• Hint: Use a descriptive title for your new message
    If you're looking for help and want to draw people in who can assist you, use a descriptive subject title when posting your message. In other words, "2008 LaCrosse" isn't going to indicate to anybody that you need help. However, "Need help with my 2008 LaCrosse" will. Be as descriptive as you can. Please use common sense... This message can be closed by clicking the X in the top right corner.

2012 Lacrosse V6 - Starter Replacement

ctgriffi

Buick Newbie
7
4
0
southern MO
Buick Ownership
Buick
Hello, new to the forum... not a Buick owner myself, but I'm here to help a family member with their 2012 Lacrosse 3.6.

The car has 98K and is in a no-start state right now; it will click once and that's it, never turns over, etc. I've been all over the wiring and connections, tested the battery and all that, and it's starting to look more and more like the starter motor is bad.

How difficult is the starter replacement? Will I need to pull the exhaust off the front, or will there be enough room to do the swap?

Appreciate any instructions, tips, and/or links because there's not a lot of info out there on this issue for a 5 year-old Buick, and I don't want to freeze my butt off outside, taking unnecessary wrong turns. Many thanks!
 

yesthatsteve

Junior Member
42
6
8
Buick Ownership
'13 LaCrosse eAssist
IIRC, the 2012 has a 5-year, 100k powertrain warranty. If you're less than 5 years from the original in-service date, the starter should be covered.

If you're out of warranty, there's a walk-through on replacing the starter on a 3.6 Terrain, and the heat shield is the only part of the exhaust that needs removal. With a little luck, that's all the LaCrosse needs, as well. http://www.equinoxforum.net/40-diy-how-discussions/9585-how-change-starter-3-6l-v6.html
 

ctgriffi

Buick Newbie
7
4
0
southern MO
Buick Ownership
Buick
IIRC, the 2012 has a 5-year, 100k powertrain warranty. If you're less than 5 years from the original in-service date, the starter should be covered.

If you're out of warranty, there's a walk-through on replacing the starter on a 3.6 Terrain, and the heat shield is the only part of the exhaust that needs removal. With a little luck, that's all the LaCrosse needs, as well. http://www.equinoxforum.net/40-diy-how-discussions/9585-how-change-starter-3-6l-v6.html
I don't think they're still in the warranty period, although I guess that's worth investigating. The car's been out of commission for several days now, and I think my sister is just anxious to get it back on the road quickly (they've already got the ACDelco #12645298 Starter on order).

Thanks for the link to the 3.6 Terrain write-up! I think I came across that post earlier, and it does involve unbolting the exhaust pipe and pulling it away from the front of the engine. Still, it doesn't sound too terrible, and I've got the tools...
 

ctgriffi

Buick Newbie
7
4
0
southern MO
Buick Ownership
Buick
Figured this out: there's a metal power distribution panel right on top of the battery, and the 300A fuse part of that panel is blown. That's the same leg of the panel that feeds the starter, and it's got zero continuity.

Maybe I can post a photo later but does anyone have any info about this? Part number? Cost?
______________________________
 

IanDMacDonald

3.8L Member
113
2
18
Flint, MI
Buick Ownership
'11 Buick LaCrosse CXL
Blowing a 300A fuse is a pretty good feat on it's own, but I suspect u left one critical detail out: did you connect a battery charger to it (or someone else)? My guess is that it was connected incorrectly, etc., and the fuse did its job. No big deal. Call Auto Zone before the dealer, and ask if it can be replaced. Use the GMPartsdirect website for a part number. I think u'll be okay once u replace that fuse.
 

ctgriffi

Buick Newbie
7
4
0
southern MO
Buick Ownership
Buick
Blowing a 300A fuse is a pretty good feat on it's own, but I suspect u left one critical detail out: did you connect a battery charger to it (or someone else)? My guess is that it was connected incorrectly, etc., and the fuse did its job. No big deal. Call Auto Zone before the dealer, and ask if it can be replaced. Use the GMPartsdirect website for a part number. I think u'll be okay once u replace that fuse.
So, it's not clear what made that thing blow; I wasn't the first guy to try and diagnose/correct the starting problem on this car... I just happened to be the one who owns and understands (roughly) a DVM. Anyway, makes it hard to even speculate about cause, at this point.

Couple of things here, since nobody seems very knowledgeable about the details of this vehicle:

-The fuse in question is non-replaceable because it is permanently mounted on the panel (way to go, GM!).

-AutoZone/O'Reilly/AdvanceAuto/RockAuto/Amazon do not have information or parts for this issue.

-Local Buick dealer parts counter was completely confused by the situation and could not help, at least not over the phone.

-You can Google the heck out of it, and you will find almost nothing about this part, at least in this point in time (if you're reading this at some later date, maybe more will turn up...).

I've attached a photo of this panel, which sits on top of the battery, and the bad 300A leg that feeds the starter is at the bottom of the photo.
 

Attachments

BuickLacrosse

Full Member
203
7
18
Out in the sticks
Buick Ownership
2006 LaCrosse CX 3.8L
Toasting a 300A fuse link isn't easily done. I'm not sure a battery charger could provide that sort of current. Even for a few milliseconds. An auto wrecker should have that part at reasonable cost.
 

IanDMacDonald

3.8L Member
113
2
18
Flint, MI
Buick Ownership
'11 Buick LaCrosse CXL
Reversing the polarity on jumper leads will most certainly blow that main fuse.
______________________________
 

ctgriffi

Buick Newbie
7
4
0
southern MO
Buick Ownership
Buick
Reversing the polarity on jumper leads will most certainly blow that main fuse.
Maybe that is what happened... bad starter, and then a bad/wrong jump to compound the problem.

Just to get them back on the road, I temporarily bypassed the bad 300A leg, and she started right up (with the new GM starter). For a more permanent fix, I'm going to cut off that bad leg on the panel and bolt this "mega-fuse" into place (brother-in-law's idea; seems workable): https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/littelfuse-4149/accessories-16449/accessories---exterior-16767/exterior-lighting-16612/bulb-flasher-fuse-16457/fuses-16615/spade-fuses-18447/mega-fuse/meg300/4414359
 

BIG ROCCO

Full Member
345
18
18
PHOENIX, AZ
Buick Ownership
2012 LaCrosse eAssist P1 w/H-K & Nav
Nice job, nice photos and documentation, thank you. Did you ever confirm the original starter, or starter solenoid, was bad?
______________________________
 

ctgriffi

Buick Newbie
7
4
0
southern MO
Buick Ownership
Buick
Nice job, nice photos and documentation, thank you. Did you ever confirm the original starter, or starter solenoid, was bad?
Welcome. So, we tested the old starter and found that it did actually turn, but was much rougher-sounding and slow than the new. Also tested the old solenoid, and it was definitely toast, refused to click over and transfer power. All good now.
 

G-298664

Hello, new to the forum... not a Buick owner myself, but I'm here to help a family member with their 2012 Lacrosse 3.6.

The car has 98K and is in a no-start state right now; it will click once and that's it, never turns over, etc. I've been all over the wiring and connections, tested the battery and all that, and it's starting to look more and more like the starter motor is bad.

How difficult is the starter replacement? Will I need to pull the exhaust off the front, or will there be enough room to do the swap?

Appreciate any instructions, tips, and/or links because there's not a lot of info out there on this issue for a 5 year-old Buick, and I don't want to freeze my butt off outside, taking unnecessary wrong turns. Many thanks!
mine have same trouble, the main fuse (300 A) directly on the box on battery top, test by unplug the wire directly together
 

Rich B.

Active member
580
89
28
Minot, ME
Buick Ownership
2016 LaCrosse & 2013 Boss 302 Mustang
He means bypass fuse, connect line and load cables together. Problem could just be aged fuse or something way more diabolical.... Have seen the cutouts (fuses) drop out for no good reason at all on the 34K volt dist. system where I used to work. Used to duck down in basket when putting in new; they’d explode like shrapnel if short existed lol, what was I thinking?
______________________________
 

Kev-O-Matic

New member
2
0
1
Buick Ownership
2011 buick lacrosse cxl
Hello all. I was having the same issue untill I found this forum. Put a screwdriver across the 300a terminal, car cranked right up. A friend (research analysts) did his thing and found the GM part number 96889385. And found new it on ebay. I just ordered the part so i will update after it arrives and is installed. Hope this adds to the help
 

Rich B.

Active member
580
89
28
Minot, ME
Buick Ownership
2016 LaCrosse & 2013 Boss 302 Mustang
There is a starter relay but can‘t vouch if separate or integral with starter. Somebody Buick orientated would know this. Anyways the high amp terminals are to engage battery w/starter, something else has to activate that relay, not direct battery connection.
 
Last edited:

Kev-O-Matic

New member
2
0
1
Buick Ownership
2011 buick lacrosse cxl
So I was wrong. Part arrives and the fuse values are different. The part is for a chevy Cruze (thanks research friend). I made a jumper using battery cable to go across the 300a fuse and it started a few times then "click" nothing. Apparently the car starts when it wants to and only when it wants to. Most times it just makes the sound of the starter engaging then nothing. A few times it turned over like it was about to start then just stops. Strange thing, if I put a new battery in, it will crank right up and that will last anywhere from a month to 5 months before the problem returns. Im on battery number 4 btw. Jumping the car has mixed results. (Please see starts when it wants) My father said the car guy he listens to on the radio said to change the crankshaft position sensor. Is this the starter, cps, or something else? I've already changed the alternator because I caught the voltage at 12.8v and thought it just wasn't charging. I need help bad. Im about ready to get rid of this car but don't want to go upside down
 

TomB

New member
5
0
1
Buick Ownership
LaCrosse
Kev-O-Matic: You might want to check your alternator output to ensure it meets your car requirement. It might be under-power which may explain why you’re going through so many batteries (may not be battery fault). If you don’t know how to check it, take it to AutoZone.
 
Last edited:
Pedal Commander
Top