My 1990 Buick Century (V-6, 3.3) has been cranking sluggishly lately.
Most recently it got worse: It turns over a couple of times and stops.
It's random -- sometimes it starts, sometimes it doesn't. But even when
it starts, the cranking is slower than it used to be. Suspected the
battery and poor battery-terminal connections at first. Tried 3
different batteries (one brand new), cleaned the terminals -- same
problem. My next suspect is the starter -- terminal connections or the
motor itself. Haven't had much experience with starters -- any piece of
advice before I crawl under the car?
I would take the starter out and then connect it directly to the battery
(battery disconnected from the car) with jumper cables and with your foot
(or a helpers foot) securely on it, make the connections. The motor should
snap when activated and want to come out from under your foot. If it doesn't
have that kind of torque then it's probably bad. While your at it I would
replace the battery cables as well. Also look for any shims that are between
the starter and the engine block where bolted on. If there are any you'll
want to reuse them.
I've noticed Chevys, in particular, have very skimpy grounds.
To get maximum current to starter, make sure ground cable goes
directly to block, not to some painted bracket. Add a jumper cable from
frame rail to block. A Ford starter cable has lugs on both ends, and is
my recommendation for a no bull ground.
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