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96 sable, new battery but wont turn over

Bought this car, drove it home, when I went to restart it nothing happened. Put in a new battery and still nothing. The starter will arc with a screwdriver but not engage. All the lights and and electrical work so I am thinking its either the nuetral safety or the ignition. Is there a way to figure out which one it is with out buying both of them?

When you say the starter will “arc”, do you mean it will spin, but not turn the engine over, or just that it will literally “arc”, as in short out?

If it will spin, I normally suspect the solenoid, integral on those starters, but separately replaceable, if you can find one.

If you’re not getting that with the key, then there may be 2 issues.

How did it start when you drove it home?

Battery was dead when I went to look at it. Showed up and they jump started it off of another vehicle. When I say it will arc I mean it spins but does not engage the engine. The only click I get when I turn the key is from a box on the driver side of the battery box next to the fender with wires running into it. The click happens when you turn the power on not when you try to engage the starter. The relays in the fuse box make no noise. I will have better tools with me today so I can see if the starter is getting power on the little wire. Right now my main concern is there is not even a click or anything when the starter is to engage. Need power to the starter before I can worry about if its good or not. So nuetral safety switch or ignition. Is there a way to bypass either of them to figure out if the other is bad?

Check to see if you are getting 12 volts to the small lead going to the starter solenoid in the START mode. If you don’t have any voltage then the safety switch needs to be checked. You can also try starting the car with the shifter set to the nuetral position if you haven’t done that already.

I got it figured out it was a problem with the after market security system that was installed on the car. Thanks for the replies.