'95 Olds 88 'Royale'

The engine would not start, with no symptoms of a sluggish battery. No success with trying to jump start it with another vehicle. Installed new battery, same problem. When I turn the key all the instrument panel icons light up and I hear a clunk; that’s it. What’s wrong?

The problem would appear to be in you starter circuit. There is a solenoid that engages the starter, and the click means that it is not engaging. The last time I had this problem I ended up needing a new starter, but it could be a dirty connection in your case, if you’re lucky. Have a competent auto-electric mechanic check it out!

Thanks, Docnick. Something seems to be draining the battery. When I turn the key a battery icon with the word VOLTS appears. I live many miles from the nearest mechanic and can’t afford one anyway. Plus I don’t trust them, been burned too many times…

This is normal. The starter will drop the battery voltage to around 8 volts. It is possible the starter is shot, and just not enough power to turn the engine. I had this happen to me.

Thanks, BustedKnuckles. I seem to remember that placing a screwdriver across the terminals on a starter will work sometimes, but I forget the exact procedure.