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MFToast 01-28-2013 11:10 AM

1991 Corolla, Starter works but isn't turning over
I've pulled the starter and tested on my battery, and it engages/spins quickly with a good amount of torque (I have to hold it to keep it from flipping when it engages).

Reinstalled it and it still won't turn over.

Battery tests good at just over 12 volts.

Replaced the entire negative battery line, but that didn't seem to fix it.

Where to next? I recently bought myself a multimeter. TAKE THAT HILL!!!

MFToast 01-28-2013 11:33 AM

Just had an idea. Would it be safe to jump the ground/hot terminal on the starter while it's installed? I understand it carries quite a bit of juice so I'd like to know if it's safe before I try it :P

joecaption 01-28-2013 11:38 AM

What does it do when you turn the key?
Totaly nothing, clicking noise ECT.
When you turn the key do the dash lights and radio work?

MFToast 01-28-2013 11:47 AM

It clicks and then nothing. Also just found out as far as electricity goes, it's safe to test while it's installed, just don't leave the car in gear accidentally.

EDIT: Electrical does work when I have the key turned.

joecaption 01-28-2013 12:12 PM

I'm no car pro so this is just a guess.

If the solenoid in not getting power or the contacts inside of it are not making it does not send the power to the starter.
It sort of works lile a relay.

rusty baker 01-28-2013 12:20 PM

Turn the lights on, try the starter. If the lights don't dim, power is not going to the starter. Probably solenoid or short on the hot side.

Billy_Bob 01-28-2013 01:01 PM

Try jump starting the vehicle.

If that does not work and the starter is just "clicking", check the big electrical cables to see they have good tight clean connections all the way from the battery to the starter.

If the starter is not clicking, then look for other problems like security system, relays, fuses, etc. Best to have a factory electrical wiring diagram for that and be able to use a multimeter.

ukrkoz 01-28-2013 10:03 PM

ahhhh.. bad battery or battery terminals have to be cleaned? that "electrical" works, means squat. Takes a lot of power to kick starter into action..

polarzak 01-29-2013 07:44 AM


Originally Posted by rusty baker (Post 1104115)
Turn the lights on, try the starter. If the lights don't dim, power is not going to the starter.

Not sure that is a definitive way to check. Neighbors GM truck would not start, and when the lights would not dim, as you describe, I assumed the same thing. After monkeying around with it for some time, he got it towed to the dealer, and the starter was bad. It was getting pleanty of juice, but the starter was dead.

MFToast 01-30-2013 12:12 PM

Battery's reading at about 12.5 volts, also the starter engaged and spun when I pulled it and tested it directly on the battery. I think it's one of the two wires going to the starter, either ground or hot. Doesn't look like fun.

If I do need to replace the starter wires, does the hot wire just go straight to the positive battery terminal? It's all a big bundled up mess, if I can get away with it I'd rather avoid having to cut it all apart and just throw in another wire. Not finding anything in my repair guide on doing this, any advice?

Of course I'd hire a mechanic if I could, but I'm kind of on my own on this one, so any advice is really appreciated.

paintdrying 01-30-2013 01:53 PM

Okay, most electrical problem are bad connections. Since we are are not there what I can tell you is it is probably a bad connection. It could be a bad ignition switch. Your engine may of locked up. Is the car a stick shift? Are your battery terminals good, clean and tight? Are the battery cables flexible, or are they rock hard. Did you check all the fuses? My advise is to eliminate all the possible problems. Clean and tighten all connections, You could have your battery tested for free at the parts store. You could jump start it. What do you mean the electrical does not work. Your car should have a starter relay as well. What happens when you jump the main power and the solinoid terminal together with a scre driver. Are you getting power to the starter, are you getting pwoer to the solinoid when the key is turned?

Billy_Bob 01-31-2013 09:26 AM

What does the battery voltage drop to while trying to start the vehicle?

Did you try jump starting with jumper cables to another vehicle?

Bigplanz 01-31-2013 06:42 PM

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The click you hear when you turn the key to start is from the solenoid. The circuit has closed and the solenoid is supposed do two things. 1) push the plunger forward. The starter gear is on the end of the plunger. It engages the flywheel. 2) as the plunger hits its travel limit two big contacts close a power flows straight from the battery and starter spins furiously. The car then starts.

If you get a click you either have a bad connection (usually the positive battery terminal), a bad battery or a bad solenoid. Based on what you have posted, I'm guessing you have a bad solenoid.

MFToast 02-02-2013 11:34 AM

Yeah actually, now I'm not getting a click at all, will pull the starter and have it tested at a car shop just to be sure. I'll also check the voltage while I try to start it.

MFToast 02-02-2013 12:30 PM

Starter tested fine at the car shop. Tested battery voltage while trying to start the car, no voltage drop.

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