Automotive Forums .com - the leading automotive community online! Automotive Forums .com - the leading automotive community online!
Automotive Forums .com - the leading automotive community online! 
-
Latest | 0 Rplys
Go Back   Automotive Forums .com Car Chat > Chevrolet > Lumina
Reply Show Printable Version Show Printable Version | Email this Page Email this Page | Subscription Subscribe to this Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-16-2015, 10:51 AM   #1
blk95lumina
AF Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 101
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
1995 Lumina - Strange Starting and Electrical Problems

1995 Lumina LS 3.1L w/ ~186K mi

For the past several months, my car has had intermittent starting issues that seem to occur more frequently when the weather is cold, and I figured the starter motor and/or solenoid are going out. However, this morning was particularity strange. I should also note I just replaced the battery ~3 months ago and the alternator is putting out ~14+ volts.

This morning was about freezing (32F).
I am able to use the fob to unlock the power locks and the interior dome light is shining nice and bright. When I put the key into the ignition and move forward to the first ignition position, there is no chime, there are no lights on the dash, the fuel pump does not pressurize, and then upon moving the key forward the car does not even try to start. It appears all electrical is dead, even though the power locks work and the dome light is bright. After several attempts, I remove the key and then try to turn on the headlights but there is no chime at all to indicate the lights are on w/o the car running. I step outside the car to see if the headlights are at least dim but there is nothing. All of the sudden as I am standing there, the headlights turn On nice and bright (it is ~8am and day light outside). I then go back inside the car and put the key into the ignition and now I hear the chime, the dash light now turn On, the fuel pump pressurizes, and the car starts up without any hesitation.

My initial thoughts are the anti-theft system or the ignition lock cylinder. However, if that were the case, then why would the headlights not work and then all of the sudden come On and then afterwards the car starts up fine? How are the headlights related to the ignition?

Thoughts and ideas are appreciated for were I should start. That is ideas other than just shotgunning parts such as the starter, lock cylinder, etc.

Thank you.
__________________
1995 Lumina LS Sedan 3.1L - 212K mi - Daily Driver
2002 Accord EX Sedan V-6 - 206K mi - Wife's Daily Driver
2000 Silverado LS RCSB 5.3L - 165K mi
blk95lumina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2015, 06:46 PM   #2
maxwedge
A990 racer
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Chestertown, New York
Posts: 16,594
Thanks: 14
Thanked 327 Times in 321 Posts
Re: 1995 Lumina - Strange Starting and Electrical Problems

Sounds like bad battery cables or connections to me.
__________________
maxwedge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2015, 07:08 PM   #3
aleekat
AF Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: clarksville, Tennessee
Posts: 1,415
Thanks: 6
Thanked 147 Times in 143 Posts
Re: 1995 Lumina - Strange Starting and Electrical Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwedge View Post
Sounds like bad battery cables or connections to me.
Ditto
__________________
Post back, that's what makes Forums Work.
aleekat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2015, 03:31 AM   #4
jeffcoslacker
Lactose the Intolerant
 
jeffcoslacker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Nowhere, Missouri
Posts: 6,410
Thanks: 4
Thanked 51 Times in 50 Posts
Re: 1995 Lumina - Strange Starting and Electrical Problems

Yeah cable/wire connection. Check at battery, and where the jump start terminal is, as well as at the starter and engine ground.

You may have a fusible link primary wire at the starter that has partially failed too. Look at the small wires for any sections that are darkened or feel less rigid than the rest of the wire.

Another way to check this is if you catch it in the act, leave the key on, door open, open the hood, reach down to the wires going to the starter and move them around a bit, see if the affected systems suddenly come to life. You'll hear the ignition chime start, DRLs come on, and probably hear a couple of relays close when the connection is made. If that makes it work, you've either got a bad connection down there or a bad link. Fortunately on the 3.1 they are easy to see/mess with from up top, you don't have to roll under the car to try this.

When links don't burn through completely they can cause problems like this. And everything they supply is affected, while other systems work fine. I'd check all the regular connections first though, before focusing on that.

Why would it act like it did? Well, if this is the problem, the temp that morning was just right to make the link's insulator contract and pull the damaged wire section apart. There might be just enough there to carry a little current, but not enough to operate the systems. Trying to put power to the headlights through a bottlenecked wire creates a lot of heat. The insulator warms up, sags, and the wire strands inside expand and make more contacts. Suddenly the lights come on, and everything is normal again. Until the next time. Same can happen with a weak cable connection, but the mechanism is a little different.

Here's a burned link on a Buick starter that caused similar symptoms. No headlights, no ignition, only specific primary power affected.

__________________
You made three mistakes. First, you took the job. Second, you came light. A four man crew for me? F**king insulting. But the worst mistake you made...

...empty gun rack.

Last edited by jeffcoslacker; 01-17-2015 at 12:43 PM.
jeffcoslacker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2015, 09:59 AM   #5
blk95lumina
AF Regular
Thread starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 101
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: 1995 Lumina - Strange Starting and Electrical Problems

Thank you Jeff!
I am just catching up on your post and will look at the wires again this weekend.

Is this the power cable you are referring to?
https://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,c...,parttype,2501
AIRTEX / WELLS Part # 1J1211R

This past week I inspected and re-torqued the battery connections, inspected the power and ground wires from the battery to the starter, disconnected, wire-brushed, and reconnected the power and ground on the starter. Also disconnected, wire-brushed the terminals and chassis where the main battery ground is connected and a small ground for the headlights I think.

The car starts but still delays for 1-2sec. after turning the key.
I think you are onto something about a bad connection internally. I did not remove the protective cover and tape that binds the power and ground wires together as they are routed down to the starter, so no telling what the power wire looks like under there.

**The car has now started to lose all electrical power while running. Before I did the above steps, I started the car and went to go get the ramps and when I returned, the car suddenly died. I looked inside and it lost all electrical power while running.

This morning as I was driving to work, I felt the car suddenly lose engine power for just a very brief (1sec.) moment and then come back to life. When it did, the dash lights all flashed (air bag, ABS, Brake, Traction, etc.) as though I had just re-started the car. It was really odd but falls inline with the car losing all electrical power while running earlier this week.

I really need to fix the problem before I take it on a longer trip. Maybe I will just replace the entire power cable that runs from the battery to the starter. Funny thing is when I ordered a new starter, the website asked if I wanted a new power cable and I declined b/c the shipping was more than the $5 cable.

Thanks.
__________________
1995 Lumina LS Sedan 3.1L - 212K mi - Daily Driver
2002 Accord EX Sedan V-6 - 206K mi - Wife's Daily Driver
2000 Silverado LS RCSB 5.3L - 165K mi
blk95lumina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2015, 10:44 AM   #6
blk95lumina
AF Regular
Thread starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 101
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: 1995 Lumina - Strange Starting and Electrical Problems

Hello.
Can anyone provide the part# for and where I can buy the fusible link at the starter for my '95 Lumina 3.1L?

Are there any other fusible links on a '95 Lumina besides at the starter?

I have searched a few major auto parts sites, called them as well, and called after market manufacturers with no luck.

Thanks.
__________________
1995 Lumina LS Sedan 3.1L - 212K mi - Daily Driver
2002 Accord EX Sedan V-6 - 206K mi - Wife's Daily Driver
2000 Silverado LS RCSB 5.3L - 165K mi
blk95lumina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2015, 10:51 AM   #7
blk95lumina
AF Regular
Thread starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 101
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: 1995 Lumina - Strange Starting and Electrical Problems

Looks like I finally found a generic GM fusible link...

Will this work properly for my '95 Lumina 3.1L?
DormanŽ 85620 - 14 Gauge GM Fusible Link Wire Carded

http://www.carid.com/dorman/14-gauge...FQsAaQodpUAA6w

Thanks.
__________________
1995 Lumina LS Sedan 3.1L - 212K mi - Daily Driver
2002 Accord EX Sedan V-6 - 206K mi - Wife's Daily Driver
2000 Silverado LS RCSB 5.3L - 165K mi
blk95lumina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2015, 01:39 PM   #8
blk95lumina
AF Regular
Thread starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 101
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: 1995 Lumina - Strange Starting and Electrical Problems

Looks like Dorman also makes a 16ga wire for GM. Part No. 85621 What gauge fusible link should I get? Thanks.
__________________
1995 Lumina LS Sedan 3.1L - 212K mi - Daily Driver
2002 Accord EX Sedan V-6 - 206K mi - Wife's Daily Driver
2000 Silverado LS RCSB 5.3L - 165K mi
blk95lumina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2015, 08:05 PM   #9
Blue Bowtie
Registered Offender
 
Blue Bowtie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Rural
Posts: 6,022
Thanks: 3
Thanked 254 Times in 250 Posts
Re: 1995 Lumina - Strange Starting and Electrical Problems

A typical fuse link is a section of wire 2-3 gauges (AWG) smaller than the conductor it is intended to protect. If the starter power lead is AWG10, install a AWG16 fuse link. If the main wire is AWG8, install a AWG14 link.

If the main circuit wire is connected to a Volkswagen, it doesn't matter since nothing can protect the vehicle wiring harness anyway.
__________________
Permanent seat assignment on the Group W bench...
Automotive Forums Survival Guide
Blue Bowtie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2015, 01:54 PM   #10
Schurkey
AF Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: the Seasonally Frozen Wastelands
Posts: 809
Thanks: 6
Thanked 54 Times in 54 Posts
Re: 1995 Lumina - Strange Starting and Electrical Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Bowtie View Post
A typical fuse link is a section of wire 2-3 gauges (AWG) smaller than the conductor it is intended to protect. If the starter power lead is AWG10, install a AWG16 fuse link. If the main wire is AWG8, install a AWG14 link.
Industry Standard is 4 AWG sizes smaller. A 10 AWG circuit would be protected by a 14 AWG fusible link. An 8 AWG size circuit would be protected by a 12 AWG fusible link.
__________________
Declared "the flat out DUMBEST poster on this board" and holder of the the dead-former-moderator-sanctioned rating of "dumbass".
Schurkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2015, 12:52 PM   #11
Tech II
AF Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Worcester, Massachusetts
Posts: 5,017
Thanks: 70
Thanked 617 Times in 609 Posts
Re: 1995 Lumina - Strange Starting and Electrical Problems

Agree with Shurkey, on size...length? From what I have read should not exceed 9"....
Tech II is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2015, 01:41 PM   #12
Schurkey
AF Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: the Seasonally Frozen Wastelands
Posts: 809
Thanks: 6
Thanked 54 Times in 54 Posts
Re: 1995 Lumina - Strange Starting and Electrical Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech II View Post
Agree with Shurkey, on size...length? From what I have read should not exceed 9"....
I'd have said "4 to 6 inches, or however long the OEM fusible link is (was)."
__________________
Declared "the flat out DUMBEST poster on this board" and holder of the the dead-former-moderator-sanctioned rating of "dumbass".
Schurkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2015, 10:32 AM   #13
blk95lumina
AF Regular
Thread starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 101
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: 1995 Lumina - Strange Starting and Electrical Problems

**Update**
Yesterday I looked at the fuse/relay box located on the front driver's side panel under the hood. This box houses fuses and relays for the ignition, headlights, ABS, etc. which are all the components that have been giving me intermittent problems. (see my other post about the ABS and Red Brake light)

I noticed nearly every wire/connector had green oxidation/corrosion on the bottom of the box.

I sprayed out the box with CRC Lectra Clean and compressed air.
Then removed each fuse and relay one at a time, cleaned the contacts on the fuses and relays, sprayed down into each set of contacts in the box with CRC 2-26 Electrical Grade, and blew out with compressed air.

I did the same with the main power post for this box that connects to the battery along with replacing the parking lights and horn fuses which were very badly corroded even up inside the fuse.

I also performed the same cleaning steps for the fuse/relay box on the front passenger side panel under the hood and cleaned another ground near the front passenger side headlight.

I then sealed the top of each box with duct tape.

So far the car starts and runs well and this morning was ~45F. Time will tell whether this did anything. The issues were intermittent, so I need to give it a week or two before I would feel confident.
__________________
1995 Lumina LS Sedan 3.1L - 212K mi - Daily Driver
2002 Accord EX Sedan V-6 - 206K mi - Wife's Daily Driver
2000 Silverado LS RCSB 5.3L - 165K mi
blk95lumina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2015, 04:33 PM   #14
Tech II
AF Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Worcester, Massachusetts
Posts: 5,017
Thanks: 70
Thanked 617 Times in 609 Posts
Re: 1995 Lumina - Strange Starting and Electrical Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech II View Post
Agree with Shurkey, on size...length? From what I have read should not exceed 9"....

I'd have said "4 to 6 inches, or however long the OEM fusible link is (was)."

Or maybe, I was just bragging?
Tech II is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2015, 06:34 PM   #15
blk95lumina
AF Regular
Thread starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 101
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: 1995 Lumina - Strange Starting and Electrical Problems - FIXED

**FIXED**
I have been driving the car every day for the past 2 weeks and have not experienced a single intermittent electrical problem. It may be a pseudo effect but the car feels like it runs better too. It definitely starts faster than ever before.

If you experience multiple electrical issues, take a look at the fuse boxes under the hood and clean per the steps above and you might be surprised and relieved as I was.
__________________
1995 Lumina LS Sedan 3.1L - 212K mi - Daily Driver
2002 Accord EX Sedan V-6 - 206K mi - Wife's Daily Driver
2000 Silverado LS RCSB 5.3L - 165K mi
blk95lumina is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply

POST REPLY TO THIS THREAD


Bookmarks
Go Back   Automotive Forums .com Car Chat > Chevrolet > Lumina

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:57 PM.

Community Participation Guidelines | How to use your User Control Panel

Powered by: vBulletin | Copyright Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
 
 
no new posts