05-2019, 09:55 PM   #21
MAKE AN ACCOUNT
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1997 SL2
Default Re: No Transmission Engagement

As I suspected, the starter engaged just fine. That was one of the scarier things I've done under a car. With the protective cover off, I even saw the flexplate moving. So that about guarantees an electrical issue, yes? I can rule out the neutral safety switch since I recently replaced it (or maybe it only worked the first time).What else can prevent the starter from receiving power? No security light is on.

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Old 11-06-2019, 12:21 AM   #22
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No Transmission Engagement

Ok, now that you know the starter, battery, battery cables and their connections are fine with the starter able to power up and turn over the engine, the problem seems to point to the starting circuit.

The starting circuit is still conventional; ignition switch sends 12v (in START position) to the starter solenoid to begin starter operation. '97 may have a basic anti theft system, preventing starter operation when the remote isn't used to Unlock doors. Part of the anti theft system is the RKE (remote keyless entry) module for the remote keyless operation in the right rear passenger panel. A relay under the steering column, taped onto a wiring harness is part of the starting circuit.

When the remote is used to Unlock doors, the RKE module sends power to the start relay under the steering column, powering it to close contacts 30 and 87. Closing the contacts allows the 12v START signal from the ignition switch to power the starter solenoid. If the relay fails or internal contacts are damaged, the 12v START signal won't power the starter solenoid - no starter operation.

If your car has this start relay, remove the tape and either bypass the relay or replace it with a similar 87a relay. Bypassing this relay is simple; locate the pinouts on the relay and insert a short wire jumper across relay socket terminals 30 and 87. This bypasses the relay altogether with or without need of using the remote. The relay socket wiring may have two yellow wires - this should be the start circuit. If you do this, tape the jumper wire securely or if you want a permanent bypass, cut and splice the two wires (yellow?) that corresponds to socket terminals 30 and 87. No more troublesome relay. The RKE module may be faulty too and not operate this relay.

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