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Discussion Starter #1
We have a 01 ZX3 that seems to have a no crank issue. At first it seemed to be intermittent.

Its my wifes car and about 1 month ago she was telling me that occasionally the car wouldn't start and if she waited a while and tried again it would start.

I drive the car too sometimes and never experienced this so I didn't really know what to check for as she isn't good at explaining things when they don't happen as they should. Then a few days later I stop to go to the grocery store and come out to nothing. All electronics work, nothing when I try to start it. Just the small click from the starter relay, which was confirmed by putting my finger on the relay. (Now I may be wildly off base but to me this means the relay is working)

So anyway I get it towed home. Dig around and see the ignition switch may be the issue. Get one, put it in and the car starts up. I drive to the store again the next day and have a repeat. Car won't crank when I come back out. I keep trying and wiggle the key and wheel like i've seen people do in threads and after a while it starts again, but starts slowly... not super slowly like the battery is out of juice but just slower than I remember it doing it.

I drive it home and park it. I try to start it later but get nothing. I get busy at work and since my wife and I commute I leave it for a bit and we drive my car. I try a few times to start it a week later but it doesn't, but does the next day after a bit.

For some reason two weeks ago my wife decides to drive it to the store, it starts fine but does not after she comes back out. Not sure what she was thinking after I told her not to touch the car.

But anyway that puts me back on track to fix it. I do more digging and see that it could also be the ignition lock cylinder that has worn out, fair enough and seems about right since it did start the one time when pushing the key in the ignition.

I get the kit, install it last night and it starts. It starts again, it starts again, it stats again, but then not on the 5th time. I think that maybe the battery has gone bad from sitting so I charge it up over night. It starts again in the morning. Then I try again and it starts but slower.

Then when I go out at 10 to go to my appointment, nothing.

More digging, more threads, more videos.
I see one video that says the diode for the PCM can do it, I switch it with the one for the fan next to it, Nothing

I replace what was called the starter relay on a video but really the pcm relay but still nothing.

I check the battery voltage, sitting at 12.65

I bypass the clutch safety switch again (I did this in the past aswell), Nothing

I double check the relay is clicking... it is, although after turning it about 8 times it does a double click... and then doesn't click again for about 5-10 second of turning.


At this point i'm besides myself and next thing is to try and jump the starter just to make sure it is working, but I believe the PO replaced it not long before we bought it.

My wife loves this car, it has 240k, runs great, before this obviously. Handles and breaks well and gets "decent" mileage for a hatchback from that time period.

Please help i'm about to start ripping my hair out.

So things i've check or replaced.

Replaced:
Ignition Cylinder
Ignition Switch
PCM Relay

Things i've checked or bypassed
Battery
clutch safety switch
starter relay (only checked by feeling for the click as I have no idea how to get it out of where it is behind that metal plate)

Thanks for any help
 

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Additionally. Clean the ground underneath the airbox. Clean the small grounds from the battery to the fender. By cleaning I mean remove and make sure you have clean metal underneath as well as clean with sandpaper the eyelets on the harness as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok after getting the starter tested at two separate places and them getting the ok for it I reinstalled it with a new battery, ground, starter harness. Still same issue. I cleaned all the grounds and put diaelectric grease on them. I tried jumping the starter directly from the battery and got it to turn for a few seconds and then it would cut out, try again same thing, try again same thing but slower, and then nothing.

I'm going to get the battery tested at a store even though it is fully charged and reading fine. I suspect the battery is fine because I tried jumping the starter from my other vehicles battery with it running and couldn't get it to turn at all..... so that is where I am currently.


27 July 2019 03:03
here is a link to the you tube video I made.... i'm using my lexus LS to try and jump the starter directly since it has a much larger battery that is known to be good.
As you can see... turns slightly the first time and stops, slightly the second time and then stops while making some strange sounds. And then on the third time, just clicks.

youtube.com/watch?v=LW1H_l7UUGM

Sorry the forums won't let me post a link yet so just a the www and the dot in front of that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
27 July 2019 03:50
I'm now 90% sure that its the starter. Since tests aren't done under load it will test fine but when it needs to move the engine the motor may not have enough power anymore. So it tries and quits, tries and quits and then has now power to even try anymore. Add any dead spots in the solenoid and we have this.
Since I personally cleaned all the grounds having to do with the starter and under the battery and air box it can't be the wiring. And from everywhere I've seen as long as the wiring is good, putting power that pin should cause a starter to crank and crank. (car won't start of course because the key isn't in the start position.) I rotated the engine by hand to make sure it isn't jammed somehow also.

Please watch the video and see if your thinking lines up with mine.
 

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I watched your video. If that is the GRY (gray) solenoid wire and you are certain that the battery is not weak and that all the cables from the battery to the starter are good and the grounds are good and that the connection from the jumper battery thru the jumper cable is good then I would agree with your assessment that the starter is likely faulty.

Paul
 

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When ours did this it’s was the alternator. Battery would die. Let it sit for a min, then it would go. Replaced the battery cables and alt and haven’t had that problem in 9 years.
 
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