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Starter or Ignition? Maybe something else...?

This is a discussion on Starter or Ignition? Maybe something else...? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Took my car to the car wash this evening. As soon as it hit the rack the left turn signal ...

  1. #1
    Member bhunter0830's Avatar
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    Starter or Ignition? Maybe something else...?

    Took my car to the car wash this evening. As soon as it hit the rack the left turn signal stayed on and all the gauges dropped to dead... Turned the lights off and the turn signal turned off however all gauges including the air/fuel ratio gauge died. Once it rolled off the rack, I pulled off to the side and shut it down. When I turn the key, I have power to radio, windows, locks etc.. However, turn the key no tick, no "click, click, click" of the dead battery, nothing. None the less, i had to have it towed home. I suspect the starter is dead as everything else is ran off of the aux and the car does not need to be started to run them. If it is the starter, is there anything out of the ordinary that I should now about other than the two bolts and disconnecting the cables?

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    First need to check the battery. This is most likely your problem and easiest to check. If it's dead it won't crank period.

    I had the same problem, Got stuck somewhere, couldn't jump at all, got another battery and it cranked over. Turned out the alternator fried.


    When you washed it did you wash the engine?

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    Member bhunter0830's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    First need to check the battery. This is most likely your problem and easiest to check. If it's dead it won't crank period.

    I had the same problem, Got stuck somewhere, couldn't jump at all, got another battery and it cranked over. Turned out the alternator fried.


    When you washed it did you wash the engine?
    The battery was replaced this season when the other one died over the winter. The car was running when everything failed. Only when I turned it off was it dead. The charge on the battery had been reading 13-14 volts prior to pulling into the car wash. No, I did not wash the engine. However, we did have heavy rains today and it spent some time on the highway during those heavy rains. I can swap the battery from my truck and see if it turns over.

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    Member bhunter0830's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    First need to check the battery. This is most likely your problem and easiest to check. If it's dead it won't crank period.

    I had the same problem, Got stuck somewhere, couldn't jump at all, got another battery and it cranked over. Turned out the alternator fried.


    When you washed it did you wash the engine?
    We'll try that in the morning.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    when you swapped the battery last time did you check the alternator?


    I asked because my PS pump leaked on top of it and killed it even though the gauge showed 14 volts.


    It's possible it is the starter but for them to just die and not click is out of the norm for me.

    If you could get it up in the air have some one turn the key as you gently tap the starter with a hammer.

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    Member bhunter0830's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    when you swapped the battery last time did you check the alternator?


    I asked because my PS pump leaked on top of it and killed it even though the gauge showed 14 volts.


    It's possible it is the starter but for them to just die and not click is out of the norm for me.

    If you could get it up in the air have some one turn the key as you gently tap the starter with a hammer.
    I got it home tonight and got it in the air and that was about it. I will have someone turn the key while I'm tapping on the starter. I have a new one I picked up on the way home in the event that was it. However, I can start with the battery swap from my truck first. If that's the case then I'll drive it over and have the alternator tested before replacing the starter. I'll dive more into it in the morning and keep you posted. Thanks for the battery/alternator thoughts. Wouldn't have thought about that!

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    I have a pick of what the PS pump can do to the alternator all because a $0.60 O ring.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    sounds like a short or bad ground to me.....I'm guessing the carwash has an under carriage sprayer and that helped expose the problem? The other thing I would check first is for a loose battery terminal. Pretty common and can cause the symptoms you're seeing. If you have the lights on and try to start the car do they dim even though you don't hear the starter solenoid click? I just worked on a blazer a month or two ago that had a dead spot in the starter......it acted just like a short. The problem I have with the starter being bad though is the fact it was running and your gauges went down. That tells me short or ground pretty much.

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    Member bhunter0830's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    sounds like a short or bad ground to me.....I'm guessing the carwash has an under carriage sprayer and that helped expose the problem? The other thing I would check first is for a loose battery terminal. Pretty common and can cause the symptoms you're seeing. If you have the lights on and try to start the car do they dim even though you don't hear the starter solenoid click? I just worked on a blazer a month or two ago that had a dead spot in the starter......it acted just like a short. The problem I have with the starter being bad though is the fact it was running and your gauges went down. That tells me short or ground pretty much.
    That was my first thoughts as well. I noticed this as soon as I pulled on the rack. I had not yet hit any sprayers. The first thing i did check was the battery terminals as I had disconnected them when I replaced two sockets that had gone bad this weekend. Those were tight. I did however disconnect the terminal and reconnect it in the hope that it would reset what ever had shorted. No such luck. What I found odd is that I have everything else working, lights, stereo, windows, locks etc...

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    Member bhunter0830's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    I have a pick of what the PS pump can do to the alternator all because a $0.60 O ring.
    I didn't see anything leaking on the alternator. I checked the pump this weak end as I replaced the rack that was bad. Still no leaks when I got under it. I do have a leak coming from up top. I am assuming that it is from the OPSU as the tend to crack due to the amount of heat cycles. However, that isn't remotely close to the alternator.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    was the left turn signal one of the sockets you replaced? Could be the source of your short.

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Check the heavy HOT (+) lead to the starter is not melted through or grounding anywhere.

    Check it's connection @ the starter too.

    Check the HOT (+) post connection and lead on the back of the Alt for shorting and/or damage also.

    Have the Alt and battery load tested.
    Last edited by Smittro; 05-04-2012 at 04:53 AM.

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    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    thats exactly what my car was doin after i did the engine swap...turns out the pcm wasnt grounded....im with orion, look for loose ground...for diagnosing purposes, run a ground wire to the frame of the pcm and try it

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    Member bhunter0830's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    was the left turn signal one of the sockets you replaced? Could be the source of your short.
    I replaced the right daytime running lamp and the left rear side marker sockets.

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    Member bhunter0830's Avatar
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    I will look into the (+) on the starter and the (+) on the alternator this morning. Where would I find the ground wire to the PCM? I found that this car used to have a remote start/alarm from the previous owner. However, I have not had any issues prior to now other than an old dead batter that wasn't holding a charge over the winter.

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    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    the origional ground is on the back of the head on the driver side...but just run a ground from the frame of the pcm to a chassis ground..

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    Member bhunter0830's Avatar
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    While removing the starter, the block that the long bolt goes into cracked a broke off... Any suggestions on a fix for that?

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    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    oh shit....that is definitely not good....here is a thread with the same situation and some good advice on how to fix it.

    Broken Block

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    Member bhunter0830's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiveass View Post
    oh shit....that is definitely not good....here is a thread with the same situation and some good advice on how to fix it.

    Broken Block
    There are also some pretty good clean hits to the starter...

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    Member bhunter0830's Avatar
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    Well it's not the starter. Tested it on the work bench and it spins. I have enough thread to get a new longer bolt through the block and place a nut on top to keep it tight. So it has to be something on top... other thoughts? Ground are all good, clean and connected.

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