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1992 Riviera starting problems


Rich Morton

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I have had this posted on the post war forum with limited help,so I'm posting here in hopes of getting more help.Here it is...Hey all.I have a 1992 Riviera that occasionally won't start.When I turn the key there is nothing.I thought I had solved the problem by replacing the battery terminal bolts, and it's been Ok for several months,then it occurred again the other day.It does have the security key.The curious thing is when this happens,I just try again later and it starts right up.Any suggestions would be welcome.Thanks in advance for any help!.Rich __________________:eek:

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Get a digital volt-ohm meter and check the voltages from the battery post to ground when the "no start" condition is there and when it isn't. I chased a similar problem on a car I have (purchased new) that was quite troublesome to find. When the "no start" condition was there, there was a .5 volt loss in the ground cable itself, but when it started, there was no voltage loss. The cable looked great, but there was some problem inside of it. Replacing it fixed the problem.

With many later model GM cars, at some time in their earlier lives, the battery posts can start leaking acid onto the battery cables (usually one more than the other). The acid will ALSO wick into the innards of the cable itself (under the outer layer of insulation from the stranded cables inside). When that happens, there is NO saving the cable, although you can clean it and it'll look good on the outside.

When my car was having the issue, I could be driving it, come to a stop sign, and if I heard the radio make a "motor boat" sound, I would manually raise the idle speed to keep it from dying. If it made that noise, the radio would loose its memory pre-sets, too, plus the clock would reset to 12:00.

In my case, the situation would happen after I'd stopped the car and it had time to "hot soak". I replaced the starter to no avail. Then I bought the meter (at Radio Shack, for about $50.00, back then) and started looking at things, looking for voltage loss between the battery and the engine/body areas.

Just some thoughts,

NTX5467

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Check out what Willis suggests, he always has good ideas.

I have a 1991 Reatta which has the same electronics as your Riviera. I had a similar problem and isolated it to the starter. Replaced starter and no more problems.

Turn on the key to the ON position.....does everything work? radio, heater, lights etc?

I even thought it might be a fuel pump, but it would not crank, the funny thing was it seemed to always start if you tried it a second time. Never stranded me...

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