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Old 03-05-2008, 02:47 AM   #1
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starter issues again

i was 15 minutes late this morning at work cause of an annoying problem with the starter. the weird thing is it's the second time in a few months i've had this problem so i'd like to figure out what's causeing it.

here's what happens

i get in the car, turn the key in the ignition, but use my own rigged up starter button for the actual starter .
the button basically overriders the last 2 connections in the key switch to route power to the starter, it takes it's power from the lines normally intender for the lighter as i don't use it, and it's only on when the ignition is on, so you can't start the car without the key. works without problems for more than half a year now or so.

the starter motor fires up, but it keeps running, even when the engine and even the ignition is off... so i get out disconect the battery.... everything stops.... i reconnect it, and the starter starts whining again.

thas has happened twice now, and perhaps coincidental,always after my dad had put the car in the garage when he left for work an hour early so the windows would defrost. nice thing to do of him.
this means it started fine an hour before, and most likely with the key.

when it happened the first time i figured it might have to do with my custom start button wireing so i unhooked it, but that didn't solve things.

it turned out the key switch in the ignition was burned trough and had apparently made a shortcut between the starter and the ignition position. my dad assured me that this was a common defect. fortunately my dad was just parting out his rusty old ascona and the switches are identical so it was an east fix.

however this morning the same thing occurs... this time i figure the new contact must have been burned trough as well, so i remove all the paneling in the hopes of cutting the key switch line so i could still start the car with the button as a stop gap solution, however the contact looks fine. i switched it a couple of times with a screwdriver and it felt ok, when i put everything back things suddenly behaved again.

so what do you think? is this the starter switch starting to wear out... wich would be somewhat odd as my dad never had any problems and i alsways use my start button so the contact is't used for powering the starter motor...

should i revise my button setup somewhat? or should i just desconnect the actual key switch alltogether, and only use the button?
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:57 AM   #2
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I've seen this before- the starter solenoid may be sticking. Have a friend watch the starter while you try to start it (or you could extend the wires so you can press the button while looking at the starter). When it continues turning after you release the button, give the starter a light tap with a hammer or heavy wrench. This will usually stop it if the starter solenoid is sticking. If the hammer hit works- you'll know you need to replace/clean the solenoid or the whole starter.
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:13 AM   #3
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happened to me once when it was real cold outside on my 90 celica.
the starter solenoid probably needs a cleaning
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik View Post
give the starter a light tap with a hammer or heavy wrench.
Hehehe. I had two cars where the solenoid would stick in the off position. I carried a piece of pipe under the seat for that quick tap to loosen it. I've also had the ignition switch go bad, too. I realized it *after* replacing the starter . I ran a wire into the cab from the solenoid, stuck it in the cigarette lighter, and it started right up. I always intended to install a push button, but drove it for a year just sticking the wire in the lighter.

So, yeah. Sounds like the solenoid to me too.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:25 AM   #5
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Yeah, sounds like the solenoid hanging up to me.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:32 AM   #6
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right, that's probably it than...thanks guys!
it behaved well for the rest of the day...i'll give it a beating if it's naughty again!

could it be that the temperature change has anything to do with it? the fact that it's been outside overnight and parked inside for an hour?

anyway... i hope it won't make a habit out of this
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:33 AM   #7
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I'm going to add to the starter solenoid getting stuck, give it a wack with your lug wrench works too.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:38 AM   #8
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yup, my trucks starter solinoid was half going out, like it would momentarily flip the gear to enguage then it would lose power or somehting and the gear would retract, but if i held it in the tsart position logn enought consecutive "bump starts" would get it to fire. replaced it in a weekend and has been fine ever since
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:12 PM   #9
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It may not be the starter solenoid. I think the switch you are using to bypass the key start may be the problem. Unless you put a capacitor, or a diode, to shunt the initial current, the switch is getting hit with a little bit of arc, each time you use it. The switch contacts will eventually weld together, effectively, if this is the case.

I'd try disconnecting the switch, temporarily. If the problem doesn't re-occur, then the switch should just be replaced with a .01 uf capacitor across the two leads, to keep it from arcing in the new switch. If the problem does re-occur, then I'd suspect the solenoid possibility.
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Old 03-10-2008, 04:20 AM   #10
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mm there might be something there. i believe you sugested this before when i was building the switch

i think i'll try that, the switch is a little "jumpy" sometimes while starting it will sometimes fire up the starter for a fraction of a second and than fully start it.... maybe the capacitor will soften it up a bit... give it a littel delay?

i'll see if i still have a good capacitor laying around at home. i suppose my setup might not be to healthy for the original switch. on the other hand the original switch was still working after the second time this occured and the problem presisted after i had disconnected the battery and reconected it...

anyway... i'll refine my switch and give the starter a beating if that doesn't cure it....
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