View Full Version : 71 DeVille will not start!!!

01-17-10, 11:22 PM
I have a 71 deville with a 472. I had this same problem a month ago, the car sat about 3 weeks and when I parked it nothing was wrong. Then I started it up to move it, drove around town for a while and the GEN light came on. I parked it at home and later on when I tried to start it everything worked EXCEPT the starter. Lights radio windows horn heat EVERYTHING but then when I turned the key I got nothing. After it sat about a week I towed it off the street into my garage and for the heck of it I turned the key and it started. It's been very cold lately so I never addressed the problem. Yesterday I started it up, moved it back into the garage and shut it off, the GEN light comes on very dim when I turn the key to the ON position and when the car is running it stays on and is normal brightness. Now I still have the dim light when its in the on position but when I turn the key it turns off and I hear nothing, no click no anything. I checked the wiring at the starter and it looks good. I jumped the solenoid terminals and the starter came on. So correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the purple wire that goes to the starter is the one that turns it on, so when you turn the key to the start position it should read 12V. I put the + probe from my meter in the terminal where the purple wire goes and put the - probe on the negative battery terminal. Had someone hold the key in the start position and I got nothing. Again I'm not sure if I am correct about the wire, but I remember doing something of this sort with a chevy a few yaers back and it read 12V only with the key in start position. Would a bad ignition switch cause the GEN light to be on? I'm thinking its that or the starter solenoid itself. I had the alternator tested and it is fine, battery has 12.4V. I would really like to fix this now that it has gotten warmer outside. What do you guys think? What else should I test? Or do you think one of my assumptions is correct? Any help is greatly appreciated!

01-18-10, 01:53 AM
I went outside and started messing with the car again. I connected a test light to the "S" terminal on the solenoid and other end to the negative terminal on the battery. No light wether I turned the key or not. Then I took the one end off the negative on the batt and touched it to the positive, lit up right away! So I got in and tapped the steering column, nothing still. THEN I wiggled the shifter and turned the key and it fired right up. I still have a GEN light though. Then I reconnected the test light to the "S" terminal and the positive terminal on the batt, it lit up but turned off when the key was in the start position and then came back on when I quit holding the key. I then switched it to the negative batt terminal and it only lit up with the key in the start position. I don't think this wire should be grounding out, it appears to be free of cracks or any openings the whole way from the starter to the firewall. Maybe my igntion switch is bad/going bad? And shorting out causing the GEN light?

01-19-10, 03:49 AM
I would think ignition switch also. Maybe get a manual to see what all the gen light is connected to. neutral safety switch comes to mind too.

01-19-10, 11:58 AM
in my 69, sometimes when I pull the key out of the switch the gen light comes on and it makes a buzzing sound...
I just have to jiggle the key a bit before taking it out and it stops.

01-19-10, 09:30 PM
Check the neutral safety switch. On my '68, it's mounted on the column near the firewall. If I bump it with my foot, it occasionally comes unplugged and the car does not start.