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Old 10-26-2015, 04:47 PM   #1
ed102r
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Question 98 Saturn SL2 - Starter bad? Video

youtu.be/myd6Dhs8OvA

Hi, would anyone know if my car's starter is bad based on the sound?

Thank you much!
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Old 10-26-2015, 04:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: 98 Saturn SL2 - Starter bad? Video

Usually, if your starter is on its last legs, it will not make a sound at all. The lights will work, radio will work, but you get nothing when you turn the key. When in the early stages of starter failure, it is more likely to happen when the engine is warm. If the starter is original, just replace it. It is not as easy as some like to make it out to be.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:40 PM   #3
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Dizzy Re: 98 Saturn SL2 - Starter bad? Video

youtu.be/ILoKWMAqboY


Better video. I can get it t to start sometimes! But not comfortable driving it to work, it may leave me stranded. Sounds like a spinning metal fan slapping something.
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Old 10-27-2015, 01:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: 98 Saturn SL2 - Starter bad? Video

How many miles on the car?
Have you verified electrical connections at battery and starter are clean and tight?

If you have a ton of miles on it, go to dbelectrical.com and get their starter delivered for under $50. within 2 days.

http://www.dbelectrical.com/c-1397-19-liter.aspx

EDIT: $40.51 with free 2-day shipping.

Last edited by toggenburg; 10-27-2015 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 10-27-2015, 01:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: 98 Saturn SL2 - Starter bad? Video

It sounds a little like the starter gear isn't engaging the flywheel (ring gear).
This will not get progressively better.
Best to go ahead and order a starter.
http://www.dbelectrical.com/p-1009-n...02-satrun.aspx

Change it before you do more damage
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Old 10-27-2015, 01:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: 98 Saturn SL2 - Starter bad? Video

Thank you for the suggestions! I'll check both connections first. And I'll order a starter if the connections look OK.
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Old 10-27-2015, 04:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: 98 Saturn SL2 - Starter bad? Video

Are you comfortable under the car to measure voltage on a wire? Presuming the battery isn't dead and battery cables are clean and connected without any corrosion, including chassis/engine block grounds, the starter is the last to test for directly or indirectly. Ensuring the battery is capable of putting out welding current (starters draw the most current from a battery) and both battery cables aren't corroded/loosely connected leaves a worn out starter (if its original). Without mentioning mileage or whether this starter is original or not, no one can tell you its a failing starter unless you can eliminate several things to point to the starter.

The following is the indirect method to test for a faulty starter. Disconnecting the small purple wire from the starter will allow you to test the starting circuit and eliminate it from a worn out starter. This presumes the battery and cables are not the problem. Leaving this wire disconnected; use either a simple test light or multimeter to measure this wire for 12v only when the ignition switch is held in the START position. If you see a test light turn on or measure 12 volts on this wire, the starting circuit is fine and the starter is worn out. This START wire applies power to the starter solenoid that closes a set of large electrical contacts inside the relay to allow battery power to operate the starter motor. It doesn't matter if the starter solenoid, brushes or anything failed unless you are capable of repairing/rebuilding a starter - replace it.

The direct method for testing a faulty starter sometimes works; banging the side of the starter a few times with a piece of 2x4 lumber can 'realign' some parts to allow another start or more. If it works the starter is worn out. Some swear this lets them use the starter until it doesn't work anymore, delaying the inevitable repair. Its wiser to take the hint that its time to replace it before being stranded after pounding on a starter - irreversible damage can result if hammered often enough as they aren't made to be hammered. This is just an old school method to verify a starter is failing.
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: 98 Saturn SL2 - Starter bad? Video

Sometimes the Ignition Switches deteriorate.
One symptom set is that the starter is :
(1) progressively 'weaker' in sequential starts.
(2) only responsive to "key in START" position Some of the time; and the
chances that the starter will respond to the key movement ... decreases
progressively over time.
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