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CarJunky AutoAdvice

96 Geo Prizm, wont start

Showing 2 out of 8 Posts | Show 6 Hidden Posts
Question From jw6397 on 96 Geo Prizm, wont start

I just bought a 96 Geo Prizm, someone had replaced the engine and it wont start, I noticed when I put a fresh battery in, the daytime running lights came on without the keys in the ignition. It turns over, but wont run, and lights stay on at all times.

Response From nickwarner

Pull the DRL relay and see if it has power to the control terminal. If not, the relay is sticking and replacing it will cure the trouble.

Response From jw6397

Will that stop it from starting though Nick?

Response From nickwarner

No. The DRL circuits have nothing to do with your engine running. They are a key-on accessory. Have you ever heard this car run on the new engine or did you buy it like this? You are either missing fuel, spark, or both. Check fuel pressure at the rail and check for spark while cranking. Post back with results. Also, look very closely for anything that might not have been hooked up by the last guy working on it if you bought it non-running. Pull some spark plugs and check to see the condition. Might be something cheap and easy that will get this on the road for you. Check the little things first and find out if you have fuel and spark. Post back with what you have and we can guide you to the next step from there. If your engine light is on get the codes and post them too. The more information we have the more we can do for you here.

Response From jw6397

I pulled the DRL relay behind the headlight, that stopped the lights from being on constantly. Checked all the spark plug wires with a timing light while I was turning it over....no light, appears to be no spark, is there a sequence of things I should go through for the ignition system Nick?

Response From jw6397

The check engine light comes on without the key being in the ignition and the temperature gauge cranks, when I turn the key to ON, the temp gauge goes back down?

Response From nickwarner Top Rated Answer

this sounds like an ignition switch as its affecting key on circuits while off.

Response From jw6397

The check engine light comes on without the key being in the ignition and the temperature gauge cranks, when I turn the key to ON, the temp gauge goes back down?

93 Tracker won't start/no dash lights except briefly sometimes

Showing 4 out of 4 Posts
Question From ThWind81 on 93 Tracker won't start/no dash lights except briefly sometimes

1993 Geo Tracker 4x4 with 5 spd manual transmission. 130,000 miles. The battery is good but when I turn the key I get nothing, no dash lights or anything. If I hit the hazard lights I get relay buzzing intermittently. Now, the interesting thing is that if I LEAVE the ignition switch in the on position, after some time, the dash lights will suddenly come on and the car will ding but when I continue into the start position the dash lights go dark immediately and nothing happens. Also just trying to turn the headlights on after the dash lights come on results in everything going dark again. Leading up to this problem I did have a few cases where the car would not start but if I held the ignition switch in the start position for a few moments, the car might suddenly spring to life and start. This was also accompanied by another symptom that started around the same time which was that my speakers would pop loudly whenever I switched on my headlights. Seems like a ground issue somewhere? Bad ignition switch?

Thanks for any insight you might be able to provide.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Make this simpler at first. I totally doubt you know battery is any good at all. Test it or charge it at least with a changer at posts not any "U" bolts.

High chance by description this is plain lousy connections at battery. Either not clean enough or failed unseen you can check with a test light.

Did this use (old enough not to matter totally) side posts or "U" bolt ends at battery? Side posts if you haven't assertively tended to every year at least are super high chance of gone inside. U-bolt type is not lead and doubt that tighten maybe but aren't tight.

What you get it ask for a draw and they heat up, make a tiny bit more of a connection then ask for more and get nothing. Radio resets, clock memory lost and so on when a total loss.

Common on many and more with age lots younger than this,


Response From ThWind81

Thank you very much for the reply. The battery is 2-3 years old and has lead top posts. There is some corrosion and I did try to ensure a clean connection by loosening, wiggling and re-tightening the connectors. I did try connecting the battery from another vehicle to the battery in question. I connected directly positive to positive and negative to negative. I got the same results when attempting to start the Tracker. I figured that if the battery was bad, the second battery would have at least given me enough juice to have gotten the dash lights on and maybe it would have at least tried to crank. Would that be the case? If so, I guess I'll need a test light and to find out where I need to check for unseen failures.
Thanks again,

Response From Tom Greenleaf Top Rated Answer

Quick info Dustin: Battery is lead - cable ends are not by most all of 1993 and later which suks. That's what fails most or cheap wire in cables unseen almost never copper by then as well. GM (does any other do it?) uses side posts so go by bolt and hunt for eyelets on that type.

Test with volt drop on top post type right from the battery's post to U-bolt while seemingly tight might lose volts right with that check and do again down to other end of cable if that checks. Do that both with nothing on and see what drop you may get with a load like headlights or starter request should be the same right at the battery.
Move on to testing both cables at both ends with ohms and any variations noted. None really on plain ohm meter,