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93 Legacy Not Starting, More Electrical Issues


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14 replies to this topic

#1 mentis

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 11:58 AM

Hey guys, another electrical starting problem here. Did some searching and seem to be having the same problem as described in this thread.

In kind of an urgent situation here... car stuck at a gas station and can't get it to start. There are fast repeating clicking sounds coming from the starter/solenoid. Just replaced the starter and it's still doing the same thing. Also checked the battery, it's fine, and cable connections which are also fine. The ground connector on the starter was pretty dirty and loose, but I think I managed to clean it up enough and tighten it to where it should work.

So two questions... first, how can I start the car directly from the battery so that I can at least get it back home before it gets towed? :( And second, what are my options now? Saw mention of a starter relay in that other thread and if this car has one then maybe that's it?

Your help would be greatly appreciated! :o

Edited by mentis, 25 May 2011 - 12:55 AM.


#2 Ricearu

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:30 PM

rapid solenoid click indicates low battery, poor connection or bad solenoid (on starter). start there. even though the battery shows the voltage, it can be toast, providing too low of amperage to crank the engine. try jumping it and see if that starts it. otherwise hit the starter solenoid with something. like a jack handle while cranking.

#3 mentis

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:32 PM

Unfortunately I have done all of those things. As mentioned, I have replaced the starter and I also used a portable jumper to make sure battery had enough juice. Still no go :(.

#4 gbianchi

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 01:17 PM

try this run a jumper wire from the spade connector on the starter to the pos/big cable on the starter, this should get it to turn over and if the key is in on should start, if its a man trans you'll need the clutch in, if its a man trans push start it? thats all I have to help at this time, good luck..........G

#5 mentis

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 01:21 PM

Thanks, I'll give that a shot. Sadly I'm not in a place where I can push-start it, but hopefully jumping the starter will do the trick.

#6 Cougar

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 04:17 PM

A bad cable to the starter is about the only thing left that hasn't been changed out. They can get corrosion inside, on the wires, at the battery.

#7 mentis

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 08:27 PM

Okay, so here's some new developments. While I thought the battery had enough juice, based on having connected a portable jumper and getting the same result, it turns out that the jumper was actually dead (not mine, btw). So the battery was in fact rather low. On top of that, water level inside battery was also very low.

So I tried jumping the car using another car, and got it to start up only to have it sputter and die moments later. Tried again, and this time checked voltages. Everything was fine obviously while connected to the other car, but voltage dropped rapidly when disconnected. Took the alternator to have it tested, and sure enough it was bad. I had just put this in a few months ago!

Since battery was so low on water however, it's probably bad too. Could the battery have caused two alternators to go bad? Charging the battery with replenished water tonight and will so if it holds a charge. If not then a new battery should hopefully do the trick.

It has been a very long day... OTL

#8 Cougar

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 09:34 PM

Have the battery tested to check the condition of it. The battery may have a shorted cell and that would explain the troubles you are having with the battery and the alternators. I recommend you do not use that battery until it has been checked out, especially if you install another alternator.

#9 mentis

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:54 AM

Thanks Cougar, I followed your advice and finally have some good news! Tested that battery after getting it charged and it tested good. Got that new alternator in, and put the battery back in as well. Car started up fine and voltage holds steady around 14.

So finally was able to get that car home. So relieved! :banana:

Since this is the second time my alt's gone bad I am still aware that there may be an underlying cause which will make this happen again. Could the fact that the battery was low on water have caused two alts to go bad? Any other suggestions?

#10 Ricearu

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 09:47 AM

cheap Mexico or Filipino, or worse PRISON rebuilt alternators with cheap Chinese parts. I have to put at least 1 per year on the GL and its from Oreilly. imagine anything through "best parts inc" is probably worse

#11 mentis

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 11:01 AM

Hmmm, that's true... the sticker did say Mexico on it and it is from O'Reilly. At least I have a lifetime warranty on it. Then again, the first alt was OEM I think. Not sure if that makes a difference.

Edited by mentis, 25 May 2011 - 11:16 AM.


#12 Ricearu

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 11:30 AM

i go by the general rule that if it says lifetime warranty, it will need to be replaced periodically for the lifetime of the vehicle. :lol::lol::lol:

#13 mentis

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 11:33 AM

Ha ha... for sure! ^_^

#14 Cougar

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 06:42 PM

The water in the battery can boil if the charging voltage goes beyond 15 volts or one of the cells short out. Which will make a battery about a 10 volt battery instead of 12 volt. The regulator will then kick up the charging rate since it thinks the battery has a low charge on it and that causes real trouble. The old alternator may have had some high AC ripple voltage due to faulty diodes and that caused the water to boil out of the battery. It sounds like you have things under control now. If you have a voltmeter in the dash make sure the voltage doesn't exceed 15 volts and doesn't go below 12 volts for an extended time. The battery will be happy with that.

#15 mentis

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:13 PM

Yeah, I'm leaning towards the low water level making the batter act up and frying the alternator... as you said. Hopefully this will be the end of my troubles for a while. Though I should look into getting a new battery sooner rather than later.




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