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Thread: Possible starter issues

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2014-04-09 00:49:43
Possible starter issues
For a month, my car has been giving me problems cranking. When I say problems, I mean I turn the key and nothing happens. However, most of the time it did start right up or in a couple of tries it would. Fast forward to last week. My engine just quit on me while driving on the highway. Here is what happened:

I lose engine power.
All dash lights come on and begin to flicker.
I slow to a stop by the road shoulder.
Very faint smoke arises from my hood.
I try to start the car but, all I get is clicking noises.
All I smell is a burnt metal odor.
I give it 15 mins to rest.
I started it and it turned over but, barely breathing and eventually dies out within seconds.
I call wrecker and tow it home.

Today, I try to start it again but, realized I have no power. Battery is dead. I jumped it with my portable starter and get power again but, the engine doesn't crank. I also listened for my fuel pump but, to no avail.

I pulled my started out to see if it was the problem. I noticed it was burnt on the solenoid terminals and it smelled just like that odor I described. I tested it with the multimeter/ jumper method and it still works. My question is, will the damaged solenoid be a problem? Or is it the problem to my starting issues?

I apologize for the lengthy post, I just like to be detailed. Thanks fellas.
2014-04-09 04:36:35
Similar happened to me in 97 SE-R, the battery fuse melted, I saw/smelled smoke, engine died. let me ask you this, did anything like your interior lights or headlights etc get REALLY BRIGHT before this happened? Anything like that?

In my case it was the voltage regulator going bad in my alternator and it fried a bunch of things like the battery fuse and blower resistor motor
2014-04-09 12:11:31
I really don't recall if my lights got brighter. I probably didn't notice because I was freaking out over the flickering. I'm going to check out my battery fuse and resistor motor now. Thanks for your input.
2014-04-09 13:56:05
I would start with replacing the starter with one that's not half melted and repair any damage to the wiring at the starter. From there try and start the car again. If that does not work, start checking fuses and see what works and does not work.

You may also have an ignition switch that is failing or has now failed.

Good Luck.
2014-04-12 02:33:58
I rebuilt my starter for half the price a new one costs and replaced my ignition switch. My car turned on flawlessly. However, the engine did not make a good sound. I quickly shut it off. It sounded like metal scraping from what I remember. Sound familiar to anyone?

I'm really trying to avoid swapping in a new motor as it's not time efficient. I really need my car running.

Just thought I'd share my starter rebuild. New solenoid and brushes. Cleaned and lubricated.
2014-04-12 10:30:33
Metal scraping on metal? Like when you leave the starter on a bit too long after the motor has started?
2014-04-12 18:06:42
Not that drastic. More of a clanky sound. I got the engine to start once today and it wasn't as bad but, it died within 30 seconds. Now, I'm thinking it's my fuel pump as I don't hear it.

Here's a video.
20140412_134129.mp4 Video by ptrprkr | Photobucket
2014-04-13 16:56:41
Did it has this problem prior to starter re-build?

If not - then starter/flywheel teeth could not be matching up or starter solenoid is not retreating proper like.
2014-04-14 00:53:38
Yes. Then the starter and ignition switch went out hence why I replaced them. My last effort will be replacing the fuel pump. The bolts were old that the heads broke off and now two bolts are rounded. I have to drill those suckers out. More headaches! Haha!
2014-04-17 17:12:51
The starter gear may not be pulling all the way back in after it starts. Did you clean and lubricate that when you rebuilt it?

The low voltage from the starter shorting out could have damaged the fuel pump or even the ECU. Check to see if the fuel pump is getting the signal to turn on before you pull it out.
Last edited by squirlz on 2014-04-17 at 17-13-56.
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