'92 Prizm starting problems in hot weather

01-07-2008, 06:28 AM
'92 prizm, VIN-6 1.6L, auto trans.
The following problem occurs only if the outside air temperature is above 85 degrees F:

When the engine is cold, the car starts up fine. But if we shut it down and try to restart, the car won't start. We turn the ignition key, and nothing... no clicks, no starter motor turning, just silence. When this happens, we open the hood and roll down the windows and wait for 20 minutes or so. Then the engine will start. Now that it's winter, this problem has disappeared.

Could this be an ignition switch problem? The starter/solenoid was replaced 1 year ago, and the battery & alternator replaced 6 months ago. I'm tempted to use a bypass starter button connected between the ignition switch and starter cut-out switch in the gear shift lever. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

01-14-2008, 07:17 PM
In all likelyhood it is the starter. The only problems reacuring problems i've ever heard in the geo-prizm has been the starters.

If you have 12volts on both starter terminals [small, solenoid- large, motor] to ground when the key is turned,it is a bad starter. Most likely the solenoid, which i believe is internal.

I believe their is a rebuild kit for the solenoids assembly, and it only a few dollars. A lot of time that starter you get from the parts store is a remanufactured starter...sometimes i think they just sandblast em. Thus they only last 60 days. Sometimes their dead out of the box!

Any who, my wife starter became intermittent, then eventually it went dead. You should hear a click.

just be carefull when taking your voltage measurements...don't short anything out...And if you have the voltage, their is no need to jumper-out anything. It's a two person job... one to turn the key

01-15-2008, 05:10 AM
Hi John,

Thanks for the reply. You're correct about the starter being a rebuilt one. I tried to get a new/oem, but the only ones available anymore (that I could find) are rebuilt.

I'll try the solenoid rebuild kit per your suggestion. And I'll take the voltage measurements again. Can't remember what they were when I measured them last. The thought of removing that starter is not a pleasant one... It's just terrible to get at. Thanks again.

08-09-2008, 10:59 PM
i have had this problem before it the brushes in the starter so have it rebuilt or put on a new starter is the only way

08-09-2008, 11:09 PM
next time it does it tap on the starter with a hammer while someone cranks the ignition if it starts or the starter in gauges its new starter time

chris strue
11-17-2008, 06:51 PM
need to check for electric module under distrubuter cap

01-15-2009, 11:47 PM
Same thing happens to mine. I have to replace the starter every year. I keep a foot long 1 inch wrench in the car to tap the starter, when it does that. It mostly happens in the summer, but happens in the cold weather also.

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