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Starter Motor Relationship With Flat Battery On The Rocks


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you know when a car battery goes flat, and the starter clicks instead of turning the engine over?


well mine doesn't do that. instead it does short pulse-like turns of the starter which makes a hell of a racket and can't be good for the drive plate or starter. 



i replaced the solenoid on the starter a while back and gave the casing a good clean out of carbon dust, but it worked fine until just the other day.


is there supposed to be a capacitor or something in the starter to prevent it turning unless there is enough voltage?


battery is on charge now so i'll give it a go tomorrow anyway.

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this is basically all i get from the starter now. battery charged overnight (my multimeter is broken so i cant check the voltage) and gave me a few cranks then gave up. i was trying to turn it over for the rest of the video, but battery is flat again i think.


bad ignition relay?


i started the car and it idled about a week ago (albeit with no downpipe attached). between now and then i haven't touched the starter.
i may or may not have left the battery connected and the ignition switched to accessories, so that might account for a flat battery at least.

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Before pulling the starter...

1.  Make sure your battery cables are clean and tight at all six ends (remember that the ground strap is a twin--big strap grounds to the block, small one to the body)

2.  Make sure the wire that energizes the starter motor is clean and tight, and on the proper terminal.  Put a voltmeter on the wire and have someone turn the key to "start" and see if you have voltage there (use a test light if you don't have a voltmeter)

3.  While turning the key to start, rap the solenoid smartly with a plastic screwdriver handle to see if it's sticking (yeah I know it's new, but new parts fail too)

4.  Bypass the ignition/starter switch by running a jumper wire from the small wire on the solenoid to the battery cable on the solenoid and see if the starter works.  If so you have a problem with the ignition switch, its wiring or the starter relay.


If none of these results in a function starter, then it's time to pull the starter and either bench test it or take it to an auto parts store for testing.  Wouldn't hurt to load test your battery too...


Let us know whatcha find.




'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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  • 1 month later...

well i know it's been a while (hard to get motivated in winter) but it turned out to be some crappy wiring and loose splade connectors on the starter inhibitor switch. i ended up removing the starter before i noticed this unfortunately, and replaced the armature anyway. now to work out why it's not pumping fuel...

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