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Discussion Starter #1
On 2 cold mornings so far I have went to start my 94 Caprice with a new battery and get lights and power but no crank or start. I can hear the fuel pump priming but no crank on the motor. Could this be a starter issue? I try it about a dozen times walk away and come back maybe 15 minutes later and try another 2 or 3 times and it will fire up. But this has only been 2 times so far and both times it has started.

I have had starter issues before on cars when hot but never cold. Any ideas? If it was frozen fuel it would still crank over right? Both times the car has been outside overnight. Thanks!
 

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Only #2 Diesel gels. You would be hard pressed freezing gasoline and if you did your battery would probably not have the power to start your vehicle anyway. Sooooo thats not a problem.

When you bump the key, does starter at least try to turn over? Or do you just get the clicking of the relay for the starter? Seems to me you may have a relay issue. (Im going to sound like a real big idiot if these dont have relayed starters, my thoughts are telling me they do)

Is your PASS key still enabled? Is the PASS key light lit up when you try to start the car the first time? Does it stay lit up? I have had this happen to me a couple times and it wont do anything until it resets. Let the timer go out for the PASS system and voila! She cranks right over. The only thing that doesnt add up here is that it still takes you 2 or 3 times to start the car after the PASS resets. Complex, interesting issue we have here really!

Let me know if the PASS key light is staying on after it doesnt start.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I just went to start it tonight to move it into the garage and the same thing happened. This time the 4th try it started. Granted it's like 12 degrees outside here.

No, the starter will not try at all to turn over. Just all the lights bells and dinging and no crank. Then it will just all of a sudden fire up. Turned it off once in the garage and started it up two more times no issues at all?

That is a good point about the Pass Key, I will check it tomorrow if it starts or does it again when I to go to work. So the Pass Key should be lit and stay lit after I start it for a little while right? I have never really paid attention to it that much.

If it is the Pass Key light once it works or passes I guess it is cleared or okay for a while then because it seems once past that initial first start it will continue to start for a while anyway.

It almost seems like the starter is freezing up completely then all of a sudden hits. But I really don't hear any clicking or anything. Just all the dash lights up as normal and then just a dead turn on the switch.

Maybe I need to turn the key and hold it on start to see if it finally kicks over. Maybe the starter is just really slow moving and dragging until it hits. If it is then it is really quiet cause I don't hear a thing. So maybe it is a relay, not sure if they have a relay on the starter or not. Or as you said the Pass Key issue. Thanks!
 

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I'd see if you can get a charger to the battery and leave it on "trickle" or low setting overnight, then see what happens in the morning...
 

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On 2 cold mornings so far I have went to start my 94 Caprice with a new battery and get lights and power but no crank or start. I can hear the fuel pump priming but no crank on the motor. Could this be a starter issue? I try it about a dozen times walk away and come back maybe 15 minutes later and try another 2 or 3 times and it will fire up. But this has only been 2 times so far and both times it has started.

I have had starter issues before on cars when hot but never cold. Any ideas? If it was frozen fuel it would still crank over right? Both times the car has been outside overnight. Thanks!
I'd be leaning toward a battery issue at the moment or possibly the Cables/Connections. I guess it's possible the Solenoid on the Starter is bad or maybe some bad connections. But it really doesn't hurt to Clean up ALL of your Battery Cables and ALL the Connections that both cables feed. Be sure to touch on all the grounds, clean them up and reattach. I know it's cold so hopefully you can get the car inside to do some of this stuff. In the end and once you figure out this issue, your cars Electrical System will be much happier anyway.

I'd be leaning toward a bad starter at this point but be sure to check info on the Pass key lockout to make sure it is acting as the system wants it to. If you do go to replace the Starter, look up info on swapping in a Corvette Starter instead. But without more info from you on what other tests you've done, it is purely speculation on my part and would hate to see you spend money on parts that are good.
 

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about 3 years ago I and others had this issue. the air temp was below 7 deg F. since this 96 impala does not operate much in bad weather the using of it when winter hits ,, is not all that often. well I tried to start it in the morning and all I got was a click sound. no lights dimmed , just a click. no cranking .

I was confused with this , thinking a starter connection issue , but I knew that was impossible since I did check all these connections , many times before.

a forum member says put a heat gun/hair dryer to the starter motor see if it then cranks . well that was it , too cold for the starter solenoid , contacts did not close because of the very cold weather .

I purchased a new starter lifetime warranty. installed , no problems then after I had it a year I brought it back to the store, because this starter was loud and made all sorts of noise as time passed. I put the OEM original starter back in . cranks great no noise 21 yrs old but I never did try to start it if below 7 deg F.......

so if you put heat to the starter and it cranks then its the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I parked it in the garage last night and checked all the connections up top and they are good. I had the starter off just about 2 months ago when I removed the Knock Sensors to drain all my coolant and know I got everything tight there. The battery is new only about a month old and all connections are clean. When I park it in the garage I have had a battery tender jr on it even though the battery is new. It will come to full charge rather quickly. This morning she fired right up in the garage no problem. After work it started up fine but it was above freezing today.

I am starting to think you all are correct that it definitely is a temperature issue below 25-30 and with the starter. I really don't recall even hearing a click at all on the solenoid when it would not start. I will have to test it in the cold again and try a heater on the starter just to see. When it is warm no hesitation at all no drag on the starter will fire right up. The one time it happened it was cold around 30 but the other two times it was really cold in the single digits and we had some ice that morning too.

I know the starter has not been replaced since I owned the car which has been 12 years. Not that that means anything. I will look into the corvette starter if I do go with a new one. I am guessing the corvette starter does not bolt right in if there is info on swapping it out. Thanks for all the input, I will keep you updated. Going to drive it to work again tomorrow but have it in the garage again tonight.

I know my 66 SS would have issues when the starter was hot. Would go on a road trip and if it sat for a while when stopping somewhere the heat would build up off the concrete and it would not want to start until it was cool. This is the first time though I have every had any issues with a starter when cold. Thanks for the info, I truly appreciate it.
 

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Yeah what you have described is kinda exactly the opposite I've seen when the car is hot. Like you, I had an old Camaro with the issue of not wanting to crank if the engine was hot. Let the car sit 15 min and cool down and she would fire right up. This issue I've seen described as heat soak from the exhaust causing the solenoid on the starter to not work. They sell solenoid relocation kits which move the solenoid from the starter to a remote area and put mine up on the inner fender and fixed the issue.

Your problem seems to be the complete opposite. But if it is the starter and you go with a Vette starter it is a bolt-on mod. You may just have to get a little extra length in the battery cable to reach the starter. Most all has been documented here and search "corvette starter install" for a bunch of info. Here is just a couple.....

http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/26-electrical/270746-corvette-starter-observations.html

http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/26-electrical/272123-problem-fitting-corvette-starter-b-body.html

....and they talk about some of the differences but nothing major to deal with. I bought mine used and found it to perform well and it just has a different sound to it. Much smaller and lighter too.
 

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I would take a good look at the Aux Battery Post if it's a 1994 model. What you are describing sounds like it still has the old Zinc post.
This is what was starting to happen with my 94 Caprice.Random no cranking.Found the original zinc post was just starting to over heat,had much corrosion which is resistance.Not good.
While you're at it,take those battery cables off the negative is notorious for building the white crap in between the cable and battery.Daily drivers that live outside in cold climates seem to see this.
Jim
 

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I would take a good look at the Aux Battery Post if it's a 1994 model. What you are describing sounds like it still has the old Zinc post.
This is what was starting to happen with my 94 Caprice.Random no cranking.Found the original zinc post was just starting to over heat,had much corrosion which is resistance.Not good.
While you're at it,take those battery cables off the negative is notorious for building the white crap in between the cable and battery.Daily drivers that live outside in cold climates seem to see this.
Jim
ahhhh yes, forgot all about that issue. Whether that is his issue or not, it is certainly work checking anyway since he has a 94.

OP - Here is what Jimpala was referring to....

http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/26-electrical/237690-replacing-auxiliary-battery-post.html
 

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The starters of the 60's era I am very familiar with . these came with heat shields. possible this was removed.

as a starter ages and is exposed to high heat the windings of the motor get damaged. copper wire as we all know LOL.. increases in resistance as the temp increases. so the starter motor looses torque due to the lower amount of current flowing . more current more torque. then you get into gear ratios which in more modern cars does not create high loads on the starter motor .. so this hot starter fail is not common in the newer vehicles.

my 1967 olds I had to install 2 starters in 110K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
ahhhh yes, forgot all about that issue. Whether that is his issue or not, it is certainly work checking anyway since he has a 94.

OP - Here is what Jimpala was referring to....

http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/26-electrical/237690-replacing-auxiliary-battery-post.html
Interesting, I did not know this. Thanks so much I will have to look into this.

The darn weather has been too nice to test it out in the cold any. I have not had a chance to look into the auxiliary post with the holidays and all. I am hoping to check on it this weekend.
 

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It really should be starting at that temp, that's almost still short weather.

Definitely start with the aux battery post. Even if it isn't the source of the problem, make sure you've upgraded to the newer model.

The FSM has 2 flowcharts for no-start diagnostics: one for starter clicks and one for starter doesn't click. If you don't have the FSM, pm me your email address and I'll send you a scan of the pages.
 
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