Ok, here were I live it has been -4 at night and -15 in the mornings, I have
a problem with the starter on my van its a 2000 montana, when I go out first
thing to start all it will do is click (like the solenoid isnt kicking in)
but if I click it awhile the starter will turn right over, then once the
engine is warm it starts fine. could this problem be related to the
Sure could. The click you are hearing is the solenoid "kicking in", or more
properly, picking. You could have a weak battery that cannot provide
currently enough for starting a stiff, cold motor. The connections on your
starter may be slightly corroded as well, which makes for a high resistance
connection that would act this way. Lastly, the starter itself may be the
culprit. The car should start easily at those temperatures, so I would look
at these, starting with the battery.
I've checked the connections, they are clean and tight, the battery cant be
the culprit, it would turn over and start if I clicked it for awhile
eventually it would spin over fine and start, now it doesnt do anything but
you are right it should start smoothly even at this temperature, my 93 jeep
starts like its still summer
The starter can be the culprit. There exist a plethora of problems---well,
a plethora, but several ---which will cause a starter to be intermittent.
Starter "drag" is one. It can be caused by worn bushings among other
I had a dealership replace the entire charging system once because of a
problem. Didnt help. My father finally took off the starter and replaced
bushings. End of problem.
Not a mechanic; just an old retired electrical guy - but nevertheless
will throw in my two cents worth, if I may ?
The OP suggests that clicking it several times *may* allow it to start,
so given that the battery will be an iota worse off after each click,
I suspect that the battery isn't his problem.
I'm leaning waaaaay more in favor of the solenoid being his problem, and
to easily be sure of it, I'd propose this easy and simple test.
For the next few cool mornings turn on the interior lamp or lamps, stare
at them while attempting to crank the engine.
If there is no to very very little dimming of the overhead lamp while
"clicking", then the starter solenoid is bad - there are contacts in it
which will be corroded.
If the overhead lamps dims to almost out while clicking, then the
battery itself or the battery connections are the problem.
Of course a more sophisticated test would be to simply hook a
meter across the battery and watch it. Again, if the voltage
drops waaaay down then the battery or connections. If the meter
barely budges, the the solenoid contacts.
Yeppers, go ahead and change it. Even if you can get a few more starts
out of it, do it now - at your convenience.
Don't leave it up to the car's convenience, which might be terribly
inconvenient and expensive for you.
It sounds to me (an old shade tree mechanic) that the brushes are hanging up
(worn out). As I read the schematic on GM solinoids there are two coils in
the solinoid. The weaker of the two is connected to ground and the stronger
is grounded through the armature (brushes) to ground. One the solinoid throws
the latter is effectively disconnected and not competing for current. Bad
brushes = no second solinoid. A hammer blow disloges brush and then normal
It took me 20 years before I figured out why GM starters acted as they do.
You should take a look at those connections before you jump to any
conclusions. Ken may be right in what he's pointing out, but don't overlook
A solenoid is going to draw very little current in order to pick it. If
there is a bad connection at the starter you will also see little/no dimming
of your lights.
I just don't see a lot of GM solenoid failures. I do however see a good
amount (sorry - can't qualify "good amount") of starter related problems
that are faulty connections, very often right at the starter. You can't
just check to see if they are tight. You have to check for corrosion as
A good starter and Battery will turn over an engine at -40 . Do an starter
draw test and Battery cca load test these tests will soon determine where
the problem lies, assumption is of little value when dealing with
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