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Old 09-04-2007, 12:42 PM   #1
lg540
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Default hoping to verify it's my starter that's bad

Hello, My car is a 1996 SL, manual trans with 217k miles. I just got my car on the road again after chasing a problem with EGR/MAp sensor codes that turned out to be electrical - a bad wire between the PCM and fuse box.

I was out driving on the weekend and the car was running fine. then after one stop the car wouldn't start. It had been starting fine, even just minutes before. Of course first thought was battery, alternator but there was power. Starter just clicks away.

Manaul tranny YEAH!!!

The car did pop start.

Seems like a no brainer but after throwing parts at my last problem I'm just looking for a sanity check before I go get a new starter (which has been replaced one in the 217k miles)

Thanks Saturn Fans is the best!

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Old 09-04-2007, 01:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: hoping to verify it's my starter that's bad

I hate you people with manuals.. So easy to pop the clutch when the starter's dead!? Ok, yeah I'm jealous.....

Anyway, have a look to be sure the wirings ok by the starter then be sure the battery's charged and the cables are good and clean, free of corrosion in and under the cable clamps hidden from the heavy insulation before condemning the starter. Remove the cables for examination if necessary. If the battery's older than four years it may be time for replacement, sooner according to the HOT state of Arizona () that likes to cook batteries in the desert sun. Try the starter again after a battery charge but if in doubt take the starter to your favorite store for testing for a final analysis. We all get dizzy sooner or later.

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Old 09-04-2007, 01:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: hoping to verify it's my starter that's bad

Sounds like the starter solinoid is shot.

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Old 09-04-2007, 01:25 PM   #4
lg540
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Default Re: hoping to verify it's my starter that's bad

I was so against a manual tranny when we weref irst choosing a new car since I lived in LA at the time...

Yeah, my battery is about 4 years old. While it seems like the starter solenoid, maybe I'm being fooled into thinking that. Maybe there is enough battery power to turn on the accessories but not enough to start the car.

Definetly worth checking the battery and connections before going for the starter.

THX

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Old 09-04-2007, 01:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: hoping to verify it's my starter that's bad

Try jump starting it. If that fails, then it's probably not your battery.

I had the same problem. The battery was supplying enough power to run everything, as well as enough to click the solenoid. But not enough to turn the starter even a tiny bit. The actual problem was a negative battery terminal that was corroded through on the inside. I found out when I went to remove the battery and the whole terminal came off with the bolts that screws into it.

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Old 09-04-2007, 02:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: hoping to verify it's my starter that's bad

If I understand right, a clicking starter can pretty much only mean a bad solenoid. Does it start fine when the it's cool? In my wife's car, the brushes in the solenoid expand when it gets hot, and then they seize and it clicks once or twice before starting.

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Old 09-04-2007, 02:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: hoping to verify it's my starter that's bad

Well, mine was just clicking (nothing more) and then I replaced the battery, and haven't had a problem with my starter since. It doesn't take much power to make it click, but it does take a lot to make it crank the engine over.

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Old 09-06-2007, 09:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: hoping to verify it's my starter that's bad

I was leaning towards battery. I read that that if it clicks only once, it's likely the solenoid. If it keeps clicking, it's likely the battery. But I tried jumping it and it still just kept clicking.

It was warm when this first happened but of course is cool now - no change.

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Old 09-06-2007, 10:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: hoping to verify it's my starter that's bad

Are the cables in good clean condition on both ends? It can be tricky if the battery connections aren't just right with no visible signs of corrosion with a failure to start using booster cables. If they are you have no choice but to remove the starter and take it to a place for testing. You'll know if its the starter after testing.

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Old 09-06-2007, 03:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: hoping to verify it's my starter that's bad

I've had two starters go bad just like you describe, they only click when the engine is hot. Does the car start once it's cooled down? How about if you reach under the car and tap the starter with a hammer then try starting it? I've got a theory that the bearings in the starter like to bind when they are hot once they get a few thousand miles on them. Have the battery tested first, really it's more likely to fail and it's easier to test.

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