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2001 Olds Aurora (OH NO)

Oh no is what I hear from a mech. when I ask questions about this car. We call her Christine. It has a starting issue. Some times she starts with the first turn of the key and some times it takes 4 to 8 key turns before she starts, So far, has alway started. Took it to our mech. and he started her 2 dz. times and she started every single time. Figures. Makes us look like dummies. Said he could start replacing parts if we wanted him to but, decided against that. He said that could go on and on with an Aurora. Any body out there had this same trouble??


When it doesn’t start right away, does the engine crank strongly, but won’t fire? Or are you turning the key and getting nothing - not even crank? Those are normally two completely different kinds of problems.

Did the tech bother to check the fuel pressure? That would be the first thing to check… confirm fuel pressure and check to make sure it isn’t bleeding off.

The problem sounds like fuel pressure is bleeding off while it sits. It could be a fuel pressure regulator or the fuel pump module.

Well they can be a little more complicated. If you mean the starter motor does not run when you turn the key, then that could be the starter motor itself or the switch. The starter motor is under the intake manifold which makes it a little bit of a job to replace is all.

If it cranks but does not start, then the fuel pressure regulator or pump would be the first thing to check. A bad pressure regulator can cause an intermittant hard start on these.

Engine does not crank. Turning key and getting nothing. I just keep turning the key until it starts and it always does eventually. I just can not figure out why.

This car does not turn over at all. When you turn the key, there is nothing. I just keep turning until it decides to start and it always does start. When it was in at my faithful and long time mechanic’s shop, the car would not do this for him so, he could not pinpoint the trouble.

It does sound like it can be something to do with the starter because, when it does not want to start, there is no cranking. Nothing at all. The motor does not turn over at all. Can an issue like this one with the starter come and go meaning start sometimes and sometimes not?

Yes, the starter motor itself can intermittantly work depending on if the brushes are bad or a bad spot on the commutator on the starter. It can also be the cables to the starter or cable connections bad or dirty. Also, if the ignition switch itself is slightly out of adjustment, you can get the same symptoms. When you turn the key, a small rod is pushed which in turn operates the switch mounted on the steering column. If the switch is out of adjustment, the rod doesn’t always activate the switch. Just a matter of loosening the switch and sliding it up a quarter inch or so. Another possibility would be the park neutral switch that prevents the starter motor from turning if it is in gear. I think you need to have someone check it out. You don’t want to replace the starter unless that is for sure the problem.

When it doesn’t crank, observe the dash lights, or head lights? Do they dim when the key is in START? Do certain dash indicator lights dim in the same way as when it does crank and start? Have you moved the shift lever about, or put it into neutral, when it doesn’t crank. Is the engine hot, or cold?

This car does not turn over at all. When you turn the key

OK that helps to eliminate a lot.

The most likely remaining problems would include:

  • ignition switch

  • battery contacts (try removing and cleaning both ends of each battery cable)

  • Bad starter

    I believe Bing has provided some good suggestions.

Thanks! This gives us a place to start. I am impressed with the responses we have gotten and want to thank all of you for your advise. We will let you know soon what we find out. The Ryans