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Old 01-19-2016, 12:27 AM   #1
Herbivore
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Default 05 Ion Won't Start (Click but no crank)

Hey everybody!

So I just bought a 2005 Ion 2 with 140,000 miles on it and a few days later after work when the temp hit about -18 F i went to start it and it just clicked, so I thought I had left my headlights on or something so I had a friend jump it and it still just clicked, after a few minutes of sitting with the cables hooked up it started just fine.
A few days later (today) it did the same clicking but not turning over, so I sat and cycled the key to start, acc, start, acc etc, hoping it would start one of the times but no luck. So i let it sit for about 15 minutes and it started just fine.

Not sure if its related but twice while I was driving it the gas pedal just stopped responding, engine still ran but the accelerator just wasn't registering anything. Both times I just shut the car off, took the key out and let it sit for about 10 minutes and then it was fine for the rest of the drive...

I read a lot about these Ions having some weird electrical gremlins and I was wondering if its more likely to just be a bad starter or one of the weird electrical bugs... I need this car to get to college so it intermittently just not working is kind of hard for me haha

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Old 01-19-2016, 01:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: 05 Ion Won't Start (Click but no crank)

One question to ask that may help determine which way to go. Is the click sound coming from the starter or from one of the relays in the underhood fuse box? Have someone turn the ignition key while you listen under the hood. A loud metallic click may be the starter solenoid while a lighter click sound may be one of the relays in the fuse box. There's a START CONTROL RELAY that powers up when the ignition switch is turned to the START position; this closes a set of electrical contacts to send power to the starter. The engine computer commands this relay. The starter has a large solenoid, basically another relay, that tends to make a loud click if the rest of the starter doesn't roar to life. If the starter solenoid is making the loud metallic click sound, its likely the starter is worn out. Mileage and the number of starts in a day are some factors that determines starter life. In general, starters can fail in as little as 50k miles (frequent short trips) or last well beyond 250k miles (all highway).

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Old 01-19-2016, 12:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: 05 Ion Won't Start (Click but no crank)

Update**

So last night, after it sat for a few hours I went out to try to start it again and it started three times with no problems, this morning tried to start it to go to school and it just clicks again
I called a dealership and had them check the recalls done and they said that the ignition switch had been replaced at a dealership so I'm leaning more towards the starter...

I haven't been able to have anyone try to start it while I looked under the hood as my roommate has been at work but the click does sound quite loud and metallic (it sounds to me like the starter engaging but I'm an idiot) so I'm not sure. It just sucks that a starter repair at a shop is like $475.00 and if that's not the problem I don't have much money as a college student to be shotgunning parts...

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Old 01-19-2016, 01:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: 05 Ion Won't Start (Click but no crank)

It's been said that first impressions are usually right so if you hear a loud metallic click, it's probably the starter solenoid powering up on the starter but the starter intermittently runs. All starters wear out and the two wear items are the large electrical contacts inside the starter solenoid and the two or four brushes rubbing on the starter commutator, transferring battery power to the armature that turns the starter shaft. The small relays in the fuse box make very little clicking sounds and you'd have to stand next to the fuse boxes to hear these relays clicking. Inside fuse boxes with relays can be heard since door are closed to concentrate noise from things making noise inside a car. The brushes or electrical contacts on starters are most likely worn out after 140k miles and 11 years of reliable service. Doing it yourself is the most cost saving repair compared to paying a repair shop because you save on marked up parts and hourly labor rates. A quick online pricing of starters from places like rockauto will show the difference in what you'll be expected to pay from a repair shop against replacing it yourself. All you need is the desire, some basic tools, a garage or a plan on when to do it outdoors with everything at hand, including a friend to help with tools or support when jacking a car up to crawl under the engine.

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