Temperamental Starter Motor

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NickPov
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Temperamental Starter Motor

Post by NickPov »

Hi everyone. I’ve had 2 occurrences where I’ve stayed in the van overnight and the starter motor hasn’t turned the engine when coming to start the van the next morning.

I’ve recently cleaned the terminals and changed the earth cable. It turns over quickly at all other times but on these 2 occasions I’ve turned the key and the solenoid clicks but the starter doesn’t turn. End result, I have to bump it and then it starts ok after that.

Could it be the increased oil viscosity when it’s cold? Battery voltage is fine.

On the way to Scotland for a couple of weeks driving along the west coast so keen to avoid having to bump every time I start from cold!

Any ideas welcome. Thanks!
1989 1.9 DG High Top

TONYT25T25
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Re: Temperamental Starter Motor

Post by TONYT25T25 »

Lots of things to check I think but for the short term, starting solenoid etc, have you tried depressing the clutch pedal when turning over heard this sometimes helps.
1984 Campervan 1.9DG Petrol WBX

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King Kenny
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Re: Temperamental Starter Motor

Post by King Kenny »

Try cleaning the battery connections. If they are slightly corroded they won't let enough current through to turn the starter.
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NickPov
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Re: Temperamental Starter Motor

Post by NickPov »

Thanks for the quick replies.

Tried with the clutch in and cleaned up the battery terminals and earths as previously had a lazy starter. That’s eradicated that issue but still have the issue with the starter not turning the engine at all.
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R0B
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Re: Temperamental Starter Motor

Post by R0B »

When mine did this a tap on the starter body with a hammer usually did the trick. But don't hit it too hard it can shatter the internal magnets. Ask me how i know. :roll: I bought a hi-torque starter in the end not had a problem since.
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Mocki
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Re: Temperamental Starter Motor

Post by Mocki »

It maybe the main battery cable , unless it’s been changed it’s 30+ years old and quite probably is going high resistance internally .just cleaning the ends may help, but won’t cure it if this is the issue .
pits not a huge job to change, I did one of ours a couple of years ago , the hardest bit is getting the old one off! 

I could also be the actual starter motor solenoid is internally dirty or worn and is sticking in that one spot .

 
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jas915
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Re: Temperamental Starter Motor

Post by jas915 »

Surly if it's not starting in the morning after camping then it's draining while you are camping. Do you have leisure battery? Or are you running the camping electrics from the starter battery?
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Re: Temperamental Starter Motor

Post by TONYT25T25 »

You mentioned earlier that the battery was ok, as mentioned by Mocki reference the solenoid sticking in one spot, when it does start does it hesitate and then spin into action.
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footstuck
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Re: Temperamental Starter Motor

Post by footstuck »

I had this fault and you would first think of volt leakage.
My fault was that the signal tab on the solenoid had not been made on to the field coil of the solenoid correctly in manufacture.
​​​​​​This was a 'Brand New Bosch' TDi starter, which was a new addition to the van purely as an upgrade to pre-empt failure :roll: and fortunately came with a 'lifetime guarantee'.
The fault first occurred a month or two after fitting, and temporarily rectified its self.
I first thought it was the vehicle-immobiliser in the alarm system kicking in due to bad voltage (over night drain), Then it showed up again while i was out and about, although i had left the sidelights on for an hour.
Several non starts later and i put a meter on the feed wire which showed voltage, then i was able to start.
The diagnosis came on the day that a non-start led me to hot-start the solenoid tab with a piece of speaker wire again . . . (thinking it was still due to volts but no amps immobiliser fault).
i removed the energiser wire to proceed and the mail tab came out of the back of the solenoid.
Solved with a replacement starter F.O.C no further issue.

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maxstu
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Re: Temperamental Starter Motor

Post by maxstu »

Try feeling the starter solenoid when it does it again. If it feels very warm to touch then could be earth issue. My case, I found the battery earth wire under driving seat (RHD) was arching to seat rail.  :shock:
MaxStu
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Re: Temperamental Starter Motor

Post by Blighty8973 »

I have the same symptoms on my 2.1 DJ (original engine).

I've been lucky though, when it goes silent I've held the key and it has eventually turned and just about fired. This has happened with a new battery, and my battery is always topped up. Like yourself most times it's fine (but it's still not fun when you're on holiday)

I bought a refurbished starter motor and then saw this which now makes me think it's the bush:

https://www.brickwerks.co.uk/t3-parts/e ... etrol.html

 
1992 2.1 (Digijet) Autohome Komet Hi top

NickPov
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Re: Temperamental Starter Motor

Post by NickPov »

Thanks again for all the replies. After almost 2 weeks of daily use and multiple starts I’ve not had any further issues. On occasions it’s been lazy i.e. a delay after turning the key first thing in the morning but then second start of the day is instant. As recommended I’m going to replace the main cable and overhaul the starter motor (as suggested in other threads) when I get back to try and avoid any future issues!
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Dazco
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Re: Temperamental Starter Motor

Post by Dazco »

Replace the bronze bush that the spindle slips into in the engine housing. Easy to do and inexpensive .
Check ya nuts
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