Final generation of the Pontiac Grand Am.

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car randomly wont crank. alternator, starter and battery good

car randomly

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There are a number of reasons this could happen. there are neutral safety switches in both the automatic and stick shift versions of most vehicles. There is also a starter relay in the fuse box on some vehicles. check the battery cables to see if they are clean. I have seen people clean the outside of the cables but there needs to be a good connection between the post and cable or side terminal. they need to be removed to be cleaned. You say the starter is good but a bad starter solenoid could cause this problem. If this is the case I recommend replacing the whole starter. Ford cars have a separate solenoid and can be replaced separately.

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+good answer....but its not a Ford ;-)

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- suggestions to remove, clean and tighten all cables are always good especially in these high current connections.

- sometimes a trick to check if it is the solenoid is to have one person be in car and turn the key and then hit the solenoid with a heavy tool like a hammer- not too hard. This can loosen it. Sometimes it is not moving its core due to rust and dirt or its actually too weak because of too much voltage drop (see 1*)

or another trick to see if it is the solenoid/cable is to bypass the ignition:

shorten the connection from the positive cable of the solenoid to the starter. This can be dangerous because there is no fuse on the starter wire and a short to ground (any metal part in the engine compartment ) can cause high current to melt your tool. Also this bypasses the safety in newer cars that when not in neutral or parking the starter will move the car.

Assuming the starter has a good connection to the battery you will bypass any relais, loose wires, ignition switches (My dad did this with a large screwdriver or other metal tool.

In most cases if you found out that it is the solenoid try to replace only that one if possible.

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Same issue.. Changed the starter and solenoid. Worked perfectly and the car is fixed.

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I change the starter and battery and put a new crank rely fues still won't crank

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Check if battery is charged o rule out bad battery. A good voltage while the car is off and has not been running for a few hours (idle voltage) is ~>=12.8V. Anything above 12.3 V is okay. Does any other high current load work well (headlights, rear defrost, fans .. while the engine is not running? What happens when you turn the key? Do the dashboard lights stay bright ? Is there any noise indicating the solenoid engages or starter try to turn ?

Rule out faulty relais, fuse, voltage drop on cables, conenctors etc.: Check the voltage on the solenoid itself while you turn the key to crank. If the voltage is close to the idle voltage the solenoid does not engage.

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Hi,

It may be also relevant to add that the alternator output measured across the battery when the engine is running should be between 13.8V -14.2V DC. This ensures that the battery will be charged correctly. Anything less than 13.8V could mean that the battery may actually be discharging or not being charged only being maintained at current level of charge, whilst the engine is running. Anything more could lead to the battery overcharging and eventually failing

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Mine has the same issue as if battery drain somewhere. Knowing it won't start, I take the ground off everynight and next day she starts up.

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My car is having a similar issue. No problems with starter, alternator, battery, or solinoid. What could it be? Fuses? Relay? Help

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