I have a 1990 Buick LeSabre. When I go to start the car (particularly when it is cold) all the lights come on fine, but when I turn the key all the way it acts like it will start, but all I get is a whining/whirring sound. It turns over, but acts like it isn’t grabbing the engine. Battery has plenty of strength. It usually starts after about 5-10 tries. (haven’t been stranded anywhere YET) Runs great after it is started. New plugs, wires, ignition coil. I replaced the solenoid and that did not help. Any help?? I hate to just start randomly replacing parts in the ignition system! Thanks!
It sounds like you are describing a starter who’s armature is revolving but whos drive gear is not engaging. I find it odd that you say you replaced the solenoid (starter solenoid?),who replaces just the solenoid these days? Is it possible you did not do the job right?Did you make a complete inspection of the flexplate teeth(all the way around)?
You are right to not replace ignition system parts. By your description you problem lies in the cranking system.
Not too familiar with the specifics if the solenoid is separate from the starter motor on this model but it sure sounds like a starter motor, as the happiest option, worst case scenario you could have broken teeth on the flywheel.