Just bought a ten year old 999cc fiat uno for a girlfriend and we have
found that the starter motor will not respond intermittentaly. Have
checked the ignition switch wiring, the heavy wires from the battery,
battery earth to engine and the solenoid wire, and all seems to be
tight and in order. Symptons are that intermittently the starter will
do nothing, dash lights do not dim, no click heard from the engine
compartment (solenoid trying), when you turn the ignition key to start
the car. Question really is, is this a repairable starter motor or is
it an exchange jobby. If exchange, any tips on where I can get a cheap
one or if its repairble any tips on that please.
Had this a few time, both Mk 1 and Mk 2, Unos. Can be the blade to the
solonoid not making good contact. Other possibility a faulty ignition switch
not making contact on the energise starter (spring loaded) contact position.
You need a bulb with a couple of wires to see what is happening, is power
getting to the solenoid blade at the starter when it happens. In one
instance I had to run a wire, two core with fuse, through the bulkhead to a
switch on a bracket on the dash, one wire to battery, one to a blade on the
solenoid. To start throw switch, momenteralily. This was until they got the
right replacement ignition switch, and I got round to the pain in the butt
job replacing the old one. Which of course means one key for the locks, one
for the ignition, and possibly yet another one for the filler cap. The
starter solonoid lump comes apart (with difficulty) not much help though,
most you can do is clean the contacts, inspect the brushes, oil the back
bearing. The big front sleeeve bearing you can add a drop of engine oil
without dismantling. If removing starter, disconnect battery first, it's
permanently live straight off the battery.
Solenoid has two windings one to start the pull in, and the second
to boost it when the main start contacts close. There may be a dry
joint to one of the windings. Also the push on connector may
oxidise, rocking the push on by hand should get you home.
Another problem area is wire from battery goes downwards, gets
wet, water runs down wire into rubber boot and lug (no drip
loop), wicks into the lugs crimp, much green corrosion. Can
also happen to the main alternator feed. Fiat ignition switches
seem to fail regularly, got through several, pain in the butt to
replace. Fiat starters come apart ok if you are into car electrics,
you will need a fairly hefty soldering iron to undo the solenoid
windings if you want to take it apart, but I've never met a winding
problem in the solenoid part, and never had to replace the carbon
brushes Starter can be tested on the bench. Disconnect battery
before working on starter or alternator, both have direct battery
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