starter

Has anyone who owns a first generation Acura TL experienced starter problems?
I purchased mine ('98) used in late December and it only has 54,000 miles on
it, but the last few weeks, I've noticed the starter hesitates occasionally. Had a mechanic check it out and he said it is drawing too many amps - sometimes - not consistently (from 8-10). Could this be weather related and should I be concerned since the problem isn't chronic.
Thanks, Sue
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Does it just start turning slowly? Any clicking sounds without actually turning the car over?
It might be a bad contact on the wire going from the starter to the battery. Mechanics will immediately want to replace the starter to fix your problem. Quite often the starter they removed is still good. While replacing the starter, they also clean the wires -- often cleaning (using some 220 sandpaper) the wires fixed the problem. They don't care, because you are paying for the starter anyway and you're happy because the car is running again.
If you are comfortable with tools or know someone that is, I'd clean both ends of the cable (battery and starter) and see if it goes away. This could very well fix your problem.
If it persists, it could leave you stranded one day (most likely when it is colder outside). If so, it might be a good idea to replace the starter before that happens.
Remco
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starter contacts

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high current drain points to almost anything except the starter. Starter problems more often show up as low current drain.
If the wiring has a high resistance connection or the battery is weak, the starter will turn slowly or not at all. In either case, the starter will draw more current than it will if the cranking speed is normal. If the wiring cleanup Remco recommends doesn't do the job, the battery falls under suspicion next - although the intermittent nature sounds more like the wiring. The starter is about last on my list of suspects.
Mike
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High resistance would mean LESS current drawn;Basic Ohms Law.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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One doesn't usually measure the starter's current. It's more than 200 Amps.
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DC motors, like the starter, control their current draw by back-EMF created by rotation. A freely spinning starter (not engaging the engine, like a bench test) draws very little current - as little as ten amps. As the load increases and the motor turns more slowly, the current rises rapidly. The highest current is measured at stall, when the motor becomes a resistor created by the windings of the motor. At that point it obeys ohm's law and dissipates every watt pumped into it. If the voltage to the starter is not enough to crank the engine, the starter will draw stall current.
AC motors do a similar thing where the phase lag through the motor increases as the motor becomes overloaded for the available voltage. The current rises, but since the "slip angle" is increasing the curent does little more than heat the motor. Air conditioners are frequent victims of that sort of failure when a phase of the electric distribution fails or during brownouts.
Mike
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I should have clarified - that only applies to motors with a load that does not increase with increased speed. A fan motor, for example, will draw less current at lower voltages because the fan has much more drag at higher speeds. A window motor, starter motor, injector fuel pump or seat adjustment motor will draw *more* current at lower voltages because the rotation speed is reduced - the same as if the mechanical load were increased.
None of those examples - even the fan - seem to obey ohm's law because none of them are linear. In all cases the real issue is the difference between applied voltage and the back-EMF of the motor spinning. When you divide the difference by the motor resistance you get the motor current - which is ohm's law again.
Mike
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