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Old 02-07-2009, 07:38 PM   #1
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Unhappy Won't start (battery and starter checked ok)

'95 2.5L.

The problem started a while ago, when it would progressively crank slower and slower. Now it just won't start. I had figured the battery was going - apparently, that's not it.

All it does now is click the solenoid when it's in the car.

I tried jump starting it - just a click.
I tried bypassing the switch and running a hot lead from the battery straight to the starter - just a click.

I took the battery and starter to Auto Zone and had them tested. They both tested good. The battery tests at almost 13v w/o a load, and holds at almost 11v with a load. The starter engaged and turned during the test.

When I put the charger on the battery, it is in charge mode for less than a minute and it reads full charge.

I've checked and double checked all the connections and grounds, and all seem ok. The cables appear to be ok.

When I bench test the starter at home, it engages and turns, but it sounds like it's winding up slowly. This is unlike other starters I've tested in the past that engaged and spun very quickly.

I have had older Ford solenoids seize in the past and just click, and when you smack them with something, they freed up. I tried it with this, to no avail. It still just clicks.

I don't know what else to test, or where to go from here.

I should have asked at Auto Zone - does their tester test the solenoid or just the starter?

I don't know what to look at next. Any ideas?

Thanks.

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Old 02-07-2009, 07:44 PM   #2
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auto zone is a bunch of idiots. on the bench the starter should jump off the bench. here's all you do, put the starter back in, have someone crank the key, if power goes to the starter motor, and no crank the starter is bad. sounds like a bad starter. but if no power going to the starter motor at crank, then problem is elsewhere.

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Old 02-07-2009, 08:08 PM   #3
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auto zone is a bunch of idiots. on the bench the starter should jump off the bench. here's all you do, put the starter back in, have someone crank the key, if power goes to the starter motor, and no crank the starter is bad. sounds like a bad starter. but if no power going to the starter motor at crank, then problem is elsewhere.
dont dog on autozone man, i worked there for almost 2 years and i can diagnose any car with out a book or a code reader. and yes it does sound like a starter. that or you are getting a bad connection from the batt to the starter. get the new starter and install it, try and keep it as clean as possible. if thats not the problem take it out. then take it back. just make sure to tell them that you did not install it. let us know whats going on from there
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:46 AM   #4
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Thanks guys, I figured the starter was bad, too - even though it tested ok.
I'll put one in and let you know the outcome.
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:56 AM   #5
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Try the starter relay or something before replacing such an expensive part....
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:19 AM   #6
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or actually test it like i said, then you'll know if its the starter or not, instead of guessing.
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:01 AM   #7
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or actually test it like i said, then you'll know if its the starter or not, instead of guessing.
Do you mean to test it with a meter, or just listen to it? I know the solenoid is clicking - maybe even engaging the starter - but the starter doesn't crank.
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:28 AM   #8
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auto zone is a bunch of idiots. on the bench the starter should jump off the bench. here's all you do, put the starter back in, have someone crank the key, if power goes to the starter motor, and no crank the starter is bad. sounds like a bad starter. but if no power going to the starter motor at crank, then problem is elsewhere.
requires two people and a $12 test light.
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:37 AM   #9
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It was the starter. I knew it didn't seem to be engaging like it should. I was pretty confident that was it, considering everything I had done.

Thanks for the responses.
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:56 PM   #10
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glad you got er fixed up, i can't believe how many parts autozone tells people are good, that aren't. it sucks cuz you then waste a ton of time trying to figure it out, when you were on the right track all along.

testing parts at autozone is a waste of time.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:51 AM   #11
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In this case, it was a huge waste of time, because their results went against everything I had learned over the years, and had me on a wild goose chase.

I'm just glad going with my gut worked out. We've had the jeep for over a year, and it cranks faster now than it ever did. It must have been weak when we bought it, and it just took a year plus to finally go.

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