: where is the starter relay, 1993 sts northstar

01-14-04, 05:32 AM
think that i may have a frozen starter realy, can anyone tellme where it is....
and if its under the hodd, why the heat from the motor doesnt keep it from freezing?

i am absolutely baffled, car wont start, anything below -4 .....

01-14-04, 05:43 AM
Starter enable relay? Its inside the car....under the carpet....under the drivers door opening trim....about 1/2 way center in the door opening.


01-14-04, 05:54 AM
[QUOTE=Logandiagnostic]Starter enable relay? Its inside the car....under the carpet....under the drivers door opening trim....about 1/2 way center in the door opening.
you are an absolute gentleman..ill see if thats the problem...
thank you

01-14-04, 02:39 PM
now all i see is a long thick braid of wire....is it just going to be a black box?

(not to mention im working on this thing in the freezing cold -29, plastic isnt that flexible in the cold people!! snap)

01-14-04, 04:12 PM
Ok...sounds like the carpet is up. You should see the harness run into a plastic sleeve thats mounted along the side of the car. You have to open the sleeve some to get to the relays. 3 relays in that area....

starter enable (toward front of car)

rap circuit breaker couple of inches rearward

rap relay about center of door opening.


01-15-04, 10:27 AM
There may be some confusion here. Logan is correct in that there is a relay that feeds the signal to the starter...but...what I always heard refered to as the "starter relay"...i.e..the relay that switches the high current from the battery cable to the starter motor....is mounted directly on the starter.

There are several wires and cables running under the intake manifold to the starter. You should be able to see them on one end of the engine, beside the throttle body on that 93 I believe. There will be a large battery cable that I presume is hot all the time and a purple wire I think it is that is the signal to the starter solenoid or starter relay to pull in the high current to make the starter motor run. check for a feed on that wire when the key is turned to crank. If there is voltage on the line when the key goes to crank and you hear nothing then the starter solenoid/starter will need replacement in all likelyhood. Possibley the starter solenoid is getting weak and is unable to pull the starter clutch/bendix in when the starter is that cold....or...the starter bendix is failing and has high friction and is so hard to pull in when cold that the starter solenoid cannot do it. If the bendix does not engage then the high current switch in the solenoid (the starter 'relay") will not make and the starter will not turn.

In any case, it is relatively simple to replace the starter. loosen and remove the 4 inner, recessed bolts in the intake manifold top cover to loosen the intake from the cylinder heads.... Lift up the intake to access the starter. After disconnecting the inlet duct there is usually enought play in wires and hoses to allow the manfold to come up just enought to get to the starter in the valley. Prop it up with several 2x4 blocks of wood to hold it up.

There is no coolant or anything in the intake and all the seals are reusable so picking up the intake like this is really a pretty minor task and is easier than lying on your back and getting rust an dirt in your eyes.

If you pull the intake to do this, take the opportunity to clean the EGR passages in the phenolic spacer plates while the intake is off. There are two phenolic spacer plates, one per side, between the intake assembly and the cylinder head. The formed passages in the plates form the EGR delivery passages to the intake ports. They are likely full of carbon and need cleaning. Also , clean the small machined notches in the cylinder head metal itself at each port. Reinstall with the original seals and finish up the starter job and you are good to go. Make sure the intake and the plates are aligned correctly before you put the 4 long bolts back in the intake. There are posts and holes to aid in alignment but it can get off and cause a severe intake vacuum leak. Just take your time and make sure the alignment is correct and it will go relativley easy.

01-16-04, 10:44 AM
as you have already acknowledged...i replaced the starter already.....to new one, you cant get reman starters for sts...at least i couldnt, but it wasnt tooo bad...235 canadian...

anyways...are u sayin that it prolly isnt that relay under the carpet.....
in the earlier post you spoke ofthe purple wire..., you take that off teh starter before rplacement...correct..? but......im thinkin..that it bein in the centre of teh engine...would stay warm for a few minutes, before freezing and not starting...but the ralay on the other hand is on the floor......against the metal...which is prolly already frozen before the car shuts off.....which would make sense cause on those cold days where it would take a few minutes to warm up the wires somewhere, before the starter would engage...
anyways.....immma keep at it and let u know.....never heard of anything like this before....im sorta pissed...


01-16-04, 02:00 PM
If the starter is good (presumably since it is new) then high current must be available on the battery lead to the starter, the ground must be good and a signal should come down the purple wire to the starter. Pretty basic system really to trouble shoot. When it will not crank is there a signal on the purple wire at the engine??? You could put a temporary tap on the purple wire (stick a pin thru the wire and hook an allegator clip to it...) and run a test light to where you can see it to find out if the purple wire is missing the signal when cold.

I am still of the impression that the system may be trying to crank when cold but due to the current draw there may be a bad wire or cable or connection somewhere...due to looseness, corrosion, etc.

In any case, isolating the signal to the starter as either a problem or not should lead you to the next step.

Heck, if you tap into the purple wire to the starter solenoid you could apply voltage from a secondary , known good, source to "force" the starter to engage and crank to double check whether the purple wire and it's associated circuitry feeding it is the problem or not.