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Mike S.
Mike S., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 6795
Experience:  ASE certified
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Pontiac Grand prix: My car sat without being started

Customer Question

My car sat without being started for a few months when I finally went to start it the battery was dead. I then boosted it and it started fine, I have replaced the battery as it was quite old. The car will still only start when boosted even with the new battery.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Pontiac
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
Is the new battery fully charged?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes it is fully charged.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
Ok, exactly what type of booster are you using and where are you hooking it up at and do you mean the engine will not start or will not crank?
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
Maybe it's not the battery at all but maybe the starter is drawing too many amps due to the end bushings being worn out and the starter dragging.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The engine will not crank or even make a sound. All lights, radio etc come on.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Boosting from my other car.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
If you cannot even hear the starter solenoid click, then most likely you have a loose connection. Try wiggling the connections to find out what is loose. Unless of course you do hear the starter solenoid click. then if so let me know.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
Give me the 8th digit of the vin so I know what engine came in this in order for me to look up the wiring diagram.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
It's either an I, J or K.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
Plus, do you have a voltmeter?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The 8th letter is a k. Yes I have one.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
Ok, this is the 3.8 non sc.Ok, first of all hook up the voltmeter to the battery, give me a voltage reading with the key off, then turn the key to start and give me another voltage reading and also let me know if the starter solenoid clicks.No jumping for right now.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
If the solenoid makes no noise, try holding the key on start while moving the shifter back and froth from park to low and back a few times and let me know if at anytime the starter solenoid clicks or starter cranks.If not, move the voltmeter to the IGN Main 1 fuse in the underhood fuse block and give me the voltage readings there, again with key off and key on start.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
In case we need it , here is the wiring diagram.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
9.37 and 8.57 no clicking and nothing changed when moving the shifter back and forth. 0 and -11.78 from the ign main, and the solenoid is now clicking a few times with each key turn.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
My dash is also making clicking noises when I turn the key to the on position.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
I thought you said the battery was fully charged. You need 12 volts.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
Really, - 11.78 volts at the ign main 1 fuse with the key on start?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes that's what it tells me. I will have to put the battery on the charger again.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
Where are you attaching the ground for the voltmeter when testing the ign main 1 fuse? Don't attach it to the other side of the fuse, instead attach it to a metal ground elsewhere.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
If the battery has run down that quickly from fully charged just 2 hours ago, then you have a major drain.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ign main 12.05 and 11.73 I tested the battery again and it says 11.87.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
Ok why was it just 9.37 8.57 and -11.78 just 37 minutes ago?
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
Not to mention, the ign main 1 fuse should have 12 volts even with the key off and you said it had 0.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
Where are you attaching the ground for the voltmeter when testing the ign main 1 fuse?
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
Why did you have - 11.87 before and now you say you have 11.73?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I attached the ground to a non painted metal part of the vehicle.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
Ok, now that the battery is back up to 11.87, what does it read with the key on start?Does the starter solenoid still make a noise?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Probably because I don't really know what I'm doing with the voltmeter.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
Hook the negative test lead to the battery negative post and the positive test lead to the positive battery post, get a reading with the key off again, then leave the test leads right where they are and now turn the key to start while watching the voltmeter. on the DC volts scale. What are the 2 readings now and does the starter turn over slow, normal and if not does the starter solenoid click at all, once or more?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
11.74 and 3.67 when starting. The starter does not turn over and the solenoid clicks multiple times.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
It sounds to me as though like I said the starter end bushings are worn causing the starter to drag. I think you need a new starter. Of course when you jumped it it got twice the amperage and was able to turn over.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Can this happen to the starter even when the vehicle has been sitting?
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
No it cannot. It's also possible that a battery cable is corroded on the inside. First try cranking the engine again, then immediately after cranking, like within a couple seconds, feel if either battery cable is getting really hot, like too hot to touch. If one is, that is most likely the bad one and could be corroded (rusted) on the inside. When copper wire rusts it turns a greenish color so take a razor blade and cut a 1-3 inch slit longwise on the battery cable that got hot or both of them if none got hot at the battery end and then peel open the insulation and take a look at the copper wire strands. If they are greenish looking, that is corrosion and that will eventually work it's way along the entire length of the cable so if any is found, replace the entire cable and let me know if you find any corrosion or if either or both cables get hot.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
any news?
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 months ago.
Did that answer your question? If so, kindly leave me a positive rating, so I get credit. If you have any more questions, go ahead and ask.

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