Buick LeSabre starts in wrong gear

Hi
I have a '96 buick LeSabre with less than 40k miles. I hope I'm able to explain my problem clearly.
I have two keys. One of them, when I start the car in the morning it
shuts down and after about 3 minutes the lights go on and it will start and seems to start the rest of the day. The other key seems to work all the time.
Second problem (they started at the same time) Start the car, it shuts down like the battery is dead but then starts right up. But the radio has gone off and the clock resets to one o'clock. This has happened three times radomly.
I took it to a local mechanic and he said he thought it was a security problem and I would have to take it tothe dealer. Well that's scary but I made an appointment at the closest dealer which is an hour from where I live. I told them the problem and without even looking at it they said it was the ignition lock cylinder and they would have to order the part.
On my way toward home I saw another dealer and stopped there. They said it would cost me $60 to diagnose it. I was on my way out the door (should have kept going) but stopped in the parts department to find out how much an ignition lock cylinder and 2 keys cost. The parts man told me they sold lots of these as it was a common problem with my car. He went and talked to a mechanic about it and he said the same thing. However the service guy said that this was true but they wouldn't guarantee it unless I paid the $60. At least Three people at this point said it was a 90-95% chance this was the problem. So,because we're having some health issues and I need a dependable car, I opted to go for it.
Today I tried to start it and everything went dead like the battery was dead. After letting it sit hoping it would reset itself I read something in the manual about trying to start it in another gear and I was able to put it in neutral and it started. (Yes the clock reset itself to one o'clock and the radio went dead, no dash lights only a beap when I turned the key to start it while in park.0
Please, does anyone know what this may be and what I should do about the sleazy dealer that won't even call me back.
Thank you
Betty
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Could be a dirty battery terminal or bad ground. The security system would not cause the clock to reset. I would take it to an independent shop that you know is honest. Hard to find now. Ask around. What part of the country are you in? Maybe someone here can point you to a decent shop.
Good luck,
Al
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Big Al wrote:

Could be the battery too. Saw that a few weeks ago at work. GW
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Thanks so much. I'm in North Carolina, Warrenton to be exact. That's between the I-85 and the I-95 near the Virginia border. I replaced the battery in November.
I'll be happy to go anywhere but a dealer. Should I take the battery cables off and clean them. It concerns me that it started right up in nuetral but wouldn't start in park.
Thanks again for your help. Much appreciated.
Betty
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Sorry, I forgot to change to my personality. But this is me. Thanks again
Betty
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It sounds like tow things on the passkey system:
The battery terminals are most likely dirty, and also, you must have a bad neutral safety switch.
I have a lot of experience with this system, especially in this age group. If the ignition switch were broken, you wouldn't be able to start it again, without knowing a few tricks to by pass it. Or having the Kent-Moore box to test and bypass the system.
Your car does not have the VATS, With the black chip (Resistor) in the key.
So I highly doubt that the ignition switch is the problem.
I hope this helps?
Refinish King
wrote:

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First of all, cars are supposed to start in Neutral. It when it starts in reverse or drive with an automatic transmission that you need to worry.
As for not starting in park, you either have a neutral safety switch that is bad, or needs adjusted. Another possibility is the switch is not registering the car is in park, or their is a short in the park circuit to the switch. Charles
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wrote:

Betty, There's not much worse than a thief set up in business, but your dealer who actually was asking sixty dollars for a guarantee that they did not honor is certainly asking for it. I suggest going to the vehicle manufacturer. Getting in touch with the States attorney General. Checking out your states small claims court. and any other organization that would or might be interested in your problem with the dealer. Don't bother with the BBB. They're the foxes guarding the hen house door But do something. Don't just sit back and allow a business to rip you off. They do it to you, they'll do it to others so even if you do not get satisfaction, make it hard on the crooked dealer. I realize that most states are set up to favor businesses over individuals, but at least complain. BTW I think the other responses to your post hit on some things to check out. I would be inclined to check out the battery connections and condition and the possibility of bad electrical connections.
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| wrote: | >On my way toward home I saw another dealer and stopped there. They said | >it would cost me $60 to diagnose it. I was on my way out the door | >(should have kept going) but stopped in the parts department to find | >out how much an ignition lock cylinder and 2 keys cost. The parts man | >told me they sold lots of these as it was a common problem with my car. | >He went and talked to a mechanic about it and he said the same thing. | >However the service guy said that this was true but they wouldn't | >guarantee it unless I paid the $60. At least Three people at this point | >said it was a 90-95% chance this was the problem. So,because we're | >having some health issues and I need a dependable car, I opted to go | >for it. | Betty, | There's not much worse than a thief set up in business, but your | dealer who actually was asking sixty dollars for a guarantee that they | did not honor is certainly asking for it. | I suggest going to the vehicle manufacturer. | Getting in touch with the States attorney General. | Checking out your states small claims court. | and any other organization that would or might be interested in your | problem with the dealer. | Don't bother with the BBB. They're the foxes guarding the hen house | door | But do something. Don't just sit back and allow a business to rip you | off. They do it to you, they'll do it to others so even if you do not | get satisfaction, make it hard on the crooked dealer. I realize that | most states are set up to favor businesses over individuals, but at | least complain. | BTW I think the other responses to your post hit on some things to | check out. I would be inclined to check out the battery connections | and condition and the possibility of bad electrical connections. |
I agree with your comment about the BBB....worthless!!!
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In article Thanks everyone for all your help.
I couldn't start the car at all Friday (I was on my way to find a mechanic,) so I tightened the battery cables and it has been starting ever since. I'm holding my breath.
Thanks for your advice Mr Laffery. I must say that since three people at this dealer and one at another had told me there was a 90-95% chance it was the ignition lock cylinder I opted not to pay the $60. I just thought on top of the $260 they wanted to charge me it was just out of the question. I have the old part which they said was bad after replacing it but I don't think so. Although I do think I may have needed the new keys. I have talked to my credit card company about this and I'm going to write letters to the manufacturer and possibly the State about this matter.
You all where so kind and helpful and I have all my notes in case the battery turns out not to be the problem. In the mean time I'm on the lookout for a good, honest mechanic who can work on this silly car.
Next time I'll come here before the mechanic and hopefully never again to a dealer, they're just too scary.
Here's to cars with no computers and no security system.
Thanks again
Betty
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