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Classic/Antique Car Repair/Starter relay or related problem on 1956 Buick Roadmaster


QUESTION: When starting my 1956 Buick Roadmaster, often the starter will stay engaged once the car has started and I have to open the hood and tap the starter relay to disengage the starter.  I have had the mechanic change starter relays and just last week they had to rebuild the starter due to damage from being engaged so often.  They thought they had the problem solved, but it persists.  Not everytime you start the car, but too often.  Any suggestions or advice will be great appreciated.

ANSWER: I have a question, is this car one that engages the starter swhen you turn the key all of the way over for when you press the gas pedal?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: When you press on the gas pedal

This system uses a switch mounted on the throttle body of the carburetor . when the throttle is depressed and there is no intake manifold vacuum (engine not running) the switch allows the starter to engage. Once the engine starts and intake vaxuumnis seen the switch is supposed to disengage the starter. I would start by checking the operation of that switch.

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Brad Sears


All automotive including antique and collectible. However if the car has been modified I can only answer in general terms and maybe get you pointed in the right direction.


Automotive tech instructor. Syndicated auto columnist 1970's though the early 1990's. Syndicated auto radio talk show, Ask Brad About cars, CBS Radio 70's through 90's TV Show "Last Chance Garage" 1980's PBS-TV syndicated. Auto instructor for the following companies: Fram Autolyte Holly Carter AMF Ford Motor University Of Conn Blue Hills Technical School Sugar River Technical Center Grew up in a family garage in Needham Mass and turned wrenches from the age of 14.

Manchester Union Leader, Nashua Telegraph, Motor Service Magazine, Yankee Magazine, Popular Mechanics (Saturday Mechanic early 80's), Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and lots more.

More than I care to remember. Basically Franklin Technical Institute in Boston, Northeastern University, Fitchburg State Teachers College, Tufts University, and a lot of factory schools along the way.

Awards and Honors
Moto Award winner. And much more.

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