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GM 3.8l slow starter turnover

Last few months - very slow starter rotations for a split second at ignition, then normal rotation. Yesterday the starter motor stopped rotating right after ignition. I tried again and it worked. The battery tests OK. Any idea? I have had a slight oil leak from a head gasket for the past year. Lose about a quart every couple months. Can the oil leak possibly cause the starter to short out and cause this?

Sure a leak can ruin a starter if it’s leaking right onto it. I would suspect your situation is more likely caused by a loose or corroded connection than that though. Any store that sells batteries should also be able to check your starter`s draw on the battery during cranking. There is also the question of what year your Olds 88 is. Is it old enough to have a distributor and be out of time?

I believe you have a voltage drop across a connection or battery cable end. THe easiest thing to do is pull your battary cables and clean the connections, start at the battary then work to the other end of the cables. It could be inside the cable itself.

The starter windings may be weak or the starter solenoid may have burn marks on the internal contacts. If the battery and cable cleaning don’t help it’s time to have the starter worked on.

Sure enough there was some corrosion between the battery and the positive cable. Cleaned it up and it is starting fine. Hopefully problem solved. Thanks.