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Discussion Starter #1
Apologies for starting two different threads, I just thought it would be easier / cleaner to keep them separate.

Apart from my window/sunroof problems, I'm also having a problem when starting the car.

(97, 1.9td)

On the first turn of the key, all I get from under the bonnet is a click, no turnover, nothing. If I hold it there, it eventually fires the starter and starts no problem.

(Sounds very similar to my old fiesta when the starter motor used to stick, and I'd have to get out and hit it with a hammer...ahhh the good old days).

Now it doesn't do it all the time. If anything, it does it less, when it's warm (although this isn't always the case). Sometimes I have to hold the key there for a few seconds, sometimes it starts straight away.

At first we thought it might be the batteries in the key, but I changed the batts in my wifes, and it still does it (on either key).

Any thoughts?

After reading on here I thought it might be the TDC sensor, but I believe that particular problem causes the engine to turn over but not fire? This does nothing, just a kind of 'energising' click from under the bonnet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies :)

I have since had another thought.
We didnt use the car today until around 15:00 (Normally its first thing in the morning), and it took a good while before it finally caved in and started turning / firing, longer than it normally does.

Could this be the sign of a dodgy battery? And the fact that because we've left it longer, its not held onto as much charge from yesterday?
It doesnt whurr and fail like a duff battery usually does (dimming lights etc).

I'll take a look at the leads to the starter, thanks :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update : I took it into a local garage the other day and described the delay in starting, and he immediately diagnosed the starter motor, and said it sounds like the bushes are going on it. :(

Time to source a new starter motor methinks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Another update.

I had a dodgy earth on the rear n/s light cluster, meaning left hand indicator plus pressing on the brake meant dash lights dimmed a little, and brake light flashed in time.

Anyway, cleaned the earth socket from the light cluster, and it's working fine.

Strange thing is, it's also starting fine now......?
 

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Does this mean you may not need a new starter. It's just once I had a starter replaced (previous car) 'too much play' only to find out it was the engine earth that was the problem.
 

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Always worth checking these things 1st before lashing out money. In Feb mine was not starting, was having to charge the batt every night, thought it was the alternator. Before spending out I had a last go over and found the push fit lead to the starter loose, gave it a tweak and fine since. Sometimes garages take the obvious route and it's not always the right one so always check all possibilities.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well the problem has now got worse. Wont start at all today.

Had problems starting it last night, it took aaaaaages.
Then today...just click...wont start at all.

Im gonna have a look at the earth connection shortly (see if I can find it).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
And here's the stupid question. I was going to check the earth straps etc, for possible signs of dodgyness.

I can't even find the starter motor :$ lol I know it's hidden, but I didn't know it was *this* hidden. Haynes manual tells you how to take it off, but doesnt show you where it is....

Also, after a couple of times of holding the key on and waiting for the starter to fire...it gets to the point where it wont even click...After only a couple of tries. Does that sound like a dodgy battery instead? I must admit when the starter does whirr into life, it isn't very very sluggish like it would be on a dodgy battery, but it certainly isnt the quickest either...
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
At the risk of replying to myself again :d

I've just dug out the Gunson Testune, and checked across the battery.

between 11.75 and 12.2ishV at standstill.

Turn the ignition on (while glow plugs are heating), and it drops to 11.4ish

Crank the ignition, and get the click, hold it there, and the reading drops to 11v

I assume this means the battery is fine? (I lifted the seat and tested the actual battery)

Edit : I also put the positive from the testune on the battery terminal under the bonnet, and put the -ve on the earth strap I could see at the rear of the engine (infront of the drivers area) - Touching the bodywork end...

Again, same readings.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I was unsure if that was satisfactory on the battery, so I got a friend to come round to give me a jump start.

Still clicking, just the same, and the reading from the battery is now 12.5v dropping to about 12 when trying to start.

I cant even find the bloomin starter motor to see if the earth / wiring from it is dodgy.

The earth strap from behind the engine block (looking from the top, looks fine, secure, and good (this is where Ive been testing my battery from)

So it's looking like its either

The starter motor
The wiring going to the starter motor / solenoid?

If I call the RAC out what are the chances of them diagnosing this / fixing it (if its a dodgy earth/wiring...I understand they wont change the starter motor ;))
 

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Discussion Starter #13
As it turns out...

I called the RAC out, he gave it a good hammering, and a bit of a testing. Click click click.

He then got his spanner out to short it himself....

Click click click

He then did some testing with a multimeter type thing, and found the fault.

It seems it's the solenoid..I paraphrase....

"It's engaging the starter, so it's in mesh, but it's only giving it 0.8 volts....Solenoid's shot....new starter motor"

Just need to price one up now and find out how hard it is to fit.....grrr :(
 

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Discussion Starter #14
And an update.

It was definitely the starter motor.

Had it replaced at a cost of £75 for the starter (recon, plus return mine), and £50 fitting. Starts like a goodun every time now :)
 
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