Units and Starter Motors generally spend large amounts of capital on test benches and sophisticated diagnostic equipment. In a word, they’re specialists and charge accordingly. While they serve a vital function in prolonging the life of a vehicle, you can help prevent unnecessary wastage of time, energy and money on unnecessary Starter Motor refurbishing or replacement by following a Process of Elimination. This entails checking and testing each component that plays a part in delivering voltage to the starter motor.
So, when a customer’s car won’t start, check these three key areas before you look at the starter motor…
1. The battery – check voltage with a Multimeter and ‘cranking amps’ with a Load Tester. Make sure the terminals are clean and the cable connectors are
2. If the vehicle has a factory-fitted immobiliser, check the dash ‘Theft’ warning light. If it’s off, the problem lies further down the wires towards the
3. A blown fuse or starter relay is often responsible for a car not starting. Check the Owner’s Manual (or search online) for the location of the starter
relay and insert a healthy replacement unit. Check the fuse box for any blown fuses and replace if necessary.
Once these components are given a clean bill of health, you can now check the starter motor itself. While an assistant turns the ignition, hit the starter motor with a hammer a few times. Often, an old starter motor suffers minor seizure due to age and simply needs some ‘CPR’ to get it turning again.
If the car still doesn’t start, disconnect the battery cables and get under the vehicle. Use a hydraulic jack and jack stands for extra safety.
Situated where the engine and transmission meet, which is where the flywheel resides, the starter motor can be relatively inaccessible and tricky to work on so have the necessary socket extensions including a universal joint adapter socket.
Clean any corrosion from the starter motor connectors and wire leads with sand paper. Attempt to start the car again. If the starter motor fails to turn, it’s probably time for a new one.
The OE-quality DOE range of starter motors from www.startmycar.co.za is extensive and is the ideal replacement starter motor backed by a ‘no quibble’ guarantee. Tip – apply silicone paste to the DOE starter motor connectors and the wires to make them water and corrosion resistant.Bottom line – Much angst is caused by ‘mysterious’ issues affecting the starter motor.
Be a mystery-buster using simple logic and a process of elimination. Cut to the source of the problem and give your customer a swift and cost-effective solution that gets that motor running right!