Weird occasional non-start issue. (1 Viewer)

blackohio

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So yesterday my truck decided to not start at first. Turn key everything comes on normal as expected, battery is at 16 amps, Turn key all the way over and nada. No noise no nothing. Try a few times all same.

Open hood, because I work in the auto industry with dudes who try and be funny and all seems normal. Shut hood come back starts right up. Stop at grocery, starts right up no issues.

This morning first key turn nada, second starts right up.

Truck has no underlying health issues, runs perfect. Never did anything. This sound like the ignition switch?

There is / was no stater noise and its never struggled to start so I kinda ruled that out. Anything else to look into?
 
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I'd first clean and tighten the battery terminals, maybe trickle charge the battery to make sure its in top shape, load test it too if you can. Then if still an issue, consider it could be the contacts inside the starter. It's not that the starter motor gets weak and cranks slowly, its that the electrical contacts in the solenoid get burnt up and can't quite bridge the gap at first.
 

blackohio

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I'd first clean and tighten the battery terminals, maybe trickle charge the battery to make sure its in top shape, load test it too if you can. Then if still an issue, consider it could be the contacts inside the starter. It's not that the starter motor gets weak and cranks slowly, its that the electrical contacts in the solenoid get burnt up and can't quite bridge the gap at first.
Battery terminals looked good, and dash gauge holds 16amps so I assumed it was good but battery is old.

I was listening for starter issues and didnt consider it just cant make the metaphysical jump and just went right to ig switch being the culprit. Any way to test the starter solenoid, anything TS can see that might point in that direction.
 
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Battery terminals looked good, and dash gauge holds 16amps so I assumed it was good but battery is old.

I was listening for starter issues and didnt consider it just cant make the metaphysical jump and just went right to ig switch being the culprit. Any way to test the starter solenoid, anything TS can see that might point in that direction.

I haven't seen the contact issue myself on LCs (just the same thing on my wife's old Subaru, and I've seen lots of accounts of it happening on our LCs). For our subaru, there'd be no noise at all, she'd sit and leave key in ignition for like a minute, then it'd magically start after you tried again. When I took apart starter it was obvious terminals were fried, and I replaced just the terminals for a couple bucks and it was perfect for years.
But for LC, since you gotta remove the whole intake to get to it.... I'd just replace starter with a new one so you don't have to do it again someday. My other method of testing for a bad solenoid is laying a screwdriver across the terminals to see if I can trigger starter that way, but of course I don't think you can do that on LC. Sorry I'm not much help there.
Also, yeah a battery can hold proper voltage but have absolutely no cranking amps to start it. Recently had that with one of my other cars, finally got a load tester for like $30 that verified it was dead. I think auto parts stores will load test your battery for free too if you want.
 
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That sounds like your starter doesn't want to kick in sometimes, so the contacts might be bad. Tough to check though since you have to remove the intake manifold. Starter going bad can do that, won't do anything, then all of a sudden it'll spin and start up. To test your ignition switch, next time you turn the key and it doesn't do anything, find the starter relay and jump the terminals and see if the starter will spin.
 

blackohio

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Thankfully I'm lazy so if it is the starter i'll just make it someone elses problem and foot the bill.
 
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Starter relay could be a culprit as well. That is a cheap part to replace. I would avoid taking it to a mechanic at all costs until you know exactly what it is. Mechanics LOVE intermittent problems as they can just throw parts at it and they might eventually fix it.

I'd also check the neutral safety switch--If it won't start, hold the key to start and move the shifter to N. Occasionally the contacts in the P position get worn out, but people rarely start the trucks in N.
 

blackohio

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I'd also check the neutral safety switch--If it won't start, hold the key to start and move the shifter to N. Occasionally the contacts in the P position get worn out, but people rarely start the trucks in N.
I tried that last night and it was the same no change. I'll try the relay(s) today if/when it does it again.
 
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Yea try that

picture-3-jpg.507922
 
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One note about the starter relay test shown above--since it works most of the time, there is no way to definitively demonstrate it to be good by that test--you only know that it worked that time. I'd swap it out for one of the others in there--I think one or two of them are the same as the starter relay, or just buy a new one.
 

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