I’ve got a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero - V6 engine. When it gets cold (40’s and lower), the car won’t start. It will either “click” or it will be silent as if I’m not sending anything down to the starter solenoid. I’ve had the starter checked, and it is in great shape, brushes and armature are good. I replaced the solenoid just to be safe. I’ve replace the positive batter cable down to the starter, the Neutral safety switch, and now the entire ignition switch. Still the problem is the same. The battery has been checked as well. I know these cars have a lot of connection/corrosion problems so I’m not sure what to look for. Has anybody seen this before?
Has the charging system been checked? Many auto part’s stores will check the battery and charging system for free.
Yes, I took it to Advance Auto and they checked it for me. Everything checked out ok.
You mention replacing the positive cable, how are the ground connections and cables. They are just as important.
There’s probably a starter relay in the system and that could also be buggy. There are likely several identical relays in the box - you could swap the starter relay with another for a while to see what happens.
This car probably has the passlock security thing in it. You may need to get that checked out. Have you tried a different key?
I had a 98 olds intrigue that had problems starting and shutting off at any speed. It turned out that the ground cable was less that a foot long and was bolted to the fender with a 10 mm bolt.This was right under the battery and corroded from battery fumes.
I removed the bolt and wire brushed the connection at the fender and that solved the problem for a while. The next time it happened I bought a longer ground cable and ran it to a bolt on the engine.Problem solved.
I will check the ground connections. I was thinking also about the engine ground straps/cables. I’m not sure where they’re located though. I haven’t checked for a starter relay…I should’ve thought of that…I will check that too.
Passlock has been an issue - but the “repair shop” installed a new ignition switch which is supposed to fix that. From what I’ve read on these cars, Passlock is a nightmare.
I’ll need to check that. I didn’t check my grounds.
To get the relevant ground points just trace the negative cable starting at the battery - just follow wherever it goes. It gets annoying.
If you register an email address you can get Autozone’s free online repair info. Sometimes there is a diagram that gives all of the major ground point locations and that could make it easier.
I am very curious is you ever discovered the root of your cold weather start up problem, because I have the same car and have been dealing with this issue for way too long. My father connected an ignition button from my battery to somewhere around the starter so to start the car I have to turn the battery on, pop the hood, and press a button which looks like a bomb detonator. This is amusing to others but annoying for myself. My dad came to the conclusion that the car needs a new starter relay, but I cannot find this on the car or anywhere in the repair manual, so I am not even sure if it exists. I would love to know if you have been able to figure out your car issue in the hopes that it will give me some clues. Thank You!
The relay you are asking about is more commonly called a starter solenoid and is usually part of the starter motor. Just follow the main positive battery lead to locate it. It ties right to it. When voltage is applied to it the shaft inside it moves and makes the power connection to the starter motor.
I will bet money on it that it’s a passlock problem. Have you tried turning the key to the on position for 10 mins (until the security light stops blinking) then start?