Sign in to follow this  
jenjoygryffindor

Electrical Problem - Key/Ignition

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I hope someone can help or give some ideas for me. I drive a 90 Reatta hand-me-down from my sister. Needless to say she didn't take all that good care of the car, but it still runs. However, in the last two months I've been driving it, occasionally it will not start. I know it's not the battery or its connections, because the radio plays and I get dash lights. Basically what happens is when I turn the key to 'on', dash lights and radio turn on, but when I turn it further to 'run/start', it goes dead.

My dad discovered that if I wiggle the key in the ignition or adjust the wheel up or down, it will usually start after a few attempts. However, just recently it didn't start after about 10 minutes of wiggling and adjusting. I'm assuming this is some kind of electric problem, maybe grounding in the ignition.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to fix or if they've had problems like this?

Thanks in advance,

Jennifer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While there are several circuit issues that can prevent your car from cranking, your symptoms sound like a mechanical issue with the ignition switch.

There is a mechanical link rod from the key cylinder down to the actual switch location at the bottom of the steering rack. There is another linkage that translates that movement to cause the switch to engage.

Need to drop the steering rack and take a look at which one may not be working properly.

If I remember correctly, the yellow wire is the one that delivers the current to the starter motor thru the anti-theft relay to engage the starter. If hitting that wire with 12v cranks the car, then the rest of the circuits are OK.

I'll look for a link to some past posts that have covered this topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First thought that this was your problem:

This sounds like a key rack problem which means you may have to remove the steering wheel to get to it. I have had to replace more than a few, what happens is the ignition switch is fine but on the end of the switch there is a rack that pushes the rod in the colum which starts the car you may be able to check this by removing the bottom cover and looking at the switch while you turn the key if the rod does not move the rack the ignition rack is broken if thats the case replace it, if the rod moves with the key its good hope this helps.

But just notice that you have a 90. They had the chip in the key that would prevent starting without the proper key. There are thin wires that are in the key cylinder that connect that chip to the detection circuitry. They may have been broken or shifted so that this chip is not being picked up and the ignition circuit enabled.

You will need to figure out if it's in the chip detection area or the mechanical switch linkage arena so you can do the proper repair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi There, I had a similar problem, I took to a buick dealer they replaced the starter for a ton of money but it starts. I tried everything the key jiggling park to neutural. The key code a new key nothing It might be better to take it and spend the money. Maybe not a buick dealer but a good mechanic.

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you mean by 'it goes dead'? What goes dead?The previous suggestions are all valid, but consider this:

Do the dash (ipc) lamps and displays go dead? Do you get a message that the car won't start because of a security problem?

This also sounds like a bad battery connection. Low current devices will work til you try to start it and induce a heavy load that breaks the battery conection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The starter motor is easy to replace, comes right down and out .Just like any other car. The replacement of the switch at the lower end of the steering colume is easy also.First test the switch by removing and operating manualy,you will be able to turn the key freely and that will rule out that as the problem. If no crank then starter or the security system. The manual will trouble shoot the problem, look in the book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the Reatta illness, no I mean club. Once you get your car behaving properly I bet you will enjoy driving it. Are you a car person? What did you drive before?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What do you mean by 'it goes dead'? What goes dead?The previous suggestions are all valid, but consider this:

Do the dash (ipc) lamps and displays go dead? Do you get a message that the car won't start because of a security problem?

This also sounds like a bad battery connection. Low current devices will work til you try to start it and induce a heavy load that breaks the battery conection.

When I said 'it goes dead', I basically meant that when I try to start the car wouldn't start, as though the battery was dead. However, I know it's not the battery nor the connections as I have cleaned them throughly and the battery is new. My dad thought we might have bad cables at first, but he seemed to think there was a ground problem somewhere in the steering column.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Welcome to the Reatta illness, no I mean club. Once you get your car behaving properly I bet you will enjoy driving it. Are you a car person? What did you drive before?

I've enjoyed driving my dad's '89 in the past. Now that my sister bought herself a car, my dad thought I'd enjoy driving the Reatta when I travel cross-country, which is something I do often. They're nice cars - when they run. In the two months I've had it I've already had to flush the radiator system, put a new water pump on, and change the oil since my sister didn't understand that this needs to be done on occasion. Personally I'm more of a German car person - first car I drove was a '79 Porsche 928 which I still have, and I've driven Audis and BMWs in the past too. My daily driver is a '96 Jeep Cherokee and I have a '75 Bricklin for a show car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too owned a Bricklin for about two weeks back in the mid-70s. Long enough to realize it would not be a good daily driver and someone offered me $1,800.00 more than I paid for it in a Sears parkling lot. Did yours use the AMC or Ford Chassis? I had the AMC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this