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Car wont start

my 1992 buick regal 3.8l inititially cranked fine but did not start i went to crank again and starter turned very slowly and finally just clicked got new battery and still same slow finally jumped it and got it to somehow start took it to shop they went to replace starter and told me that a weight had fallen off my flywhel/flexplate and lodged in starter so i agred to let them replace flywhel starter 2 days later still in shop does this sound reasonable?


The first symptoms indicate a dead battery. A dead battery puts an extreme strain on the starter (and alternator over time) and will cause it to turn slowly. If it is too “under voltage” it can ruin the windings in the starter and then just “click.” Did the shop test the starter? The weight off the flexplate would cause other issues-- like significant vibration, since it is used to balance the crankshaft and rotating assembly of the engine-- along with the mass of the torque converter-- which is bolted to the flexplate.

The diagnosis sounds unusual. I’ve never seen a flexplate weight “jam” or destroy a starter. But it is possible. The starter’s “bendix” would surely be damaged and obvious even to an untrained eye. Have them show you the parts.

If it is the flexplate, be prepared for an expensive repair bill that will require transaxle removal, torque converter removal, flexplate replacement, and re-install.

Good luck,


yep about 1000 bucks

Not all shops are like Mcdonalds. Some, especially those that are overworked/understaffed takes a bit more time. A flywheel on a 92 Regal is probably in the neighborhood of a full day of work. So yeah I don’t think it’s unreasonable if it took them a few days to get to it.


Its not a flywheel, its a flexplate. (The difference matters.) $1000.00 for replacing the flexplate and starter, including parts, is a bargain. I never said the shop was “McDonalds.”

Something that the OP needs to understand is the difference between the “book time” and the actual time it takes and the ability for the shop to remain profitable. Yes, “book time” would be about 7-8 hours. Actual time with an experienced tech at a dealer with the right tools and lift would be significantly less.

To OP:

If you’re going to keep the car, replace the alternator, too. It is likely going to fail or has signs of failure due to stress of charging an old battery. Have the new battery checked for “load test” to ensure it wasn’t damaged by drain of the old starter. If the primary cables to the battery have any sign of corrosion-- CHANGE THEM FOR NEW.

Good luck,


If you look at Alldata they have both. Here in the midwest it’s called both. Just depends whether manual or automatic which was never specified. 1992 Buick Regal came either way. I don’t really need anybody trying to correct me. I have been in this business for almost thirty years and there are lots of people who think repair facilties are like Mcdonalds. So stick to the business at hand and quit trying to act like mr knowitall. Did I say you said the shop was Mcdonalds? Yeah yeah I know reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit.

How does a dead battery put an extreme strain on the starter? How does that differ from not starting the car at all, since you can’t start a car with a dead battery?

Greg Petersen the robot from the Craig Ferguson Show would have a saucy remark at this point. How exactly does this flex - weight come to fly away and get lodged in the starter?

How does a dead battery put an extreme strain on the starter?

I would guess it is a dying battery not dead yet.

Many flexplates have welded weights on them depending on the “internal” or “external” balance atributes of the engine. It sounds unusual, and I suspect the starter bendix broke, but the weight or part of the ring gear on the flexplate could have broken and jammed the starter.

You’d need to inspect the part.

Of course, I don’t work at McDonalds, I work on cars. Flexplates, unlike flywheels, are thin, and have spot welded points for attaching the torque converter. Too bad words mean things.

flexplate replaced alternator wire found shorted several wires found burnt at rear of engine and pcm have no idea of why a short near the battery could fry wires far way from current source however this model car does have a different way of distributing voltage sources than the fords i am familiar with. problem solved car runs now and im only out 1500 bucks.

check engine light now illuminates after engine reaches operating temp. funny thing after shut down and while engine still warm check engine light goes out and then comes back on after 2 to 3 minutes after restart. o2 sensor? ect? car runs rough stalls at low outside temps ie below 60 f.

Some makes have heat shields around the starter. Check for missing heat shield as the exhaust system overheats the starter it then won?t start until it cools. Many people who don?t work on cars for living do not reinstall this shield when replacing the starter not realizing the importance of it and it shortens the life of the starter and as it does so you end up with symptoms you describe.