Hello Car Experts. I have a 1993 Chevy Corsica. (I’m sorry) It’s been running pretty good but suddenly when I try to start it nothing happens. It would sometimes start after a number of trys for a couple of days there, but now nothing. The accessories all work like the lights, etc. There is no sound or clicking at all. So, I think it’s the starter. I have a friend who is very good with doing repairs but I need to know what one does with a starter problem and how much does this sort of thing normally cost. Should other possible things be checked? Is this a repair that a fairly good layperson could do or must it be done at a shop? I haven’t a clue what to do. Can it be fixed in the garage at our building where it’s parked or must it be towed someplace? And did I mention how much will the various repair scenarios might likely cost? (I guess I did) I plan to sell the car for a few pennies in a couple of months but I DESPERATELY need the car to run until then. Is there a “cheapest” way to remedy this for a short while? Please help a nice girl who knows nothing about this. Thanks ever so much.
The most likely, based on the complaint, is a faulty neutral safety switch. Try shifting the transmission into neutral and see if it will start. If it does, the neutral switch is bad. I can’t give you a price as that can vary a lot, but it’s not real serious.
Here’s what it looks like. Two screws and a wire connector.
There’s always the possibility of a bad ignition switch, but the neutral switch would be my prime suspect.
Dearest Sir, Upon seeing your reply I immediately ran out to the garage to give this a go. I hereby nominate you for receipt of the Nobel Prize in the category of General Genuis-ness. This has done the trick and has brought tears to the eyes of all in this humble household, including Angus, the Lab mix. If I may ask one more question: Would it be OK for me to start the car in neutral and drive it for approx. 7 weeks using this method? Or would this be imprudent (i.e. stupid)? In any event, God Bless you, learned and kind sir. This is not sarcasm. Tears have been shed here all day over this problem. My soul is restored and I can save my Valium for another problem. With most sincere thanks, Lynn. PS Some remarkable kharma is heading your way. Remain alert.
Open the hood and see if the starter is visible. Follow the POSITIVE cable from the battery down to the starter. If OK’s suggestion does not work out, contact a local repair shop, let THEM arrange the towing (ASK what the towing charge will be) and have them install a “budget” rebuilt starter. That should carry you through the next few months.
If you are really strapped for cash, ask the counterman at a local parts store if he knows any “shade tree” mechanics who might be interested in helping you out. There is a repair underground operating in many areas…Sharpen up your “human resources” skills if you go this route…
It will not hurt anything at all to start the vehicle in neutral like this. The only problem will be if the neutral position decides to go out!
This is somewhat unlikely though as the contacts in the neutral position are seldom ever used and should be good as new.
I’m not a genius by any means. I like to think of myself as a Parts Replacer of Unequaled Magnitude.
Another excellent diagnosis from our resident expert. You may not be a genius but your well on your way.
Money cannot likely buy this sort of really useful stuff. I mean REALLY useful. OK4450, Dartman, & Caddyman ( you DO understand the plight of the beans and rice graduate student…) Please, pack up your families, come to Cleveland (I’m sorry) and take the first left. Go right at the third light. The second building on your left, apt. #3334875. There is a lavish celebration, catered by Julia Child (from the grave), in your honor, in grateful thanks. Open bar, entertainment by Frank Sinatra (from the grave), dancing girls (i.e. the aforementioned “human resources” skills), bingo, confetti, horse shoes, the Hokey Pokey - all that stuff. Don’t be late now!
Sorry, but a long time friend of mine used to live in Cleveland and advised me to avoid that place like the plague. Think I’ll continue to be a dirt breathing Okie!
My son is a rice and beans grad student in another state at the moment, although we’re going to have a REAL serious talk this Thanksgiving when he comes home. It will be about him and his fiancee wading into blindly purchasing a new Dodge Caliber.
I’m on pins and needles to hear the details behind this debacle.
Other than that, the food, open bar and horseshoes sound good. I’ll have to pass on the “dancing girls” since I have a real aversion to being hustled.
(A friend of mine (President of an “outlaw” motorcycle “gang”) used to run a club with dancing girls and he kept them off my back so I could shoot pool in peace.)
Don’t give me too much credit. This problem was easy; I just happened to post first. Within a few minutes others would have told you the same thing.
OK4450, I need your help!! Please see my post “Saab intermittent no-start.” I have replaced a variety of components (electrical portion of ignition, and starter relay) have also tried starting in neutral to no avail. Could it be a bad solenoid (note that I have rigged a test light to the starter; it does not light during this failure). What else could it be? Am hoping it is not a chafed wire or loose connection somewhere in the inner reaches of the vehicle…how will I ever find that. My mech had the car for 2 weeks to troubleshoot, but of course, as Murphy’s law dicates, he could not reproduce the problem. Help!! Thanks!
I didn’t read all the posts, but the neutral safety switch could be loose and slightly out of position. They also don’t cost a lot.