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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-25-2006, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Oh yay...another thread about a starting problem.

My car encountered a charging/starting problem recently; mainly, the battery was nearly dying at long traffic lights during nighttime driving, and the telltale "tick tick tick" of a dying battery while starting the car was encountered a few times.

I replaced the alternator about 1½ weeks ago, since a local shop diagnosed a problem with it. Everything in the starting/charging system tested ok -- except that on a full load, the voltage was drawing from the battery, draining the battery. It was explained that a diode in the alternator was faulty, and causing that situation. After the replacement was installed, all was well.

Several days later, the ticking returned, and starting became nearly impossible (causing Enterprise Rent-a-Car to make a few bucks off me), so I replaced the starter solenoid. All was well.

Until late yesterday/this morning. The ticking started up again! I connected a "jumpstart battery" before continuing to start the car, charged the battery for half a minute, and the car started right up.

A visit to the shop that tested the charging system previously was made; all tests passed! They suggested that it may be a problem with the battery cables...

...which does make sense, though a quick exam shows no corrosion at the points where the cable connects to the battery. I have encountered faulty cables when dealing with stereo and computer components before, so it's possible a battery cable could be failing.

What's new:

1. Alternator
2. Starter solenoid
3. Battery (1/04)
4. Igintion switch (2003?)

I was wondering if anyone else has encountered something similar, and what your remedy was. I'm ready to get new cables, plus "Big 3" them, but I figured I'd research a little before doing so.

Thanks for your input.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 02:02 PM
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I had an interrmittent, recurring problem like you said. The thing that really struck me was the tick tick tick noise. Is it a noise like a clock, and does it sound like it is coming from under the steering column? I had that clock noise, and intermittently I would get no crank, and sometimes my whole car would lose power, ie nothing electrical worked.

After paying a mechaninc 200+ in diagnostic labor, the ultimate cost was $1.50 for a bad jumper wire on the antitheft box. The wire was melted from shorting so much. now it starts every time no start. Check all the anti theft relay wiring.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 04:39 PM
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Have you ever replaced the starter? I'm also currious about how you replaced the solonoid when it is integrated into the starter itself


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 04:41 PM
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did you run a new engine to frame ground cable? Mine caused many electrical issues. including battery drain, no start, low charge, etc..

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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All are good suggestions. Thank you.

96 LX -- what you describe is what I believe I'm hearing. I've not encountered a no start situation yet, but there's a dealer-installed antitheft device, more than likely installed for the original owner (I got the car in '97). Definitely worth a check.

timb - I have not replaced the starter, since the shop diagnostics indicate it's ok. I want to suspect it a little, though I don't know why. Regarding the solenoid, there are two T-20 bolts holding the solenoid to the starter. Undo those, remove the housing seal, and carefully slide the solenoid off.

The Great Obucina -- not yet. I'm not certain which one that is, though I am strongly considering new cables, as well as "The Big 3." Any additional insight about that cable is appreciated.

Thanks again, guys.
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