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Failing Starter?


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2 replies to this topic

#1 jimbo747

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Posted 11 October 2003 - 05:11 PM

Need some quick help. Wife's '87 GL Wagon, 1.8 SPFI, AT. She just called me at work. Had trouble starting it this afternoon. She said that it just quit, then wouldn't restart. She had to turn the key 2-3 times before it would crank (but the tach needle would jump when she was turning the key). No "click - click - click" sound. After a few turns of the key, it did crank, then start. Said she stopped a few minutes later, and when she went to restart it, the same thing happened again, except she had to turn the key 6 times to get it to crank.

My gut instinct is failing starter. Any other thoughts? Thanks!

#2 Skip

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Posted 11 October 2003 - 05:30 PM

Jimbo this is a fairly common problem
After checking ALL battery cable connections and their terminals.
Usually it's the contacts in the ignition switch not passing enough current to close the starter solenoid.
You can check this by putting a test light on the small spade terminal on top of the starter - turn key to start if light lights dimly - thats the problem

I could be a problem in the neutral start circuit but it's rare. The test light will not light at all if this is the case.

Two simple fixes involve a relay controlled by the ignition switch or the "never fail" button - I have used both
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#3 jimbo747

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Posted 12 October 2003 - 12:23 PM

Thanks for your help, Skip.

Called the wife back and told her to pop the hood and check for corrosion. Sure enough, the positive post and clamp was gunked up (surprising, since I cleaned it about 3 months ago). Anyway, I talked her through the process of removing the cables and cleaning the posts and clamps. That apparently did the trick.




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