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Starting System Service

Chapter 29

2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning


Objectives
Measure amperage draw on a starting system
Measure voltage drops on both the positive and
ground sides of the starting circuit
Diagnose no-crank conditions with a test light
Replace a solenoid and starter drive

2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning


Introduction
This chapter deals with the process for testing
and repairing starter system problems
Principles of operation and electrical
fundamentals in earlier chapters will be important
Today, many starters are replaced with new or
rebuilt units
Instead of being repaired in the shop
Local labor rates dictate whether a starter can be
rebuilt economically by the shop

2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning


Starting System Service
Failure diagnosis is important before parts
replacement
Most parts stores will not accept returns of
electrical items
Testing a starter: follow a logical procedure
Do not skip steps
Two types of problems:
Mechanical
Electrical

2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning


Starting System Service
(contd.)
Visual check
Check the wiring connections to see they are
clean and tight
Cable should not get hot during cranking
Volt-amp tester
Used to test the starting and charging systems

2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning


Starting System Tests
Low battery voltage: biggest cause of starter
motor failure
Weak battery: solenoid makes a series of rapid
clicks
Starter draws twice the current if battery voltage
drops by half
During starter tests
Fuel or ignition system must be disabled
Do not crank the engine with the coil to
distributor wire simply disconnected

2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning


2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning
Cranking Voltage and
Amperage Test
Using a VAT to check starter motor amp draw
Clamp inductive pickup around the battery cable
Cranking test results
Normally, when the voltage drops, the amperage
draw goes up
When there is resistance, there is a voltage drop
Cranking speed
Generally, 250 engine rpm is the speed for a
standard starter

2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning


Circuit Resistance Test
Voltage drop testing measures voltage lost
when current flows from source to load
No service required if less than 0.6 volt drop
More voltage drop requires pinpoint tests
Normal voltage drop: about 0.2 volt
If voltage drop reading is high, check each
connection in the circuit

2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning


2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning
No-Crank Tests Using a Test
Light
Engine does not crank
Usually because of an open circuit
Use 12-volt test light to see if there is power at
the outlet of the solenoid
If no light, work back through the system until
you find power
Next test is to check the starters ground path
If the light comes on, the ground path is good
Starter must be the problem

2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning


2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning
2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning
Solenoid Problems
Causes of a rapidly clicking solenoid
Weak battery
Corroded or loose battery cable connection
Open circuit in a hold-in winding
Single click when battery is in good condition
Often caused by burned contacts in the solenoid
Park neutral position (PNP) switch
Moving shift lever while turning ignition to start
will allow engine to crank
Start switch should be adjusted
2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning
Solenoid Problems (cont'd.)
Manual
transmissions
have a clutch
start switch
Should be no
continuity when
clutch pedal is
up

2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning


Starter Repair
Starters may not be economical to rebuild
Depends on:
Price of parts
Wages
Shop work load
Many shops replace starter drives and
solenoids

2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning


Starter Disassembly
Considerations
Mark disassembled parts
Disconnect solenoids electrical terminals
Remove two screws that hold solenoid on starter
Twist solenoid until locking flange is free
Remove bolts, end frame, and starter body from
drive end housing
Remove armature from the housing
Inspect bearings or bushings at both ends of
housing

2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning


Starter Drive Service
Starter drives often do not last the life of the
starter motor
Before replacing the starter drive with a new one,
count the teeth on the drive pinion
Match old and new to see they are the same
Inspect the starter ring gear for damage
Brushes may wear thin and have to be replaced
Replace whenever a starter taken apart

2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning


2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning
Starter Reassembly
Some starters have
brushes on pivots
Others require
pulling up on
springs that hold
brushes against
the commutator

2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning


Pinion Clearance Tests
Starter on the bench
Solenoid energized
Push pinion back toward armature
Check clearance with feeler gauge
Starter on the engine
Check pinion to flywheel ring gear clearance
Excessive clearance
Starter can be loud and teeth can be damaged
Too little clearance
Starter could bind and amp draw will be higher
2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning
2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning
2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning
2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning