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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had to get my car towed tonight because it wouldn't start. It was fine yesterday but today I got in and got nothing. I went and got a new battery because it read low thinking it was my problem, only to find out $100 later it wasn't. I cleaned the battery ground, checked all the connections and everything is fine. I even tried hitting it with a hammer. When I try to start it I hear a good solid click, but it won't spin. What could it be? Do I need a starter? I'd hate to spend more money on a part I don't need. :banghead:
 

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If it goes click and the lights dim and stay dimmed a few seconds then come back on it is a cable. the voltage hit make an arc in the bad spot and "carbon insulates" momentarily before getting full juice back. But thats not a thunk of a click - its much softer.
If you can feel the starter engage (a good solid feeling thunk) but just won't spin it could be solenoid, or starter motor.
Pull the starter - take it to AutoZone or O'Reilly's - they can test it free right in front of ya - sounds like the solenoid - the disc that makes the electrical connect for to spin the motor or the contacts it hits can go nasty while the solenoid still works the bendix. But you have to be careful here - a very weak stater will bench test but just not have enough ooomph to turn the engine! When bench testing have him demo a new unit to compare how much torque it has - a new unit is very difficult to hold when ya hit the juice it will try to jump out of your hands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok now i'm really confused. I was going to go today to get a starter but I went to try and start it out of curiosity. And it started right up! Now I really don't get what's going on!
 

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GJ....Sounds like a loose connection or bad ground somewhere.....However, if it does it again, I'd pull the starter and get it checked.
 

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You probably have a corroded washer or the contacts are worn in the starter solenoid. If not experianced in this I would just buy a new solenoid for your starter. Not too expensive to replace and cheaper than a whole new rebuilt starter. If it was me I would remove the solenoid and take it apart and see if the contacts are pitted or worn out. I would not recommend doing this if your aren't experianced in this work. When the solenoid pulls in the washer makes contact between the battery contact and the starter motor contact. If it happens again have someone try to start the engine while you try to read 12 volts at the bottom contact of the solenoid where it contacts the starter motor contact. Or you could jump between the battery contact of the solenoid and the S terminal of the solenoid which will energize the starter. Be careful of moving parts! You could disconnect the coil wire to prevent the motor from starting during the test. Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok the battery voltage is good, and when I try to crank it the headlights stay dim as long as I hold the key, so does that condemn the starter?
 

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I would have thought that the only thing that engages the gear is the solenoid, I suspect the solenoid, maybe when the starter gets hot it wont work properly.
 
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