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Q: Sudden starting problem that happens sporadically

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The car has starting problems which happen after I drive the car, let it sit for a short while and then attempt to continue driving. Then it fails to start again. The mechanic had the starter replaced but it didn't help. The problem occurs sporadically and at random. On some ocassions, I would be able to start it, turn it off and they start it up again without any problems, whereas, sometimes it takes my even half an hour to restart it. The mechanic couldn't help because the car starts and runs great when I take the car there. Any ideas?

A: Hi there, thanks for writing in about your ...

Hi there, thanks for writing in about your 1992 Oldsmobile 98. It is possible that the starter relay is failing. This relay is different than the starter solenoid that was likely replaced with the starter. The starter relay has electrical contacts which can burn or corrode with use, can fail with the erratic behavior you describe, and is relatively inexpensive to replace. It is also possible that the starter solenoid (which is part of the starter assembly) has a failure condition when hot. When you predict the problem to happen again or as it occurs more frequently, have a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, come to your home or office to diagnose the starting issue and help you move forward with appropriate repairs.

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