: Starter failing?



WesH8398
01-05-11, 10:59 AM
Hey guys. Yesterday I went to start my v and got nothing but a single "click" when turning and holding the ignition. I would get another "click" several seconds after releasing the ignition. Tested battery and it was fine. Checked connection to starter, seemed fine. Gave it several more attempts all with the same results.
Thankfully my driveway has a bit of an incline, so I used this to "bump start" the car by myself; fired up fine. I swung it by a mechanic's, pulled it into a bay and he said "ok, give it a try" while he listened. The bastard fired right up. And again. And again about 10 times. It's been starting fine since.
Obviously I'm thankful it didn't cost me anything, but I'm just wondering if this can be filed under "fluke" or if it's a sign that my starter needs some work. What do you think? Did the aperture just get stuck? Are the brushes wearing out? Other ideas?

Thanks and happy new year!

Houdini
01-05-11, 11:46 AM
Before my starter finally went out totally, I had the exact same issue. It would just click and then hours later would start right up fine. A month later it finally died totally so the dealer checked it out and replaced the bad starter with a new one. All is fine now.

Chris0nllyn
01-05-11, 12:15 PM
I'd be willing to bet it's your ignition switch rather than the starter

WesH8398
01-05-11, 12:19 PM
That's what I was lookin for, thanks! Looks like I should get 'er replaced or rebuilt asap. Which raises the question: rebuild or replace? $150 for a new one. Not sure how much a rebuild will be.
Can anyone give an idea how easy/tough starter replacement is? Tips or tricks?


I'd be willing to bet it's your ignition switch rather than the starter

Why do you say that? Seems like tell-tale signs of starter issues to me...

PISNUOFF
01-05-11, 04:17 PM
Simple swap. Two bolts (from the bottom) one nut and a sensor. All easily accessible. Should take longer to jack the car up and put it on stands. Don't over torque the nut as it and the stud are copper.

WesH8398
01-05-11, 06:15 PM
I read in another thread that the converter needs to be removed for access... this true? Also from that thread (and common sense) I will be SURE to disconnect the battery before I put a wrench to any bolts!

Hey Darkman ... Any chance you've got one of them fancy dancy write ups on starter replacement?

PISNUOFF
01-05-11, 06:45 PM
Oh. I have B&B headers and they aren't in the way. Sorry, if I misinformed you.

darkman
01-05-11, 07:44 PM
I read in another thread that the converter needs to be removed for access... this true? Also from that thread (and common sense) I will be SURE to disconnect the battery before I put a wrench to any bolts!

Hey Darkman ... Any chance you've got one of them fancy dancy write ups on starter replacement?

See attached. I have not changed my starter, but based on reports from some that have, I think the passenger side cat has to come out (the Service Manual indicates this), and you must have the car far enough off the ground (jack stands, Rhino ramps or a lift) to get clearance for the starter to drop.

WesH8398
01-05-11, 08:00 PM
Thanks to you both!

KaMaSuTrA
01-05-11, 10:55 PM
I removed mine a while back and you did not need to remove the cat, you just have to angle it in.

Chris0nllyn
01-06-11, 09:12 AM
An old school trick:

When it "clicks" again, smack the starter with a hammer while someone else is cranking it. If there is a bad point in the starter, smacking it should move (hopefully) to a good point. You can do the same thing for a fuel pump BTW

darkman
01-06-11, 04:55 PM
An old school trick:

When it "clicks" again, smack the starter with a hammer while someone else is cranking it. If there is a bad point in the starter, smacking it should move (hopefully) to a good point. You can do the same thing for a fuel pump BTW

Can you smack the ignition switch?

BTW the fuel pump is in the fuel tank.

kevm14
01-06-11, 08:35 PM
A good trick for the ignition switch is to hold the car in crank and smack the steering wheel rim in a direction parallel to the column. For the fuel pump, I definitely had a pump on my 93 Caprice need to have the tank smacked with a rubber mallet until I felt like dropping the tank to replace the pump.

I am, however, intrigued by KaMaSuTrA's experience with not having to remove the cat to replace the starter. I really, really don't want to be stuck torquing on rusted manifold flange fasteners just to replace the stupid starter. Anyone else do it without removing the cat, stock exhaust?

ichpen
01-07-11, 03:31 PM
Before my starter finally went out totally, I had the exact same issue. It would just click and then hours later would start right up fine. A month later it finally died totally so the dealer checked it out and replaced the bad starter with a new one. All is fine now.


Same here. Randomly clicked exactly 3 weeks before it failed completely. Get yourself a good aftermarket starter. Easy swap, no need to remove anything other than the old starter of course.

CancerJCC
01-08-11, 11:43 AM
I really, really don't want to be stuck torquing on rusted manifold flange fasteners just to replace the stupid starter.

Why not, perfect excuse for long tubes! :devil:

Slithering_Joe
01-08-11, 12:23 PM
I you are getting a very slight click then you are at least getting signal/power to the starter relay in the engine compartment fuse box. I would rule out the ignition switch. If you are getting a loud click then the starter solenoid is actuating but not making contact with the starter motor. (Again, ruling out the ignition switch.) In my case, the wire/bus failed internal to the starter assembly. The nearby cat really heats up the starter and over time any part within has a good chance of failing. I insulated my starter and the wire leading to it. The wire and its connector were cooked to a crisp.

I would love to see someone remove the [LS6] starter without removing the exhaust pipe (not the cat). I tried every possible way and in no way would it come out. The parts manager at the dealership told me that GM parts notified them that there were many starters boxed for a CTS-V that contained the wrong starter. In my case, it took them 3X to get the correct one but all boxes had the correct part number, just the wrong part inside.

Cooked original
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z130/Slithering_Joe/My%202005%20CTS-V/IMG_0665.jpg

New replacement & shielded
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z130/Slithering_Joe/My%202005%20CTS-V/IMG_0739.jpg

KaMaSuTrA
01-08-11, 03:17 PM
Since I had my started replaced twice, it might be possible that I may have the newer model from the last replacement that is slimmer. It doesn't look all that different from the pics above though. I had to remove it in order to take out the factory motor mount when I replaced them with the CS mounts. There wasn't much too it, it took longer to angle it back in then to take it out but there wasn't any force needed.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs014.snc4/34041_404517524271_647094271_4447489_4052528_n.jpg

WesH8398
01-08-11, 05:22 PM
Hey fellas, what's the dirt on mini starters? Summit sells high torque mini starters for even less than the OEM replacements from Autozone, etc ... Are there drawbacks to the minis?

WesH8398
03-12-11, 02:27 PM
UPDATE: Well, I pushed my luck for too long and hit the starter's "flat spot" again today. I came out to leave the gym and head to work, I got that lovely "click" again. Thankfully the gym isn't far from work, so I left the car there and walked. Hopefully I'll gather a coworker or two later today and we'll go over and bump start it again. Hopefully after that I'll get a few more starts out of it until Monday when I'll go get a new one from Autozone and get 'er done.
Just to clarify ... it's the LS6 V's that need the cat removed, right? LS2's have enough room that you don't have to? (I realize it's probably more in the starter's design itself rather than the ls6/ls2 design that gives the room).

CadzillaTN
03-12-11, 02:56 PM
If you have cs mounts the starter can come out without removing anything else.

If stock mounts, you can loosen the mount bolts enough to allow it to move it out of the way about a half inch, then you can get the starter in/out. However, if you can get the cat off, do it that way.

I tried to remove my cats when I was changing my motor mounts and could NOT break the bolts loose. I tried pb blaster overnight, the freeze off stuff, etc.. I was afraid I was going to snap one so I left it alone.

If someone got the starter out on the ls6 without removing the cat or loosening the m.mount, congrats..its a tight fit!

WesH8398
03-12-11, 03:49 PM
I do have the CS mounts, as well as not having to contend with the LS6 so I'm hoping that I don't have to worry about getting those exhaust flange studs undone. Also, does anyone know where I can find new connectors/wires in case mine are fried?

WesH8398
03-14-11, 07:52 PM
Well I had a quick poke around tonight while I'm waiting for the new starter to come in (tomorrow hopefully).
It appears there are 2 connections, one pigtail/plastic clip connection, and one large wire that's connected to the motor with a nut (power, I'm assuming). The pigtail is broken and also pretty charred, as you can see in the pics. Do you think that broken connector could be the cause of my problems? Maybe it's arching off and shorting out? Is this pigtail a part thats replaceable?
I didn't remove the other connection cause i wasnt planning to take the starter out yet and the wire was pretty stiff. The nut wasn't readily accessible with tools I had at my side, so I didn't bother inspecting.

kzeliminator
03-14-11, 10:58 PM
mines in the dealer right now for the same thing, exact same stuff worked for a few days then crapped out totally

SuperVeee
03-15-11, 05:18 PM
Absolutely! The fried pigtail is fried just like mine and I had the same problems. I see Slithering Joe had a cooked one (above) too. Amazing how hot it gets under there with just a stock set up and for the header guys it must be worse. I like Joe's insulation idea.

I remember my cooker fried the battery and started playing all kinds of hell on the car electical system before the dealer found the fried pigtail and replaced the starter and wire. I hope the later model Vs have evolved in this area.

Slithering_Joe
04-07-12, 11:16 AM
My car cooked another starter, here's probably why this time:

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z130/Slithering_Joe/My%202005%20CTS-V/IMG_0063.jpg

Cracked weld on catalytic converter pipe flange. Note the black carbon exiting the crack. Starter is just way too close to the cat.