why won't my car start?

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  #1  
Old 10-15-02, 11:20 AM
raymo8
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why won't my car start?

1990 Buick Le Sabre
Front-Wheel Drive
V-6, 3.8 Liter

My car won't start after I installed a brand new battery. It's weird because it won't jump start and the battery is at 100% according to my charger. The starter is good too because when I put the new battery in at first it started about 3 or 4 times before it wouldn't anymore. This led me to believe that the alternator was bad, but if that was the case, then why wouln't it jump start? What should I look for that may be the problem?
 
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  #2  
Old 10-15-02, 11:25 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
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Check your battery cables, especially if you have one of the bolt-on replacement ends. They corrode a lot in the connection. Other possibilities: ignition switch or circuit from switch to starter solenoid. This will take some troubleshooting and you'll need a voltmeter and know how to use it.
 
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Old 10-15-02, 12:31 PM
Joe_F
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Are you stating the vehicle doesn't spin the starter (crank) or run ("turn over")?
 
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Old 10-15-02, 12:55 PM
raymo8
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response to Joe_F's question

It won't make any noise whatsoever. I can't even get it to crank let alone turnover.

One more thing to add. When it stopped starting, it was a sort of progressive thing. When I initially put the new battery in, it started right up. The next time I tried, it started but a little slower. That's when I noticed the voltage light in the car too. Finally, the 3rd time, it wouldn't start at all. It won't jumpstart either.
 
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Old 10-15-02, 01:46 PM
davidf
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davidf

The charger showing 100 percent charge doesn't mean the battery is good.The only way to tell is to put a load on the battery and in the case of starting it is a big load.I suggest you take the battery back to where you bought it and tell them to load test it in which case they will put a load across the terminals and measure the voltage.You could the same thing by attaching a voltmeter across the battery and read the voltage while you crank the starter.The voltage should stay way up there not less than 11 volts.Lower than that means somthing is wrong with the battery.
 
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Old 10-15-02, 05:27 PM
raymo8
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Thanks for the replies. But, if the battery might be bad even though it's brand new, then why won't it jump start?

I think that it's something more than that. What is the ignition switch and where is it located? Also, how do I test it? Thanks.
 
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Old 10-15-02, 06:13 PM
Joe_F
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Could be shorted or die under load. Swap a good known battery from another car and try it. If the vehicle cranks, the connection or the battery is bad.
 
  #8  
Old 10-15-02, 06:54 PM
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Now I don't claim to be a motor mechanic, but it seems to me your battery is ok. Your problem HAS TO BE either the starter motor, solenoid or connecting cables. Especially as you state it started ok with the new battery, then it cranked slower (bad connection??). Then no cranking at all.
 
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Old 10-16-02, 05:01 AM
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I'm with you, mate; I would be checking/replacing the cables before I went much further into the troiubleshooting.
 
  #10  
Old 10-16-02, 09:53 AM
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i had a 91 explorer that suddenly would not start and it was the harness cables (from the battery to some other place). a mechanic found the problem after i had it towed. the car was about 8 years old at the time.
 
  #11  
Old 10-28-02, 01:15 PM
thekeymaker
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check your battery cables and clean them might have to clean on the positive cable as well that is connected to your starter.
 
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