Mechanics

CHEVY NOT STARTING FROM THE IGNITION SWITCH

1998 Chevrolet Lumina

Electrical problem
1998 Chevy Lumina 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 160000 miles

My car won't start from the ignition swich but it'll crank from the starter, then it shuts off. Today, it finally crunk but after a few minutes of letting it run, shutting off the car and trying to crank it again, it wouldn't start. I've had the same problem 2 weeks ago and changed the bolts on the battery because they were coroded so bad. The battery is fine, the starter and alternator is fine and I have gas in the car but actually when I did get it back running a couple of weeks ago, I had to put some more gas in the car. I just want to know if my ignition switch is gone bad or the lock cynider or what because it's discouraging not to know what's wrong and can't diagnoise the cause.
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Vanuel72
September 8, 2008.




I'm not sure I understand: When you say your car doesn't start from the ignition switch, what happen when you turn your key to start the car? Is it dead or does it crank?
If I understand you correctly, when you crank your car from the starter, it cranks and start normally but then it shuts down on its own. Is that correct?
When you turn you key in the ignition, do you hear your fuel pump? If so, what's your fuel pressure like?
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Tiny
RenaudTN
Sep 11, 2008.
Yes, that is correct. I hear my fuel pump and I have 1/4 of tank of gas. It done the same thing about 2 weeks ago and I had to change bolts on my battery cable becasue they were so corroided, then I had to put some more gas in it and then it started from the switch. When I turn the switch, I hear a ticking sound from the ignition. My lock ignition cylinder is loose, when I put my key in to try to crank and when I take the key out. My battery is charged, my alternator is fine. I don't know if it's my fuel pump or my ignition switch. I just want to know which one is it so that I won't buy the wrong part to fix this problem. I'm in the process of getting my car towed to a shop so that they can look at it, run a diagnosic. I do know this, I need a water pump cause it's leaking my engine coolant bad, I need front brakes, front rotors, caliper bolts for the front brakes, thermostat and a serptine belt, that I do know.

Tiny
Vanuel72
Sep 12, 2008.
Ok. You seem to have many more things going on than just a no start problem/stalling (water pump, brakes etc). I don't know how much you know about car, but as an FYI replacing a water pump, brakes, rotors and serpentine belt is not a very complicated job. You could do it yourself with a manual.
Now regarding your main problem, the car shop should be able to run some tests and tell you what's going on. A fuel pressure test would tell you a good deal of info about your fuel system.
If you check voltage at the fuel pump, it would tell you if the pump is getting current. If both tests are fine, then you can probably rule out your fuel system.
If your ignition is loose, you could have a bad connection or something which would explain your car stalling once started or the intermittent no start.

You're saying you can hear your fuel pump when you turn your key in the ignition, but is your car cranking, or is it silent?
If it's silent, I would check the starter solenoid because your starter is not getting current. Check for current at the solenoid. If it's getting current but the starter remains silent when you try to crank the car, your solenoid is probably bad and need to be replaced.
If your solenoid doesn't get current, the problem could be a loose connection, wiring, defective park/neutral switch, defective brake safety switch, bad ignition switch. Check for voltage at the ignition switch, and at each safety switch, this should tell you which one is defective.

Now, you may also have a problem with your theft deterrent system. A lot of people are having intermittent no start problem with their chevy due to a defective theft deterrent system.
It could also be that your ignition is not recognizing your key anymore.

Anyway, let me know what you find out.

Tiny
RenaudTN
Sep 12, 2008.
I'd had a mechanic look at my car and he told me that it's my ignition switch. I'm getting current from the places that you was talking about because when I turn the key, everything stays on like my lights, etc. Is the ignition switch and the lock cylinder one of the same because I get confused about that.

Tiny
Vanuel72
Sep 12, 2008.
No they are not the same the ignition switch is mounted on the steering column the cylinder key switch activates the rod which turns on the ignition. If you replace the key switch and it still not working look into ignition switch you can try adjusting it but if it has that many miles I would replace it if you have column key switch it about 50.00 bucks if it is floor shifter it is 105.00 good luck later

Tiny
Tim1960
Jan 22, 2014.

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