Car trouble !!
Posted 01 November 2015 - 11:09 AM
Posted 01 November 2015 - 12:30 PM
At least, that happened to me once and that solution worked. Mine is a 2001 Chevy Silverado.
Posted 01 November 2015 - 06:26 PM
Believe it or not, this issue sometimes responds (temporarily) to a good whack to the starter with a stout wood stick/2x4. It may sound silly, but it works far too often to disregard. I've known people to drive for months, just whacking their starter as needed.
To check for a loose contact, check the connection at both ends of the thickest cable from your battery's (-) terminal (this will lead to some point on your car's body or engine block), then check/clean/retighten both ends of the thickest cable coming off the (+) terminal of your battery (this will usually go directly to your starter motor or bendix/solenoid/relay, check that the main mounting bolts are tight and give a good ground connection to the frame through those bolts. In fact, check all the external connections on your starter unit while you're down there (the motor is the main body, the bendix/switch may be inside the main casing or may be attached to the outside; a few cars have a separate starter relay, which you can find by following the wires).
Your starter motor needs a lot of current to turn the engine over. The starter relay allows a small current from your keyswitch to turn on a much heavier current to your starter solenoid/Bendix and motor. The primary role of the Bendix or solenoid is to "kick" a small gear on the starter motor shaft to engage the flywheel (If that gear were always engaged, the starter motor would be a constant drag on the engine), but it often also has a switch built in which activates the larger starter motor when the gear is in place.
In a while, I'll move this thread to "All Things Automotive" with a link from this forum. I'll just leave it here a little while, in case you come back soon.
Edited by Orpheus, 04 November 2015 - 01:27 PM.
Changed "Creator's Corner" to "All Things Automotive", a more appropriate destination
Posted 02 November 2015 - 02:42 PM
Posted 04 November 2015 - 01:22 PM
If you whack it, it may start normally the next time --or not. Sometimes the spark from starting will create an acceptable temporary connection that holds for a few starts. Whacking it again should work, but it's not a "fix". The connection is just going to get weaker over time, so find the issue (loose/corroded connection) and fix it properly. As the weather gets colder, starting gets MUCH harder.
I'm moving this thread to the "All Things Automotive" forum. See you there!
Posted 06 November 2015 - 06:17 AM
Edited to ad: I had drained my battery to the point where I couldn't start my car, but I could still get the lights and other electronics on, so it seems that starting the engine requires more battery juice than powering the electrical systems for a few seconds.
Edited by Raina, 06 November 2015 - 06:18 AM.
"First thing they tell you is to assume you're already dead... dead men don't get scared or freeze up under fire. Me, I'm just worried that hell's gonna be a lonely place. And I'm gonna fill it up with every toaster son of a bitch I find." -Racetrack
"I believe what goes around comes around and if I am the instrument of 'coming round' then I'll do it happily. " -Shal
Viper Squadron CAG
Posted 10 November 2015 - 10:39 PM
I felt the strong "click" was worth following up on. It meant there was probably enough juice to power up the bendix/relay/whatever.
Interestingly, in very cold weather, you can try turning on your high beams on for 10-15 seconds before trying the starter again. The physics of this has never been *precisely* determined, but it's likely a combination of internal resistance heating the battery slightly, plate surface chemistry, etc. I've had limited success but it has worked regularly for some people's specific cars/situations.
I didn't suggest it to the Original Poster because it hadn't been cold enough in October for that to be likely to help more than hurt.
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