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98 Pontiac wont start all the time

Hello, i have a 98 Pontiac Sunfire with about 140,000 miles on it and a new battery. My car starts in the morning at about 5am (when i go to work) and in the afternoon at about 230pm (when i go home). However if i stop anywhere on my way home and shut the car off. The car will crank but not turn over when i try to start it again. Some times i just have to wait 5-60 minutes and it will start and run fine. Other times it just wont turn over, and getting a jump seems to get it going again. When the car cranks but wont start, its not a steady sound. More like the car is fighting to crank. In the mornings and afternoons though it fires right up. I was hoping maybe someone else had this problem and could give me some insight. Hope to hear from yall, have a good day.

Sounds like a failing starter to me.
The shorter the trip, the less time you have to wait?
The longer the trip, the longer you have to wait?

Starter is getting heat soaked and needs to cool down.

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The first thing I check when a GM vehicle of your vintage comes in with this type of problem is the positive battery connection.


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That might be the case, as for instance in the morning i am able to stop at a convenience store (only a block or two from my house) and the car starts right back up. But on my way home after i have been driving for a half hour or so it needs to sit for 30 to 60 minutes before starting again.

I just cleaned my battery terminals i dont think they are the issue, thanks though

Fails to crank robustly, but only on warm starts is often a starter problem. Some vehicles have heat shields to prevent the exhaust components from over-heating the starter motor. Make sure if your car is supposed to have those heat shields, they all remain in place. They can fall off over time and miles.

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It is a heat related issue that is affecting your secondary starting circuit. Heat magnifies the resistance problem you have in that circuit. It is going to be the starter or dirty connections on your battery cables (check and clean both ends of cables), or bad battery cable(s).

yep, double check this. I would add make sure the cables are tight. Have seen this more than a few times.

So i checked my cables on both ends and they looked fine, hit them with a wire brush just to be sure. I replaced the starter this weekend and it seems to have fixed the problem. Ile update this post if i run into problems again.

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Good luck and do let us know.

If it cranks, it is turning over… What you are describing is: the starter motor is turning (cranking) the engine’s crankshaft, but the engine does not start and run. “Crank but no start.” In that case, the starter motor is not the problem. It’s an ignition (spark) problem or a fuel delivery issue.

In the first post the “crank” and " run" terminology was a bit confusing, but I took this as weak cranking when hot.

Thanks for the update OP. Looks like you got it solved. Good for you.