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Old 09-08-2015, 12:05 AM   #1
Rochester
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1995 SL1
Default Time to replace my starter?

Hi guys,

So for the last few days, I've had a little bit of trouble starting my Saturn. Sometimes I'll turn the key and it starts just fine, but other times it sounds like the starter isn't working, or at least isn't turning the engine. I can hear something that sounds like an electric motor (fuel pump maybe?) and sometimes, but not always, some clicking. Curiously, I've discovered that I can make the car start by turning the key over (edge for edge) and trying again, though I can't imagine how this possibly helps, unless returning the switch to the "off" position and/or waiting for a few seconds is helping somehow.

The battery and electrical system seem to be ok; I have no problems after I get the car started, and all the warning lights go out. So far as I know, the starter is the original (261K) and is certainly the same one as when I got the car (about 140K miles ago). Is there anything else that I should check before I go out and get a starter? I replaced a starter on a former girl-friend's Saturn one time, so I'm confident I can do it again if I have to.

Thanks

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Old 09-08-2015, 12:26 AM   #2
jhonky
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1998 SL2
Default Re: Time to replace my starter?

Might as well do the alternator too. Get both from db electrical. Like 130 shipped

...
98 SL2
5th gear swap- .643 gear
245,000 miles
215/45 17"
I burn about a quart about every 1500 miles.

If it ain't broke, fix it some more.

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Old 09-08-2015, 04:39 AM   #3
fdryer
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Time to replace my starter?

Nothing lasts forever and 261k miles is almost forever on the original starter. Its been reliable and is worn out. You have choices; try disassembling it and see what's worn (replacing parts) to rebuild it or replace it altogether. To verify the starter is worn out; disconnect battery negative and the small purple wire on the starter solenoid. Reconnect battery negative, measure the purple wire for 12 volts when someone turns the ignition key to the START position; 12 volts should be on this wire only when the ignition switch is turned to the START position. Seeing 12v means the starter is worn out.

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Old 09-08-2015, 07:27 AM   #4
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Time to replace my starter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhonky View Post
Might as well do the alternator too. Get both from db electrical. Like 130 shipped
Good advice^^^ http://www.dbelectrical.com/

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Old 09-08-2015, 07:45 AM   #5
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Time to replace my starter?

On the idea of a disassembly and rebuild. The cost of the parts required and your time value will usually be about the same as buying a new starter from DB Electric or a similar outlet. This assumes you have an armature lathe to turn the commutator. Be sure to check Amazon and eBay for these. A well used starter will need more than just brushes and a set of just brushes will be in the $7.50/set price range in most cases, if you can find them. The starter is a Valeo D6RA and you can search on that for parts.

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Old 09-12-2015, 07:49 PM   #6
Rochester
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1995 SL1
Default Re: Time to replace my starter?

Did it.

The top bolt was a little difficult, being invisible from beneath the car, but got it out. As I turned the old starter over in my hands, I noticed the little gear that turns the wheel freely moved up and down between the engage and disengage positions. The new one didn't. It works much better now, no trouble starting it at all!

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Old 09-14-2015, 11:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Time to replace my starter?

> " freely moved up and down "
'Bendix' drive shot.

If difficulty re-appears consider renewing the Ignition Switch.

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Old 09-16-2015, 11:29 PM   #8
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1998 SL2
Default Re: Time to replace my starter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
I am on my 3rd starter, but the original alternator. 212k miles is probably a lot on the alternator, huh?

...
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2005 Volvo S40 T5 AWD - 62k
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:37 PM   #9
OldNuc
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Time to replace my starter?

The brushes wear out and the output slowly sinks into the sunset taking the battery with it. Time to replace it. DB sells alternators as well.

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