Question about 1997 Buick Skylark

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97 buick skylark wont start

I just replaced the starter on my 97 buick skylark 4 cyl. because the teeth were worn and would not turn over engine to fire. now it turns over motor fine but wont fire up. i used some starter fluid and it chugs a few times but no fire. checked all connections and they look fine. cant tell if its a fuel or electric problem.

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  • Anonymous Mar 15, 2014

    Car back fires and wont start

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  • Master
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If starter fluid made it chug, I would suspect fuel pump fuse, relay or pump, also fuel filter.

Posted on Dec 29, 2008

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Grinding when starting, replaced starter one month ago engages well sometimes, but now will not engage flywheel could the flywheel teeth be worn or broken?


The flywheel is worn in that specific area. Engines tend to stop in the same one or two positions, and it is those teeth that get cachunked every time you turn the key. This is ok if the bendix does a good job of threading the gear into the flywheel teeth, but the problem is that now that the teeth are half worn away, the starter attempts to mount its gear to the teeth, but before the gear is fully seated, the contacts in the motor make, the motor starts to turn, and the not-yet-seated gear bounces off of the flywheel teeth. This is what causes the teeth-grinding sound (your teeth grinding in your mouth too!) when you turn the key. . There are two solutions: The first is to, of course, replace the ring gear. . The second is hard to explain, but a good starter rebuild center (if there is such an accessible animal around anymore) will know what I'm talking about: The starter gear must have the lagging edge of each tooth ground so that each tooth will look like a chisel. The "pushing" side of each tooth must be straight and come to the point (and not be beveled). The "non-pushing" lagging side of each starter tooth should have the bevel ground in on that side. This grinding is done easily by a small angle grinder or a Dremel Tool with a cutoff wheel. . This does one thing: It assures that the gear will "spin in" without bouncing. If ground correctly (it's not hard to do), you will get successful starts every time. This is a common fix for Toyota 4-cyl with this horrible all-too-common problem. Good luck.

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Cranks fine, won't "catch"


From what u describe, I believe u have a starter and possibly a flywheel problem. When u turn the key to start the car, the starter gear engages w/ the flywheel, turning the flywheel, which turns the engine over. It sounds like the teeth of the flywheel and starter are worn, (they should mesh together smoothly) which would make the grinding noise u describe. If this is the case, the flywheel and starter would need to be replaced, and its a labor intensive job, as engine and trans. have to be separated to remove/install the flywheel. The rrrrrrr sound could be the starter gear spinning but not engaging. The starter gear extends on a shaft, then engages the flywheel. It is possible the gear isn't moving forward on the shaft, just spinning w/out engaging, making the rrr sound. So, I would recommend u remove the starter and have it tested (many parts stores will do this for free) and check the teeth on the gear to see if they are worn or broken. U will also be able to see a portion of the flywheel after the starter is removed, and u should check the teeth on it also. Let me know what u find, hopefully it's just a starter problem, and the flywheel is ok.

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