Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 7:33 pm Post subject: Starter bad?
Hopped in the car to go for dinner, turned the key, and nothing. I heard the fuel pump come on, and something trying to engage, but nothing from the starter. Turned it off, tried again, nothing. My car had a remote start that I removed, and it sometimes activates if I disconnect the negative terminal then reconnect it. I tried this, and same thing. Nothing from the starter, just other noises. Went out in my other car, and tried again when I got home. Impala fired right up.
It's not the ignition, because the battery trick didn't start the car up. And everything on the dash lit up and windows went up and down at normal speed, so it wasn't the battery. Just a glitch in the matrix perhaps? I'm due to take the car in for an oil change, so can a decent shop check the starter out without removing it? Haynes manual shows that it's not too difficult to replace the starter and/or solenoid.
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When my battery cables were dirty and not tightened enough, I would intermittently get nothing or a click when I turned the key to start...sometimes it would click a bunch of times very rapidly and the car wouldn't do anything until I waited 20-30 minutes or disconnected and reconnected the battery cables. I went through probably two or three batteries and several jump starts before I figured out the issue.
Try cleaning the clamps and terminals, then tightening the positive to 11 lb ft and the negative to 71 lb in if you have a torque wrench handy or can borrow one. Rather than simply have the bolt and clamp (for lack of a better word on my part on the side terminal battery) touch the battery terminals, it basically needs to be tight enough so the clamp sinks into the lead in the terminal a little bit. I never tightened them enough for fear of stripping the soft lead of the battery terminal with the steel bolts on the cables, which is where the torque wrench comes in handy. Cleaning the terminals and cables on the starter, fuse block, the engine and chassis grounds probably wouldn't be a bad idea either.
Of course if you get the battery tested and it says otherwise, all bets are off. It may or may not help, but that has been my experience.
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electrical issues are a pain. cause it will only happen when your the only one around. next time hit the starter with a hammer, if it turns over when you try the key it could be your problem. i would go for 2 or 3 times before i would say its a bad starter.
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