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How to Test and Troubleshoot a Starter Problem

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Published on Jun 16, 2011

Car won't start? Don't pay a mechanic! Learn how to diagnose an automobile no-start condition by performing simple battery load and voltage drop tests using a multimeter, plus tips and advice for all levels of auto repair experience, including DIY. Sponsored by BBB Industries - makers of premium alternators and starters that meet or exceed OE form, fit and function. http://www.BBBind.com

Related Videos...

How to Remove & Replace a Starter:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwdtfO...

How to Use a Multimeter to Troubleshoot Common Problems:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDy9-l...

How to Properly Shim a Starter:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cYqrK...

Detailed white paper on heat soak condition:
http://tinyurl.com/heatsoak

Eric the Car Guy is an ASE-certified Master Technician based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Comments • 671

Rob M
Eric, you might want to make one minor adjustment to this video. Provided the battery checks out, high mileage Hondas (100K plus) ultimately will experience starter motor failure which is indicated by slow cranking due to the starter solenoid beginning to fail. I bring this up because you mention that if the motor cranks then the starter is fine but honestly in more cases than not, it is the beginning state of starter solenoid failure. I have changed several of these over the years and the problem was always the same. Slow cranking and a few months later, complete failure. Cars with auto-start exacerbate the problem and should be checked more often while being in the car’s presence. I have auto start on my 2006 CRV and about 4 months ago (during the winter, always during the winter...arg!!) the auto-start stopped, recycled about three times and finally started. The problem got worse and began flooding the engine due to excess slow cranking and too much fuel dumping. Knowing what was happening, I ordered a new OEM part. One week later, as anticipated, the starter motor completely failed but at least I had the replacement part on hand and was able to do the job. Lastly, I tend to over lubricate my parts but doing so on battery posts (which you do NOT do and is good) can cause poor contact and slowing cranking issues as well. One of my friends recently put a new battery in his car and called me because he thought he bought a defective unit. The car barely cranked over but the battery showed a solid charge with and without load applied. I removed the cables which were soaked with white grease as were the battery posts, wiped them dry, reinstalled them, covered just the top of the posts and outside of the cables with white grease and the problem was solved. Thanks again for another sound video…….
JAIME
Great video. Thx so much!!
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michael Basher
Cool guy and great really helpful video.
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Andy Reyes
I have a question if anyone is able to help. So I have a 99 Ford Explorer Sport SOHC and the transmission was rebuilt and flywheel was also replaced. Every so often, on a cold start when I crank the car I get a grinding noise for about 1 sec and it disappears. The reason I commented was I think it may be the starter is coming into some contact with the flywheel or something. Also, when I turn the key to where all my dash lights come on, and leave it for a few seconds THEN start the engine, I don't get the awful grinding noise. Please any help is appreciated. 
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Desmond Why
i just turn my key my car no sound or any click sound..just light, ac , radio works fine. is that my starter problem?
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Jake Holland
Brilliant Video Dude !! =)
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Zeeshan Kadri
I have a 1997 Sentra 200SX. My car suddenly don't starts right away, it takes some time 15 or 20 mins.When I twist my car key all they way to start nothing happens. But after trying so many times it starts. Do you think is that a starter or battery?When I try to start my car my dashboard light never ever get dim. So I don't think so that it would be a battery.I really need your help thanks.
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Negan
Best video I have ever seen. You have given me so much information in short period of time. God bless you. I am subscribing.
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nomoniggs
Thanks for the video Eric, easy to follow for everyone.
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Great White Rabbit
so acter probing a wire with a insulation piercing probe should I put something like liquid electric tape or somthin to prevent corostion in the wire insulation?
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