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00 Olds Intrigue - Intermittent No Start 3.5L

Intermittent no-start condition. Already had two repair shops look at it with no problem found.

After driving long enough to warm engine, say 20 to 40 minutes. Shut off vehicle. Allow to sit a few minutes (pump gas or get groceries, etc). Then vehicle MAY not restart.

No cranking.

No clicking.

Headlights do dim when attempting to start.

Jump starting from another vehicle has no affect.

Battery has been load tested twice and is good.

Vehicle will start again once it sits 30+ minutes and completely cools. No slow cranking and no indication of a problem.

No service lights come on in vehicle.

This does not happen every time, not even under the conditions described above. This has occured about 15 times in the last 3 months. I’ve been stranded and call for a tow, but the vehicle restarts before the tow arrives. I’m concerned I will be stranded with my family.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

One of the things to have checked out when this happens on a GM vehicle is the positive battery cable terminal.

Your vehicle has the side mount battery terminals. The positive battery cable terminal has a red rubber cover. Under this red rubber cover corrosion can form causing a voltage drop to the vehicles electrical systems. When this happens, 12 volt systems don’t function when only see say 10 volts.

Have someone remove both battery cables from the battery, and then peel back the red rubber cover from over the positive terminal. If a white/greenish powder is found under this red rubber cover, replace the positive battery cable.


Thank you for the reply! Yes I, as well as both other repair shops have checked the battery cables. I also cleaned the connections, which were not corroded.

Any other thoughts?

Sounds like a seized starter and/or solenoid. Next time it happens give the starter and/or solenoid a love tap with a hammer. That might free it up, especially with someone trying turning the key at the same time. Be very careful to be clear of any accessory belts, pulleys, etc., because it might start while you’re reaching in there. Check the battery cable connection at the solenoid, if you can move it it’s too loose. If you take this connection apart to clean it, make sure you take the negative cable off the battery first or you might get an up close and personal view of what a super-nova may look like. Make sure the starter, et al. mounting bolts are good and tight.