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Discussion Starter #1
Happened to my wife last week and I explained on the phone that the
shifter had to be in N or P but that some of those symbols
bulbs had blown and were impossible to get at. But it wasnt that
she didnt have it in N or P because the same thing happened to me today.
Turned the key and nothing. Fumed for a few minutes, jiggled the shifter and
tried again and it started fine.
It'll probably happen again - I just want to know if
its a common problem. I didnt find anything similar in a search here.
An electrical problem ?
 

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sounds like a problem in the starter interlock circuit somewhere. (Ign switch, starter or range switch)
Because it started after "wiggling the shifter" my first thought would be checking the P - N start switch on the transmission, (sometimes called the "range selector" switch. These can and do fail and can sometimes be repaired by cleaning, but being exposed to the elements they do fail with age, They can be adjusted, and yours may have moved slightly but this usually shows up as being able to be started when the lever is just out of the P or N positions.
Next time it does it, try pushing the lever against the stop at each end of the P and N positions to see if either one works as the tracks in the switch may be worn and a slight movement might be all it needs. It could also be a corroded or broken wire in the wiring to the switch or in the connector. Simply unplugging and plugging it back in may solve the issue.
They can be bypassed, but its dangerous and means the car can be started in gear. Time to get the multimeter out and start tracing the circuit or take it to an auto electrician for proper diagnosis.

And yes, it is a common (ish) issue on any automatic as they get older and parts start to fail.

It could also be a faulty ignition switch, or a failing starter solenoid. Diagnosis is the best course of action here.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks - have printed your good advice in case that problem re occurs.
It looks like the violent jiggling and swearing fixed it temporarily.
 

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Thanks - have printed your good advice in case that problem re occurs.
It looks like the violent jiggling and swearing fixed it temporarily.
cursing is a great repair tool, and jiggling also works sometimes. Sounds like a bad contact somewhere. Next time, threaten it with a hammer and it won't dare fail again. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This came back recently after 8 months- turned the key and only clicking
sound ( solenoid ?) but no crank in N or P. Got out checked the
battery terminals, and after a few failed attempts it cranked/started.
Manual says maybe Shift Switch adjustment necessary -see image.
How do you remove the cowling/cover to get at the switch?
Two screws are beside the seats - remove seats to get at them ?
Thanks lots !
97977

97978
 

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This came back recently after 8 months- turned the key and only clicking sound ( solenoid ?) but no crank in N or P.
Where is the clicking you're hearing? If it's coming from under the hood the problem is most likely the starter solenoid or the starter itself and not the neutral safety switch.

How do you remove the cowling/cover to get at the switch?
Two screws are beside the seats - remove seats to get at them ?
Thanks lots !
The switch is under the car on the side of the transmission.

You need to diagnose the issue properly before trying to repair it.
 

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For awhile, I had an intermittent no crank no start.
When it did not start, I would do the same thing.
It would sometimes start and sometimes just sat there for awhile then it decided to start.
I cleaned the battery posts and cable terminals.
And followed the negative battery cable to chassis ground.
Clean that up. And check on the engine grounding strap.
And for good measure, I changed the ignition switch.
Took a look at the ignition wire at the starter solenoid.
No more intermittent no starts.

When the car doesn't want to crank/start. Locate the starter relay and do the by pass test.
Youtube videos are great for learning this stuff
Jumping pins 87 and 30 (load side) should crank the engine.
Note: Do not short the control side as this will destroy the ECM. (pins 85 and 86).

The result will tell you if it is the starter (load side) or the ignition (control side) that is bad.
I am not sure where the park neutral safety switch is .. but usually on the control side.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I cleaned the battery posts and cable terminals.
And followed the negative battery cable to chassis ground.
Clean that up. And check on the engine grounding strap.
And for good measure, I changed the ignition switch.
Took a look at the ignition wire at the starter solenoid.
Well, When it happens I am in no place or condition to be doing repairs.
Your advice is good. I'll do some maintainance on possible causes.
Including the shift switch adjustment. Less possibilities next time it occurs.

I have no patience for the tedious YouTube - " so we need a screwdriver, and pliers,blah blah etc etc for 10 mins before they start doing anything - I'm very old and dont have time to waste.

You need to diagnose the issue properly before trying to repair it.
Yes, but hard to do when and where it occurs twice in 8 months :-((


Jumping pins 87 and 30 (load side) should crank the engine.
Locate the starter relay and do the by pass test.
If it cranks with87 and 30 what does that point to ?


Many thanks to all - I am in love with this little old car .
 

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You could resort to the wiggle test, proven effective with intermittent issues..
 

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What year GV are we discussing? I'm pretty certain the only starter "relay" on these cars is the starter solenoid itself.

Well, When it happens I am in no place or condition to be doing repairs.
You'd be surprised at how much diagnostics can be done by ear if you're familiar with how the system works.

Yes, but hard to do when and where it occurs twice in 8 months :-((
Twice in eight months is not really relevant - if both times it failed it was a consistent fail then you have the opportunity to perform the requisite diagnosis. Keen observation, both visual & aural, along with the knowledge of what you should see/hear but are not seeing/hearing or what you are seeing/hearing that you should not.

Within the past twelve months - on one vehicle - I've had no crank scenarios caused by a worn ignition switch, a failed starter solenoid and then a loose power feed to the ignition switch - the symptoms are all different - do any/all/none of the dash lights come on - does it click - where does the click come from (some vehicles have a shift lever interlock at the base of the lever that ties into the ignition switch that will click when you turn the key).

The loose power feed was a pain in the butt to pin down - the car would run fine for two or three days and then just not start - the tip off was no dash warning lights when the ignition was switched on (the other lights worked) - at one point I was not moving it out of the driveway, just starting it twice a day as I would have if I were driving it - I checked every connection, every splice, drove for days with a voltmeter sitting under the driver's seat and wired to the ignition switch - I did not find it until I started pulling the interior panels to run a new feed and discovered an "undocumented" connector in the driver's side foot well - a single six cavity connector pair with one single wire in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
When this happened I had just filled up at a gas station and cars were
behind me blowing. Going to do whatever I can now, cleaning connections etc,
and next time it occurs I will spend some time looking for symptoms.
Hopefully next time its not late at night on a country road.
Many thanks to all for your help. Couldn't do without this forum.
This old girl is going to last until they stop me driving.
 

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When this happened I had just filled up at a gas station and cars were behind me blowing.
So - roll it away from the pump to a clear spot on the fore court (which is what you're going to have to do anyway) and then start the diagnosis - I've been called to the gas station when my daughter's car had a dead battery, and I've had the battery in my GV intermittently "lose a cell" and not crank right at the pump, after my daughter filled it up.
 

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If it cranks with 87 and 30 what does that point to ?
Pins 87 and 30 go to the load side (starter). If it cranks then it means load side circuit is working
And probable cause is in the control side, ignition fuse, ignition switch, wiring to PCM,
PCM, wiring to park/neutral safety switch, wiring to starter relay.
It gives an idea of where to go next in the search for the cause of the problem.

As someone pointed out to me, Suzuki doesn't use that convention of pins 87 and 30.
Sorry, Don't have the schematics to tell you which ones. Maybe One of the others can help you.
 
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