Question about 2000 Pontiac Sunfire

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2001 sunfire put new starter in car would not start so put in new battery car finally started after holding key to start then would not turn off unless u disconect battery posts, now when u put posts back on its trying to start its still engaged no keys needed so brought back battery & starter they r fine can anyone please help

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  • robin_lorne Apr 05, 2011

    the starter is in proper, the car did start after cranking many many times now will not shut off .unless battery cable is disconected the starter stay engaged



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  • Pontiac Master
  • 8,826 Answers

Hi, it sounds like the starter solenoid was not wired properly. You have 2 wires at the starter, right? The bigger wire goes to the big top post on the solenoid, right? The smaller wire is called the start wire and it goes to the smaller terminal labeled "S." Is that how you wired it? You also have to be careful when tightening the nuts on the terminals that the start wire terminal does not touch the other terminals and vice versa. Do you have the starter in the car now? Can you take a picture to send me?

Posted on Apr 05, 2011

  • 7 more comments 
  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Apr 05, 2011

    OK, if it's installed correctly and it will not shut off, the solenoid contacts must be shorted. The solenoid contacts must be closed for the starter to turn.

  • robin_lorne Apr 05, 2011

    tried 2 new starters still same resaults thinking it's the ignition switch what do u think..thanks

  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Apr 05, 2011

    easy to check. Remove the start wire from the solenoid, replace the battery terminal, and check for voltage on the start wire with key off. shorted start relay could also cause this, if you have one. Let me check on that.

  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Apr 05, 2011

    there was an early and late build that year. The early build did not have a crank relay, but the late build did. Look in your relay box for a crank relay. If you have one, we can figure this out.

    sorry, I would have been more help if I wasn't double-timing with another customer...

  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Apr 05, 2011

    If you do have the crank relay, pull it out and reconnect the battery. If the starter turns, the solenoid is shorted. If not, the relay or the ignition switch is bad.

  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Apr 05, 2011

    It's easy then to see if it's the relay or the switch. If it was the switch, there would be 2 hot leads in the relay socket with the key off, and the relay would click when pushed in. I shorted relay will not usually click. You can always borrow another relay to see if the relay is bad.

  • robin_lorne Apr 05, 2011

    ok will try thanks..

  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Apr 05, 2011

    While I was there, I copied the procedure for replacing the switch:


    Before servicing any electrical component, the ignition key must be in the OFF or LOCK position and all electrical loads must be OFF , unless instructed otherwise in these procedures. If a tool or equipment could easily come in contact with a live exposed electrical terminal, also disconnect the negative battery cable. Failure to follow these precautions may cause personal injury and/or damage to the vehicle or its components.

    1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.


      This vehicle is equipped with a Supplemental Inflatable Restraint (SIR) System. Failure to follow the correct procedure could cause the following conditions:

      Air bag deployment

      Personal injury

      Unnecessary SIR system repairs

    2. In order to avoid the above conditions, observe the following guidelines:

      Refer to SIR Component Views in order to determine if you are performing service on or near the SIR components or the SIR wiring.

      If you are performing service on or near the SIR components or the SIR wiring, disable the SIR system. Refer to Disabling the SIR System in SIR. (to disable, just remove both battery terminals and touch them together to discharge the capacitor).

    3. Disable the supplemental inflatable restraint (SIR) system, as outlined in the Chassis Electrical Section.

    4. Remove the steering column trim covers.

    5. Turn the ignition lock cylinder to the RUN position.

    6. Push the locking button on the rear of the housing assembly.

    7. Remove the ignition lock cylinder by pulling outward from the steering column.

    8. Disconnect the electrical connector from the ignition lock cylinder.

    Fig. Remove the retaining screws (2) from the ignition switch (3) and then the ignition switch from the column (1)

    1. Remove the retaining screws from the ignition switch.

    2. Remove the ignition switch from the steering column.

    To install:

    1. Install the ignition switch to the steering column.


      Use the correct fastener in the correct location. Replacement fasteners must be the correct part number for that application. Fasteners requiring replacement or fasteners requiring the use of thread locking compound or sealant are identified in the service procedure. Do not use paints, lubricants, or corrosion inhibitors on fasteners or fastener joint surfaces unless specified. These coatings affect fastener torque and joint clamping force and may damage the fastener. Use the correct tightening sequence and specifications when installing fasteners in order to avoid damage to parts and systems.

    2. Install the retaining screws to the ignition switch and tighten the screws to 36 lb inches (4 Nm).

    3. Install the ignition lock cylinder as follows:

      1. Connect the electrical connector to the ignition lock cylinder.

      2. Insert the ignition lock cylinder into the housing assembly while rotating the key approximately 5 degrees counter - clockwise.

      3. Install the steering column trim covers.

      4. Connect the battery cables.

  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Apr 05, 2011

    If you want to test the switch at the base of the steering column, the start wire is the yellow wire. Here is the diagram for the late build with the crank relay. The early build is the same without the crank relay.



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