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2001 buick won't start

 
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todp42 todp42
New User | Posts: 10 | Joined: 05/11
Posted: 12/09/12
07:11 AM

Hello, I inherited a 2001 Buick Century about 2 yrs. ago. My father in law kept records of the work he had done to this car, including replacing the upper intake manifold gaskets and seals (Thank you). Anyway, this car has it's Gremlins, and it does weird stuff at times. The most recent problem is that it won't start. This is what happened: I drove to work Thurs. morning, nothing out of the ordinary for this car. My job involves driving from one building to another, about 2 mils apart each. Since a company car was not available I decided to drive mine. I get in and turn the key, it cranked and fired but did not start. After that it would not crank. It will turn on, lights/radio,etc. are OK but no start, just a click. So far I have: tried to jump it, left it on the cables for about 20 min., no luck. Thought the battery was bad so replaced it (I have a volt meter, but just recently moved and don't have a garage yet so my tools are in storage),still no luck, just a click. Yesterday I took the starter off and took it to the parts store for testing, tested good. Put it back in, no start.
I also went through all the fuses that might be related, swapped a few out and still nothing. None of the trouble lights stay on when the key is on, they all go out after about 30 seconds. I have had this car scanned about six months ago and showed no issues. SO... I looked up some stuff on the internet. One thing I saw had a guy holding the key in the start position for about 30 sec. and his car started, haven't tried that yet. Another thing showed a guy that found a loose wire in his steering column, he just jiggled it and it worked. Of course, he didn't say he fixed it, so I assume he regularly jiggles his wires Laugh
What I think might be wrong: worst case my motor is seized, but I don't think it's that severe. Might be one of my ancillaries is seized (alternator, compressor,etc.)and is keeping the engine from turning. Or, maybe I jumped a tooth on the timing belt? My feeling is it's something electrical. I did wire brush the battery cables when I had them off, not real dirty anyway so I don't think the battery connection is bad.
I have not tried turning the motor by hand yet, it's very hard to get a grip on anyway. The car is still at work, about 25 miles away, cause I can't afford a tow at this moment. I'm hoping my employer is understanding, but I am in danger of being towed. Plus, it would be easier to trouble shoot at home if I can get it here. Anyway, all suggestions would be appreciated. I obviously can't afford to start randomly replacing stuff needlessly trying to sort out the issue, I need some expertise. PLEASE HELP!!  

waynep71222 waynep71222
Guru | Posts: 825 | Joined: 03/12
Posted: 12/09/12
08:10 AM

first step... clean the battery cables at the battery....

take them off... remove the bolt from the cable end... examine the hidden ring terminal... you can use some hot water poured over the cable end to soften the rubber and a small screw driver to pull the loop over the ring terminal sort of tilt it off... as you are going to reinstall it...

wire brush with a stainless steel wire tooth brush from the hardware or paint store.. rinse with more hot water... if the end of the cable is really caked.. the hot water will dissolve it.. don't let the green corrosion get on your hands..  or the green bubbles..   you can dip the end of the battery cable in hot water in a disposable cup with some baking soda.. but you still have to rinse it off..  do not put any baking soda on the battery..

make sure that the battery post bolts don't bottom out in the side terminal holes.. some ***  grind some the end off the bolts.. or use a washer  so you don't bottom it out and the cable will tighten down.   i have found a lot of no start troubles do to the battery cable bolt bottoming out..  i keep a 3/8-16 x 1/2" bolt and a nut in my tool box.. i screw the nut on the bolt.. then install the pair of them.. this gives me almost the proper length..  and i can adjust it slightly by tightening the nut toward the cable  again. use care so you don't yank the threads out of the side of the battery..


there are ground cable connections at the block and the inner fender also..  those need to be cleaned and checked also...


say... can you turn the motor at all by grabbing the fan belt..  or turning one of the pulleys..

since you have a test light... hook it to the engine block.. and to the negative battery post..   attempt to crank the engine.. if the test light lights up when attempting to crank.... you have a bad ground between the negative side

you can also do a similar test on the positive side if you can clip to the positive post on the starter solenoid..   again.. if the light comes on while attempting to crank.. you have a bad ground...

guess what.. hook the test light to a bolt on the body of the car.. a good body ground.. turn on the headlights and attempt to crank the engine...  you should not have any light if the ground connection to the body is good..

can you look at the edge of your ignition key??? does it have little letters stamped in.. PK1, or PK2.. or PK3...   you could have a security system issue...  these usually won't prevent the engine from cranking.

does that model have a cranking relay in a box under the hood...  you can remove the relay.. remove the cover carefully..  put the relay back in and squeeze the contacts.. to activate the starter motor...  

waynep71222 waynep71222
Guru | Posts: 825 | Joined: 03/12
Posted: 12/09/12
08:27 AM

positive side is # 7, 13, and 10 at the starter.

negative side is both terminals at 4, and then 12 down at the starter mounting bolt or bell housing bolt.. .


950123MA02 012  

waynep71222 waynep71222
Guru | Posts: 825 | Joined: 03/12
Posted: 12/09/12
08:35 AM

can you verify your exact year and model??? including the engine size???

if you have the VIN number.. enter it in the window at carfax dot com.. it will give you an exact make and model for free..

as when i looked up 2001 buick century.. i could not find a listing at one of the gm parts sites from 1997 to 2005  you probably do have that model and its just an error on my part..  

todp42 todp42
New User | Posts: 10 | Joined: 05/11
Posted: 12/10/12
01:55 PM

Hi and thanks for the replies. I got sort of "lucky" in that I realized my insurance has emergency assistance. Cost me 67.50 to have it towed 25 mi.I highly recommend this option on car insurance, last time I had to have a vehicle towed it cost 150 to go 13 mi.without that option. Anyway, it's home, so I can mess around with it at will, short days and rain notwithstanding. Plan on going to storage tomorrow for my voltmeter and test light, among other things. I'll refer to these suggestions as I work on it and will post again. As a side note: last time I went through a problem like this the problem was...the battery cable. Took me a week to figure that one out after measuring voltage drops and what not. It was on another vehicle though. Grin  

todp42 todp42
New User | Posts: 10 | Joined: 05/11
Posted: 12/28/12
12:31 PM

Hi Guys, I have been doing a little (very little) since I last posted. What I have found so far: Tried to turn the motor with key while my voltmeter was attached to the battery. The meter read 13 volts and did not move when I turned the key. This is an old analog meter, my other one is in storage somewhere. Anyway, figured since this is a new battery I really shouldn't worry too much about it. I think I was right, next I removed the belt and started turning pulley's. I also turned the engine with a wrench on the pulley bolt, no problem there either. I did find that my a/c compressor is frozen solid, can't turn that pulley at all.So, a new compressor is in order I suppose. Next question: is there a way to route the belt by-passing the a/c compressor? Aside from that, the engine will not turn by key with the belt off, so what might I have fried while burning the compressor up? I did find a cable laying on the splash pan, looks like it has a big plastic fitting on the end but no metal tabs are evident, don't know if that's normal or if it's supposed to be connected to something. I would post a picture but I'm not sure I can on this forum, but I'll give it a try. @ waynep: It is a 2001 Buick Century with the 3.1 v-6. Nice enough car but it has a lot of issues.  

waynep71222 waynep71222
Guru | Posts: 825 | Joined: 03/12
Posted: 12/28/12
05:40 PM

sure...

use imageshack dot com...  post links with img at either end... its a little complicated at first . but after you figure it out.. its easy...

would a wiring diagram for the starting system help???

i can now look around and see what i can find...

stay tuned... it will happen by saturday morning 9 am if i can find it..

i will be around..  

todp42 todp42
New User | Posts: 10 | Joined: 05/11
Posted: 01/05/13
11:20 AM

Hello to all, I mentioned finding a plug in laying on the splash pan, I do believe it's the plug in for the a/c unit. Green and black wiring attached to it. So... I know I need to do something there, but wouldn't the car start w/o that plug in attached? I may go with a pulley bypass thing, it's cheaper than a new a/c unit temporarily. It would not have anything to plug into, so this plug is not necessary for starting, yes? If that's the case, I've fried something else but I don't know what. I was thinking of testing the ignition switch too, and instructions on checking that? Thanks.  

waynep71222 waynep71222
Guru | Posts: 825 | Joined: 03/12
Posted: 01/05/13
12:32 PM

i have never hear of a car failing to start if the AC compressor is not plugged in...

there is a crank sensor and a cam sensor on the front of the motor..

were you able to examine the wiring diagram???

if that is the AC compressor clutch connector..  ac clutch coils can be had individually..  

waynep71222 waynep71222
Guru | Posts: 825 | Joined: 03/12
Posted: 01/05/13
12:49 PM

wow.. there are a LOT of diagrams...  let me just put up some links...

http://www.autozone.com:80/autozone/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideContent.jsp?pageId=0996b43f80cb3c4c


http://www.autozone.com:80/autozone/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideContent.jsp?pageId=0996b43f80cb3d42


these cover the engine controls for the 3.1L motors in 2001..  

waynep71222 waynep71222
Guru | Posts: 825 | Joined: 03/12
Posted: 01/05/13
12:53 PM

here are the HVAC diagrams for the cars with automatic temp control..

http://www.autozone.com:80/autozone/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideContent.jsp?pageId=0996b43f80cb3d45

and for manual hvac controls

http://www.autozone.com:80/autozone/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideContent.jsp?pageId=0996b43f80cb3c16

it will take me a while to break away from a different project to look through the diagrams right now..  

waynep71222 waynep71222
Guru | Posts: 825 | Joined: 03/12
Posted: 01/05/13
02:42 PM

in looking at one of the AC clutch diagrams.. look like you can pull AC clutch relay in the underhood relay box #15..

0996B43f8024495b


i don't see any reason if that is the clutch control that is would cause a NO START...  

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