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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I went to the grocery store and the car was running fine, parked, bought my groceries, came out and the car wouldn't start. Tried jumping the car, no luck, battery seems fine too, the headlights don't dim, the subwoofers kick, A/C blows strong, etc. All that happens when I turn the ignition is a single "Click" noise. Had it towed to Firestone and they have been looking at it for 6 hours now and when I called for an update they said that they are still "testing theories."

Any ideas on what could be wrong that I could suggest to these guys?

Thanks,
Brandon
 

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"testing theories"? Interesting.

Since the battery seems to be fine, you should test the components involved in the starting process.

- Fuses. Are all OK?
- Is the click coming from the relay or the starter?
- If the relay is OK, then check the starter solenoid and the starter itself.

By this time, the shop should have the starter removed and tested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The relay for the starter is the same for the windshield wipers (which worked), so I flipped those relays up as a test to see if the car would start, but no luck. They started working on the car at 8 this morning, and its now 4:30PM. They said they'd call when they have an update, but no call as of yet. I have to imagine they tested the starter and solenoid by now and would have called me if either of them were the problem... so I'm kind of at a loss of what it could be.
 

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Removing the starter in our cars is a real pain. They may be just leaving it for later :eek:(

If they already tested starter, and you tested relay, it may be on the ignition switch.
 

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You don't say which engine you have, but my guess is you'll end up with a new starter whether that's really the problem or not. :)
 

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I can almost guarantee it is the starter. I had the same problem on my '98...it would click when I turned the key. After maybe 20-25 tries it would start and then when it was warmed up no problem. Next morning...same thing. New starter...problem solved. And yes replacing a starter is a major PITA. You have to remove some motor mount bolts and jack the engine up. No fun at all.
 

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I can almost guarantee it is the starter. I had the same problem on my '98...it would click when I turned the key. After maybe 20-25 tries it would start and then when it was warmed up no problem. Next morning...same thing. New starter...problem solved. And yes replacing a starter is a major PITA. You have to remove some motor mount bolts and jack the engine up. No fun at all.
My point was that they could have replaced the solenoid contacts and plunger and accomplished the same thing. You gave up a perfectly good OEM starter possibly for an inferior aftermarket rebuilt when $20 in parts would have fixed the solenoid, which probably was the problem - the solenoid just happens to be attached to the perfectly good starter that they replaced.
 

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Can the solenoid be repaired while the starter is installed? I haven't gone looking at my starter yet...
Unfortuneatly no. There's just no room to get into the area it's in - it's hard enough to do what you have to do just to get the starter removed..
 

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1st Gen FTW - It's AutoMedic!
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Heh, but the motor is still good... it's still a faulty solenoid. Take apart the solenoid and clean it up, put in the $20 kit, and away you go... the motors themselves are really pretty good...
 

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Be nice fellas... Yes, CWAHART waisted 200 bucks and put a good motor back in the rebuild pool for all of us to take advantage of when our motor actually goes south...

As for being a chinese rebuild, it wouldn't pay to ship a heavy motor overseas, get it redone, and then ship it back... rather, it would make sense to have a 'new' starter made in China, and have it shipped ONCE to the US to sell... so, I'd harken that you probably have a Chinese starter now. *chuckles*

Although I don't know of any starters that do ship from China... but it's just too funny of a posability to not mention it!
 

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I had to replace my starter and found most new units, regardless of the brand, are made in China.
Sending units to China to be rebuilt? Does not seem to make sense.
But I can tell you I've seen a lot of things that does not seem to make sense, and they are real. Probably the cost of rebuilding them over there is sooooo low ...
 

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CWAHART - you did nothing really... Yes, one of us said something that was a tad rough, and that's why I said to play nice... I'm just one of the guys here...

Now, for what i said to/about you... well... if I offended I appologise, but the responce I feel is valid... you probably did give up an OEM part with a perfectly good motor for a 'cheap chinese' starter since aftermarket starters can be made in China...

Personally, I'd have to say that if the Chinese comany is any good, the starter will be just as good as a domestic one... and I know that there will be a string of posts below telling me how bad aftermarket parts are, but i rarely if ever have more dificulty with aftermarket parts than an OEM part... Case in point, I ordered rocker arm shaft bolts from Chrysler... they were WAY to long in the un-threaded shoulder protion of the bolt than what my heads were drilled for...

Don't take it personal, CWAHART... but be mindful of making inflationary statements, they will get harsh statements back... and likewise to BlueTrep... making that comment back doesn't add anything to the conversation or help educate him on American rebuilt or Chinese new starters... and possibly lowers your reputation below what I or others thought of CWAHART's comments.
 

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i dont really care one way or the other. all i did was reply to the OP. my mechanic told me the problem and i believed him. if that means i am thinking with my ass then so be it. but snarky comments from a bunch of kids i dont need. there are plenty of other forums to get help from.
 

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I can tell you, as a someone that used to work for a garage, they are out to make the easiest buck (well, who isn't anyway?)... The easiest buck for them, with the greatest markup potential, is to replace the whole starter. However, if you are into spending the least amount so you can have fun with the rest of your money, always rebuild what you have (on something this small. If it's very big, time is sometimes more important and we buy a junkyard motor or a crate tranny, or what have you)...

So, I'm sorry you had to pay a garage to rip you off... but that's in my eyes... I personally have the ability and resources to take out and rebuild my own starter if I so choose... For you, it was probably money well spent because you got your car back and _may_ not have had the ability or resources to do it yourself.

There may be pleanty of places to get your assistance at... but I'd bet that on a 'trep, this is THE cumulative source for the best information to get it done yourself.

Makes me wonder... what do you (anyone) suppose the collective years of turning a wrench we bring to the board???

I'll start... 2 years on my own stuff as a 'kid', 2 years school, 2 years in a shop, 10 years on my own.

So, by ASE standards, each year of school is allowed to be considered 1 year experience... so that's 15 years... NEXT?
 
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