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2011 Buick LaCrosse CXS intermittently won't start

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New User

Dec 8, 2017, 12:40 PM

Post #1 of 8 (1141 views)
  post locked   2011 Buick LaCrosse CXS intermittently won't start  

Push the button to start, and all the displays come up, green light on ignition button is on, can hear a single click (not sure where from) but starter does nothing. Can try multiple times with same result. After turning off and letting sit for a random amount of time (sometimes a couple of minutes, once overnight) it starts like nothing is wrong.

Towed it to a local shop (not dealer), and when they tried it started. They were able to reproduce the problem once while they had it. They say nothing is wrong with the battery, the starter, or the alternator. When I picked the car up it wouldn't start. I tried twice, waited two minutes, then it started.

Anything else I can easily check without taking it to the dealer?


Double J
Veteran / Moderator
Double J profile image

Dec 8, 2017, 2:45 PM

Post #2 of 8 (1124 views)
  post locked   Re: 2011 Buick LaCrosse CXS intermittently won't start  

Intermittent concerns are the hardest to pinpoint .
Obviously it would need to be diagnosed during the failure/concern.

I checked for Service Bulletins and did find one that MAY apply.
It's a long shot, give it a read......
--------------------------------------------------------------------------Subject: Diagnostic Information on No Remote Detected or No Fob Detected or No Fobs Detected Message on DIC / Electrical Interference with a Cell Phone, MP3 Player or Other 12 Volt Charger Plugged In
Models: 2010-2011 Buick LaCrosse 2004-2009 Cadillac XLR 2005-2011 Cadillac STS 2010-2011 Cadillac SRX 2005-2011 Chevrolet Corvette

Some customers may comment about a temporary no start condition with a "No Remote Detected" or “No Fobs Detected” or No Fob Detected” message on the DIC.

Electrical Interference Concern
Certain brands of cell phone chargers may produce electromagnetic interference (EMI) or radio frequency interference (RFI) that can disrupt the electrical systems within the vehicle. This interference may cause a no start condition with a "No Remote Detected" message on the DIC. The interference created by the use of these chargers may be intermittent and random. The concern may be present with or without the phone connected to the charger.
Disconnect the cell phone charger from the vehicle and evaluate the customer concern. If the concern is corrected, advise the customer that OEM cell phone chargers, provided by the cell phone manufacturer, typically have additional filtering to eliminate this type of interference. Avoid the use of low quality charging devices.
Notice: This type of interference may be encountered with charging devices for cell phones, MP3 players, GPS units, DVD Players, etc. The device does not need to be plugged into the charger to create this interference, only the charger need be plugged into the 12 volt power point of the vehicle. Moving the key fob away from the charger as far as possible may correct the condition.
Important: Placing the transmitter in the transmitter pocket (found in the console storage area or I/P storage compartment on Corvette/XLR) will allow the vehicle to start even under interference conditions.

New User

Dec 8, 2017, 2:51 PM

Post #3 of 8 (1117 views)
  post locked   Re: 2011 Buick LaCrosse CXS intermittently won't start  

Thanks, but that doesn't apply to me. First off, there is nothing plugged into the lighter nor the AC outlet. Secondly, I do not get a 'no fob' message, as everything displays normally (just not running).

Thanks for looking!

Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Dec 8, 2017, 3:14 PM

Post #4 of 8 (1104 views)
  post locked   Re: 2011 Buick LaCrosse CXS intermittently won't start  

Which engine?

I would do a full system scan to see if there are any trouble codes stored in various modules. You'll need an enhanced scan tool for this. That would be a starting point. The next thing I would do is isolate which side of the starting circuit the problem is by measuring voltages at the starter relay to see if it is being activated by the PCM while the issue is happening. I would do that while monitoring the PCM's data stream to see if it is commanding the starter relay, receiving a start signal and transmission range is correct . That would be a way to further isolate where the problem may be.

Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Dec 8, 2017, 3:18 PM)

New User

Dec 9, 2017, 9:28 AM

Post #5 of 8 (1033 views)
  post locked   Re: 2011 Buick LaCrosse CXS intermittently won't start  

3.6L. Thanks for the detailed troubleshooting, but that seems like a dealer procedure. I was looking more for something like clean/reseat a fuse or relay - before I resort to the time and expense of a dealer.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Dec 9, 2017, 10:22 AM

Post #6 of 8 (1031 views)
  post locked   Re: 2011 Buick LaCrosse CXS intermittently won't start  

Waiting may cost you a freaking fortune - think about that, T

New User

Dec 16, 2017, 9:35 AM

Post #7 of 8 (869 views)
  post locked   Re: 2011 Buick LaCrosse CXS intermittently won't start  

Turns out it was the starter. It failed again so I took it to the dealer, and $725 later it's fixed. The first shop just didn't want to take the chance that it was something else and having me come back mad...

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Dec 16, 2017, 9:47 AM

Post #8 of 8 (865 views)
  post locked   Re: 2011 Buick LaCrosse CXS intermittently won't start  

No shop wants to misdiagnose anything. That's why they need to be able to duplicate the problem in their shop. Can't fix what isn't broken at the time.

I will close this now as solved.


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