my 68 firebird won't start sometimes


Asked by May 07, 2017 at 03:00 PM about the 1968 Pontiac Firebird

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My '68 firebird seems to have an electrical issue. Sometimes it wont start (not even crank) , its like the battery was disconnected. The lights work though and the headlights will slightly dim when the key is turned to the start position.

6 Answers


Check your battery terminals & terminal wires for corrosion and if loose or frayed and replace if needed. Check connections at alternator and any fuse links if you have them and ground straps from engine to frame. Check ignition switch wires, may be loose or frayed or just plain old switch may need replaced as contacts wear out. Starter may need a better connection, solenoid may be getting low power from battery and it could be because of a low battery voltage. Starter may have issues too. I would run new terminal wires & terminals from battery if they are older. After time the ground strap wire can become frayed and also frame rusting can loosen those connections and cause too much corrosion between the frame and the ground connection.

2 people found this helpful.

Sounds like a bad starter. Or possibly a bad neutral safety switch. Try starting it in neutral (if automatic transmission) after running the shifter through all the gears a few times. You can also try tapping on the starter with a hammer when it doesn't want to start. If your negative (-) battery cable is still bolted to the exhaust manifold, relocate it. The exhaust manifold gets rusty over time and can frequently be troublesome. Check your battery cable connections to be sure everything is clean and tight as well. HTH. -Jim

1 people found this helpful.

I installed a new high torque starter a couple years ago and it has very little use on it but I suppose it could be bad so I will check that out. I just put in a new battery and had recently put new battery connections in so I know that's not the problem. The neutral safety switch could be the problem so I'll check that out too.

1 people found this helpful.

Sounds good. Keep us posted. If you don't use the car that often it's possible for a speck of corrosion to get on the neutral safety switch contacts or the starter armature and break the circuit. Or even the ignition switch. HTH. -Jim

2 people found this helpful.

Looks like the neutral safety switch on my '68 firebird was the problem of it not starting sometimes. But we're checking out some grounding issues as well that we found. Thanks for the help.

1 people found this helpful.

Awesome! Glad you found the problem! Thanks for letting us know! Those Firebirds are really nice cars! Years ago my Sister had a '69. -Jim

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