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2001 LeSabre won't turn over

japper

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My 2001 lesabre has been a very dependable car but this morning, when I tried to start it, I turned the key and all the lights on the dash lit up but it won't crank over.

I checked the battery and it measures 12.28vdc and does not dip when I turn the key to the start position, so it doesn't appear like the battery is bad or that the starter is dragging it down.

How can I tell if this is a starter problem or if it is a passkey security problem?

I need to know who to tow it to for repair or if there is something that I can do to fix it.

The security light on the dash lights up when I put the key in and if I turn the key to the acc (first click position of the ignition switch) and if I wait a few seconds the security light goes out... This is normal right?

Not sure what to check and would appreciate any helpful suggestions.

thanks
 

japper

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Where is the starter solenoid located on a 3800 engine?

Also any tips on how to do this?

Thanks
 

japper

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OK, something strange just happened and I would appreciate it if anyone can explain this occurance to me...

I got a hold of a OBD2 reader and connected it to my Lesabre and turned the key to the first position. It did not find any codes.

So them I turned the key to the start position and held it there.. at first, nothing like before but after 30 seconds the car turned over & started.

I have turned the key normally about 6 times after that and it is starting
normally like it always does...

Any ideas why this happened and should I trust it or is this an indication of something else that I should get checked out?

thanks
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japper

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I took it to the local parts store and they tested the battery while it
was still connected inside the car and the test came back with 563 cca where the battery is suppose dto be 770 cca and it advised to change the battery.

Now 563 cca is probably enough to start this car but with the winter coming, I took it as a sign that the battery might be weak and it would be a good idea to change it, so I did...
 

japper

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This is just so unreal... I reported this problem one year ago- almost to the day and back then when I hooked up my code scanner to the car and turned the key to the start position, after 30 seconds the car started.

I did not have another incident like this with the car not starting again until a couple of days ago. I just went outside and did the same thing; connected my centec code scanner to the car and held the key in the start postion and after about 30 seconds it started...

Can anyone explan why this is?

For the life of me, I don't know why this would bring the car back to life with no more incidents of this type for one year?

how can I justify replacing anything or is this some undocumented GM thing?
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whitecrystal1

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Could be the starter solenoid going bad. You would need to check to see if there is voltage going to the starter when you are trying to start it (when it is not starting of course). If there is voltage going to it but it won't start you could try tapping on the starter with a hammer, sometimes that will help to get it started.
 

1380Ken

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Sounds like the security system is acting up. I don't think your code scanner is doing anything. It is leaving the key in the on position for a few minutes that fixes the problem. Do some searches on gm security system problems,.
 

japper

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Thanks Ken.

My son came home last night and the car started for him on the first try and when he tried it again after that it had the same problem where there is power to all the lights but it doesn't turn over once again. I tried it with the same problem - dead starter...and then hooked up my code scanner again and it did not start with the code scanner connected either... (so it must have finally decided that it is broke after all).

Tonight after work, I will chase down the power to the starter, solenoid, starter relay, all associated fuses and PCM ground to the starter relay...

not sure how to troubleshoot the security system but wll look at the basics that I mentioend above first...
 

japper

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The ignition switch seems to be bad. Orange wire (+12v in) is hot, yellow wire (Ign start switch out) out is dead when in the start position...

How do I change this switch out (not obvious what holds in into place unless it is the lock cylinder?

Do I need to remove the lock cylinder & pass key module?

Is there anything that needs to be programmed after swapping this out?

Any sources for an inexpensive replacement that won't take a week to get?

Thanks
 

japper

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I ordered a replacement ignition switch but now need some
info on how to change the old one as this part will be here soon.

Does anyone have any info on how to change the ignition switch in a 2001 Buick LeSabre?

Thanks
 

gnhbodyguy

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I had the same problem on my 1998. I ended up cleaning the terminal where the small negative cable goes from the battery to the passenger front fender and it never happened again.
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japper

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Wish it was as easy as cleaning a battery cable on mine but it obviously is the igition switch as it will not pass any voltage for the starter relay in the start position...

A new switch is on the way...Now, if I can only find some info on how to change it...
 

japper

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So I went on Youtube and found a video on how to change the ignition switch but in the process of changing the ignition switch in my 2001 LeSabre the steering lock pin fell out. It is a pin with a spring on the end of it and the pin has a notch in the middle of one of its sides.

I placed this pin back in but it is now lodged into its socket and will not pop out. I am guessing that the notched side has to be lined up on one of the socket's sides but I can't get this pin out now...

I don't care if the wheel locks or not but I am concerned about leaving it like this as I don't want it to pop up and lock the steering wheel while I am driving the car.

Can anyone suggest how to get this pin out and how it should be placed in this socket?

Thanks
 

japper

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Got the lock pin out.. the new switch didn't fix the problem.. my 2001 Buick Le Sabre still doesn't turn over...

looked at the Start relay circuit breaker (#36 under the hood) and checked it sounds like it is clicking (coil is energizing) when the key is put in the start position, so I pulled this circuitr breaker and tested the spcket with a test light and this doesn't make sense...

The relay has the pinout on its side and according to this pin out and with the key in the start position, There isn't 12 volts on the main power in pin (#30) which should be the lower right pin facing the fuse box from the passenger side of the car. This pin is fed by the 30A Start circuit breaker (#41) which I verified has power on both sides.

Also, because there is no power in, the power to load pin (#87) is also dead.

Both the coil power pin (#86) and the relay activation pin (#85) have +12v
and I would expect the relay activation pin (#85) to go low to energize the coil in the relay.

The only thing between the ignition switch and the relay activation pin (#85) is the Powertrain Control Module but hte wire to this module are not accessible...

Can I jump the relay by applying 12v to pin 87 or is this a bad idea to verify the starter & solenoid are OK?

Some fellow mentioned cleaning the negative battery cable fixed his older buick but I am not sure where this cable is routed & connected to as the battery cables come from the back seat where the battery is located and its not obvious where it connected inside the engine compartment

Any ideas?
 
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