Intermittent Starting Problem w/ 92 DeVille


Old 08-11-03, 06:15 PM
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Question Intermittent Starting Problem w/ 92 DeVille


I've got a lovely 92' Cadillac DeVille with an arousingly powerful 4.9 liter V8 that revs to a low, sensual growl.

It was given to me by a relative (my mother's new husband) because of an intermittent starting problem. He says he's replaced the starter THREE times (just the starter motor, not the solenoid, he thinks). Every time he replaces it, he says it seems to fix the problem, for a month or two.

The problem is this: every once in a while, maybe every other time I try to start the car, it only clicks when the key is turned. All lights and gauges come on, I can hear the fuel system pressurize, but there's no crank.

To start the car when this happens, I can either wait several minutes and try again, or get under the car with a screwdriver and connect the nodes on the solenoid. One of these usually works.

I'm at my wit's end with this, any help, advice, or anything will be greatly appreciated

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Old 08-11-03, 06:35 PM
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Make sure the starter used is one marketed/rebuilt by AC Delco, not one from another company. An AC Delco rebuilt unit is double the price of the cheap store brand stuff, but well worth it.

While you are down there, check your connections and cables closely for abrasion, tightness, resistance and corrosion. Likely part of the problem here, along with crappy starters being used.
Old 08-12-03, 12:07 AM
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if you want to really dive into this, and fix it for good, and are comfortable with using a digital voltmeter, let us know. i'll tell you how to do a starter voltage drop test and pinpoint the problem, but you might get a little dirty and will need a helper(to turn the key)and shouldn't take too long. this will also tell you if it still is a bad(cheap) starter.

i don't know how anyone could replace a starter and not replace a solenoid, i'm pretty sure they are one piece.

let us know what you want to do
Old 08-12-03, 03:33 AM
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One piece on a GM, but sometimes on poorly rebuilt ones, the old one is reused and is weak
Old 08-13-03, 11:23 AM
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Getting my hands dirty

Mike -

Yeah, I absolutely want to make sure this is fixed for good. I'll spend a week under this car to fix it right if that's what I have to do. I already own a digital multimeter, I needed it for a previous repair on a different vehicle.

I can't find a manual for this car, so If one of you guys could tell me where I need to test, I'll do it!

Old 08-13-03, 12:19 PM
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EBay or on the manuals.

Or try [email protected] or [email protected]
Old 08-14-03, 09:59 PM
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you're getting the short answer tonight, i having a lot of trouble getting on this site tonight and i don't know how long i'll be able to stay here.

first, you have to be able to reproduce the problem consistently, meaning, 'you' have to be able to make it not start, even if it's intermittent, 'you' know what it takes to make it not crank.

then disable the ignition system so when you do end up cranking the starter, it won't start up(unplug fuel pump relay or ground out the coil wire--if it has one)

clip your voltmeter's black lead to a good ground (the battery?)and put the red lead to the small diameter wire that's on the starter, now have someone try to start it a lot of times--20, 30, 50 times. hold the key forward until the meter reading stabilizes. do this until you get a good consistent reading on the meter every time it won't crank properly(when it clicks) --if it reads around 11-12 volts everytime, (cranking or just a clicking,) this means the ignition switch, relay, and all related wiring up to here is good. if it reads way less than 11-12 volts, like 2-3-4 volts on the times it just clicks, something i just mentioned is suspect.

report back with what you find so far.
(ask me to explain better if i didn't do a good job)
Old 08-15-03, 01:41 AM
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Original poster:

Has the problem been fixed?

NO power here in NYC for 12 hours! LOL

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