Starter not working?

Tiny
SKLANI16
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • 150,000 MILES
I have a 2000 Malibu LS. When I try to crank it; it turned really slow then started. But after sitting for a couple hours now it just clicks once and doesn't start at all.
This has happend in the past while I was driving the car would turn off and the steering will tighten up, I had to pull on the side of the road, which was very dangerous, my mechanic Got the car towed to him, and he said it started right up, he put more gas in it and drove it around on and off for 4 hours. The 2nd time it turned off I waited a couple hours when I tried starting it, nothin, no click sound or turn, all lights and radio comes on, it's not the battery, tried to get a jump. So we figure something wrong with the gas hand and maybe I should keep the gas above the half way line.
(so back to what I was saying @ the beginning)
Last night I go out for a bit the car is running just fine, then out of no where I try to start it and it turns really slow, I turn off then try again and it starts, I go to a friend of mine house, cut the car off and it does the same, so this morning same thing happens, and couple hours later, now it only clicks once when I try starting it. Thought it could be fuel pump but got that checked, good battery, I don't know if it could be the alternator or starter. Any suggestions?
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Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 AT 8:11 PM

27 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
It sounds like the battery is low and may need replacement but to be sure here are two guides that will walk us through the repair.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-battery-load-test

and

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/starter-not-working-repair

Please run down these guides and report back.

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Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 AT 8:46 PM
Tiny
OIDAVEY
  • MEMBER
It was the battery on my car cost me $98.00 for a new one all fixed
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:03 PM
Tiny
DADDYYUMYUM94
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
I've changed the fuel pump but it still won't turn over what should I do next
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:03 PM (Merged)
Tiny
TOMSHANTY
  • MEMBER
Check for clogged fuel filter or lines. Also make sure the tank vent lines aren't clogged.
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-1
Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:03 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RENGLISH8303
  • MEMBER
Did you find a solution? Im having the same issue in my 04, I have changed the pump and filter.
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
TOMSHANTY
  • MEMBER
Also, check for a faulty fuel pump relay and faulty fuel injector pressure regulator.
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
GREGAUTO
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET MALIBU
Was performing very well on city and freeway, stopped to visit a client for 2 hours and the car would not start. No forewarning symptoms. Attempted to jump battery with another vehicle with no success.

Battery leads are clean, spark plugs have a strong arc, no pressure to fuel rail. I switch out (under hood) relay fuse with horn - fuse is ok. Fuel pump does not activate with engine turnover. Installed new fuel pump and new fuel filter - still would not activate. Hot wired the new fuel pump with battery terminal and fuel pump activated. Was able to sustain fuel pressure at rail when hotwired. Decided to attempt to turn over engine but still would not start. The security system light remains on after 5 sec. In on position. (The fuel pump will not activate when plugged in wire bundle - but will when I bypass wiring )

any suggestions?
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KNIGHTRIDERKITT2000
  • MEMBER
Security light stays on? Didnt do this before?
Chances are the security system disabled your fuel pump, and the engine, because your car might have been tampered with (or attempted to), try getting the security system reset, or it could be faulty.
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
GREGAUTO
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your reply!

Didn't notice security system light on dash until I started working on car in my garage. Security system light stays on. Tried leaving key in on position for 30 minutes.

How do you reset security system?
Is this a dealer only repair?

My car is DOA in my garage.
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KNIGHTRIDERKITT2000
  • MEMBER
Not too sure about how to reset it, try unlocking and locking the door with the key a few times, or there might be a switch or button somewhere under the dash, if not try calling the dealership and asking.
They might tel you they might not.
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DIREHELP
  • MEMBER
With my 2004 classic (malibu). Ive been swindeled to believing the diagnostic test was telling the mechanic to replace all this fuel line crap. So far, ive replaced the fuel pump, fuel sensor/regulator, numerous amount of tow charges, and not to mention not having my car for weeks on end. Then a friend advised me that the theft deterrent system overrides the injectors, preventing spark. Problem is, this is happening WITHOUT any tampering or theft attempts. Ths is happening just from me trying to start the car. Im asking, looking, and searching for a remedy, as well. And when I hear something, ill definitely be back.
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JUSTAGUYGUESSIN
  • MEMBER
If this issue is related to security system stuff, and the car thinks that it has been tampered with and attempted to be stolen. Really strange question? How old or worn out is your key? Because if it is the original it could just be worn and not quite fit in the ignition the way the car needs it to to recognize it as an authentic key.
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
VRDAKER_1
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • 120,000 MILES
Friends car, coming at it from the back end - tried to start - turns over - they added gas after it ran out and sat for awhile (months - not years). Think it's a fuel challenge? What should we try first. Then what sequence of events should be tried next. Friends said it ran great last year? Not lots of money here, but want to help a friend get it running if possible? Suggestions?
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Did you get this resolved yet?
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If he ran it out of gas and now it won't start, chances are the fuel pump is done. What you need to do first is check to see if there is fuel pressure in the fuel rail that is within the manufacturer's specs. If there isn't, you need to drop the fuel tank and check to see if there is power to the fuel pump. If there is, the pump is bad, If there is no power, you need to back track and check the fuel pump relay to see if there is power there. Something tells me either the pump is done or the fuel filter is totally plugged.

Let me know what you find.

NOTE: If there is proper fuel pressure, make sure the injectors are getting power. You will need a noid light to check this. Most parts stores will lend you one. It plugs into the injector wiring and when the engine is cranked, the light should pulse.

Let me know if you have other questions.

Joe
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JAYNADO
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • 3.1L
  • V6
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 280,000 MILES
Hi,
I have a 1999 chevy Malibu 3.1L V6
For the past year it has been having issues while starting up, it only happens sometimes but when I try to turn the engine over all my dash lights will flicker, and the gages and tachometer flip up and down violently then the car dies, sometimes I can try to crank it for 5 minutes before it turns over and sometimes it will turn over on the first or second try, this started out as only an issue when trying to start the car, but now it happens while driving, ill be driving along (doesnt matter what speed) and the dash lights will flicker then the car will just die while im driving, it seems that everytime I change a part the problem is fixed for a week then returns,
I have had the fuel pump and filter changed at the advice of a mechanic, that worked for a few days, I changed the pcv valve and hose and made sure theres no vaccum leaks, that seemed to fix it for a few days, I cleans the mass airflow sensor which didnt do anything, then I recently changed the camshaft position sensor becuase of a code on my obd2, when I changed it the camshaft position sensor was frayed and looked like it was burned, after changing it the car ran fine for weeks, but last week I just started having the same problem again, yesterday I siliconed all the vacuum connections to make sure there was a tight seal, im womdering if I have missed a vaccum hose somwhere or if anyone has had this issue and how do I fix it, just today I got the p0341 code again ( camshaft position sensor). Could that cause these problems? Other than that the only codes I get once in a while are p0113 and p0442, any of these likely to cause this issue?

Thanks
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
By now you should have figured out that replacing random parts is the most expensive and least effective way to diagnose a problem. If not, you need a more accurate dart board. None of the parts you mentioned will affect an electrical problem with the dash board. One thing you can do yourself without a scanner is to follow the smaller positive battery wire to the under-hood fuse box. Be sure that connection is clean and tight. Follow the smaller black negative wire to the body and be sure that one isn't rusty.

You might also want to have the charging system tested, in particular for maximum output current and "ripple" voltage. If those are suspect, the generator is a common cause on GM vehicles for elusive engine running problems. I can explain that in more detail if it comes to that. For now, the test must show that you're getting in the area of 90 to perhaps as much as 120 amps. What we don't want to see is exactly one third of the maximum rating which is around 30 to 35 amps.
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JAYNADO
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the fast reply I will try all those steps next chance I get and let you know how it works, is testing the maximum output and ripple current something I can do on a basic multimeter?
Also fyi, I have never replaced any "random" parts, all the parts I replaced showed signs of wear, and would have needed to be replaced at some point anyways, (frayed wire, fuel sending unit not working, leakiing pcv hose etc.)

Thanks again
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Dandy. The charging system problem I'm concerned with requires a professional load tester so you'll have to visit a shop for that. Due to their design, starting with the '87 models, these GM generators develop huge voltage spikes that can damage the internal diodes and voltage regulator, and interfere with computer sensor signals. The battery is the key component in damping and absorbing those spikes, but as they age and the lead flakes off the plates, they lose their ability to do that. It is common to go through four to six replacement generators in the life of the vehicle, but to reduce the number of repeat failures, replace the battery whenever the generator has to be replaced, unless it is less than about two years old.

When one of the six diodes fails, you'll lose exactly two thirds of the generator's capacity. 30 amps from the common 90 amp generator isn't enough to run the entire electrical system under all conditions. The battery will have to make up the difference until it slowly runs down over days or weeks.

Those voltage spikes also radiate into other wires magnetically and cause weird signals to show up as sensor signals. The Engine Computer can interpret those as legitimate signals and try to run on them. That's where those elusive running problems come from that defy diagnosis. One trick to identifying them is to disconnect the small plug on the side / rear of the generator to disable it. If the running problem clears up, the charging system should be tested.

You can start the testing on any charging system by simply measuring battery voltage with the engine running. It must be between 13.75 and 14.75 volts. If that is okay, it just means the rest of the tests will have validity. The first thing the load tester will do is draw the maximum full-load current to see how much can be developed. That is either going to be very near the generator's rated current or one third of that. If it's one third, one of the diodes has failed and the generator must be replaced. It's not practical economically on other brands to replace the diodes because rebuilt generators aren't that expensive, but on GM's generators it is nearly impossible to do so without destroying other parts when trying to get them apart. These generators weren't designed to be repaired.

AC generators have three-phase output. When one phase is missing due to a failed diode, "ripple" voltage will be very high. That is also measured by most professional load testers. Some show it as a voltage, and others use a bar graph to show relative voltage. That can't be measured accurately with a digital voltmeter. You'd have to use the AC voltage scales and those are only accurate at 60 Hz as in house wiring.
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
FRENCHIE123
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CHEVROLET MALIBU
Computer problem
1997 Chevy Malibu 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic

car will not crank
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Monday, April 29th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM (Merged)

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