I have had this starting problem for about 2 years. When I turn the
key all I get is a clicking sound and if I turn it enough times the
car will start. This is not every time I start the car, but most
times. Sometimes it is one or two tries and other times it can take
30 or 40 trys. I have changed the starter 3 times with a starter from
NAPA. I have also changed the battery cables, the ignition switch,
but the problem continues.
Any ideas? Or should I just buy another starter from a different
If the dome light dims to nothing, then the starter is not receiving the
current it needs to turn, or is receiving current, but is unable to turn
because it's defective.
corrosion somewhere in the cable to the starter, from the battery, or at
the connections anywhere.
Electricity travels on the SURFACE of wires, so don't just clean the mating
Is there a ground cable from the valve cover to the rad support next to the
hood prop-rod? There should be. There's also another ground cable from the
transmission bellhousing to the body. It runs under the battery.
It appears to be a very dirty engine ground connection. I wire
brushed the wire and the metal piece next to the radiator and so far
it has not missed a start. I have my fingers crossed.
Thanks for the help!
Starting problem is back! I thought it was fixed. It started every
time for the last two weeks. Now it will start on about the tenth or
fifteen turn of the key. I just got back from cleaning/checking both
ends of the battery cable and both ends of the engine ground...so now
what. Go with a forth starter? Or is there something else? Where is
the main relay?
How far? How about the headlights? There ought to be a bit of dimming, but
not to nothing, or close to nothing.
Does the starter turn the engine over? If so, how fast? Normal? Slower than
Does the starter NOT turn the engine over? Do you hear clicks or chattering
Is the starter an aftermarket replacement?
Have you checked the battery's state-of-charge?
I would say dims 40% or so. Dome light and dash lights dim and I hear
a click. After about 10-15 tries the car starts like normal. I just
hear the starter (I assume the solenoid) clicking with each turn of
I purchased all 3 starters from NAPA over the last two years.
It is strange that after cleaning the grounds a couple of weeks ago,
everything worked. Now the same exact problem is back.
Using a jumper wire, short the battery's positive terminal directly to the
solenoid terminal on the starter (that's the one next to the big fat wire
from the battery). Does it work now?
WARNING! MAKE CERTAIN THE TRANNY IS IN PARK OR NEUTRAL!!!
Do you have a voltmeter?
If you have a voltmeter, check the battery's state-of-charge.
Do it this way:
1) engine OFF, turn headlights on for 5 minutes.
2) turn lights off again, then wait another 5 minutes.
Now check across the battery terminals. You should get a
*MINIMUM* of 12.65V.
Ok. When using a jumper the car starts every time.
The battery is showing a 11.30 volts, so it is lower than it is
supposed to be.
So the problem has to be in that smaller ignition wire correct? What
is next. Thank you very much for all of the help.
Eleven point three? Ugh! That battery is dead! Toast; done like dinner;
Or else your alternator is not charging. What voltage do you get between
the terminals with the engine running? I hope it's over 14.
Probably. But with that dead battery you could have a trivial resistance
issue that the dead battery is simply unable to override.
The battery needs to be replaced anyway (assuming the alternator is OK), so
do that first. I recommend an Interstate MT-25.
Well I went to Interstate and purchased an MT-25 for $110. The car
started right up after I installed it. We went to a movie tonight and
when we came out, it took about 15-20 turns of the key to get the car
started. All I heard was a click and the dimming of the dash lights
and the dome light.
When I got home I left the car running with lights and the A/C on and
I put the voltmeter across the battery and it showed 13.5v.
It has to be the small ignition wire correct? Do you know where it
runs to? After it goes into the harness does it come out on under the
dash to the ignition?
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