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Very Strange "Car won't start sometimes" problem

 
Old 03-11-2011, 11:23 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Bill Curlee View Post
WELL,,,,,,,,,, replacing the stater solenoid is just as involved as replacing the starter because you MUST remove the starter for BOTH jobs. The solenoid is only $50 or so, a new or rebuilt starter is a LOT more. For me, saving the cash it cost for the new starter replacement was well worth the time. I waited till I tore my engine down for my heads cam fast 90 install so I killed two birds with one stone. If you have headers, they have to come off.

There are THREE small screws that secure the solenoid to the starter. One of those screws is in a deep recess and you will have to purchase a 1/4" drive deep well socket just for that screw. Got mine from bumper to bumper for $3.00

So, you either lay out a lot of cash for a new starter or a little for a solenoid.

BC
Decided to just replace the starter and solenoid as a unit. Last thing I want is to pull the thing, replace the solenoid, and then have the starter itself go out 3 months later. lol that would suck the big one.

Got a new unit for 153 + tax in town.

I am hoping when I get in there its loose wire connections on the solenoid and not a bad unit.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:55 AM
  #62  
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Every once in a blue moon I'll have the same problem. I have to wait a good 20 minutes before the car feels like turning back on.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Kappa View Post
Every once in a blue moon I'll have the same problem. I have to wait a good 20 minutes before the car feels like turning back on.
Mine started out that way. Was that way for months. Now it does this daily.

Soon it will give me the finger and not start! I am taking care of this asap.

Last edited by BIGTACO; 03-11-2011 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:30 PM
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After all the problems I've been having with intermittent starting issues and all the troubleshooting, I think I have it narrowed down to faulty sensors in the ignition switch, the sensors that picks up the key pellet. During one of my no-start moments, I took a reading of the resistance from the ignition switch and didn't get any, but after several attempts of inserting both keys it would finally pick it up so instead of replacing the switch or the sensors, I just made a (somewhat crude I admit) circuitry with the correct amount of resistance and installed it in lieu of the ignition sw sensor and just to be on the safe side, installed a (hidden) switch to turn it off and disabling the starting circuit. So far no problems. I would attach some photos of my handi-work but I don't have permission.
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:42 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Aviator54 View Post
After all the problems I've been having with intermittent starting issues and all the troubleshooting, I think I have it narrowed down to faulty sensors in the ignition switch, the sensors that picks up the key pellet. During one of my no-start moments, I took a reading of the resistance from the ignition switch and didn't get any, but after several attempts of inserting both keys it would finally pick it up so instead of replacing the switch or the sensors, I just made a (somewhat crude I admit) circuitry with the correct amount of resistance and installed it in lieu of the ignition sw sensor and just to be on the safe side, installed a (hidden) switch to turn it off and disabling the starting circuit. So far no problems. I would attach some photos of my handi-work but I don't have permission.
Wow nice work. I hope I dont replace my started and find out its not the starter!

Is it true that if I jump the terminals on the solenoid, and then the starter engages then the solenoid and starter are good?

Also, does anyone know if I will have to completely remove the passenger side long tube header from the car or just unbolt it and move it out of the way, in order to get the starter out???

Last edited by BIGTACO; 03-11-2011 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:29 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Aviator54 View Post
After all the problems I've been having with intermittent starting issues and all the troubleshooting, I think I have it narrowed down to faulty sensors in the ignition switch, the sensors that picks up the key pellet. During one of my no-start moments, I took a reading of the resistance from the ignition switch and didn't get any, but after several attempts of inserting both keys it would finally pick it up so instead of replacing the switch or the sensors, I just made a (somewhat crude I admit) circuitry with the correct amount of resistance and installed it in lieu of the ignition sw sensor and just to be on the safe side, installed a (hidden) switch to turn it off and disabling the starting circuit. So far no problems. I would attach some photos of my handi-work but I don't have permission.
I used HPtuners and removed the Vats from mine. I think I will be replacing my starter when I do my clutch.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BIGTACO View Post
Wow nice work. I hope I dont replace my started and find out its not the starter!

Is it true that if I jump the terminals on the solenoid, and then the starter engages then the solenoid and starter are good?

Also, does anyone know if I will have to completely remove the passenger side long tube header from the car or just unbolt it and move it out of the way, in order to get the starter out???
Before changing your starter/solenoid, try jumping the RED (Battery) wire and the PURPLE (Starter/Solenoid) wire at your Theft Deterrent Relay. Make sure you're in neutral/park as the engine will turn over if the starter/solenoid are good. Its probably easier to do that then trying to get at the starter.
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Aviator54 View Post
Before changing your starter/solenoid, try jumping the RED (Battery) wire and the PURPLE (Starter/Solenoid) wire at your Theft Deterrent Relay. Make sure you're in neutral/park as the engine will turn over if the starter/solenoid are good. Its probably easier to do that then trying to get at the starter.
Is that relay down in the pass floor board?
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:25 AM
  #69  
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Yes,, its above the BCM on the fire wall:

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Its the one with fou wires
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Old 03-13-2011, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Aviator54 View Post
Before changing your starter/solenoid, try jumping the RED (Battery) wire and the PURPLE (Starter/Solenoid) wire at your Theft Deterrent Relay. Make sure you're in neutral/park as the engine will turn over if the starter/solenoid are good. Its probably easier to do that then trying to get at the starter.
My car does this periodically. To this point it eventually starts up on every "No-Start" event. If the solenoid truly IS bad wouldn't the thing just go out all at once and not work at all...? Doesn't the fact that my car will eventually start mean that the solenoid is good, and its probably something else??? I always thought when solenoids go bad its like blowing out a light bulb. Once its blown its blown... I am unsure if it can slooooowly go out...

Just trying to make sure I am not about to invest 200 bucks on a starter and a day of vacation off work for nothing.

I can try to jump the starter relay but my car is starting fine at the moment so I am sure when I jump it, it will start... ya know.
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Old 03-13-2011, 02:13 PM
  #71  
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Sounds like either the TDR is bad or the solenoid from everything that Bill says and from what you say is happening. If you elect to jumper the TDR, make sure the car is in neutral of a MM6 otherwise it'll drive away without you.
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Old 03-13-2011, 02:46 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by BIGTACO View Post
My car does this periodically. To this point it eventually starts up on every "No-Start" event. If the solenoid truly IS bad wouldn't the thing just go out all at once and not work at all...? Doesn't the fact that my car will eventually start mean that the solenoid is good, and its probably something else??? I always thought when solenoids go bad its like blowing out a light bulb. Once its blown its blown... I am unsure if it can slooooowly go out...

Just trying to make sure I am not about to invest 200 bucks on a starter and a day of vacation off work for nothing.

I can try to jump the starter relay but my car is starting fine at the moment so I am sure when I jump it, it will start... ya know.

It could very well be something else, Poor connection at the solenoid could be one possibility, Bad TDR, could be another. Thats why,,, it is very important to do a bit of troubleshooting with a meter.

The schematic provided is the key...

To provide an answer to your question "Doesn't the fact that my car will eventually start mean that the solenoid is good, and its probably something else???

ABSOLUTELY NOT! The solenoid coil will read fine but the spool (inside the solenoid) will not retract when power is applied. Trust me... I have one on the work bench just like I explained.. I just changed the $50 solenoid and solved all of my no start issues.

BC

What you can do is BUMP the starter/solenoid with a long wooden rod while someone holds the key to start (when it fails to start). If the solenoid is failing mechanically, agitating it mechanically will make it start the engine
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:20 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by BIGTACO View Post
My car does this periodically. To this point it eventually starts up on every "No-Start" event. If the solenoid truly IS bad wouldn't the thing just go out all at once and not work at all...? Doesn't the fact that my car will eventually start mean that the solenoid is good, and its probably something else??? I always thought when solenoids go bad its like blowing out a light bulb. Once its blown its blown... I am unsure if it can slooooowly go out...

Just trying to make sure I am not about to invest 200 bucks on a starter and a day of vacation off work for nothing.

I can try to jump the starter relay but my car is starting fine at the moment so I am sure when I jump it, it will start... ya know.
Trying to chase down intermittent gremlins is the hardest part of troubleshooting.

In reality, the VATS/PASS-Key system is very simple. There are only a couple switches it passes thru (clutch/park, ignition, and TDR) before the BCU can process it and send the correct signals to the PCM (Power Control Module), and Solenoid/Starter.

There is one fuse (10 amp, #14 CRK) prior to the TDR from the ignition switch. Two other fuses (60 amps, IGN 2, #50, and STARTER, #52) are hot at all times. These fuses are located in the passenger footwell. The STARTER fuse is the RED wire to the TDR and from the TDR is the Purple wire to the starter solenoid. Because the solenoid is an electrical/mechanical device, it is subject to sticking and as BC suggested, carrying a big stick might be prudent.

The other part of the PASS-Key system is the key resister sensing terminal, located within the ignition lock cylinder. The BCU sends a 5 volt signal to the sensing terminal and when a key with a pellet is inserted in the ignition it completes the circuit back to the BCU and if it is within a set measurment in the BCU it sends a signal to the TDR Control which provides a ground to the TDR. Once the TDR has the correct power from the ignition switch, through the clutch/park switch, and finds its grnd from the BCU, it closes its contact to allow battery volts (thru the RED wire via the STARTER fuse) to cross to the purple wire and to the starter solenoid. The BCU then sends a signal through the serial data connector to the PCM which allows the fuel pump to operate.

The SECURITY light is controlled by the BCU and if the correct signal isn't recieved from the key resister sensing terminals, it turns it on. While doing my troubleshooting and checking out everything multiple times, I would get the SECURITY light on while driving. This was telling me I was loosing the signal from the sensing terminals in the ignition lock cylinder but since the engine was running and the BCU/PCM were operating properly the engine would stay running. What I did was bypass the sensing terminals with the correct resistant resisters I made, but as a safety precaution, I installed a switch to disconnect the module I made and thus disabling the starter circuit. Otherwise anyone could have put a non-PASSKey key in and driven off with my toy.

If you have a no-start condition and the SECURITY light is NOT on, I would suspect something other than the PASS-Key system. The three fuses would be a good start. If its intermittent, again, without the SECURITY light, then I would suspect the starter/solenoid. If you jumper the RED wire and PURPLE wire at the TDR and the engine doesn't turn over (make sure you're in neutral/park), listen for a clicking sound. That would be the solenoid. If you don't hear that, then it is more likely a faulty solenoid. Those use to be pretty common fault items. Chrysler installs them in an easy access location but GM always mounted them on the starter, too hard to get to most of the time.

I would suspect that if you had BCU or PCM failure, there would be more indications than just a no-start. I'm sure there is more to the system than a back yard mechanic such as myself can understand, let alone do much about, but as BC suggested, carrying a big stick might be a good idea, if not to just threaton your teenager to stay away from your pride and joy...
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:24 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Bill Curlee View Post
It could very well be something else, Poor connection at the solenoid could be one possibility, Bad TDR, could be another. Thats why,,, it is very important to do a bit of troubleshooting with a meter.

The schematic provided is the key...

To provide an answer to your question "Doesn't the fact that my car will eventually start mean that the solenoid is good, and its probably something else???

ABSOLUTELY NOT! The solenoid coil will read fine but the spool (inside the solenoid) will not retract when power is applied. Trust me... I have one on the work bench just like I explained.. I just changed the $50 solenoid and solved all of my no start issues.

BC

What you can do is BUMP the starter/solenoid with a long wooden rod while someone holds the key to start (when it fails to start). If the solenoid is failing mechanically, agitating it mechanically will make it start the engine
Bill thanks so much for the insight. I really appreciate it.

I have purchased a starter/solenoid and secured a lift tomorrow. I have ruled out the relay using a voltmeter and also the key itself by using my spare key and having the same result. Based on your response in regards to the solenoid I am feeling very confident my problem is either this or the connections to it.

Tomorrow I'll find out.

One more question: Will I be able to unbolt my passenger longtube and twist it out of the way in order to remove the starter or will I have to pull the whole darn header out..?! God I hope not. Then I'll have to remove the valve cover
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:46 AM
  #75  
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All fixed up?
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by scott1974 View Post
All fixed up?
Had an outside lift reserved yesterday but it rained pretty much all day So I gave in and today dropped her at my mechanic. She is under the knife as I type. Pray for her. She may have a few miles but her heart and will to live are strong!
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Aviator54 View Post
Trying to chase down intermittent gremlins is the hardest part of troubleshooting.

In reality, the VATS/PASS-Key system is very simple. There are only a couple switches it passes thru (clutch/park, ignition, and TDR) before the BCU can process it and send the correct signals to the PCM (Power Control Module), and Solenoid/Starter.

There is one fuse (10 amp, #14 CRK) prior to the TDR from the ignition switch. Two other fuses (60 amps, IGN 2, #50, and STARTER, #52) are hot at all times. These fuses are located in the passenger footwell. The STARTER fuse is the RED wire to the TDR and from the TDR is the Purple wire to the starter solenoid. Because the solenoid is an electrical/mechanical device, it is subject to sticking and as BC suggested, carrying a big stick might be prudent.

The other part of the PASS-Key system is the key resister sensing terminal, located within the ignition lock cylinder. The BCU sends a 5 volt signal to the sensing terminal and when a key with a pellet is inserted in the ignition it completes the circuit back to the BCU and if it is within a set measurment in the BCU it sends a signal to the TDR Control which provides a ground to the TDR. Once the TDR has the correct power from the ignition switch, through the clutch/park switch, and finds its grnd from the BCU, it closes its contact to allow battery volts (thru the RED wire via the STARTER fuse) to cross to the purple wire and to the starter solenoid. The BCU then sends a signal through the serial data connector to the PCM which allows the fuel pump to operate.

The SECURITY light is controlled by the BCU and if the correct signal isn't recieved from the key resister sensing terminals, it turns it on. While doing my troubleshooting and checking out everything multiple times, I would get the SECURITY light on while driving. This was telling me I was loosing the signal from the sensing terminals in the ignition lock cylinder but since the engine was running and the BCU/PCM were operating properly the engine would stay running. What I did was bypass the sensing terminals with the correct resistant resisters I made, but as a safety precaution, I installed a switch to disconnect the module I made and thus disabling the starter circuit. Otherwise anyone could have put a non-PASSKey key in and driven off with my toy.

If you have a no-start condition and the SECURITY light is NOT on, I would suspect something other than the PASS-Key system. The three fuses would be a good start. If its intermittent, again, without the SECURITY light, then I would suspect the starter/solenoid. If you jumper the RED wire and PURPLE wire at the TDR and the engine doesn't turn over (make sure you're in neutral/park), listen for a clicking sound. That would be the solenoid. If you don't hear that, then it is more likely a faulty solenoid. Those use to be pretty common fault items. Chrysler installs them in an easy access location but GM always mounted them on the starter, too hard to get to most of the time.

I would suspect that if you had BCU or PCM failure, there would be more indications than just a no-start. I'm sure there is more to the system than a back yard mechanic such as myself can understand, let alone do much about, but as BC suggested, carrying a big stick might be a good idea, if not to just threaton your teenager to stay away from your pride and joy...
Thanks for all the great info! You guys sure know your stuff. I love to learn

My security light doesn't come on when I have no start. I have checked my fuses and such and all look good. I checked the TDR with a voltmeter and get 12 V on the purple wire when the key is turned inn the ignition so its good. Probably the solenoid. Its being replaced right now. I'll keep you guys posted as to the result, which I will only be able to tell with time as this happens periodically. But, if I go a few weeks with no problems I am good to go!

We shall see
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:43 PM
  #78  
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I had the same problem with my '04 TRC. The fix was simply a new battery.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:01 PM
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I know I am in on this a bit late..but I have a similar issue. I need to watch the security light when this happens. I put the key in, turn it, everything comes on like its supposed to, but no start UNLESS I move the key to one side or the other and put slight pressure...then it starts right up.

Sounds like a key issue...I might have to try my other key?
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RamAirDave View Post
I know I am in on this a bit late..but I have a similar issue. I need to watch the security light when this happens. I put the key in, turn it, everything comes on like its supposed to, but no start UNLESS I move the key to one side or the other and put slight pressure...then it starts right up.

Sounds like a key issue...I might have to try my other key?
Actually it sounds like the pickup sensors in the ignition switch. Trying the other key probably won't fix it but bypassing the VATS sensor will fix that particular problem. I just went to radio shack and bought the correct resisters, soldered them to a circuit board and put in a hidden kill switch under the dash my wife doesn't know about...
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