2

I have a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix. For almost 2 years now, when I try to start the car it results in no sounds from the motor - this happens about 5% of the time. The other 95% it starts on the first try. The radio and lights turn on fine, but turning the key results in silence from the motor - at first. After about 5-15 minutes of continuously trying to start the car it finally starts with no problem. By continuously trying to start the car I mean turning the key from OFF to START and randomly it will start up normally. After I finally get it running, if I turn it back off and try again it starts fine. This happens in hot or cold weather. It is usually from a cold start, but I think it has also happened while the engine was still warm.

Let me know if you need any other information.

  • 1
    This could be a problem with the neutral safety switch. Next time this happens, leave the switch to the on position, then put your foot on the brake, then move the gear shift lever down to neutral and try again. You may even want to try shifting it several times down to first gear then back up into park or neutral. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 2 '14 at 0:09
  • Hi Paul, thanks for the info. I have actually shifted into all gears trying to get it to start, but never while the key is ON. I will have to remember that. – rys Sep 2 '14 at 12:58
2

You have a poor, loose or corroded connection in the system. Ignition switch, starter cables, starter solonoid, starter motor, battery and earth cables all need to be checked. It is one of those jobs that you will solve at first examination of the system, say by a wiggle test, or time is needed to pain-stakingly check every point of the system.

  • Thanks, I will try the wiggle test on what I can. I can +1 for now, and hopefully someday be able to confirm this as the answer. Edit: Oops I can't +1 until 15 rep. – rys Sep 1 '14 at 18:22
2

This could be a problem with the neutral safety switch (NSS). Next time this happens, leave the switch to the on (or even accessory) position, then put your foot on the brake, then move the gear shift lever down to neutral and try again. You may even want to try shifting it several times down to first gear then back up into park or neutral.

Even if you have shifted through the gears it does not eliminate the NSS as being the culprit. If it's bad, it's bad. I'm highly leaning towards the NSS as being the culprit, mainly because you can still use the radio and lights, but get nothing out of the starter.

  • If it were the starter itself, you'd hear the clunk of the solenoid/bendix as it engages the flexplate, and not much else. The lights/radio would probably continue to work in this situation.
  • If it were the battery, you'd hear the clickidy-clack of the starter as it's trying to do it's job, but isn't able to due to lack of current and/or the lights/radio would quit when you try to engage it.
  • Again, if it were a problem with wiring, your lights/radio would quit working when you turned the key.
  • It could possibly be the switch, but I'm doubting this, just from your description.
  • Thanks Paul I will let you guys know if I ever figure it out. – Ryan Sep 26 '14 at 3:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.