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I have a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am that would not start. All the lights, power windows, radio etc. work, but when you turn the key it is silent. It won’t even jump start. I had also put in a new solenoid, tightened the battery cables — still nothing.

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When did it begin to happen? Were there other problems with the car (especially electrical or transmission) at the time it had happened? Does it really completely silent, or do you hear some relay clicking sound, but the car does not turn over? Did you check the fuses (in the fuse box, or in the engine compartment)? Did you check connection to the starter itself? If not, check and clean the terminals, if they are dirty or corroded. Also, check the continuity from the starter to the battery, then go from there. If it is an electrical problem, then, as always: check connections, and wires. –  theUg Jul 13 '13 at 21:33

2 Answers 2

“Starting” a vehicle includes the starter motor, the ignition system, fuel system, security system and a flock of other considerations. Unable to “crank” or “turn over” the engine reduces the number of components to consider.

Turn on the headlights then place the ignition key to start. Do the headlights dim at all? If not, it’s likely the solenoid isn’t getting any control signal at all. If the headlights dim, it’s possible the starter motor has seized or the battery is incapable of providing the required cranking amps. Remember, a faulty battery can cause a jumpered battery to not perform too!

Next, place a voltmeter or test light on the control wire of the starter solenoid (the solenoid is mounted on the starter) then place the ignition key in the start position. If the test lamp illuminates, the problem is with the solenoid (new solenoids can be defective,) the starter motor, the battery wire to the solenoid or a defective ground connection.

If the test lamp does not illuminate in the above test, the problem may include the ignition switch, the neutral safety start switch (park lever not properly engaged,) security system (if any,) wiring, fuses or a host of other possibilities. Report back with your progress.

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+1 for the good check list, and proper typography. ;) –  theUg Jul 13 '13 at 21:36

Is the security light staying on when the key is left in the on position? If so, the security module may need to be reset.

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