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Can a starter motor get 'weak' ?

Gaity

Silverstone
Joined
25 Sep 2008
Messages
130
Never been an issue before but I hadn't driven my car for a few weeks and when I tried to start it it just clicked and churned very slowly. It sounded like a flat battery but it had been on a Citek charger for that time (and the light was green). Battery voltage was 12.4V so didn't seem low. I tried to jump start it with my trusty spare (citek charged) battery but still the same. Anyhow, I put a proper charger on the battery overnight - started first turn of the key! Left it until next day and back to same issue - click, churn, nothing. Back on proper charger for 12 hours - started fine.

Before I spring for a new battery, could I be looking at a starter motor problem?
 
I assume it's not the starter motor itself but the pinion steering which is lacking proper lubrication. It can be fixed easily after disassembling the starter.
 
12.4v is too low.. Recharge the battery and then do a proper drop test to determine its condition.
 
Sounds like a battery problem to me ..
Normally starter motors give trouble initially when hot , and will start normally on first start of the day.
If you bring the car to any decent garage they can test the battery properly to see if its at "end of life".
It might be worth sticking an earth strap in too just in case it's increased it resistance over the years ... That'd be a nice cheap fix!
 
Had the exact same with mine a few weeks back. Battery not holding a charge. Replaced battery - fine now.
 
+1 on the battery
But change your earth sprap whilst your there as ballcock mentioned
Your citek only puts a small amount of current into the battery and it seems like the combination of the small current draw of the car and a tired battery struggling to hold a full charge and the citek charger is struggling to keep the battery fully charged
Hence when you put a higher current charger on it, it seams ok as the bigger charger is temporarily overcoming the above
So I would look to fitting a new battery :)
 
Thanks for the replies. It looks like I'll go out and get a new battery in the first instance anyway. Looking back through my records, I installed the existing (Bosch Silver) one back in 2011 - not a particulary long innings. It's had 2 winters and a couple of lengthy lay ups though, which won't have done it any favours.

Regarding the earth straps, the one on the battery looks in good shape and well connected but I haven't actually unbolted it from the chassis to check yet. Is there a separate one on the starter or does it get its earth through the engine?
 
Gaity said:
Thanks for the replies. It looks like I'll go out and get a new battery in the first instance anyway. Looking back through my records, I installed the existing (Bosch Silver) one back in 2011 - not a particulary long innings. It's had 2 winters and a couple of lengthy lay ups though, which won't have done it any favours.

Regarding the earth straps, the one on the battery looks in good shape and well connected but I haven't actually unbolted it from the chassis to check yet. Is there a separate one on the starter or does it get its earth through the engine?

My earth strap looked great, the car was only around 3 years old at the time so why wouldn't it, so even though I should of known better I ignored it and checked everything else and even change the alarm and immobilized and was fast losing faith in the car, was it or was it not going to start when I got back to it
Anyway I finally tested the earth strap as I'd done everything else
That it turned out was the problem all along
 
As an update - all those who plumped for new battery, take a gold star! :thumb:

Earth strap at battery end looked ok but I took it off and cleaned it up - no noticeable improvement on cranking with the old battery (S5007). Took delivery of a shiny new Bosch Silver S5008 and it fired up first turn of the key. Never managed to get out on the road then and left it for a couple of days and it still fired up immediately. Result.
 

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