starter going bad?
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Electrical Technical Information Discussion, starter going bad? in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; my 72 deville with a 472 didnt start the other day - instead when i turned the key there was ...
  1. #1
    billsif is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1972 Sedan Deville
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    starter going bad?

    my 72 deville with a 472 didnt start the other day - instead when i turned the key there was a loud slapping / tick sound and the starter wouldnt even try to start the car. I tried turning the key on and off several times and each time that same noise happened. The battery was fine because all the lights in the car were very bright... Then the other day I tried starting it again and the first time i turned the key it ticked / slapped, and then the 2nd time it started! It then started a few more times with no problem, and now today it just ticks again, one loud TICK coming from I believe the starter (behind the lower firewall on the passenger side). Is my started on its way out and just starting sometimes, or is something bad with the wiring of my car, or if anyone has any ideas please let me know. Thanks!

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  3. #2
    JvS
    JvS is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: starter going bad?

    My car was doing the same, check the cables from the battery for corrosion, and maybe go for lower gauge wires (1 or 2 if possible).

    Hope that helps!

  4. #3
    DaveSmed's Avatar
    DaveSmed is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: starter going bad?

    Was this the first start of the day? (cold engine) Or after driving for awhile?

  5. #4
    Imprl59 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: starter going bad?

    Chances are the sound you are hearing is the solenoid. When you turn the key power is provided to the solenoid. The solenoid pops the bendix out and provided power to the starter motor. So one of two things is going wrong.. The contacts in the solenoid are bad and not allowing current to flow to the starter or the starter itself has a problem like bad brushes or a dead spot. If moneys tight you can try to just replace the solenoid but since you have to remove the starter anyway its best to just go ahead and replace them both as a unit.


    Steve B.

  6. #5
    billsif is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: starter going bad?

    thanks guys!

    ill try cleaning the wiring today and then if i can still get it to not start ill just buy a new starter.

    anyone know if its necessary to raise the car up to remove it? i think my shop manual says to jack it up but id rather just get underneath it (i should be able to fit) as long as the starter can physically be removed without lifting the car.

  7. #6
    billsif is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Thread Starter

    Re: starter going bad?

    after breaking down in a home depot parking lot, i found out the problem was a loose connection on the starter end of the positive battery cable! the cable feels like a nut is loose and it just wiggles around freely, so i think im just going to replace the whole positive cable. is there anything i should know before doing this? i think the positive battery cable consists of a few wires, the thickest going to the starter

  8. #7
    crazyliver is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: starter going bad?

    if the cable is loose, just take the nut off, clean the bolt and cable ends, put a little bit of grease on everything, and tighten it back up> I wouldn't waste any money by buying another cable.

  9. #8
    Dead Sled's Avatar
    Dead Sled is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: starter going bad?

    check for voltage drop between the batt and the 'noid. sound like lack of voltage due to corosion or loose cables. or the solenoid is gone and it time for a new starter

  10. #9
    billsif is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: starter going bad?

    i cleaned off the positive battery cable on the starter end and now it's been starting up immediately every time! i also replaced the ends of two wires connected to a post on the alternator, because they were in terrible shape - one looked chewed up. i thought this might fix my pulsating lights problem: the interior, head, and dash-lights all pulsate about 2 times per second, and there's also a ticking noise thats in synch with the pulsating (or dimming i guess would be a more accurate description). i took the voltage regulator off the car and had it tested at autozone and it passed all 5 tests. then they tested the alternator on the car and it passed too, putting out 63 amps.

    could there be a problem with the alternator or voltage regulator even though it passed those tests where it wouldnt be failing but does this pulsating thing? it seems to only happen occasionally. sometimes right away when i start the car, other times after ive been driving for a while, but it usually continues until i turn the car off - it never starts and then goes away. could it possibly be a dirty negative battery cable on the engine end? the negative cable is definitely clean on the battery side - i havent checked out the engine/intake side yet though.

    thanks for any info.

    -bill

  11. #10
    barge master's Avatar
    barge master is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: starter going bad?

    A bad diode in the alternator usually does that. It may still pass a load test even so. If you're going to change it, you could convert to a more modern one with the integral regulator,it's easy to do.

  12. #11
    billsif is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: starter going bad?

    thanks for the tip... could you explain whats necessary to do the conversion? im interested.

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