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Is It Really Bad Starters Or Something Else?

Old 02-06-2019, 05:40 AM
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Is It Really Bad Starters Or Something Else?

Obsessing over my recent starter losses and their frequency, I'm now second guessing whether my recurrent issue is actually the starters at all. I mean three brand new and/or newly remanufactured faulty starters in as many months?! Statistically this just seems so improbable. So, I'm looking to issues outside of the starter itself and if you guys have any insight, feel free to chime in.

Reference: https://maxima.org/forums/4th-genera...-starters.html

My most recent failure revealed itself with (and these are all images in my own head based on what I think I know about a starter's mechanical operation) a freely spinning unengaged starter. I turned the key and immediately it was obvious that the pinion gear was not properly thrown out, it did not engage the flywheel/drive plate and it was just spinning.

In this case also, upon turning the ignition off and even removing the key from the ignition, the starter continued to spin. The only means of shutting things down was to disconnect the battery.

My first thought was “starter” which has since been transplanted and the car starts fine … for now.

But, in thinking more, I thought … “ignition switch”. But this had been replaced last summer with a new OEM switch.

Then I thought, ignition “lock cylinder”. Why else would voltage continue to be delivered to the starter even after the ignition key was turned off if something in the ignition system wasn’t malfunctioning?

... and BTW, upon leaving the car sit in the garage for the day with the battery disconnected and returning after work hours to replace the apparent faulty unit, that apparent faulty unit started the car as if nothing ever happened.

Other thoughts?

More expertise?

Similar experience?

Last edited by Turbobink; 02-06-2019 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:38 AM
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With starter spinning and key off you need to check for voltage from ign. switch. If no voltage from ign swithch, solenoid relay on starter is stuck.
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:11 PM
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I had some crazy experiences with "New China" starters from Advance that would make a humming noise even after you turned off the ignition. Then the rebuild starters from Mexico would work for 2 or 3 years..
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:35 PM
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The trans engine ground is very important and people often have problems after removing the trans and forgetting to sand the contact surface with the engine. This issue can be tested by adding a ground to the transmission

https://maxima.org/forums/4th-generation-maxima-1995-1999/626310-help-car-won-t-start-after-trans-install.html
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:11 PM
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I did some searching around earlier and came across this on the .org.

This totally rang a bell in my head when I thought about when my starter glitches began, how my starters have been acting and failing.

I found this very same recommendation on a couple of other car repair blog-type web spots wherein my exact symptoms were included.

This is very encouraging and will be done this weekend.


Last edited by Turbobink; 02-07-2019 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 03-20-2019, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Turbobink View Post
I did some searching around earlier and came across this on the .org.

This totally rang a bell in my head when I thought about when my starter glitches began, how my starters have been acting and failing.

I found this very same recommendation on a couple of other car repair blog-type web spots wherein my exact symptoms were included.

This is very encouraging and will be done this weekend.

Did this get it working? I'm having the same issue with mine. Car will start fine but the starter runs the after the key is switched off. They starter was actually working fine prior to a friend of mine binding the throttle cable to into one of the clamps on the intake coupler, causing the engine to rev to 6K as soon as it started.
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Tony Two-Tone View Post
Did this get it working? I'm having the same issue with mine. Car will start fine but the starter runs the after the key is switched off. They starter was actually working fine prior to a friend of mine binding the throttle cable to into one of the clamps on the intake coupler, causing the engine to rev to 6K as soon as it started.
I went through this procedure with the 2 brand new starters I purchased ... those that previously exhibited pseudo-failures.

The 11 toothed starter purchased from Advance Auto comes alive just fine but the pinion gear still simply grinds on the drive-plate ... I'm actually callin' BS on the opinions provided by others that an 11 toothed pinion gear is a must have.

The 10 toothed Remy I purchased from Rock Auto has been operating flawlessly (knock on wood) since it was "cleaned and surfaced".

I would encourage you to at least give this cleaning and surfacing thing a try.

BTW ... I also pulled my battery tray to expose the (-) battery cable, I removed the cable and cleaned all of the (-) grounding surfaces (body, engine block and cable tabs) as well ... don't not do this step as it may well have been a contributor, if not the cause, of my issue.

Bottom-line ... all is well as I type this (again, knock on wood).

Last edited by Turbobink; 03-21-2019 at 05:08 AM.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:33 PM
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I replaced my starter roughly 4 yrs ago or so with New Autozone Gold and never has given me any problems. Then 2 yrs later the original ignition switch went out... but since then never had a problem. If you go with rebuilt..you're going with either a hit or miss. Sure it may be cheaper but is that really worth the headache knowing that a rebuilt starter is going to be good or not? It may be 6 months before the rebuilt starter craps and have to do the whole replace process all over again. Whereas if you buy new, it'll last years without any issues and making sure your contacts are clean is important too.
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