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91 Riviera
03-28-2012, 07:39 PM
Post: #1
91 Riviera
I have a 1991 buick riviera, i am having an issue with the car not starting. The battery is reading about 12v. When i turn the key nothing happens at all. While troubleshooting for this problem i turned the key to the on position and heard a clicking coming from the R.A.P.Ing relay. I pulled the R.A.P.Ing and the R.A.P. relay while the key was in the on position. Now none of my accessories work. When i turn the key to the on position a rapid clicking noise comes from the relay. Im not really sure what to do....any advice?
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03-29-2012, 12:08 AM
Post: #2
RE: 91 Riviera
The first thing I would do is verify the battery voltage both before and after the key is turned on. For all we know it's a simple bad connection or bum battery and the voltage falls off to (almost) nothing as soon as there is a slight draw. After all the car is well over 20 years old so that sort of thing will be common.

Keep us in the loop as you progress and we'll see what we can help with.
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03-30-2012, 01:05 AM
Post: #3
RE: 91 Riviera
Your right the battery was pretty bad so i bought a new one. I know the starter is good because we used a start switch button to test it. After testing the starter i jumped in the car and turned the key to the start position while my dad held the button down on the starter switch. The car began run, cylinders firing and all. The car died as soon as he let off the starter switch button. Now we suspect it has something to do with the starter enabler relay. I have been trying to find the starter relay, it is not located in any of the relay clusters. The wires coming from security module lead up under the dashboard where i cannot see or reach. Do if the starter enabler relay is in fact hidden behind the dashboard on this particular make and model?
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03-30-2012, 10:20 AM (This post was last modified: 03-30-2012 10:29 PM by Rupe.)
Post: #4
RE: 91 Riviera
Since you say it dies right after it starts (let go of the switch) I suspect the security system is not allowing juice to the ignition or the starter. IOW, probably not the relay you mention but the feed to the relay. Of course you could have a bad ingition switch too. That would require some testing to see if power makes it out as you work the key to the various positions. I'd start there (at the ign sw) and work past the securty system next.

BTW, the reason it starts for a moment is there's a connection between the starter and the ignition to boost ignition voltage during crankin. Once it's done cranking the normal feed is supposed to take over.

I'll see if I can do some research on the security system later today and come up with a better answer. If it's a non factory system you might be better off just removing it.
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03-30-2012, 07:57 PM
Post: #5
RE: 91 Riviera
Thank you i really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions
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03-30-2012, 11:39 PM (This post was last modified: 03-30-2012 11:39 PM by Rupe.)
Post: #6
RE: 91 Riviera
While I am poking around looking for some info I need you to answer a question or two. Is there a security light on the dash and is it lit up or flashing? Do you have an original ignition key with the "black bug" on the side? The "black bug" is a resistor and is what makes the security system recognize it as the proper key from the owner. (if all is working correctly) IOW, a copy of the key WITHOUT the bug will not let you start the car. If the bug is damaged the car will not start either. Of course the only way to check that part easily is to have another original key.
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