94 Prizm -Bad Starter? battery?

Problem: Turn ignition to 'Start' (nothing happens -no sound) several times (up to 10) before car starts normally... Has done this more frequently as time goes by [but not always] seemingly
totally at random. Doesn't seem to matter weather engine is cold or hot...
Also: Not long ago, when car was started after not being used for about a week, starter turned engine over -but it didn't fire for some time.
Details: 1994 Geo Prizm LSI (1.6L) Mileage: 127000 All scheduled maintenance performed -except for timing belt replacement at 60000 miles... Battery: 1.5 year old Excide (from Tires Plus) New [rebuilt Napa] alternator at 1.5 years ago as well. (ditto)
Any ideas on the cause appreciated...
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94 Prizm -Bad Starter? battery? Group: alt.autos.gm Date: Mon, Oct 27, 2003, 2:20am From: snipped-for-privacy@suckit.com (Chops) Problem: Turn ignition to 'Start' (nothing happens -no sound) several times (up to 10) before car starts normally... Has done this more frequently as time goes by [but not always] seemingly totally at random. Doesn't seem to matter weather engine is cold or hot... Also: Not long ago, when car was started after not being used for about a week, starter turned engine over -but it didn't fire for some time. Details: 1994 Geo Prizm LSI (1.6L) Mileage: 127000 All scheduled maintenance performed -except for timing belt replacement at 60000 miles... Battery: 1.5 year old Excide (from Tires Plus) New [rebuilt Napa] alternator at 1.5 years ago as well. (ditto) Any ideas on the cause appreciated...
first check your battery....i can give you 50 things why it wount start but you need to check something .....75% of no starts are bad batterys. Then follow the process of starter,alternator, Have you jumpped your car? Jump it if it stays running more than likey you battery has a bad cell in it.......if it stalls when you take off the cables the your alternator and battery are bad........if your alternator and battery check out ok the test your starter ....if it dont start then let me know .......I will then be able to direct you .... Steve C
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Chops wrote in alt.autos.gm

hot...
Ignition switch is my guess. Sounds like the contacts inside are not making good connection, although it might be the starter solenoid, which almost always means getting a new starter. Check the switch first though, using a voltmeter or light. Look for the wire going from the switch to the starter. As far as not starting after sitting for a week, when was your last tune up?

(ditto)
--
Dick #1349
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If you have a moderately dead battery, you will turn the key and hear "CLICK", which is the starter solenoid. That would tell you that the ignition switch was working, but the battery didn't have enough power to run the starter load.
Yours doesn't sound this way.
---Bob Gross---
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No clicks -never.

"CLICK",
switch was

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Chops wrote in alt.autos.gm

What you need is a test light, connect one end to ground and the other end to the hot wire on the solenoid. Of course, this could also be a bad neutral safety switch. Which would do the same thing.

load.
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Last tune up was about 30,000 miles ago...
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This was a common problem on Toyota starters. I am assuming a Prizm Corolla. Remove the starter, and disassemble the switch end of the solenoid. The solenoid contacts will be eroded, and that generally is the problem. Dealer may claim contacts are not available separately, if so, go to a local automotive electrical rebuilder and they will have them. There are a few different styles, so take your old ones with you. For under 10 bucks you should be back on the road. It takes longer to get the starter on and off than it does to change the contacts. Do not under any circumstances purchase an aftermarket rebuilt starter.
http://yotarepair.com/startercontacts.html Notice the design highly resemebles the high torque starters being marketed for high performance Chevy engines.
Lee Richardson
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Thanks for your help... Esp. about the rebuilt starter! ( Tires Plus told me it was a new alternator -they suck! )

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(ditto)
Out of curiosity, which tranny does it have? If it's the auto does it start easier in neutral?
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Been there done that. I've had the same problem with other gm's and even ford rangers. I must have changed a half dozen starters (rebuilt ones) with the same problem repeatedly. I don't remember how I found it , but I grounded the starter to the frame with a jumper cable and it worked. Changed the Ground cable and no more problems. The cable looked good and the terminals looked good but I guess there was a corrosion problem in the cable. Cable checked good with multimeter also but I guess that was to be expected with an intermittent problem.
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Bill wrote:

Typical multimeters are good for measuring connectivity in small signal wiring and low power wiring. However, high amperage grounds are a different animal.
---Bob Gross---
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