Re: Intermittent Starter Problem

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Old 18 Aug 2003, 07:33 pm   #1 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intermittent Starter Problem

An update.

The problem is now occurring much more frequently so hopefully I will have a
fix shortly. Tapping the starter with a hammer used to get me about 20
seconds worth of 'good start time' - meaning I could hit the starter, close
the hood, get in the car, turn the key and it would start. Now I'm having
to hold the key on 'start' while someone hits the starter to get it going.
So this is progress (sort of I guess).

Note: only when the engine is hot do I have to do this. When the engine is
cold it starts just fine

It goes back to the shop tomorrow.

"A" <> wrote in message
news:GnC_a.717169$ ca...
> My 1989 Camry is experiencing an intermittent starter problem. Every so
> often I will turn the key to start - all dash lights go on like they

> do & I hear a 'click' under the hood (don't know exactly where it is

> from as I'm in the car at that time). I will honk the horn (to sort-of

> the battery condition) - & it honks fine.
> I then turn the key 9-12 times and she will suddenly start fine. After

> she will start just fine until again some time later - maybe a day, maybe

> week, then 'click'.
> Things checked/fixed to date:
> * The starter, alternator and battery have been checked at a shop (AVR &
> voltage tests) & all are ok.
> * All terminals (battery, starter, grounds at tranny & block) have been
> cleaned & checked - twice!.
> * The starter had new contacts put in it - that made the problem go away

> 3 weeks, then it started to come back.
> * The starter had a new plunger (the solenoid I think) put in, then the
> problem seemed to resurface only after the engine was very hot - like

> a highway drive.
> * The starter was replaced with a rebuilt one - yesterday - now the

> reappears less often.... but it is still there
> After the last replacement of the starter with the rebuilt one - the shop
> did 40-50 test starts - and every one worked fine. Their meters showed
> normal current draw etc. They were about to close the hood but tried

> one more test' - and - the problem re-appeared. So they went over all the
> connections yet again & even added an additional new ground wire between
> the battery and the block.
> Last night I was at another garage having the battery tested 'just in

> (the battery again tested fine) and while the test leads were connected to
> the battery - the problem re-appeared - only this time I could not get it
> going with the 9-12 turns of the key. Instead, the mechanic tapped the
> starter (very lightly mind you) and she started. I turned it off - and

> I tried to start it again - again he had to tap the starter. He said the
> starter must have a bad winding.
> So I figure I'll do more testing back at home. I tried numerous starts

> every time it started fine. I even tried turning the lights on to lower

> battery voltage - no problem - she started fine. I fear the root cause of
> the problem has not been found.
> I do have a "Homer Simpson' solution though. I 'm thinking of tying a
> string under the dash, run it through the firewall, connect it to a hammer
> on a pivot so that I can pull the string to hit the starter - saves

> out of the car you know!!
> I saw previous posts talking about possible solutions. A couple that
> interested me were mention of:
> * A corroded wire (or connection) of the power wire to the starter (or the
> starter solenoid) thus leading to intermittent voltage drop that may be
> temporarily fixed by tapping the starter to 'excite the wires' (If I
> understood that post correctly)
> * Installation of a second relay between (I think) the start switch and

> starter
> Any other suggestions are appreciated.
> Just in case this is something related.....Something I think I have been
> hearing lately is some infrequent 'relay clicking' inside the car when I'm
> driving. I'm not sure if I'm imagining this - or - if it is really there.

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