Bad Battery vs Bad Starter

Friday: Started my vehicle, but had problems. Sounded like battery had charge problem, but started anyway.
Saturday: Tried to start vehicle. Turned over but battery died. Later tried
charging battery in evening with "smart charger." Before the charger, the whole eletrical system would shut down, but the CHECK ENGINE light would come on when the door was open. (It's a 94 Ford Aerostar - Other groups are dying) Now I have the charger going on the battery it no longer does that.
Sunday Battery dead again, Charge again. Tried to start again. Nothing. So I asked a neighbor to help me and try a jump start. Still nothing coming from starter. So what I did was test the start relay and jumped the terminals. Nothing again. Not even a spark, even though I did put a meter at the opposite terminal and grounded it to see if I got voltage when I turned to the key to the START position.
I did try jumping the terminals at the starter this morning, but got nothing because the batter was dead.
I still need to try to jump at the starter again.
So I am wondering bad battery or bad starter?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
First, put a battery charger on the battery for over night. Get a load tester, and check the battery for resilience after the load. OR, use a multimeter, and watch voltage as you remove the charger. If its dropping, then you have a problem. If not, try to start the van. If the voltage drops below 10.5v, and the starter turns, suspect battery problems. If the voltage drops out and the starter does not turn, replace the starter. This assumes the engine is not seized.
Always load test the battery and check its voltage first when diagnosing an automotive electrical problem. This proves that your power source is good, allowing you to find the problem, rather than wonder how much voltage you lost in the bad circuit.
(settles in to await the inevitable horde of electrical engineers and wannabees that will contradict proper 12v neg ground troubleshooting)
--
Max

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, he is not entitled to his own
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Clean and check your battery terminals. When you try to start, does the dome light stay bright, or does it dim out? (try to start with the door open...)
Sounds like a bad connection to me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Stays bright
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Ouch... Check the solenoid next. Not looking good...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

But the strange thing is that on Friday, it did start but with trouble. Like the battery was low. I will be under there tomorrow. No time today to do that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I would try jumping the starter solenoid terminals with a well charged battery. If it cranks without a problem, then it's in the wiring which supplies current to the solenoid. If it's a wiring problem I would suspect the ignition switch or either end of the wire which leads from the ignition switch to the starter solenoid.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Did you check for voltage at the starter main lug (where the heavy cable connects)?
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving

"GeekBoy" < snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yup, bad starter. No reason to jump the terminals. The drop in voltage was due to the load placed on it via the starter relay. The battery has rected normally.
--
Max

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, he is not entitled to his own
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.