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  • avatar zaken1 05/04/10 2:30 am PST

    You didn't say whether the starter doesn't run when you turn the key; or whether the starter runs, but the engine doesn't fire.

    The most common item which prevents the starter from running is a bad neutral safety switch (on automatic transmission vehicles) or clutch switch (on stick shift vehicles). You can bypass these switches by connecting a remote starter switch or briefly touching a jumper wire from the battery "+" terminal to the small tab terminal on the starter where the wire from the ignition switch normally attaches. (Be sure to remove the original wire from that terminal before connecting the remote starter or jumper wire.) Some parts stores can help you find out where these switches are located on the car; if you need to replace one.

    If the starter runs; but the engine does not fire; the problem is often caused by a defective crankshaft position sensor. This, too, is a simple part to replace; once you see what it looks like, and find out where it is located. www.rockauto.com has photos of these parts in their online catalog. Just click on the blue icon after the part number.

    The engine will also not fire if the timing belt has broken or jumped out of position. This would result in a low compression reading in all cylinders during a compression test.

    And the engine will not fire if the electric fuel pump was not working; which could be caused by a blown fuel pump fuse, a poor connection in the pump wiring, or a bad pump.

Answers

  • zaken1 05/04/10 2:30 am PST

    You didn't say whether the starter doesn't run when you turn the key; or whether the starter runs, but the engine doesn't fire.

    The most common item which prevents the starter from running is a bad neutral safety switch (on automatic transmission vehicles) or clutch switch (on stick shift vehicles). You can bypass these switches by connecting a remote starter switch or briefly touching a jumper wire from the battery "+" terminal to the small tab terminal on the starter where the wire from the ignition switch normally attaches. (Be sure to remove the original wire from that terminal before connecting the remote starter or jumper wire.) Some parts stores can help you find out where these switches are located on the car; if you need to replace one.

    If the starter runs; but the engine does not fire; the problem is often caused by a defective crankshaft position sensor. This, too, is a simple part to replace; once you see what it looks like, and find out where it is located. www.rockauto.com has photos of these parts in their online catalog. Just click on the blue icon after the part number.

    The engine will also not fire if the timing belt has broken or jumped out of position. This would result in a low compression reading in all cylinders during a compression test.

    And the engine will not fire if the electric fuel pump was not working; which could be caused by a blown fuel pump fuse, a poor connection in the pump wiring, or a bad pump.

  • zaken1 05/04/10 3:36 am PST

    This is in response to the second post you created; which was submitted as if it were a different question. They don't want feedback posted as a new question on this site. Everything concerning a question that has been posted should go underneath that question. The way to post under this question is to click the "answer this question" button. They probably have already deleted the other post. You can post new responses in the original thread even after that thread has been closed, by accepting a response as the best answer.

    What you wrote about the starter only turning the engine less than 1 turn sounds like the battery is either weak, or discharged, or that the battery cables are corroded, loose, or improperly connected. The battery ground cable must be connected to an upainted bolt that threads directly into the engine. It cannot be connected to a bracket, or to any plastic or painted parts. And the main ground cable also cannot be connected to a part that is not on the engine. In addition, there must be either a second ground wire between the engine and the firewall; or between the battery negative terminal and a body bolt. If these things are not now as I described; they must be corrected in order for the starter and the car's electrical system to work properly.

    New batteries sometimes turn out to be defective. If the headlights are turned on and you then try to run the starter; the lights should not dim. If the lights dim or go out; this means that either the battery is discharged or defective; or that the connections of the battery cables are loose, corroded, or attached to the wrong place.

  • zaken1 05/04/10 11:19 am PST

    There is another possibility why it won't start, which would cause the starter to turn about 1/2 turn and then stop. (and this would cause the lights to dim; even if the battery was good). This problem is called hydrostatic lock. It is a condition created when coolant gets into one or more cylinders, as a result of a leaking head gasket or cracked head. This can happen if the engine overheated. You can test for this condition by removing all the spark plugs, disconnecting the ignition coil, and then trying to run the starter. If the starter now works normally, and a bunch of liquid is sprayed out of the spark plug threads in one or more cylinders; the starter was being blocked by non compressible liquid in a cylinder. If the liquid looks like coolant or water, then the cylinder head has been damaged by overheating, and the head will have to be removed and either repaired or replaced. If the liquid smells and looks like gasoline; there is a problem with the fuel pump or fuel injection system.

    If the motor still doesn't turn with the spark plugs out, and no liquid came out of the plug threads: If the battery is strong and the battery cables are all good and properly connected; there probably is a broken timing belt or a broken internal engine part.

  • klintox13 05/04/10 11:42 pm PST

    the battery and cables are fine and its the motor that barely turns over not the starter, ive tried hitting on the starter while attempting to start it. is there any way to check to see if the ground is shorting out? and the lights dont dim when trying to start it, and it wont start while in neutral either.

  • zaken1 05/05/10 12:49 am PST

    The way you can test for a bad ground (which would be bad if it developed an open or resistive connecton; not from a short) would be to connect a 12 volt light bulb or test light, or a voltmeter between the engine block and the battery negative "-" post. If you use a voltmeter; the negative meter lead should go to the negative battery post, and the positive meter lead should go to the engine block. It is important to make contact with the battery post; not with the cable clamp that attaches to that post. So you may have to touch the meter or bulb lead to the top of the battery post, through the opening in the center of the battery cable clamp. Run the starter while the test device is connected to both of those points, and measure the voltage on the meter, or see if the bulb glows. If the meter reads more than 0.7 volts during this test; or if the bulb glows or lights up, this means that the ground connection or the battery cable clamp connection is bad. If the bulb does not light, or the meter reads less than 0.7 volts; then the ground connection is good.

    But from what you last wrote; it now seems very likely to me that the starter solenoid is bad (not conducting the amount of current the starter needs), and that is what is keeping the starter from turning the motor over. When you say the motor does not turn over; there is no way to tell whether the motor does not turn because it is tight or binding; or whether the motor does not turn because the starter is not putting enough force on it. I understand that the starter has already been tested and found to be good; but I believe that when Auto Zone tested the starter, they did not separately test the starter solenoid. If the starter solenoid is bad; it will make the starter cut off after a few seconds, even when there is nothing wrong with the starter. And that is exactly what the car is doing. So I recommend replacing the starter solenoid.

  • thisneed576 10/14/11 11:45 pm PST

    If by some chance the motor is bad and you want to make a little money on the car even with a broken motor i could use the rest of your car. just send me a message and tell me what the interior is like and all that and we can negotiate price. thanks

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