Update on 'blown' fuseable link- 03 impala


#1

I got a chance to see my sisters car today- the pictures I posted were some what misleading, at least to me.
The main, big starter/battery cables are actually below the post shown in pictures. Although they two posts are connected by a vertical bar, the wire shown on the top post with the ‘blown’ fuselink is pink, and quite thin. The link is not blown at all (unless a blown link can still conduct electricity) but rather the wire itself after the link and to the post burned. I attached a fresh, same gauge wire from the link and to the post- turned the ignition key and immediately the new wire burned in two-
I removed the starter and tested it with jumper cables- the solenoid seemed to work consistently but the starter motor would start only part of the time, was slow to build up speed when it did- solenoid became very hot-
I’m going to replace the starter tomorrow to see what happens if anything.
Also, everything else in car works, lights, radio etc. when key is in ON position- just burns wire when key turns to start- no solenoid click, just wire burn-
Any ideas as to why the wire AFTER the link would burn and possible cause would be most welcome. (ignition switch a possibility?)


#2

There is a short in the wiring in the START position. It would be interesting to know if the problem clears if the starter is disconnected. If the problem remains when the stater is disconnected you are going to have to trace the wiring and find the short. It sounds like there is a problem with the starter motor windings. There may be some shorted windings in the field windings.


#3

You likely have a short in the starter assembly, probably either in the motor windings or in the solenoid windings.


#4

Home again-replaced starter with used one- same burning of wire scenario so unless used starter (worked with jumper cables out of car) is defective in some way as original, problem shouldn’t be with start-
For some reason I was thinking that the power was coming through the thin pink wire INTO the terminal but makes more sense that the flow is from the terminal post into the pink wire in as much as the wire burns up between the terminal and the fuse link-beyond the fuse link the wire is good as new- the fuse link itself does not APPEAR to be burned, no melted plastic or softness but then again I cant tell-
Automotive wiring sure is a lot more complex than the wiring in my house.
The short pink wire goes from terminal around to back of fuse box- so far I haven’t figured out how to get behind there to look where it goes-
So I guess the power to the pink wire is coming from the two big starter/battery cables that are connected to the pink wire by the side bar and the short is somewhere within those big cables.
Sure would help if I had learned to read wire diagrams. Yeah, I know I should give up and pay the bucks but where is the satisfaction in that?


#5

I admire your gumption. But I think you may need someone skilled with a multimeter.


#6

One thing you can do is replace the burned wire with a brake light in a socket with two wires on it. Tie the socket wires to the same wires you had the wire tied to. The lamp will serve as a load to the short and limit the current to a safe level. Then you can start disconnecting suspect connections that tie to the short. When you disconnect the right wire leading to the short the light will go out. The starting circuit is a pretty limited area so it shouldn’t be too hard to find the trouble area. You would wise to invest in a service manual to guide you in the hunt for the trouble.


#7

Cougar- Thank you for the the very helpful information- I will most certainly follow your advice as soon as I can get back to sister s car- In fact I’m looking forward to it. I do have a Haynes manual for this car and about 20 other cars that my sisters and family have needed work on over the years- just inept at reading wiring diagrams-
Unbelievable streak of woe lately- daughter s Saturn Hybrid dies 170 miles from home- electrical of course- Sister’s Impala develops burning ignition wire- 2nd sister’s Saturn ignition key locked up in cylinder, un-turnable (next post), 3rd sister’s Jeep needs shocks, brakes, etc. (can wait!) All 3 sister’s 40 miles away-Daughter uses my old S10, goes back up north again, 170 miles, truck develops major oil leak, stuck up there again. Murphy’s law.
Mountainbike- not so much gumption as necessity - $$$- always has been- would love to have a pro take care of things- I’m old- gave up on Saturn Hybrid-took it to Dealer- as expected, they’re dinking around- 8AM appointment, checked on them at 11AM- they didn’t even know the car was there, had to hunt for the paperwork- $83 just to start diagnostic- example of parts for this POS GM experiment car, Alternator/Generator= $500 plus- USED battery pack= $800, don’t even want to guess what new would cost-


#8

You’re welcome for the help. Keep us posted on the progress and let us know if you need more help.