Question I have a 2010 pt cruiser. Battery is good but will not turn over when I turn the key. All the idiot lights come on like normal - just will not turn over. Also the steering wheel does not lock. Sometimes when I giggle the key I can get it to crank - sometimes in about 3 or for 4 minutes of doing that then sometimes nothing. At the moment it is in the do nothing stage. Any ideas?
Answer Hi Joseph,
The starter circuit involves a start relay, park/neutral safety interlock, and the ignition switch along with the associated wiring and starter motor with its solenoid switch. I would begin at the starter relay mounted on the firewall in front of the driver, in the engine compartment. There are two relays mounted there and the starter relay is in-board. Have a helper try the start position of the ignition switch while you listen/touch the starter relay to see if it is clicking. If so but the starter doesn't respond then either the points in the relay, the wire from the relay to the starter motor solenoid or the starter itself is at fault, or the fat red wire direct from the battery is loose (don't touch that wire for risk of a short circuit and consequent burn).
It the relay doesn't click then either the gear shift is not centered on the park or neutral position or the starter switch is defective or fuse #4 may be intermittent so also check that fuse to see if it might have a subtle crack in its internal wire. Try moving the gear shift slightly off center in P or N and see if that solves it.
If none of those make for reliable starting, then you will want to use a voltmeter to see if the ignition switch is putting 12v on the red/dark blue wire at the relay socket (pin 2 of that socket when the key is moved to the start position. If not, then probably the ignition switch has failed. Let me know and I can tell you how to remove the switch and check for voltage output to that red/dark blue wire.
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