Question about 1993 Buick LeSabre

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1993 buick lesabre won't crank. battery is good but turn the key it won't do anything no clicking noise. have 12 volts from the battery to the starter but nothing from the ignition plug terminal on the starter when you turn the key

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  • rdamichael Sep 09, 2010

    Would you jump it between the positive and negative terminals on the starter?

  • rdamichael Sep 09, 2010

    Would you jump it between the positive and negative terminals on the starter?

  • rdamichael Sep 09, 2010

    OK, jumped from ignition post on starter to positive on battery and the car will turn over but will not run.

  • rdamichael Sep 09, 2010

    jumped from ignition post on starter to positive on battery and the car will turn over but will not run.

  • rdamichael Sep 09, 2010

    It died suddenly, my wife left for work and the car started and ran fine. She stopped at hess and got back in and it won't start. All the dash lights come on but it won't turn the starter. Ran a wire from ignition post on the starter to the positive on battery and motor will turn over but will stay running with the key in the run position. Checked voltage to the ignition post when the key is turned and got no voltage.

  • rdamichael Sep 09, 2010

    It died suddenly, my wife left for work and the car started and ran fine. She stopped at hess and got back in and it won't start. All the dash lights come on but it won't turn the starter. Ran a wire from ignition post on the starter to the positive on battery and motor will turn over but will not stay running with the key in the run position. Checked voltage to the ignition post when the key is turned and got no voltage.

  • rdamichael Sep 09, 2010

    EDIT "will NOT stay running"

  • rdamichael Sep 09, 2010

    Why do i need a new resister key?

  • rdamichael Sep 10, 2010

    Can't seem to locate this switch on the transmission on advanced auto parts or autozone websites, they just list the one on the steering column. I did notice the wire off the starter soleniod seems to go to something on the transmission but can't find part. Is it called something else?

  • rdamichael Sep 10, 2010

    To : ZJLimited

    Your solution was right on the money, followed your directions and everything turned out great. Thanks so much for your help. I would have accepted your solution but it didn't give me the opertunity.

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5 Answers

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  • Master
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Most likelt the electrical ignition switch located on the transmission is shot
Just take a volt meter to see if power gets to the solenoid wire. If not replace that switch

Posted on Sep 10, 2010

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  • Buick Master
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If an engine cranks but refuses to start, it lacks ignition, fuel or compression. Was it running fine but quit suddenly? The most likely causes here would be a failed fuel pump, ignition module or broken overhead cam timing belt. Has the engine been getting progressively harder to start? If yes, consider the engine's maintenance and repair history.


If the battery is low, the next logical step might be to try starting the engine with another battery or a charger. If the engine cranks normally and roars to life, you can assume the problem was a dead battery, or a charging problem that allowed the battery to run down. If the battery accepts a charge and tests okay, checking the output of the charging system should help you identify any problems there.

A charging system that is working properly should produce a charging voltage of somewhere around 14 volts at idle with the lights and accessories off. When the engine is first started, the charging voltage should rise quickly to about two volts above base battery voltage, then taper off, leveling out at the specified voltage. The exact charging voltage will vary according to the battery's state of charge, the load on the electrical system, and temperature. The lower the temperature, the higher the charging voltage. The higher the temperature, the lower the charging voltage. The charging range for a typical alternator might be 13.9 to 14.4 volts at 80 degrees F, but increase to 14.9 to 15.8 volts at subzero temperatures. If the charging system is not putting out the required voltage, is it the alternator or the regulator?

If the engine won't crank or cranks slowly when you attempt to start or jump start the engine (and the battery is fully charged), you can focus your attention on the starter circuit. A quick way to diagnose cranking problems is to switch on the headlights and watch what happens when you attempt to start the engine. If the headlights go out, a poor battery cable connection may be strangling the flow of amps. All battery cable connections should be checked and cleaned along with the engine-to-chassis ground straps.

Measuring the voltage dropacross connections is a good way to find excessive resistance. A voltmeter check of the cable connections should show no more than 0.1 volt drop at any point, and no more than 0.4 volts for the entire starter circuit. A higher voltage drop would indicate excessive resistance and a need for cleaning or tightening.

Slow cranking can also be caused by undersized battery cables. Some cheap replacement cables have small gauge wire encased in thick insulation. The cables look the same size as the originals on the outside, but inside there is not enough wire to handle the amps.

When the engine cranks normally but won't start, you need to check ignition, fuel and compression. Ignition is easy enough to check with a spark tester or by positioning a plug wire near a good ground. No spark? The most likely causes would be a failed ignition module, distributor pickup or crankshaft position (CKP) sensor.

A tool such as an Ignition System Simulator can speed the diagnosis by quickly telling you if the ignition module and coil are capable of producing a spark with a simulated timing input signal. If the simulated signal generates a spark, the problem is a bad distributor pickup or crankshaft position sensor. No spark would point to a bad module or coil. Measuring ignition coil primary and secondary resistance can rule out that component as the culprit.

Module problems as well as pickup problems are often caused by loose, broken or corroded wiring terminals and connectors. Older GM HEI ignition modules are notorious for this. If you are working on a distributorless ignition system with a Hall effect crankshaft position sensor, check the sensor's reference voltage (VRef) and ground. The sensor must have 5 volts or it will remain permanently off and not generate a crank signal (which should set a fault code). Measure VRef between the sensor power supply wire and ground (use the engine block
for a ground, not the sensor ground circuit wire). Don't see 5 volts? Then check the sensor wiring harness for loose or corroded connectors. A poor ground connection will have the same effect on the sensor operation as a bad VRef supply. Measure the voltage drop between the sensor ground wire and the engine block. More than a 0.1 voltage drop indicates a bad ground connection. Check the sensor mounting and wiring harness.

Tell us news.

Posted on Sep 09, 2010

  • ZJ Limited
    ZJ Limited Sep 09, 2010

    Check IGNITION SWITCH failed. A five-position switch that is the power distribution point for most of
    the vehicle's primary electrical systems. The spring-loaded START
    position provides momentary contact and automatically moves to the RUN
    position when the key is released. The other switch detent positions are
    ACCESSORIES, LOCK, and OFF.

    There are two parts. The ignition switch is bolted on the outside of the steering column tube half way between the floor and the steering wheel. The ignition lock cylinder is what you have if it came with a key. The two white wires that come off of it are for the Passkey system. When you turn the key the lock cylinder pushes a long rod inside the steering column that goes down the move the ignition switch. What is wrong with your car?

    Was the security light flashing? If YES, it was common for those little white wires to break near where they go into the lock cylinder. There is a resistor pellet in the key that a passkey module reads. If it doesn't read the resistor in the key when you went to crank the engine it would disable the starter.

    The first thing you have to do before you start is take your old key and get a new key made with the right resistor pellet as your old key. They have to cut the new key to the dummy key so it will turn the lock cylinder. The car won't crank with the dummy key cause there is no pellet in it.

    Your going to need a steering wheel puller and a lock ring depressor tool. Disable
    the driver's air bag from the yellow connector under the dash. Remove
    the airbag and unplug its connector. Disconnect by rotating
    counter-clock wise the horn connector. Put the airbag facing up on the
    back seat. Remove the steering wheel nut and use the steering wheel or
    harmonic balancer puller to remove the steering wheel.
    Note: there is a mark on the shaft that lines up on the steering wheel's mark.

    Remove the clock spring c clip. Pull the clock spring out enough to let it dangle. Do not rotate the clock spring or it will break later after you reinstall it. Remove the wave washer and depress the lock ring cam with the lock ring depressor tool. Remove the metal ring with picks and small screwdrivers. Remove the tool and lock ring. Unscrew the hazard switch button with phillips screwdriver. Then remove the turn signal
    level cam screws from turn signal switch. Remove the three turn signal switch screws.

    Go under the dash and unbolt the large connector halves. Just follow the wires that run through and under the column to find the connector. There is a plastic piece that the wires in the column come out of. Squeeze the plastic pieces tabs together and pull the plastic wiring protector out. Undo the small connector that has the two little white wires on it. Pull the turn signal switch out far enough to let it dangle. Using a pair of needle noise gently remove the key chime switch. Pull it out gentle like you are picking a nose hair. You'll see a bolt with an torx head. Remove the bolt and pull the orange white wire retainer from its hole. The ignition switch should slide out.

    Tie a piece of string to the end of the white wire connector you unplugged. Then pull the white wires up through the column along with the string. Cut the string from the connector after you fish it out. Tie the end of the string to the new ignition switch white wire connector and gently pull on the other end of the string at the bottom of the dash to fish the wires down into the column. From there everything is reversed.

    The hardest part of the whole job is getting that little metal ring off with a pick and/or tiny pocket screwdriver with out poking a hole in your hand.

    Try it and tell us news.

  • Nick M Jun 02, 2013

    3 years laster and what a great answer. Thank you for taking the time to write that, very informative!!

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  • Master
  • 1,509 Answers

DID YOU CLEAN THE BATTERY CABLES ALL THE WAY?

Posted on Sep 11, 2010

  • John P Schwantes Jr Sep 18, 2010

    There are two battery cables under one bolt on the positive battery conection, Both of these must be clean as the one sends power to the dash and the other sends power to the starter. The starter itself can be bad but you can check this by with someone trying to start the car hit the starter with something ( hammer handle) to rattle it some and it it starts then the starter is too dirty or worn out and needs to be replaced. Junkyard may have and good one for less then $30 but a parts store will warrentee one for about $60, even the dealer has them but their rebuilt also, and their still higher. The small wire at the starter should come hot with the key. if it doesn't then the neutral start switch ( must be in park or neutral to start) It's on top of the transmission and if the trans or the engine has been leaking oil on it it will fail after awhile. You may start it by turning on the key put the break on and pull it down into nuetral and see if it will start that way.

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The voltage can be had from pencil cells too. It is the amperage that counts. The battery may be low. Recharge it and then use it. Also It could be the bendex, a part of the starter motor which engages the flywheel and rotate it. If this goes bad then too you cant crank the engine. It needs to be changed. Try then in this order. The battery charging first and if the problem still persists then the second, ie, the bendex to be replaced.

Posted on Sep 10, 2010

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  • Expert
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Hi! Have you tried to bypass the starter? Did it work?

Posted on Sep 09, 2010

  • dj_relly999
    dj_relly999 Sep 10, 2010

    Hi! Now we know that it will not run on ignition. You will need to replace the ignition switch on the steering column to correct this. The ignition switch surely is faulty.

  • dj_relly999
    dj_relly999 Sep 11, 2010

    Hi! HOws it going?

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