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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has 288,700+ miles and has been running quite well. Had the week of Thanksgiving off so the car sat in the driveway for over a week without starting. Started her up Sunday morning before the football games and no issues, let it warm up and run for a bit. Had today off of work as well and wanted to run some errands.

Went to the auto parts store for oil and filter, no issues. Stopped at the hardware store and picked up a few things, went back in and turned the key and got a click and then nothing. No power at all, no lights, beeps nothing.

After a few curse words, I started the troubleshooting by seeing how old the battery was and I had just put a new one in about 2 yrs ago. I also checked the connections and all seemed good. I then started checking the fuses inside the car behind the change drawer. I simply pushed all of them in and a couple of them seemed to have some "play". I then put my key back in and I briefly had the dash lights and beep but it still wouldn't turn (wouldn't even try). Then nothing again. I opened the fuse cover under the hood (next to the battery) and pushed all the fuses in there as well although nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Again checked the battery connection and went to get back in the car and noticed the light was on. Promising, I crossed my fingers and tried to start it and viola! it started. :)

It was very rough and I dared not let it stall while the computer reset itself. After 10 minutes I took off for home without incident (20-minute ride). I let the car cool down while I did some repair work at home and then did the oil change. Afterwards it started right up again without issue.

It hasn't had a history of any electrical issues. So what am I missing?
 

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start with basics.. fuses, electrical connections, grounds, etc... also check the ignition switch contacts the contacts on the switch can bugger at high miles like yourz... wirebrush the contacts is all you need there...
 

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Test the battery, starting circuit wiring.
Verify that there is at least 10v on the battery post themselves while engine is cranking( not yet started). The voltage drop will be just for a split second depending on how long it takes to start engine running. Flooring the accelerator may give a longer crank time.

Test alternator, charging circuit wiring.
Verify 13.5-14.5 v at battery posts with full electrical load( lights,a/c,blower)

Verify battery connectors have been cleaned( shinny bright inside connectors) and tighten.
Verify neg battery wire to ground intact/tight.
 

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Next time it won;t crank try starting it in neutral and see if the no crank conditions exists there. But what cj1 is suggesting is on point. I would only suggest checking the specific gravity of each battery cell if the battery is not a sealed unit. From there and cj1'S suggestions you are onto the iggy switch and its contacts and then the starter/solenoid. But with no lights or intermittent lights at crank I would be more inclined to think your issue(s) are somewhere between the battery and iggy switch.
 

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Similar Issue in the past I've had was bad battery contacts. Contacts were on snug, but it didn't make a good contact becuse it was slightly stripped. Is any of the battery terminal corroded or slightly loose? A bad NSS would cause a no start condition, but you should have power to everything (i.e. dash and headlights)...unless something is shorted or has heavy resistant somewhere.

Might want to check the battery as well, might be a cell is going bad.
 

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... had a similar problem ... no crank, no start. Thought it was a worn key because the unused backup key worked, but the usual key did not. Eventually it turned out that the NSS needed cleaning, contacts and so forth. There is a 'perimeter' gasket on the NSS that loses its seal after 10 or 20 years and allows moisture into the NSS case ... at least on the '98 version. Had any rain lately? If you have never 'maintained' the NSS it would be worth your time.
... How did you manage to get 288k miles on a car?
 
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... had a similar problem ... no crank, no start. Thought it was a worn key because the unused backup key worked, but the usual key did not. Eventually it turned out that the NSS needed cleaning, contacts and so forth. There is a 'perimeter' gasket on the NSS that loses its seal after 10 or 20 years and allows moisture into the NSS case ... at least on the '98 version. Had any rain lately? If you have never 'maintained' the NSS it would be worth your time.
... How did you manage to get 288k miles on a car?
Wow that is weird. Backup key worked but the usual key didn't? Ended up to be NSS? I guess the car wanted to throw you a curve ball in diag.
 

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... can not explain how that worked exactly. Maybe several little uncertainties add up.
 

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GREMLINS!!!!

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks all. I'll be following your advice next chance I get to troubleshoot. When I checked the battery connection, everything seems to be fine and clean. I'll disconnect them next chance I get and give them a good cleaning just in case.

... How did you manage to get 288k miles on a car?
I'm putting about 40 miles each way to and from work so that adds up quickly. Weekends I usually give her a rest.
 
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