Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Random no start on 1998 Oldsmobile Regency

My Regency will randomly not start. No turn-over, interior lights nice and bright, all lights on dashboard come up. No security light shows up on dashboard thus does not appear to be security system.

Seems to occur more often when car is driven a short distance. Twice I have made short drives come back several hours later car does not start. I wait 7-10 minutes then try again and car starts right up.

What could be the mystery problem?


Shift into neutral when it won’t start. If it starts then replace the neutral safety switch. It’s a very common problem as vehicles begin to age.

Thanks I’ll give this a try.

I assume you mean it fails to crank. A mechanic would probably first measure the voltages on the starter motor during attempted cranking. To narrow down the possibilities, is it the starter motor or something else? Both should be 10-10.5 volts or above. It could be something simple. Is the battery over 5 years old? If so, that’s a likely candidate. Have it load tested. And if the battery is less than 5 years old, you might try cleaning the battery terminals. B/c this happens when the engine is warmed up, unlikely to work, but it takes little time and you may get lucky. Like said above, could be a safety switch problem, or it might be a sticking relay. Best of luck.

Came to find it was the security system that was beginning to fail. It did this more frequently in warm weather. Dealership electronics specialist told me that heat would cause the security system to fail more frequently.

Security system module cost me $500. Proprietary as far as I know thus no other option to get consistent starting. And module supposedly could only be programmed by dealership to communicate with my car’s engine. What a racket! One more lesson learned…

Thanks for posting the resolution to the problem, even if it is a somewhat delayed posting :wink: Security system problems causing no-starts or no-cranks is a pretty common complaint here. I guess there’s nothing much that can be done about this kind of problem b/c the security system is designed to be secure and so there’s no easy work-a-round other than fixing the system, or removing it entirely. Hope your Olds Regency is still on the road and purring like a kitten. Best of luck.

Yes, nice to hear solutions once in a while. Stores charge more to cover losses from theft so it is with cars. You have to pay more because of anti-theft devices because people steal cars. Everyone pays a crime tax., whether they like it or not.