Question about 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette

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I have to turn my key several times on and off to get my van to start. It works better in colder weather but lately it has been getting worse. I took it to a mechanic and he said that everything was fine.

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  • ccn7 May 11, 2010

    Does it try to start when you turn the key, like click or any kind of noise from starter? Or is there nothing at all until the 3 or 4 or 5 or more times and then it starts?



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Sounds like you might have a bad ignition switch. Have you tried tilting the steering wheel a little up or down and then trying again?

Posted on Mar 14, 2009


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Why when i turn ignition switch over it just clicks than if i turn it off than back on the engine starts


I had a similar problem with my 1993 V6 4Runner a few years ago. In my case it started in the Fall season and only got worse as the weather got colder (meaning that I had to turn the key several times before the motor would start). I replaced the battery which helped for a while, but eventually the same thing kept on happening. The electrical contacts in the starter were the problem. They get worn down over time. When the starter motor spins, it wears the brass/copper contacts and eventually they wear out. I decided to replace them myself (pain in the tush) but only spent $35 compared to the $700 estimate I got from Toyota.


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check the condition of the key battery as it may be low in cold weather and not communicating properly with the immobiliser.. I suggest this because batteries generally fail more often in cold weather compared to warmer climates.

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Did you try pushing up on the shifter while trying to turn the key? Perhaps your grease is getting cold on the shifting mechanism and it needs new grease or oiling.

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If the colder weather is affecting the problem I am suspecting the starter itself.
The brushes on the starter armature are likely worn and making intermittent contact.
And because it has gotten progressively worse would also indicate the progressive brush wear.
The solenoid is part of the starter and will come as an assembly.
The vehicle is over 10 years old and would be due for a starter at this time.
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My car will not start in cold weather. i have change the plug wires and all the plugs. IT wasn't like this but now is getting worse expecially in the morning after the car has been sitting for over night....

I live in the snow belt and have had the same problem for two years. Car runs and starts fine in the summer but starts giving problems when it gets cold and damp. After having it diagnosed with no problems indicated, then having the plug wires, plugs, etc. replaced, I discovered that if I put the key in the ignition, turn it two clicks and leave it for several minutes it will start and run fine. When it's just cool and damp, it may only take 2 mins. but the colder the weather the longer it takes. At 9 degs. it took about 20 mins. Hope this helps. It's a very expensive and frustrating problem that no one seems to know anything about.

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Try using higher octane fuel or octane boost in the winter this is a common problem on the dodge V-8s,after about 60,000 miles. However yours sounds like fuel line freeze up V-8s experience moisture in the fuel lines. Higher octane should help you may also wish to change your fuel filter, and run a fuel line cleaner through your van Seafoam is a good one.

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