Starter keeps spinning without key in ignition - LS1LT1 Forum : LT1, LS1, Camaro, Firebird, Trans Am, Engine Tech Forums

Welcome to LS1LT1.com/LS3forums.com - please click here to register...

LS1LT1 Forum : LT1, LS1, Camaro, Firebird, Trans Am, Engine Tech Forums
Presented by:

New User? Register
LS1 Forums Register Photo Gallery Tech/FAQ Members List Calendar Auto Loans Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Auto EscrowInsurance
Premium Membership Videos Perf Tools Mobile/iPhone Link to Us! Social Groups Follow LS1LT1 on Twitter


Go Back   LS1LT1 Forum : LT1, LS1, Camaro, Firebird, Trans Am, Engine Tech Forums > General Tech > General Tech

LS1LT1.com is the premier Pontiac Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
Share LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-30-2011, 11:12 PM   #1
Regular Member
 
algermilitia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Great Northwest Washington
Posts: 425
algermilitia user's tech expertise is unknown at this point
Default Starter keeps spinning without key in ignition

Why would a starter still spin after the ignition switch is turned off and the key is taken out. My 79 trans am just developed this problem. It's only a 2 year old rebuilt starter. Today, while up in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere, I shut the car off to let my dog outside for a bit. When we got back in I cranked it over, and the starter and engine just kept spinning, without firing, while the key was in "engine on" position, and with the key in "off" position, and with the key out. I've read from other people that a solenoid going bad, or getting stuck will cause this, but why would it continue to draw power and engage the gear when the ingition switch that supplies power is turned "off"? I would figure, one there's no power coming down the ignition line to the solenoid, there would be no more problem. So, I was thinking of replacing the starter switch in the sterring columb. But, now I'm uncertain. Can anyone explain how the solenoid continues to get power when the key is off?

Thanks
algermilitia is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-31-2011, 07:38 AM   #2
Global Moderator
 
cocobolo95's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fruitland Park,Florida
Posts: 9,926
cocobolo95 Tradesman Level Tech II
Default

Even though you have turned your key off, if the switch inside the solenoid is stuck on and is allowing power to flow from the big lead coming directly from the battery, to the big lead going to the starter motor, it will keep spinning, as long as, the switch allows power to flow. So let me explain, when you turn the ignition switch to start 2 things happen, the solenoid pops out allowing drive gear to turn motor over and (2) theres a switch in there that allows power to flow from batt wire to starter motor wire. If that switch doesn't disengage when you let off the key and go to run or off position, your starter motor will run til the cows come home, or at least till the batt goes dead or the starter burns up as these motors are made for strictly intermittent use. This is because if the switch is stuck the starter drive stays engaged also. Of course you need to check out if the purple wire to the solenoid is getting power after the start position is released on ignition switch. You can hook a test light to purple wire with long enough wires to see from drivers seat. Every time you go to the start position the light will turn on. See what the light does when starter runs on. If light goes out when starter runs on, its the switch in the solenoid. If light stays on when starter runs on, theres something amiss in the ignition switch, ignition lock, wiring department.

Last edited by cocobolo95; 07-31-2011 at 07:45 AM.
cocobolo95 is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 10:46 AM   #3
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 336
My Facebook
Psycho Apprentice Level Tech I
Default

Coco is right. Let me explain a little bit further. When the ignition switch is turned to the start p[osition and the purplewire is energized, the solenoid pops out and when the ignition is released the solenoid rod SHOULD pop back down( a spring assists this). If the solenoid rod sticks, the switch inside the solenoid assy will stay in contact letting the starter continue to spin.
When you test the purple wire remove it from the starter.
Psycho is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 12:47 PM   #4
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 43
GT Eater user's tech expertise is unknown at this point
Default

This happened to my blazer and it was the ket cylinder.
GT Eater is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2011, 01:53 AM   #5
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 15
z06bigbird user's tech expertise is unknown at this point
Default

I solved a similar problem by replacing the starter and solenoid. As I recall, the actual problem was with the bendix drive--actually the fingers that move the bendix to the fly wheel. The ends of the fingers were worn, and they did not retrieve the bendix gears from the fly wheel.
z06bigbird is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 11:23 PM   #6
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: bartlesville ok
Posts: 2
juicebox user's tech expertise is unknown at this point
Default

My 95 z28 is kind of having the same issue except it stays going for a bit while the engine is running and for a couple secs after I turn the key off. Im just hoping I haven't busted some teeth on the flywheel.
__________________
TAKE IT IN THE FACE!!
juicebox is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 01:28 AM   #7
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 15
z06bigbird user's tech expertise is unknown at this point
Default

Flywheel is very robust. I doubt that you have sheared off any teeth. (My gut feeling--or wishful thinking.) People hit the starter button all the time while the engine is running. They survive.

I would not worry about the flywheel. Rebuild the starter if you have not done so. Take a close look at the fingers that move the bendix. Might need to replace that part of the starter also. Brushes and bushings for starters can be hard to find. I usually go to a shop that rebuilds starters and horse trade them for a dozen tacos.

As others have said, look at the solenoid. Once you have the starter down, replace the solenoid also. Do all the work now; avoid another down session. This is gonna be a hot summer.

Last edited by z06bigbird; 07-03-2012 at 01:30 AM.
z06bigbird is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 01:37 AM   #8
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: bartlesville ok
Posts: 2
juicebox user's tech expertise is unknown at this point
Default

Yea. I'm taking the starter to a shop that rebuilds them. It's way cheaper and better in my option than buying out right new. Picked a horrible time to go out tho. Just spent almost $800 in a new clutch install. Scared me tho. Strange noise came from the bell housing. I thought my clutch was bad again. took it back to my mechanic and he determined it was the starter. I worry bout the flywheel due to it making the noise while I was still 2 blocks from his shop. Arrived and turned the car off and it didn't start again.
__________________
TAKE IT IN THE FACE!!
juicebox is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 03:06 AM   #9
Regular Member
 
algermilitia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Great Northwest Washington
Posts: 425
algermilitia user's tech expertise is unknown at this point
Default

For the hell of it, I took the starter to a shop today and had it tested. It came back fine. They told me it was the switch mounted on the bottom of my steering columb, under the dash. So, now it's time to test wiring to find out if it really is the culprit. or, just pay the $15 and replace the switch.
algermilitia is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 07:10 AM   #10
Global Moderator
 
cocobolo95's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fruitland Park,Florida
Posts: 9,926
cocobolo95 Tradesman Level Tech II
Default

Algermilitia, its been a year since you posted up your starter problem. You mean your just now getting it taken care of? I thought I was the king of procrastinators.
cocobolo95 is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 04:04 PM   #11
Regular Member
 
algermilitia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Great Northwest Washington
Posts: 425
algermilitia user's tech expertise is unknown at this point
Default

I've been fixing my car first. Been experimenting with tuning the computer for the last week. But, now I need to move on to this car. It won't start, just keeps cranking after you let off the key, and I need it up to the garage to begin the engine rebuild. I could get things done quicker if my schedule wasn't so screwed, or we had a garage we could put the cars in. But, my day starts at about 1pm to 4 or 6am. When I get home, it's always dark and often wet. Days I can work on the vehicles are very limited. On top of that, I try to spend as much time as I can with my folks since my father's health is failing. So, I end up only working on the vehicle for a few hours and then the rest of the day with them. So, yeah it takes me awhile...
algermilitia is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 07:39 AM   #12
Global Moderator
 
cocobolo95's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fruitland Park,Florida
Posts: 9,926
cocobolo95 Tradesman Level Tech II
Default

Since you've taken starter in and proved it was good, your electrical part of the ignition switch, or the rod that connects lock cylinder to elec part ign sw are about the only suspects left. A short in the wire to the solenoid wouldn't cause it as that wire gets no power on it until ign sw put in start position. If you had a problem with either the clutch start sw for manual, or the trans position sw for the automatic, then car wouldn't start at all. Same with tdr, a problem with it would cause a no start condition. So as Sherlock would say to Dr. Watson " when you've eliminated all the other possibilities, what your left with is the truth."
cocobolo95 is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 08:03 AM   #13
Regular Member
 
algermilitia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Great Northwest Washington
Posts: 425
algermilitia user's tech expertise is unknown at this point
Default

Yeah, I'll be checking it out this Friday, and probably replacing it just for the hell of it
algermilitia is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2012, 12:19 AM   #14
Regular Member
 
algermilitia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Great Northwest Washington
Posts: 425
algermilitia user's tech expertise is unknown at this point
Default

Ok, the update... and it's got me stumped at the moment.

I replaced the ignition switch. Easy job. I tested for power at the solenoid wire. Power on with key, off when key is off. Perfect. Hooked up starter, but left it off the engine. Everything worked perfectly. Installed in the engine, and problem still persists! WHAT?! Pulled it out and checked again... now it's working fine, again! Back on engine... PROBLEM! I hooked a test light up to the solenoid stud. No power is going through when the key is off, just like it's supposed to work! Turn key to start, full power is coming through the test light. Turn key off, a small amount of power is coming through the test light still, and the solenoid is still engaged. Disconnect battery, solenoid disengages and no power is detected in the wire after reconnecting battery. Hmmmm....

So, what could cause power to continue feeding the solenoid after turning the key off, but only after sending power to the solenoid to begin with? And, why does that power disappear and not come back until the key is turned again after disconnecting and reconnecting the battery?

Any ideas?
algermilitia is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2012, 07:29 AM   #15
Global Moderator
 
cocobolo95's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fruitland Park,Florida
Posts: 9,926
cocobolo95 Tradesman Level Tech II
Default

Since the starter works fine when hanging free, then messes up when attached to engine, as Sherlock Holmes would say, "When you've eliminated all other posibilities, then the truth is what is left". You have a problem with your starter's pinion gear mating with the flywheel. What is happening is when you hit start the pinion gear slides out an engages the flywheel teeth. Normally when you release start, the pinion slides all the way back. As background when pinion starts to slide out, the contact in solenoid closes and sends power to starter motor. If pinion does not slide all the way back to home, the switch in the solenoid is still making a little bit of contact. Thus the weak test light when ign sw goes from start to run. You need to find out why pinion is hanging up on flywheel teeth. Adding or subtracting starter shims might solve your problem. Or maybe a new flywheel or flex plate is in order. Or maybe the starter mounting spot is wacked out.
cocobolo95 is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

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
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


» Recommended
Find technical articles on a Chevy Corvette, including tips and tricks on a Chevy Camaro and expert advice for Pontiac Firebird, along with reviews on the Cadillac CTS.
» Auto Insurance
» Sponsors
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:52 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.5.2
Copyright © 2005 - 2011 by LS1LT1.com

Our Friends:


Illegal Street Racing | Super Cars | LT1 Tech Articles