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Old 01-18-2009, 10:19 AM   #1
fujioko is on a distinguished road
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ann Arbor Mi
Posts: 170

1996 SW1
Default Starter is unhappy with the cold

Just the other day I was bragging on how my Autozone starter in my 96SW1 has lasted over 120,000 miles.

Anyway the weather has been very cold here in Michigan… and wouldn’t you know it the starter has been acting up.

To begin with, the battery is brand new and fully charged.

Here is the scenario… jump in the car, rotate the key to start… “CLICK” . Try again “CLICK”…

If the cold is effecting the starter, Specifically the solenoid, then it is reasonable to expect the starter to work when it is warm. So…….

I tried this.

Rotate the key to start “CLICK”.. then continue hold the key in that position. Seemingly nothing is happing, however to the contrary the solenoid is energized and producing heat.

I hold the key in the start position for 30 seconds. Then 10 seconds off… Then repeat the 30 second hold. I do this several times.

I speculate the solenoid is getting warmer. Eventually the heat penetrates whatever is getting stuck.

Within four minuets I have generated enough heat in the solenoid and the magical sound of a completed circuit. RrrrrrrrRrrrrrrrRrrrrrrrRrrrrrr Vrooommmm!

At this point I should say I realize a hammer against the solenoid will have the same effect…. I ain’t getting under the car with all this snow.

Once the car is running and everything warms up then the starter works as expected.

Ahhh.. so the starter is pretty much %$#@^&.

The purpose to this post is to offer a possible solution if your stuck somewhere. If your absolutely positive the battery is fully charged then this might get you out of a bad situation. HOWEVER If your battery is low then you will damage the starter. I=E/R

Anyway I have a 2nd Saturn for situations like this.

96 SW1 5spd & trailer hitch 309000 miles <--rebuilt!
79 Triumph Spitfire <--British car
94 Mazda Miata 45MPG
91 Mazda Miata 3 cyl. 51MPG


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