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Rare Starting Issue

Discussion in 'Fuel System & Electrics' started by Jehd, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. Jehd

    Jehd New Member

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Brisbane West Side
    Hi Everyone,

    My starting issue is rare because it has only happened to me twice. Once In february after a 300km drive and once today from cold.

    Essentially when i have turned the key on these 2 occasions. Nothing happens. Now i know the battery is fine (the first time it happened i changed the battery to my spare (i was camping) ) and the starter seems ok.

    I dont think it is the switch as when i turn the key there is a load placed on the battery (the battery light turns on and dims when at start).

    Both times I have roll started the car to get it going. it then will happily start with no issue.

    Cheers
    James
     
  2. Blue76Bay

    Blue76Bay New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Western Sydney NSW
    I had a similar issue and it turned out to be a loose crimp connector on the wires that connect to the starter motor. I suppose occasionally it was a high resistance joint therefore allowing power to light up the ignition but not passing enough current to turn the starter motor. I replaced the battery cable and recrimped all the wires. It has not been a problem since.
     
  3. Jehd

    Jehd New Member

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Brisbane West Side
    yeah that was my thought too. When I had it the first time i took all the wires off and cleaned up there mounts and put them back on. I guess i should replace the +ive wire anyways. More work to do :)

    My other thought is that the solenoid is getting stuck.

    Cheers for the repsonse
     
  4. Blue76Bay

    Blue76Bay New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Western Sydney NSW
    If you have checked the wiring to the starter motor and you're sure it is OK, the next thing I would be looking at is replacing the starter motor brushes. Sometimes if the brushes are worn right down they don't make good contact with the armature. It is not hard to do. The next time it plays up, hop under the car with a spanner or hammer and give the starter motor a good whack. That might make the brushes contact the armature better and allow you to start the car.
     
  5. 77bay

    77bay Active Member

    Messages:
    1,361
    Location:
    Woody Point
    I'd get the soleniod in the ignition checked. This plays up intermittently before finally letting go. This will give you warning lights that dim when ignition is attempted which gives the impression of a dead battery. Hard to trace unless it does it at the time you are checking.;)
     
  6. chellejohno

    chellejohno Member

    Messages:
    209
    Location:
    Boorowa, NSW
    I'm having exactly the same problem, and its getting more frequent, just got back from old bar and surfers and by the end of the trip was having to start it using a screwdriver across the starter motor terminals almost all the time. and then out of the blue it would just start normally! my ignition lights dim slightly when i turn the key so my thoughts are that it is the solenoid thats the problem, cos the ignition must be working as its putting the system under load and i know the starters ok because i can start it with my trusty red screwdriver, so in my mind theres only one thing it could be and thats the solenoid. btu hey if people don't think that sounds right please please please let me know so i dont go wasting my time and money. maybe you need to get someone to climb under and try the starter with a screwdriver then you'll know if the actual starter is ok or not. don't know if i've helped or not but at least you know youre not alone!! cheers john
     
  7. Doc

    Doc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,911
    Location:
    Gunnedah
    Guys check to see if you have a relay to the starter (next to the starter solenoid)
     
  8. kombidaze

    kombidaze Member

    Messages:
    466
    Location:
    Uki NSW
    sometimes it can be the ignition switch they do wear out slowly, first sign is usually intermitent starting with dimming oil, alternator lights then no starting quite an easy fix, wire in a starter button and also a starter relay which you locate somewhere at the back near the starter motor.
    richard atwells web site http://www.ratwell.com/ has all the information and diagrams about wiring up the relay one of the best investment you will make.
     
  9. Blue76Bay

    Blue76Bay New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Western Sydney NSW
    If it starts by using a srewdriver across the starter terminals, I agree with Kombidaze, this usually is an ignition switch problem.
     
  10. Doc

    Doc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,911
    Location:
    Gunnedah
    Mike I think thats why the relay is suggested :D it isn't so voltage critical/ the current it uses to then fire the startermotor solenoid wont be so affected by an old ignition switch with higher resistance
     
  11. Blue76Bay

    Blue76Bay New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Western Sydney NSW
    Totally agree! However, I have had the relay wired up in my previous Kombi and my present one also and still the ignition switch contacts wore out over time and weren't making good contact ocassionally. This prevented the relay from operating and therefore you're back to square one. If you instal the relay also be aware that this may not resolve the problem and you still may have to fix the ignition switch or put a starter button in to make sure the relay operates.

    So to summarize, when the problem occurs if you can start the car by using a screwdriver shorting out the contacts on the starter motor it is most likely an ignition switch issue. If the car still doesn't kick over I would look at a loose connector in the wiring or the starter motor solenoid or brushes.
     
  12. Kombi Dad

    Kombi Dad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,457
    Location:
    Bungendore, NSW
    And it goes on from there. Even the wire and connectors can offer some resistance that wasn't there when new. I use a relay on the '82 camper for the same reason as it is not as sensitive to some of the voltage drop in the circuit. I could have replaced the ignition switch but the relay was an easy fix.

    On a Holden that I rewired when I did my Autoelectrician bit back in the early 80's the wiring that I pulled out was shot to a point where there was considerable loss. I actually did the loom twice as the owner of the vehicle came around to have a look whilst I was away, hooked up the battery and burnt out the loom behind the dash. In hindsight I should have hidden the battery when I wasn't home. It was lucky that he didn't burn the vehicle.
     
  13. IN2VWS

    IN2VWS Member

    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Have you checked the starter bush in the bell housing?
     
  14. Jehd

    Jehd New Member

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Brisbane West Side
    I havnt checked much as I have been busy doing my thesis :)..and I havnt had any issues since

    I think the cables likely have gone HR since my battery light is always slightly on and applying the brake makes the light go dimmer.

    I bought some huge guage wire to get some real power to the front for the sound system...so i guess i should actually get round to doing that.

    ...it will also help my headlights which are not the normal ones and appear to be brighter than stock...

    Cheers guys and I will report back one I replace the wire...which with my thesis the way it is at the moment probably won't be till late november :)
     

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