Question about 1987 Oldsmobile Delta 88

3 Answers

I changed the steering rack today, and it started when I drove it in, now it wont crank at all, but does start when I jump the starter, there is no power to the starter solenoid when the key is turned to crank

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  • Ron Paulick Mar 20, 2011

    We dropped the subframe, I didnt see any wires strecthed out, so Ill have to go bak under and look to see if maybe we stretched a wire or broke a connector loose

  • Ron Paulick Mar 20, 2011

    We had to drop the subframe and may have stretched a wire out that I couldnt see, which one is the nuetral safety switch, would that be the one with the multiple wires and the linkage attached to it.

  • Ron Paulick Mar 20, 2011

    didnt work in neutral position either

  • Ron Paulick Mar 20, 2011

    not yet I havent, will do when im home later today

  • Ron Paulick Mar 20, 2011

    yea, we had power, wiggled the ignition and itstarted

  • Ron Paulick Mar 21, 2011

    yep, the ignition switch is loose inside somehow, so were just going to replace it

  • Ron Paulick Mar 21, 2011

    We tested the neutral safety and it had power, so when we tested that my buddy was playing with the ignition and the car turned over, so he kept messing with it and its started wvery time since, so were going to change the ignition so it doesnt happen again

  • Ron Paulick Mar 21, 2011

    Thanks so much for the help, will definetly come back here again if theres any other isues

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  • Oldsmobile Master
  • 17,129 Answers

While the steering rack was removed it is possible that the wiring to the solenoid switch was tampered or detached.
It can also be a case of the ground connection being lost to the solenoid.
So you need to start by checking the main ignition/starter switch. There can be a failure of a line in this section or a failure of contact in the starter switch. Try to short the leads here in the switch to confirm , if so the main Ignition switch is faulty.
If not check the continuity to the switch contacts, if Ok there is wire damage to the solenoid , Trace the harness from the ignition switch to the solenoid to confirm.
Tip: shorting the solenoid with an external +12 will confirm the starter and solenoid.

Posted on Mar 21, 2011

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  • Master
  • 3,530 Answers

Welcome to Fixya

This is basically what happens when you turn the key to start position. You should at least hear the starter solenoid click when you turn the key. The ignition switch sends 12 volts to the Starter solenoid ( really just a relay). The Solenoid closes and applies 12 volts (at a high current) to the starter motor to crank the engine. If you have a way to measure voltage, you should get 12 volts at the small terminal on the starter solenoid. The solenoid is mounted on the top of the starter motor. If you get no voltage, probably an ignition switch If you get 12 volts and the starter doesn't crank the starter is probably defective. At this [point take a small hammer and tap the starter motor, not hard, just medium. Sometimes this will cause the starter motor to catch next time you turn the key. I suggest to remove the starter motor (with solenoid attached) and take it to an Auto Zone type store where they can check it out for you. Be sure you disconnect the ground terminal of the battery before you attempt to remove the starter motor.

Thank you for using Fixya!

Posted on Mar 20, 2011

  • Jose Cada
    Jose Cada Mar 21, 2011

    Welcome to Fixya



    This is basically what happens when you turn the key to start position.
    You should at least hear the starter solenoid click when you turn the
    key. The ignition switch sends 12 volts to the Starter solenoid ( really
    just a relay). The Solenoid closes and applies 12 volts (at a high
    current) to the starter motor to crank the engine. If you have a way to
    measure voltage, you should get 12 volts at the small terminal on the
    starter solenoid. The solenoid is mounted on the top of the starter
    motor. If you get no voltage, probably an ignition switch If you get 12
    volts and the starter doesn't crank the starter is probably defective.
    At this [point take a small hammer and tap the starter motor, not hard,
    just medium. Sometimes this will cause the starter motor to catch next
    time you turn the key. I suggest to remove the starter motor (with
    solenoid attached) and take it to an Auto Zone type store where they can
    check it out for you. Be sure you disconnect the ground terminal of the
    battery before you attempt to remove the starter motor.



    Thank you for using Fixya!

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  • Oldsmobile Master
  • 5,332 Answers

The power from the ignition switch is sent to a starter interrupt relay and then continues to the nuetral safety switch located on the transmission. Check to make sure that the nuetral safety switch is plugged in. If it is unplug it and see if there is power on the yellow wire when the key is in the crank position. If there is than the safety switch might be bad (you can also see if the starter will work with the gear selector in the nuetral position).

If there is not power than you'll have to trace the wiring back to the starter relay or the ignition switch.

What all did you remove when you replaced the rack? did you drop the subframe or mess with the column?

Posted on Mar 20, 2011

  • 2 more comments 
  • Jeremy W.
    Jeremy W. Mar 20, 2011

    Yes the nuetral safety switch is located where the linkage attaches to the transmission.

  • Jeremy W.
    Jeremy W. Mar 20, 2011

    Did you check any of those wires for power while cranking?

  • Jeremy W.
    Jeremy W. Mar 20, 2011

    You wiggled the ignition switch?

  • Jeremy W.
    Jeremy W. Mar 21, 2011

    I seem to remember somebody mentioning something about an ignition switch. :)

    Glad to hear you got it figured out.

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