Engine turns over very well when key is turned to the start position. the engine will start sometimes and sometimes it just keeps turning over and does not start. i checked all fuses and moved some relays around and the problem still remains. i found that turning the ignition key back and forth several times will get it to start again just as if nothing was wrong. it stays running till i turn it off and then try to start it again and the same thing occurs. with these symptoms i thought the ignition switch may be bad so i replaced it, a $20 part. i started the engine at least 10 times afterwards, went for a ride, turned it off and thought the problem was fixed. 2 days later my wife drove the vehicle to work, moved it once in the middle of the day with no problem til she went to leave for the day and it would not start. when i got there i rotated the key back and forth several times and it started so i drove it home with no degraded performance at all. when i got home it once again would not start unless i rotated the key on-off-on-off-on-off and then it would start. it has plenty of gas, to be sure i added 5 gallons. i would appreciate your advice. thanks, rick
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Re: intermittent starting when key is turned.
there may be a fuel problem. The fuel pump may not be working properly. Also, if the vehicle has been run out of fuel, there may be air in the lines and turning the ignition off and on will turn on and off the fuel pump which could push the air bubble through the system long enough to let the vehicle run and when it is turned off the air bubble will work its way back up to cause problems again. There may be a problem with the wire from the ignition to the fuel pump as well. When it wont start, you can pop the fuel line off the fuel pump while the ignition is on, or have someone turn the engine over while the line is off and it should push fuel out. If it pushes fuel out, you may have an air bubble in the line somewhere. You can get rid of the bubble by turning the engine over and crack each injector line off one at a time while the engine is being turned over.
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The warning lights coming on with the key in the on position is normal. If the key is turned to the start position and the engine will not crank over, suspect an internal starter motor problem or lack of power to the starter solenoid. You can try tapping on the starter motor with a blunt object while someone holds the key in the crank position to see if it starts when this problem occurs. If it starts using this procedure, the starter motor will be defective
connections at the starter or the starter itself. see that the engine can in fact turn over, that it has not seized. the starter has two connections, one big and one small. check that the small one is getting 12v when the key is turned to the start position. if it is, then the starter needs to be rebuilt or replaced
If what you're trying to say is that the engine will start when you turn your ignition key to the 'start' position but then quits as soon as you allow the key to revert to the 'run' position, that's exactly how our 2000 Caravan is sometimes acting this winter (earlier, in warmer weather, the symptom was that the starter sometimes would not run in the 'start' position).
I'm still researching possibilities (since the van, while worrisome, still always eventually runs), but my current suspected culprit is deterioration of the contacts in the ignition switch (you can find references to this kind of intermittent switch behavior in Web searches, which is how I happened upon your question). I'll try to get back here later to say how things worked out for us and with more detail on how to replace the electrical portion of the switch if that's indeed the problem.
The component is a
starter. When you insert your key into theignition and turn it, you switch on the power to the coil and vehicle
computers. By turning the key to the start position it will supply power to the
starter and solenoid which cranks the engine until you release the key allowing
to return to the ignition on position.If the battery is weak the starter solenoid may engage producing a
clicking sound, but it will not crank the engine. Another test is to turn on
the dome light and try to start the vehicle, if you see the dome light dim when
you are trying to start the car the battery is weak or the starter has a short.
Starters are temperamental at times and can be intermittent working sometimesand malfunction other times. Your ignition
switch, fuse, or relay could also produce symptoms of your vehicle not
Sounds like you could have a faulty switch, but I would check the starter selenoid first. Sometimes when the selenoid goes bad it will behave in the way you describe. If, with your key in the on position, (not on start), you can jump power from the hot wire, (positive), post on your selenoid to the hot wire that goes from the selenoid to the starter and the starter then engages, but doesn't otherwise, it is a selenoid problem. Good Luck! I hope you find this very helpful!
Check to make sure the ground lead-off wire to the fenderwell has not come loose or corroded. Also make sure you have a good engine to fierwall ground, this is the flat braided uncoated piece of connector running from the firewall usually to an intake manifold bolt. Thanks, Dana.