1994 chevrolet Lumina Z34.starter solinoid clicks. replaced starter, ignition switch, same thing.

Asked by Sep 17, 2015 at 04:17 AM

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

This is a 3.4 engine and an automatic. The starter clicks when you turn the key. It can do this 5 to 20 times before it starts. Sometimes, it starts the first time. Very rare though.
In the old days when the starter clicked, you changed the starter. I did, same thing happened. Replaced the ignition switch. Same thing. The shop checked the neutral safety switch. Its ok. The remote starter has been removed in case it was the problem. It is not.  You can go to the starter and jump it with a screwdriver and it started EVERY TIME!!  the mechanic says when this non start issue happens there is something like 6 volts at the solenoid. I do not know what to do and have spend over a $100 on a NEW delco starter, a $140 on a NEW delco ignition switch. AND another $400 in diagnostic fees. Anybody have a clue???

5 Answers


Get a volt meter and find the voltage drop. See if you can return any of that stuff. Connections, connectors, resistance, dirt. Where are you losing the voltage? The winding for pull-in, and the winding for hold in will need the power to pull the slug against spring tension actuating the lever that throws the gear out. then you get a shtoonk instead of a click. when that action is fully happenning the motor runs because its now in mesh, right? but you must trace back through and clean and improve connection even at new parts. test before and after. inspect each point in the schematic. fuse links used to connect there at the main cable supplying their mains. Nowadays the cable divides at the battery. one wire goes to power distribution box. its connections can be the cause. the cable end that carries multiple wires at the battery can be (inside itself) arced previously causing voltage drop, and each point from there, each component. They use less copper and more plastic every year. blame the Cafe regulation and the bed wetters or the tree smoochers or whatever, but every connection is now weaker as a result. softer metal can cause loose fit, poor connection, and inability to carry current and blocking or dropping volts, some actually melt from trying to function. check every connector. I will get off my soapbox now.


Oh, and my most popular, the bolts at the battery must be long enough, you can pop them out and slide off the cable covers, wire brush the cable end and the battery. do it all at all points or let your meter tell you where to start. Every one I check makes me want to slap somebody. be patient, I know. check fuses and relays for corrosion or moisture entry as you go. The fix is where you find it. a cheap meter will suffice. Test your test leads and know your test, know your meter has a new 9v


The cars over 20 years now, I should point out. your starter wires can still have fuse links down there supplying the mains. Your harness can be stressed , chafed, cooked etc. suffered water entry or dirt and grease. The stereo kids and the blo n go guys could have hacked or spliced, the nairobi aftermarket alarm kids could have scotch locked strands cutting several. these are the causes of voltage drop. hope its easy to find.


We had a brand new car in the service drive on a saturday once, the stereo dude was out there for 10 minutes. then left. It sounded great. wouldn't start though. had him come back, remove his gear, it started, drove it in parked it in a stall, had our guy put the stereo back in, no start. Sent a technician over a few hours later, scotch lock, bigger than schlit. The aluminum hoop thing cuts as it slides on cuts insulation and at no extra charge! cuts the wire strands. Voltage drop city. that gentleman gets 150 dollars to install the problem ! axe heads ! hope yours is that easy and starts right up.


What can I say, it looks like Dannyl covered all the bases. Good job.

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