2003 Sable, 70K miles, won't start....sometimes

This Sable doesn’t make a sound when we turn the key to start it, sometimes. When it does start it runs fine, has a new battery, and the starter looks good.

P.S. The engine doesn’t make a sound, but ALL the dashboard lights go on.

Does the starter click when you turn the key? Are all the wires hooked up properly? Could be a range of things from a busted starter to a few messed up wires, could be a bad ignition switch thing (Those of you who do this for a living, I make up words. Close enough.) It could even be a seized engine, which, unless you’re out of oil, shouldn’t happen. (Oil conveniently is a good thing to check while you’re in there)

It seems to me if the engine was seized, it wouldn’t be an intermittent problem


what do you mean by “the starter looks good” ?

When it doesn’t start, connect a voltmeter to the starter and try again. If voltage is getting to the starter and it’s not even cranking over, the starter has failed.

Maybe the neutral safety switch (a.k.a. a range selector switch) has gotten iffy. Try shifting into neutral to see if it will start when it acts up again.
This test is not 100% definitive but can point to a range switch problem.

I had the car looked at by a mechanic and was told “the starter looks good.” I am not sure if it was connected to a voltmeter though. Hopefully this was done, and I will try to find out more.

Also, next time I will try shifting into neutral when it happens again. Thank you for the replies!

One other thing that happens I forgort to mention earlier, is when it won’t start and we let it sit for about an hour, it will start next try.