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Thread: bad starter again?

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    Default bad starter again?

    Good afternoon.
    I have a 2003 ZX2 automatic. Back in September of 2016 I was getting the intermittent no start. I thought it was the starter and replaced it. Problem solved....for a while. Then about a month ago, May 15 or so, I was getting the same problem. I replaced the starter again. Now I am getting the same symptoms once again. No start when turning the key. I hear the click sound like the solenoid is working but not engaging the starter motor. Usually we let it sit or try to turn the key several times and it starts. Sometimes I take something hard and metal and tap on the starter and that works. Today, it took about 20 minutes of trying these things before it actually did eventually start. Once that was done, we made 3 more stops and the car started with no problems.
    These starters are the reman. Duralast ones from Autozone. 2 starters in under a year seems unheard of even if they are remans.

    I was almost thinking about replacing it again, but ordering a Duralast Gold series starter. I am not sure what the problem could actually be. I don't want to order the starter and then find out that this is not the problem.
    A buddy mentioned that there could be a problem with too much voltage being sent to the starter, and that could be "burning" up the solenoid.

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    Default

    Can you "hot" start it? Take it out and apply voltage to it, does it spin?
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    So I went ahead and bought a brand new Duralast Gold starter. Warrantied out the old one. Autozone tested it and the old starter was bad. Got the new starter installed and bolted on, but still had the same "click" sound. So no start. Took a battery from another vehicle, but still nothing. Tried to jump the car to start it (it worked twice a couple days ago) but that didn't work this time. Took the new starter off and had Autozone test it, and it tested good. Went back home and wired it up. Just out of curiosity I let it set in the engine compartment and turned the key over. The starter engaged fine. Tried a couple times and it worked fine on its own. I then bolted it back on and thought everything would be great. NOPE! I think there is something going on with the ground. Tried a jumper wire from battery to starter ground clip but nothing happened there.
    Took the jumper wire off and put everything back together. I tried the ignition, and i did get it to start one time in about 20 tries.
    My guess is there is a bad ground somewhere, but i am not sure where.
    I do know that there is an extra wiring block on the negative terminal.
    from the negative battery post, it goes to the firewall and then travels under the battery and over to the starter area, and bolts on to a metal plate that in turn uses a starter bolt to bolt to the engine. I am just not sure what else to try here.
    I cleaned all contacts that I could see.

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    I went out and troubleshot the car again today. I am at a loss. The starter works fine when wired up. As soon as I bolt it on to the engine, I get nothing but a click. I then took two of the three bolts out and loosened one until the starter was not touching the engine. Starter worked and started the car. but even when I tightened up one bolt hand tight i get nothing. I think there is a ground issue, but I have no idea where to look. Is there supposed to be a gasket that goes on or some kind of spacers on the bolt so the starter does not touch the engine itself?

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    Default

    Just an update, not that it matters to anyone. lol.
    Finally broke down and took the car in to a mechanic. They put a new starter in from a different manufacturer. After that didn't work, they did some more checking and it turns out that it was not really starters at all. Its the flywheel...not a cheap fix at all, but its gotta get done. Im not an expert here, but I don't know why it would cause starters to go bad. Two of them did in under a year, unless the Autozone ones really were not good ones and did not last long.

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    that doesn't make sense.
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    Try a jumper straight from the negative terminal of the battery to the starter, or hook a jumper cable from the negative battery terminal to a location on the engine like the pull loop. if the negative lead from the terminal block has a break in it just a change in position can cause lack of continuity. Also, if there is excessive corrosion on the starter bolt, the cable clip, or the bolt hole in the block you can have issues even if you jumper to the plate on the starter bolt. Had the same issue in one of my Escorts, was ground problem. Similar issue with my wife's Mustang, the negative cable comes from the terminal and bolts to a stud on the side of the engine block then 2 cables came from that and went to body grounds and Fusebox. Everything worked fine except it would not start, even with a jump from another car. Wasn't until I Jumped it with the negative cable clamped to the engine that it would start. Had galvanic corrosion between the cable end and the aluminum block. Looked perfect from the outside, and all the accessories, lights etc worked perfectly, but fluffy white corrosion between the cable end and the block kept the ground from happening.

    Assuming you have pulled the negative terminal and ground block and cleaned thoroughly.

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    So the car has been in the shop for over a week. They replaced the flywheel/ flexplate and put everything back together. Still having the same problem. Starter has a click and no start. I asked if it was electrical, and the are pretty sure its mechanical. I think P.O. or dealer put parts in that didn't match up. The shop thinks the engine they put in is for a manual tranny, but the car is an automatic. I'm already into the car for $1000 for the work they've done so far. I am almost ready to give up and let it go back to the dealership, but thats more money i'd be out.
    My question... We have had the car for about a year. I've replaced the radiator and starter no.1. Radiator last July and Starter last October. So I am confused as to what happened to the car for the starters to go bad. And if it is something really serious, how is it making starters go bad and nothing else?

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    have you tried a brand new starter, not a reman, the engine won't make any difference between a manual and auto trans, they are exact same block. when you were cleaning grounds did you clean the connections in the little black connector box right off negative battery terminal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by evadfa View Post
    So the car has been in the shop for over a week. They replaced the flywheel/ flexplate and put everything back together. Still having the same problem. Starter has a click and no start. I asked if it was electrical, and the are pretty sure its mechanical. I think P.O. or dealer put parts in that didn't match up. The shop thinks the engine they put in is for a manual tranny, but the car is an automatic. I'm already into the car for $1000 for the work they've done so far. I am almost ready to give up and let it go back to the dealership, but thats more money i'd be out.
    My question... We have had the car for about a year. I've replaced the radiator and starter no.1. Radiator last July and Starter last October. So I am confused as to what happened to the car for the starters to go bad. And if it is something really serious, how is it making starters go bad and nothing else?
    Engines are the same, but they have different number of spacers. How many engine-to-trans spacers you have?

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