Car won't crank; radio and dash lights work

Asked by Jun 25, 2019 at 12:09 PM about the 2005 Pontiac Vibe Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Car was fine last night, but won't even turn over this morning.  It has a fairly
new battery and cables.  I tried to jump it but still won't turn over.  No clicking
noise, just silence.

Side note, I have had temporary issues in the past where the key would get
stuck on not turn until I wiggled the stearing wheel.  Key can also be
removed without being turned to off position.

9 Answers

80,295

It's a dead or dying battery; you might have enough juice to light the lights, but not enough to turn the starter motor. Jump start the car properly; leave donor hooked up long enough to charge your battery, at least ten minutes. If your car starts, fine. If it does not start, replace your battery. After either of these, go to an auto parts store and have any codes read. They may point you to the reason your battery died; probably a dead alternator.

2 people found this helpful.

Update: It started right up without a jump the other day, and was fine for a couple of days. Then I tried to start it after it was parked for a few hours and again, it wasn’t turning over, no clicking, nothing. Is it in the ignition switch? Would that be a relay?

80,295

The ignition switch is sort of command central for the car; it connects to almost everything electrical. I first thought that your battery was just low due to a defective alternator or an electrical short somewhere. But with your latest description of the problem, I believe your ignition switch is the problem. It's not the key cylinder, but what surrounds it. There isn't a relay there, but there are electrical contacts that have worn; causing your intermittent problem. If you're not familiar with working on cars, you should have a mechanic replace it. I'd use a battery/memory saver then replace the elaborate switch so it doesn't lose settings and the security code, which could put the car in to anti-theft mode. doing it right isn't too difficult, but doing it wrong an lead to difficulty getting the car running right afterwards.

1 people found this helpful.

I have a similar issue with my PONTIAC vibe 2008 year model. I talked to a mechanic and have the starter checked and a week afterwards the issue returned. This morning the car will not start though it lights with indicators as shone in the picture. I left the key plugged in for few minutes and the car starts on a single trial.

80,295

Wonsano - If a mechanic reviewed this, I'll assume he was professional and checked not only the starter, but the battery, alternator, and ignition, as well. eliminating those things, your problem looks to me like fuel. You might have a bad fuel pump or regulator. Try this: Turn the key to on, not to start. do you hear the fuel pump? If so, turn the ignition to off, wait a few seconds and then try to start. Each tine you turn the ignition to on, the fuel pump primes and if it's a problem it needs to prime several times to get proper pressure. If cycling like this a few times gets the engine started, Have that looked at.

1 people found this helpful.

Update: I tried to start the Vibe yesterday morning and no juice at all, no dash lights, nothing. Tried to jump it, still no sound, nothing. I tested the battery and it was fine. An hour later I jumped it again and it started right up. I let it run for 20 minutes to charge back up. This morning, completely dead again. I also can’t shift it to neutral with the key turns on. Reminder, last week this was happening, they said they ran I diagnostic and they replaced the starter. Help. I don’t want to keep throwing money into this car.

What did you end up finding? Same happened in my 2007. Car had dash lights on but wouldn’t start. Put the key in the on position for a couple mins and would start right up on the next turn. Had the pcm replaced in May for the recall, and ran fine, then stalled the other day and won’t start. Can smell fuel when trying to start. Check engine light flickers when key in on position, says error when we hook up the scanner. Any ideas?

Update: I eventually took it to a mechanic who ran a diagnostic and replaced the starter. Great for 3 or 4 weeks, then one morning, same issue as before. Picked up by the same garage, they tell me the battery cable was loose. Hmmm. Happened once since, and the trick for some reason seems to be disconnecting and reconnecting the battery.

GuruSJJ8C - have you found a proper fix? I had my Vibe die today, same symptoms, has new starter and all the grounds have been checked and sanded. Detaching/reattaching the negative allowed it to start right back up.

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