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MTG#10
12-27-2007, 02:56 PM
Need some help if you dont mind - my wife's POS '99 Malibu wont start. The alternator is a year old and the battery is only a couple months old. When I turn the key it does nothing - no clicking sound or anything. Her lights are as bright as always, and the battery is completely charged. So my guess is its the starter and/or solenoid. I jacked it up and planned on removing them together since on Chevy's they are usually attached (I thought). I got the starter off no problem but the solenoid is attached to whatever the starter was attached to (flywheel?) not the starter itself. Anyone know how to remove the damn solenoid? I got one bolt almost completely off that I thought was holding it on but after turning and turning it never comes off. It unscrews but wont come out. Then the other bolt has a metal plate blocking access to it.

Simplex3
12-27-2007, 02:57 PM
Antifreeze

MTG#10
12-27-2007, 03:22 PM
Penis

Bacon Cheeseburger
12-27-2007, 03:27 PM
You're probably wasting your time, I doubt it's the solenoid. You can test it by jumping it with a screwdriver. Did you check the battery terminals and make sure they are tight and clean?

StcChief
12-27-2007, 03:29 PM
it's an American Revolution call rexjake.

dtebbe
12-27-2007, 03:32 PM
You could test the solonoid very easily with a multi meter if you have one. Just have someone turn your key to the start position, and you should see +12v on the small wire on it. You should also hear an audible "clunk" if it is working.

Looks like you have a gear reduction starter, you took the motor off, and it can be tested that way. Before I fiddled with pulling the gear reduction off I would test the motor and the solonoid first.

Also, that bolt probably does not need to come all the way out, give the unit a whack with a dead-blow hammer and it should come loose and come off.

DT

MTG#10
12-27-2007, 03:43 PM
You're probably wasting your time, I doubt it's the solenoid. You can test it by jumping it with a screwdriver. Did you check the battery terminals and make sure they are tight and clean?

I tried the screwdriver trick but it didnt do anything...the key wasnt turned though. For the screwdriver trick to work does the key need to be turned?

Bacon Cheeseburger
12-27-2007, 03:52 PM
I tried the screwdriver trick but it didnt do anything...the key wasnt turned though. For the screwdriver trick to work does the key need to be turned?
No, you're bypassing the key switch by doing that. I'd bet just about anything that your battery terminals are dirty, especially if the battery was recently replaced. If they're the slightest bit loose they will oxidize and you won't get a good enough connection to draw enough power to turn the engine over.

MTG#10
12-27-2007, 03:58 PM
Battery cables are brand new, clean and tight. That was the first thing I checked.

Bacon Cheeseburger
12-27-2007, 04:10 PM
Battery cables are brand new, clean and tight. That was the first thing I checked.
I really really doubt it's the solenoid, I've never had to replace a GM solenoid in all my years of owning old junkers. Since you have it off, do what DT said and take the starter motor to an auto parts store to get it tested. I also find it kind of hard to believe it's the starter, the car isn't THAT old, but it's GM so you never know.

joemama
12-27-2007, 04:15 PM
Just go and buy a new starter. The piece you have taken off the starter housing is the motor. The solenoid is what the wires attach to. Are you trying to rebuild the starter? New starter comes with everything.

38yrsfan
12-27-2007, 04:26 PM
Troubleshoot sequentially

Lights are strong and bright - power/battery connected, most likely good but double-check for post build-up

That year had a number of interlocks for the starter system. Since you have it off, get it checked, same with solenoid if you can bang it loose.

If you have a repair manual check the electrical section for the troubleshooting sequence - almost all have this section. At the very least it will let you know ALL the possibilities.

I'm redoing an 89 Isuzu Trooper that turns but won't start - most likely the processor.

Good luck, keep us posted, I'll check around.

MTG#10
12-27-2007, 04:47 PM
I managed to get the rest of the starter/solenoid off. Taking it to Autozone in the morning to have it all checked. Thanks for the helpful replies. Rep +.

KC2004
12-27-2007, 04:54 PM
Dude stop!! These cars are known for having anti-theft problems. Go turn your car on to accessories for a full ten minutes then try to start it. It takes ten minutes to reset the computers in the car when the anti-theft goes nuts. Trust me i have a 2001 malibu that has this problem.

MTG#10
12-27-2007, 05:00 PM
Dude stop!! These cars are known for having anti-theft problems. Go turn your car on to accessories for a full ten minutes then try to start it. It takes ten minutes to reset the computers in the car when the anti-theft goes nuts. Trust me i have a 2001 malibu that has this problem.

I already have it off, might as well have them tested - its free. If they are fine I will try that though, thanks.

KC2004
12-27-2007, 05:04 PM
I already have it off, might as well have them tested - its free. If they are fine I will try that though, thanks.

Ok but I know that this probably the problem and have dealt with it several times. Its the same exact thing my car did. The key thing works every time. But make sure to wait 10 minutes or it won't.

blueballs
12-27-2007, 05:18 PM
Buy a manual and join a Yahoo Malibu(your car) club
meet people who have already walked your path
they love to talk/share about their experiences

Iowanian
12-27-2007, 07:36 PM
If its not the starter.....see if the neutral switch is screwed up...

Put the car in neutral instead of park, jiggle it around and put it back in park and try it.

Make sure the ground is tight on the starter.

FAX
12-27-2007, 07:51 PM
This reminds me of the time I took my car into the shop for a tune up and a midget mechanic accidently shut himself under the hood. I drove almost all the way home before I heard him hollering so I pulled over and opened the engine compartment and there he was and I had to take him back to the service center which cost me extra gas plus he got grease on my seat. Damned midget mechanics.

FAX

Extra Point
12-27-2007, 08:15 PM
In cold weather, a bad ground terminal can generate the same problem.

The solenoid is attached, then staked, onto the starter assembly.

Good luck.

Bacon Cheeseburger
12-27-2007, 08:17 PM
Dude stop!! These cars are known for having anti-theft problems. Go turn your car on to accessories for a full ten minutes then try to start it. It takes ten minutes to reset the computers in the car when the anti-theft goes nuts. Trust me i have a 2001 malibu that has this problem.
ROFL I had a feeling he was tearing all that apart for nothing...

BigMeatballDave
12-27-2007, 10:28 PM
Dude stop!! These cars are known for having anti-theft problems. Go turn your car on to accessories for a full ten minutes then try to start it. It takes ten minutes to reset the computers in the car when the anti-theft goes nuts. Trust me i have a 2001 malibu that has this problem.OMG! LMAO

BigMeatballDave
12-27-2007, 10:31 PM
If its not the starter.....see if the neutral switch is screwed up...

Put the car in neutral instead of park, jiggle it around and put it back in park and try it.

Make sure the ground is tight on the starter.Heh, I have a '94 Grand Prix that does this. Sometimes when I try to start it, it does nothing. I force the shifter forward and it starts.

MTG#10
12-28-2007, 04:20 PM
Starter/solenoid failed every test. Unexpected $140 bill right after Christmas. :banghead: