Starter motor clicking, won't turn over

nick91111, Apr 15, 8:38pm
3sge, st202 carina. Sporadically the car decides to not start. The starter motor is always clicking, but the engine doesn't try to turn over. Jump starting it with a battery pack fixes it. But other times it is totally fine. I've jump started it, took for a long drive on the open road (45mins+) and then stopped and it won't start again. But other times I've jump started it drove 20secs into the garage, and then it starts fine later in the day. Could it be alternator related? Battery is under 1 year old. Thoughts?

tony9, Apr 15, 8:47pm
Do the lights dim when it is clicking? If so, battery voltage is low.

Sounds like low battery voltage or terminal connection (if jump start sorts it).

Battery could well be faulty with an intermittent internal fault.

tony9, Apr 15, 8:49pm
Oh, and where do you jump the negative clip on the jump starter? If it is to the car chassis or engine rather than the negative battery terminal, could be earth connection from battery to frame.

kazbanz, Apr 15, 8:52pm
My thinking is that first option is the starter motor needs repair/replacement as this is a random fault. Second option is a wiring issue.-bad earth that wiggling the wires whilst jumping fixes.

nick91111, Apr 15, 8:58pm
Negative clip to negative terminal seems to work fine. Haven't tried to body yet.

mrfxit, Apr 15, 8:58pm
Not sure about the Carina but it's a very common problem with 90's Bluebirds.
The starter motor bushes wear badly & the armature starts scrapping on the fields.
Gives the same result as you are getting.
Does the starter sound really noisy/grinding when doing a 1st cold start in the morning?

Other wise could easily be a bad battery cable connection.

bjmh, Apr 15, 9:04pm
solenoid contacts getting kaput . get the starter overhauled. but the crystal balls are are a bit cold and foggy this morn.

mrfxit, Apr 15, 9:18pm
You mean . tit cold and froggy dis forn

allan66, Apr 15, 9:26pm
Try tapping the side of the starter motor firmly (reasonably hard) with a large spanner a few times. If it's the brushes it may be enough vibration to get them to move slightly from a dead spot. If the motor then starts the starter motor needs reconditioning. This has worked for me with a few vehicles over the years and has got me home. :)

whqqsh, Apr 15, 9:26pm
is the battery being charged enough, maybe starts fine after long run previous but after a few short trips not getting enough charging. Id check the alternator. Have seen a few people go through new battery, starter checks etc just to find the alternator is not doing its thing

intrade, Apr 15, 9:38pm
tap the starter while your try and start the car with ignition key on crank position. if it starts up then look if the starter has a round tube like contact that is bolted to the starter or if the contact is part of the starter housing?= the contacts can be exchanged for 20$ on this one.
the other has a bosch style silanoid round tube cost 100+ as whole unit has to be exchanged no repair on silanoid possible.
Also brushes can be a problem but i found on the japanese style ones its almost always just the 20$ contacts.

tony9, Apr 15, 11:02pm
Starter and/or solenoid issue would not explain why a jump start consistently works.

snoopy221, Apr 15, 11:15pm
on a toyota where the brushes are worn and the solenoid contacts are dirty and the problem is in it's infancy-yip-it-does.
However if the starter is NOT overhauled then the
*Give the starter a tap-while i turn the key with the jump starter on-WILL be next- lol*

floscey, Apr 15, 11:25pm
maybe the alternator isnt keeping up charging the new Battery . Is your new battery a Maintenance free Calcium type ?

intrade, Apr 15, 11:29pm
ONLY a 2%er will know what you wrote is 100% accurate.

franc123, Apr 16, 12:54am
Disconnect both the battery terminals, clean them up the insides with some abrasive paper and the posts where they contact until they are bright metal, refit them and then see what happens, its the easiest thing to eliminate first. Its clear there is a voltage drop occuring.

fordcrzy, Apr 16, 12:58am
same symptoms on our toyota . it was the brushes on the starter. had to buy a whole end cap with brushes. only took an hour to remove/clean/repair/refit

nick91111, Apr 16, 2:09am
Hi all thanks for the advice. Got the battery tested all was fine (voltage, charging etc), until we noticed the negative terminal had cracked across the back - so that explains a lot! New battery to fit tonight.

franc123, Apr 16, 5:52am
Haha good on you, making better contact when the jumper lead was clamped around it was it lol. It was highly unlikely to be a starter problem.

intrade, Apr 16, 6:14am
taping would have done nothing then.
the reason the jumper worked is by overcoming the voltage drop.

skin1235, Apr 16, 6:58am
new battery or new battery lead?, the posts are repairable, any decent sparky can do them, usually costs me about $15 ( the 24v system in the digger has a tendency of shaking the terminals loose, first you know about it is when it fails to start - and half the terminal post is missing

nick91111, Apr 16, 7:13am
New battery, but now looking at the old one the crack isn't too bad. Might try get it repaired! Didn't realise you could.

nick91111, Mar 10, 9:44pm
Yep! A simple explanation at least.

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