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Itsanemergency
04-13-04, 09:49 PM
Hi Everyone,

Hoping for some good ideas here (I'm all out). The car starts and runs great. The only problem is it won't start all the time. Sometimes I hear a few clicks but the starter doesn't crank. Then if I try 5 or 10 times more, it just starts. Battery is at about 12v, starter is new, alternator is new. I spent the last two days detailing wires making sure every ground was cleaned and every connection I could check under the hood was clean. Starter cables are clean and tight, I checked them twice.

When it starts it cranks as if all connections are good and the battery is fresh. But most of the time it won't start.

Thanks!

David

berky2500
04-14-04, 10:02 PM
What year and how many miles? It sounds like the solenoid is going out of the starter. I just had the same problem on my Chevy pickup at about 100K miles. It would not start 1 out of 10 times, then 1 out of 5, then finally quit altogether. I replaced it, and haven't had a problem since.

6speeder
04-14-04, 10:16 PM
Have you tried using a different ignition key?

tnovot
04-14-04, 11:04 PM
I agree with berky that the solenoid would be a likely culprit. You say the starter is new? Do you have reason to believe that the installer was experienced enough to check the starter gear to flywheel teeth clearance and use shims if necessary? Did it come with the solenoid or was the old one used? Even new parts can be faulty. If connections to the solenoid are good, there is one other good prospect.
The battery should really show more than 12 volts. A weak battery will not always provide sufficient energy to start the car but could get the solenoid to partially engage (Click). I have actually experienced this on a V8 Camaro. Do you have or could you borrow another battery to test this?

cablexpert
04-15-04, 06:05 AM
Solenoid :D

RedRagTop
04-15-04, 07:57 AM
Solenoid :D
Yep. But you should be showing around 13.5 volts on your gauge as well so a new battery never hurts on these cars.

SSTibet
04-15-04, 09:04 AM
I had a similar problem with my 95 LT-1 and had to change the battery. The problem went away with the new battery. As you know there are two indications in the car to show you how many Volts you got in your battery. Turn your ignition key to the position immediately before the ignition point and use the drivers control to view battery volts from the electronic display in the dash. This is how many volts you have. Anything equal to or below 12V is an indication of a future problem.Then start the engine and look at the anologue gage (to the right of the electronic display). This is how many Volts is going into your battery from the charging system. I think this one should read between 13 - 15V for a healty system operation while the engine is running. You can find all of that data in the User Manual of your car. Anyways, do not assume you have a good battery if you are reading 12Volts in the first measurement.

spyysee
04-15-04, 11:48 AM
My 2 cents.
Yes to the battery, you should be reading more than 12v. Try jumping it.
does it crank right?
Here's one that happened to me. The pos wire was corroded about 6'" down the cable to the point of being useless. Check the cables!

Itsanemergency
04-15-04, 05:19 PM
I agree with berky that the solenoid would be a likely culprit. You say the starter is new? Do you have reason to believe that the installer was experienced enough to check the starter gear to flywheel teeth clearance and use shims if necessary? Did it come with the solenoid or was the old one used? Even new parts can be faulty. If connections to the solenoid are good, there is one other good prospect.
The battery should really show more than 12 volts. A weak battery will not always provide sufficient energy to start the car but could get the solenoid to partially engage (Click). I have actually experienced this on a V8 Camaro. Do you have or could you borrow another battery to test this?
I can take the starter down and check everything again but I'm very sure the connections are clean. As far as shims goes, I didn't use them at all. When it does start, it starts very strong with a lot of power. I wouldn't mind checking the starting solenoid but I'm not so sure that's the culprit. The cables look good at each end but if they are corroded somwhere in the middle I didn't see that.

Thanks!

Still working on it.

Itsanemergency
04-15-04, 05:20 PM
My 2 cents.
Yes to the battery, you should be reading more than 12v. Try jumping it.
does it crank right?
Here's one that happened to me. The pos wire was corroded about 6'" down the cable to the point of being useless. Check the cables!
Jumping it doesn't help at all. When it starts it starts strong but if it's not going to start it doesn't start at all.

Itsanemergency
04-15-04, 07:56 PM
I wouldn't mind if the solenoide is the culprit because that's easier than tracing a wiring problem, but the starter is only one or two months old. I may pull it out and do a little testing anyway.

Thanks,

David

SSTibet
04-15-04, 11:57 PM
Why don't you try to jump start the car? If it starts alright this will eliminate the question marks for the wires, solenoid, etc etc and will tell you that it is the battery...

Hope this helps.

Itsanemergency
04-16-04, 12:09 AM
I haven't tried that although my girlfriend and I have two different keys and get the same results. I think the first thing I'm going to do since it's one of the easiest is I'm going to drop the starter and take a look. I found a good article in the knowledge base that seems to apply:

1986-1987: Service Bulletin: Intermittent No-Start Condition Caused by Vehicle Anti-Theft System

http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/kb/question.php?qstId=136

I'll let you guy's know how it turns out! Thanks a ton for all your help!

ShaneL
04-16-04, 12:21 AM
I have the same problem with mine. I turn the ignition key *click* *click* *click* no start. This happened when I had an old battery in but it went away for a while after I replaced it with a new one. After a few weeks same thing happens again. I jump-start it with another car and it works fine (turn key all the way for about 1/2 second and it will start right up. I am also wondering if it is a low battery problem. I am about to a Battery Tender from Ecklers (http://www.ecklers.com/product.asp?dept%5Fid=1110&pf%5Fid=26850) and see if it solves the problem. For $50.00 I think that it is worth the money.

MBDiagMan
04-16-04, 04:42 AM
Amazing! There are 14 posts here and unless I missed in my skimming, no one has gone to basic fundamentals and recommended a voltage drop test. Use DC Voltmeter, preferably a digital between the battery POST and the STUD on the starter over which the solenoid connects.

If you have more than a .5 volt voltage drop, then leave the meter connected at the post and start moving through the circuit with the other lead, connection by connection until you get less than .5 Volts, that is your culprit.

Just because connections are clean and tight doesn't mean there can't be a cable eye that is not corroded, loose or something where the copper meets the eye.

Good luck,

spyysee
04-16-04, 10:00 AM
Doc is 100% right;:D While I didn't do exactly what he suggests, I used the "when logic fails
to solve the problem, blame the logic" thus causing me to examine the cables and connections. Like I said, I had to replace my pos cable.

Also, because My car sits for weeks without use, the on-board trickle charger I bought at sears insures a fully charged battery all the time.
Good Luck and let us know!

Itsanemergency
04-22-04, 06:46 PM
Amazing! There are 14 posts here and unless I missed in my skimming, no one has gone to basic fundamentals and recommended a voltage drop test. Use DC Voltmeter, preferably a digital between the battery POST and the STUD on the starter over which the solenoid connects.

If you have more than a .5 volt voltage drop, then leave the meter connected at the post and start moving through the circuit with the other lead, connection by connection until you get less than .5 Volts, that is your culprit.

Just because connections are clean and tight doesn't mean there can't be a cable eye that is not corroded, loose or something where the copper meets the eye.

Good luck,
This is what I will need to be doing next. I know it's not the battery because the it doesn't crank at all but when it does it cranks strong. Although it's not the greatest battery and I am going to change it I know it isn't the problem.

I also know it's not the solenoid because if I jump the solenoid by jumping the two terminals on it is crank strong again.

So I am going to go by a tester and may have a question or two for you after awhile if you don't mind.

Thanks!

David

Itsanemergency
04-23-04, 05:30 PM
Hi Doc,

I think I did this right? I attached one end of the digital test meeter to the positive post on the battery. Then the other on one of the bolts holding the solenoid to the starter. It reads 12v.

Then if I test the battery in the same way it reads 12v. Is that the correct process for the voltage drop test? Car still won't start.

Thanks,

David

354RwHpLT4CE
04-23-04, 05:54 PM
This is what I will need to be doing next. I know it's not the battery because the it doesn't crank at all but when it does it cranks strong. Although it's not the greatest battery and I am going to change it I know it isn't the problem.

I also know it's not the solenoid because if I jump the solenoid by jumping the two terminals on it is crank strong again.

So I am going to go by a tester and may have a question or two for you after awhile if you don't mind.

Thanks!

DavidIf you can jump the terminals on the solenoid and it will start afterwards,Its the solenoid.You just bypassed the the connection inside the solenoid.Very common problem on small block chevys.Used to have that problem ALL the time on my old camaro.After driving it for a while,I would stop somewhere,shut the car off.Go to leave a few minutes later,turn the key....and nothing,not a click.Bust out a screwdriver,jump the terminals on the solenoid...Voila,she'd fire right up.Finally wrapped the solenoid with heat shielding...no more problems.

garycr14
04-24-04, 12:12 AM
Was the starter new, or a rebuilt. It wouldn't be the first time a faulty starter was installed. It sounds like the solinoid. I'd recheck the starter.