Wrong starter / battery diagnosis - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 19, 2:43 PM Thread Starter
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Wrong starter / battery diagnosis

My daughters BF’s ’09 Escape snapped a serpentine belt and drove maybe a half to our house so we could access. Picked up a new belt had him put it on with my “over the shoulder” help as he wants to become more hands on with home/car repair. Belt went on fine and started the car twice. Once to make sure that belt was operating right and a second time for him to see the belt / pulleys in action. Shut the car off. Did a couple minor maintenance items including cleaning the battery posts/cable ends. Go to start the car and the starter solenoid is just clicking. Try several more times, click click click. Tap on it with a hammer to “free it up” in case it was hung up, and no help. I just got done telling him that my MOL’s Camry’s starter died in here garage and did the same thing. So with the car starting, with no issue an hour before, the battery light going off with the new belt on, the battery being a 1 year old HD one, that we had 11.87v at the battery and same at the starter, I concluded it was starter.

Installed a new starter, go to start click click click – WHAT! My daughter said maybe it’s his battery. I put a charger on it and it was at 5 amps. So don’t trust just voltage and no matter what you think, throw a charger on a battery even if it leads you to believe it’s not the issue. Told him I felt bad about the misdiagnosis and he felt bad that it took up more of my day then planned. So we’re even and he does have to worry about any near future starter issues.

'66 SS, L34, 4spd (M21), 3.73 posi, #'s Matching, G 5C
- like I would have ordered, but I was 2

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 19, 2:59 PM
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Re: Wrong starter / battery diagnosis

Was the 11.87 v at the battery with the key turned to "start"? Did you check battery voltage with the headlights on?
Those would be tests that could reveal a bad battery.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 19, 4:49 PM
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Re: Wrong starter / battery diagnosis

My 95 F150 (DD) crapped out on me at the grocery store last week. Was working perfectly fine, then the same sort of thing, jumped in to go home just got a "click" at the relay. Had to leave it over night since it was dark and no tools. Next day I picked up the solenoid relay and went back to the truck. For S&G's I tried starting it and it fired! Instead of doing the smart thing and drive it home, I shut it off. That was stupid. The
same thing happened "click" and nothing. Swapped out the relay and "click" Jumped the relay with a screw driver and still nothing. So I crawled underneath and pulled the starter, and the battery (12+v showing on the meter, no load) Figured I'd get them both tested if I was headed to the auto parts store. I had just replaced the battery within the last year, but the previous one had acted the same way and had a blown cell that showed under the load test.
Ended up being the starter that was at fault. Had it back on the road within the hour and on my merry way.
You get some funny looks when replacing parts in the grocery store parking lot
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 19, 6:50 PM
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Re: Wrong starter / battery diagnosis

Originally Posted by Jblack View Post
My 95 F150 (DD)
You get some funny looks when replacing parts in the grocery store parking lot
You sure do. I dropped the gas tank of an '87 turbo regal in a parking lot once to replace the fuel pump. Beat getting it towed over 100 miles home.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 19, 12:46 AM
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Re: Wrong starter / battery diagnosis

Sorry that this happened to you but the next time you see a battery reading of 11.80 or so you need to either recharge the battery (or if its that old just replace it).For the record a 12Volt battery needs to read 12.6V to be considered fully charged, anything less and it needs to be recharged before you can do any reliable testing on your car.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 19, 4:12 PM
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Re: Wrong starter / battery diagnosis

Along that same line. My 1/2-ton- 6.2 Silverado is 9 years old, 59.000 miles. I was thinking,,, How long is a 9 year old Batt. ( Org. G.M. Batt) going to live? So I go to the store and buy a new one. Winters in Pa. are cold.
I did not want to get into an " OH $H!T " moment on a cold night.
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