: HELP!!! Starter Not Starting!!!

04-15-09, 06:48 PM
AHHHH!!! My '84 is being weird. When I got out of the bank today it cranked, but very spasmodically. It would crank slowly, then fast, then slow, then not at all, then fast, etc. Just plain weird. It has the HT4100 in it, and it has NEVER done this before. Worked perfect all day, was in the bank 10 minutes, then nothing. Left for a half-hour or so, and then it fired right up! Got it home, checked the battery (was fine) and cranked it, and it started spazzing again. Does this sound like the starter, solenoid, or wiring? I'm gonna yank the starter after class, and take it to advance auto to get tested. I'll post more later. If anyone has any advice, please let me know. Thanks!

04-16-09, 09:25 AM
Common problem on the 5MT/SD250 starters. The armature is likely getting corroded on one of the wires. Mine did it. It cost me $25 to fix. You have to find a starter shop that will sell you parts. Or get another 5MT for parts (Junkyards, car-part.com and get 1 or 2 for parts units). My 91 Deville (sold) has the FACTORY starter on it, 220K+ miles.

It will get worse, you can tap on it (not hard! the starter is surrounded by magnets that WILL break if you hit too hard) while you have the key turned and it will start right up, it is likely in the position that one of the wires that is dying is not making connection, once it cools the dimension change and the wire touches again and all is fine.

You can resolder it, mine lasted a solid 6 months, but started to fail again, and eventually wouldn't start till cool. I rarely took short trips, just the long trip to work, let it cool 8-12 hours and start and go home. The problem got masked for a long time.

Another telltale is when it DOES start warm, it will be slow or weak compared to when the car is cold. That is a sign of pending doom.

I am a big fan of following the factory service manual and FIXING the starter, not replacing with a parts store one, even if it means warranty. Not worth the high costs at the parts store.