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Is It Really Bad Starters Or Something Else?

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Is It Really Bad Starters Or Something Else?

Old 02-06-2019, 06:40 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.


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 10:58 AM.
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:38 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, 04:11 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, 07:35 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
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:15 PM
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"...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth", S. Holmes.

Could totally be the starters. What's your source those pieces of junk so I know what to stay away from? The starter circuits for these cars are child's play. For my entire 5.7 swap, and everything I bought and replaced, I only purchased one single item from a parts chain store (AutoZone), a crank sensor day after first start to fix my issues. It worked, but point is I won't go near a chain store for anything I want to last. Factory or high-end aftermarket (my alternator, etc.) only. OEM crank sensor is in the mail. Chain stores are no different than big box retailers like Home Depot, Sam's, Costco, etc. They put orders in for whatever is available and according to very complex financial algorithms, and the consumer is left to choose amongst whatever those product brands may be at the time. It's just business. There's no such thing as an AutoZone starter, an Advance Auto compressor, an O'reilley's air cleaner, etc. All brands are only carried by the retailers, nothing more. So as the consumer we must do our homework as to brand availability, reliability and cost value.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:11 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 01:17 PM.
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