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Today I turned the key to start up my car and all the lights (headlights and instrument panel) came on bright and normal, but the engine made absolutely no sound. It wouldn't start, it didn't even try to crank, it was like it there was no motor at all in it. I sat there for about 10 minutes and tried again, voila! it started without any problems. There wasn't even a lag in the start, it just started up like a brand new car.

The only thing I can say is that for the last 6 months or so, when I turn the key it would delay for about a second or two then finally turn on, but even that was intermittent. Any ideas? I would hate to be out and about somewhere and it decides to not start for good.

Car: 1998 Buick LeSabre

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

You've almost certainly got a poor connection on your starter motor solenoid.

Find the starter, and there will be a small cylinder on one side of it, with a single small wire going to it (not the big main starter cable). Remove this (it is usually a spade connector) and clean the connectors - if necessary squeeze the female connector on the end of the wire slightly until it's a tight fit on the solenoid.

If that doesn't solve it, the problem maight be elsewhere in the same circuit, but that would be my first suspect, as I've had exactly the same symptoms with more than one car and that has always solved them.

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Thanks for the help. I'm going to test it out today and see what happens. –  user267 Jul 20 '11 at 21:52
    
That was it. Thanks for your help and saving me tons of $! –  user267 Jul 21 '11 at 13:52
    
No Problem! It's a common fault, as I say I've had it happen a couple of times, so it's the first place I look now... –  Nick C Jul 22 '11 at 8:05
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