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Service Fix Starter: How To Repair Car Starters
Posted by carsandtrucks on Friday, March 13 @ 14:28:52 EDT

I just got off the phone with a customer asking me to help diagnose the no start problem he is experiencing with his automobile. This is not an uncommon inquiry, but it takes some information gathering each time to provide the best response. My first question to him was when you turn the key what do you hear? Is the engine turning over? Is there a clicking sound? In this case the reply was, "when I try to start it nothing happens, the lights and radio are fine. Also I tried to start it with jumper cables hooked up and still there was no sound when I turned the key." With that information my first

thought is the starter is the problem. But before I tell this person to replace the starter I want to do a little more digging. The starter is connected to the battery by a cable. When you turn the key to the start position, electrical current travels from the battery to the starter via this cable. To determine if the starter is the fault of the no start condition, you must first determine if electrical power is getting from the battery to the starter. You can do this with a test light at the starter solenoid where the battery cable attaches. If there is no power getting to the starter, the problem is in the connection at the battery, the starter, or the cable itself. You must also make sure the ground cable is clean and secure. If power is getting to the starter, then the likely cause is the starter motor itself. Most starter replacements will require access from under the vehicle. The process of replacing the starter is relatively simple once you gain access. Here is how to replace your car or truck's starter. The first step is to disconnect the negative battery cable at the battery. Next remove the power cable from the starter solenoid. Remove the bolts that hold the starter to the engine, and the starter can then be removed. Reverse these steps to install the replacement starter. Some starters require shims between the starter and engine block to assure proper engagement of the starter when turning the engine over to start. Make sure you install the shims if necessary. A starter replacement service is not for the novice back yard mechanic. You should have an understanding of automotive electronics and how they play a role in the starter circuit before you attempt this repair. Otherwise you may find yourself replacing parts that did not need replacing.

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