Turn key, no start, no click

Turn key, no start, no click

Postby stratblast [OP] » April 24th 2013, 8:50pm

I recently bought a 2002 Astro. When I turn the key, the dash lights come on and dim when it should be turning over. There is no click and the engine doesn't turn over. It is intermittent as sometimes it will start. Should I be looking at the starter and solenoid or the key cylinder in the column? I've been reading other posts but I'm not really seeing where to start.

Thanks,
strat
(I'm new here)
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby Shad0wXCalibur » April 24th 2013, 9:33pm

Make sure the battery terminals and wiring are good and tight. Make sure battery itself is good, too. Maybe try a jumpstart. If all that is good, try hitting the starter with a hammer while having someone crank it to see if it does anything. A lot of times, that will get a dying starter to turn over if that's the problem.
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby stratblast [OP] » April 24th 2013, 9:50pm

Thanks Shad0wXCalibur, I'll double check those things and get back. Will a dying starter not even make a click?
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby 94 Van Guy » April 24th 2013, 10:13pm

stratblast wrote:Thanks Shad0wXCalibur, I'll double check those things and get back. Will a dying starter not even make a click?


Yes strat, some times the starter will do nothing. From what you say, when the lights go dim, the starter in engaged but not turning. This will put a drain on the battery and cause the lights to dim.

Good luck with your problem,

Keith
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby TaxiVan » April 24th 2013, 10:34pm

This is going to sound weird but check your battery and connections first... My 98 sat with a dead battery for 9 months, waiting for an engine replacement. Once it was running again the battery charge back right back up and lasted perhaps a month before it quit for good. Never gave any warning, and I wasted $50 having it towed, presuming wiring had not been tightened properly when the engine was changed. Same exact symptoms, and the battery was under warranty.
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby stratblast [OP] » April 25th 2013, 12:36am

Both are good suggestions. I pulled the starter and went to buy a new one. I had them test the old one first and it tested good. The battery terminals are tight and clean. The problem was intermittent for a few days now it might start once a day. The battery is strong. Is there a way to test the starter enable relay? They're only about $15 but I'm trying not to buy a lot of unnecessary parts, of course. I'm hoping I don't have to dig into the steering column too. But if I have to I will. Which way should I go next?

Bill
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby Maxximum_44 » April 25th 2013, 5:21am

Same thing happened to me not too long ago. I tried everything. Last thing I checked, which should've been the first thing I checked, was the "10A Crank" fuse under the dash. Swapped her out for a new one and haven't had any issues since. I know it sounds silly but it couldn't hurt.
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby stratblast [OP] » April 25th 2013, 3:21pm

I will swap it out and see what happens. I did check it and it looked good but I know that sometimes you can't see the problem with it. Thanks maxximum.
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby stratblast [OP] » April 25th 2013, 3:38pm

I swapped the 10A Crank fuse and still nothing. Is there a way to test the starter enable relay? I did read your post about this earlier and I didn't completely understand this part from dvil.

"You probably see it yourself: you could loose the purple plus somewhere in the path from ign fuse, through ign switch - crank fuse - PNP switch and enable realy.
A battery plus on enable relay B6 should give power to energize starter relay - if A6 plus is ok."

Can someone clarify this? I'm not real strong in electrical but I do have a VOM.
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby Shad0wXCalibur » April 25th 2013, 6:18pm

The starter tests at auto parts stores are worthless. Even a dying starter will have no problem turning over when it's not attached to the big V6 it's supposed to turn over. Been there, done that. The lights dimming most likely mean the starter is pulling current trying to turn but won't assuming the battery and all connections are good. Wouldn't hurt to have the battery tested if you haven't done that yet.
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby stratblast [OP] » April 25th 2013, 6:47pm

Ok, I thought that could be the case about the test at the store. What is the best way to test the battery? It has 12.4V when I put the VOM on it.
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby Shad0wXCalibur » April 25th 2013, 7:05pm

The tester at auto parts stores puts a load on the battery to simulate starting and whatnot and it either passes or fails. Had their test tell me I had a dead cell in my battery when it spontaneously died one day.
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby stratblast [OP] » April 25th 2013, 7:15pm

I'll take the battery with me and see how it goes. If the battery has a problem I'll replace that first. Then I'll come back to the starter and replace that too. I appreciate the input from everyone.
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby stratblast [OP] » April 25th 2013, 10:01pm

Back to square one. I bought a starter and the battery checked out fine. Any more ideas out there?
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby Leeann_93 » April 25th 2013, 10:49pm

Check your key cylinder and ignition switch.

Mine failed with no warning whatsoever. No click but there was slight light dimming.

Details here:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10966&start=280
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby stratblast [OP] » April 25th 2013, 10:57pm

Thanks Leeann. That's where I'm headed next. With 17 pages on your post it'll take a while to find what you're referring to.
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby Leeann_93 » April 25th 2013, 11:19pm

I linked you to the correct page, I believe. Third post down should start the saga.

EDIT: fourth post down
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby RECox286 » April 26th 2013, 12:51am

If you are not all that savy about auto electric, then take a look in the yellow pages for Automotive Electrical. They will get you

going the quickest and the least frustrating way. (Make sure it is an independent shop, not a chain.)

Sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet, but it's better to bite it the right way, for the right reasons, rather than just change parts

until something works, and especially if you are not that experienced with what you are doing. There will be other times when you

can shine and have your 15 minutes of glory...honestly !

Uncle Bob
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Set a man on fire and he will be warm the rest of his life.

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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby stratblast [OP] » April 26th 2013, 1:01am

I appreciate that Bob. I have changed out steering columns before. I've worked on my own cars all my life and I'm an old guy, just a little rusty. I have the steering wheel puller and so on. It's always fun the first time on a car.

I'm down to where I can't see how the airbag pops out. There is a slot on the back and pry up? I have the bottom cover off and the top cover is loose but it won't slide over the tabs on the key cylinder. The Chilton says there is a small hole at the top of the key cylinder and stick a 1/16" allen wrench in with the key in the start position but I don't see a hole yet. I'm almost there. Do I really need to take of the steering wheel to change the switch and cylinder?
Last edited by stratblast on April 26th 2013, 1:04am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Turn key, no start, no click

Postby stratblast [OP] » April 26th 2013, 1:02am

Leeann your post is fantastic. What a wealth of information with pictures and all. You've been a great help with that info.
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