1993 with 196,000 miles, 3.8 V6. Well maintained since new and was running fine
and using minimal oil. Never a problem with starting our drive train until now.
Here is the story. One week ago on cold start the starter made an unusual but
very brief noise but the engine fire right up and I drive as usual for about 15
miles and stopped to do some shopping. The store was closed so I attempted to
restart after less than a minute. The starter would engage but would not turn
the engine. I attempted to jump the battery with another vehicle with same
result. The next day I returned and still could not get the engine to turn even
with a 200 amp charger/started so I had the van towed home.
I replaced the starter and solenoid. Nothing! Despite the fact that the
battery appeared to have a normal state of charge per digital volt meter I took
it to a parts store and had it checked: bad battery. Bought a new one, installed
it, added a new positive terminal as thee old one looked corroded, and made sure
the new battery was fully charged. Engine still won't turn. Tried jumping the
solenoid, same result. If the ignition switch is held in start the starter
begins to hum as if over heating.
At this point I can think of nothing else to try and am about to assume my
engine is seized, although I cannot conceive of how that could happen given the
circumstances. Is there anything I might be missing in the starting system that
could cause this?
Is there a way to determine if my engine (automatic transmission) is seized?
Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Did you try the starter with the starter out of the car? That would
tell you if the starter is any good or not. Believe it or not, you
can get bad starters, either new or rebuilt.
Bad starter, for one. Poor connections for another. Bad cable, you
said you replaced the terminal, I assume you meant the connector,
as the terminal is on the battery itself. You could have a bad cable
or connector at the starter end. You could also have a bad ground,
and your starter might not be lined up correctly. And lastly the
fly wheel may have lost a couple of teeth.
Sure, pull the plugs out, making sure you know exactly which
cylinder the cables go to. Make a diagram or buy those little string
tags from a stationary store and tie them on each cable. Then put
a wrench on the bolt on the Harmonic balancer and try to turn the
engine. Did the engine itself make any strange noises, such as
squealing or grinding when you last ran it? If not I doubt that it
is seized. And from what you described I would suspect the starter,
either bad or needs to be properly shimmed and lined up, or possibly
the fly wheel lost a couple of teeth.
-- Dick #1349 Damn it . . . Don't you dare ask God to help me. To her
housekeeper, who had begun to pray aloud. ~~ Joan Crawford, actress, d.
May 10, 1977 Home Page: dickcr.iwarp.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob, my son had a similar problem with his Grand Am. The bearings on the Air
Conditioning compressor has seized and the engine couldn't turn over. Check
the pulley on the A/C compressor and I'll bet that it's seized. When it's
seized, the belt can't turn and thus the starter can't turn the engine
over. Let me know if that's it. Good Luck!
Many thanks to both of you for your very helpful replies. Following
Sting Ray's tip I removed my sepentine belt this afternoon and the
engine started right up. The A/C compressor pully was indeed frozen
solid. Looks like I bought a starter and battery for no good reason
but I probably got my moneys woth out of the old ones. Starter was
original and the battery was 5 years old.
I may be back soon with questions about replacing the compressor.
Thanks again for your help,
On Tue, 02 Mar 2004 03:57:17 GMT, "Sting Ray" <Sting_Ray(no
I'm happy to have been able to help Bob. The starter & battery always seem
like obvious culprits when this happens. In my son's case, he had replaced
both within the previous six months, so I looked for something less
obvious. - Sting
Glad you found the problem, and doubly glad it was relatively easy
to find, unfortunately, problably costly to repair.
A normal battery only has a life span of 3 to 5 years, so yours was
due for a change anyways.
Damn it . . . Don't you dare ask God to help me.
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