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Old 02-21-08, 01:03 PM   #1
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NY Car Won't Crank/Start. Just makes One Loud Click (Starter?)

Okay. My car won't crank or start. It just makes one loud click when I go to crank her. I have tried the following (as per all the suggestions I have found throught searching):

1. Checked the fuses, battery power/voltage (jumped it too), and starter voltage. Everything seemed good and with 12.4v. All the accessories work.

2. I cleaned the ignition switch as per DaleClark's write up.

4. More push starting yielded NO turning of the motor.

5. It can't be the clutch switch because the loud click I hear when I go to start it seems to be coming from the starter (it's making an effort, but almost seems like it's stuck). This sound is not made when I try to start it without pressing in the clutch.

6. I pulled the soaked spark plugs. I can't force the fuel out of the motor if the motor won't crank.

So now I am stuck. I left the plugs out and now I need to figure out a way to get it cranking so i can deflood and replace the plugs. I plan on:

-Checking the anti-theft relay in the in driver side kick panel (but I doubt that will do it since it sounds like the starter is attempting to spin).

-Putting the car in reverse and pushing the car back and forth to try an break the stuck starter free

-Tapping the starter with a hammer (apparently that may have worked for member FDNewbie)

I need more suggestions!!!!!!!!! Please help. Anyone from Long Island want to check out the car with me and see what you think? Thanks!

-Jake
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Old 02-21-08, 01:09 PM   #2
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Just for ***** and grins, take a heavy gauge wire and run from the positive terminal of your battery to the 'S' terminal of the starter (the one with the black plastic spade connector on it) and see what happens. Make sure the car is out of gear.... Just touch the wire to the terminal briefly, the starter will either turn or you will get a BIG overload on the wire if the starter is truly "stuck".
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Old 02-21-08, 01:21 PM   #3
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I went through a similar situation recently. It ended up being the battery even though voltage was fine (and I tried jumping also).

Unfortunately it was the last thing I checked. If I were you I would pull the battery and have it tested at someplace like Advance or Autozone.
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Old 02-21-08, 02:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bajaman View Post
Just for ***** and grins, take a heavy gauge wire and run from the positive terminal of your battery to the 'S' terminal of the starter (the one with the black plastic spade connector on it) and see what happens. Make sure the car is out of gear.... Just touch the wire to the terminal briefly, the starter will either turn or you will get a BIG overload on the wire if the starter is truly "stuck".
If the starter kicks in and turns it will turn my rotors and deflood the motor right?

Can I use my jumper cable if it reaches? If that it doesn't work off the RX7 battery then should I try it off another car? If it works off another car battery only, then it is definitely my battery. Also, should the car be in the "ON" position right?
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Old 02-21-08, 03:09 PM   #5
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Also, should the car be in the "ON" position right?
At this point you are troubleshooting the "click". Not actually trying to unflood or start your car.

It wont matter what position your key is in. If you touch 12 volts to the starter positive it will spin or not spin independent of the key position. Clutch switch has nothing to do with it either - you are by passing all of that stuff.

Make sure you are in neutral though.
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Old 02-21-08, 03:39 PM   #6
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The click is probably the gear on the starter lining up with the flywheel.
This is done by an electro magnet, so it doesn't take much power at all.
Might be a blown fuse or a bad relay in the circuit that powers the startermotor but your best bet is your battery.
Measuring the voltage doesn't tell you much, measure the voltage while trying to start, it will drop to 0 if the battery is dead.
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Old 02-21-08, 04:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
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At this point you are troubleshooting the "click". Not actually trying to unflood or start your car.

It wont matter what position your key is in. If you touch 12 volts to the starter positive it will spin or not spin independent of the key position. Clutch switch has nothing to do with it either - you are by passing all of that stuff.

Make sure you are in neutral though.
The single "CLICK" I am hearing, I am almost certain it is the starter. The more attempts to crank the more quiet the "CLICK". The initial crank attempt results in a loud CLICK and each subsequent attempt results a decreasingly more quiet "CLICK".

I will definitely try this. Please keep the idea's flowing. I won't get back to my car till tomorrow anyway, so the more ideas I have before I see the car the better.
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Old 02-22-08, 10:15 AM   #8
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Mine has also been doing the same...If we beat the bat. terminals, it cooperates. Battery +1 or maybe the terminals themselves?
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Old 02-22-08, 11:04 AM   #9
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I am definitely going to clean up the terminal connections for my new Deka 9 lbs battery.
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Old 02-22-08, 11:50 AM   #10
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+2 battery
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Old 02-22-08, 12:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1mpsons View Post
The single "CLICK" I am hearing, I am almost certain it is the starter. The more attempts to crank the more quiet the "CLICK". The initial crank attempt results in a loud CLICK and each subsequent attempt results a decreasingly more quiet "CLICK".

I will definitely try this. Please keep the idea's flowing. I won't get back to my car till tomorrow anyway, so the more ideas I have before I see the car the better.
The "click" is almost certainly the solenoid travelling to and hitting its limit of travel. Therefore, if the battery or cable connections turn out ot not be the problem, it's probably the internal electrical relay contact in the solenoid that has crud on it. If this does not conduct current to the motor, you will get exactly your symptoms.

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Old 02-22-08, 12:40 PM   #12
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Where exactly is the solenoid located? Is it in the starter?
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Old 02-22-08, 12:43 PM   #13
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Where exactly is the solenoid located? Is it in the starter?
How to fix your starter and its solenoid

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Old 02-22-08, 06:56 PM   #14
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Pincusa brought up a good point via PM. The Deka has only 180 cold cranking amps (CCA) and the red top optima in the car currently has 600 CCA. I guess I should just charge the optima and try that.
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Old 02-22-08, 07:57 PM   #15
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180 CCA isn't enough, is definetly sounds like a battery problem. Once those redtops go dead a couple of times , they will not take a charge. I've been through 3 of them.
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Old 02-22-08, 08:00 PM   #16
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I guess I'll drop the 9 pounder in my STi and get something a little more heavy duty for the 7.

I was really excited about the weight reduction, especially after reading about the factory weight distribution specs in SCC's project RX7 build.
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Old 02-22-08, 11:29 PM   #17
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99% sure you have a voltage drop problem. The battery and starter setup is pretty simple. You got power, ground through the engine block and solenoid signal. You have solenoid signal cause it clicks. Now you have to ensure the other two. Common wriring upgrades include a 4 or 0 gauge hot wire to the starter to ensure smooth flow. Ground is just as important and too often overlooked. If you have a 4 gauge running to the starter you need a 4 gauge going back to the battery AND good ground connects from the block to the body. Bad grounds are a common symptom of voltage drop issues when you move the battery to the back of the car.
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Old 02-23-08, 11:18 AM   #18
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I pulled the soaked spark plugs. I can't force the fuel out of the motor if the motor won't crank.
Hey Jake, the motor must be turning to have a soaked plugs, if there is only a click when u turn the key then look at the starter. If the motor crank but won't turn over then u need to ignitior and spark. also u can removed the fuel from the engine cranking it without the plugs, make sure u removed the EGI fuse and clamp off the fuel hose that deliever fuel into the engine, make sure u have strong battery before u do it.
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Old 02-23-08, 11:34 AM   #19
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Hey Jake, the motor must be turning to have a soaked plugs
This was my first thought. But if you read closely he tried to "push start" it.

He needs to focus on getting the starter to turn over before he tries to unflood the engine.
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Old 02-23-08, 12:52 PM   #20
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I think my plan is:

-Pull the EGI Fuse
-Check anti-theft starter relay
-Replace if necessary and attempt to turn over the motor (otherwise skip this step)
-Take out the battery and get it charged
-Sand the terminals and the terminal connections
-Reinstall the battery, apply electrical grease to connections and attempt to turn over the motor
-Tap the starter with a hammer and attempt to turn over the motor
-Put the car in gear, try to rock the car back and forth and attempt to turn over the motor
-Connect a heavy gauge power cord directly from the battery to the starter and troubleshoot/replace the starter and/or solenoid if it won't turn (more on this is it comes to this)

If any of the following get the motor to turn over then I move on to:
-Install clean plugs and reconnect the wires
-START THE CAR... i hope.
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Old 02-24-08, 10:07 PM   #21
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Fixed. Cleaned up the corroded terminals, put the car in reverse and rocked it back and forth. She cranked after that. Then I put the plugs in an started her right up. I suspect it was a poor battery terminal ground connection.

Anyway, thanks for the help everyone. Sorry for blowing this a little out of proportion.
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Old 05-11-09, 05:26 PM   #22
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FL Its my turn now..

Drove fine yesterday and today.. i get one loud click from he starter..just like the OP.
I cranked it about 15 times before getting frustrated.. (Too damn hot in florida)

Popped the hood and got a faint smell of something burning.. the Neg. terminal was hot as hell
would it be the same battery issue?
would trying to push start it or jump it do any good?

I have no means to get to a store to get anything checked or buy anything

what to do what to do????
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Old 05-11-09, 05:46 PM   #23
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Drove fine yesterday and today.. i get one loud click from he starter..just like the OP.
I cranked it about 15 times before getting frustrated.. (Too damn hot in florida)

Popped the hood and got a faint smell of something burning.. the Neg. terminal was hot as hell
would it be the same battery issue?
would trying to push start it or jump it do any good?

I have no means to get to a store to get anything checked or buy anything

what to do what to do????
The highlighted part says to me that you have a high resistance at that location. Clean up the terminal and the cable, and check for corrosion/broken wire strands between the terminal and the cable.
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Old 05-11-09, 06:21 PM   #24
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I took the caps off the battery and there was no water in the cells.. i filled it with tap water. (I know I know)

but the problem is still there.

i checked that hot negative cable that runs under the EGI fuse box and into some harness that heads into the abyss by the engine. nothing seems out of the ordinary.

If i bother someone to to give me a jump, do you think it will start so i can get it down to the shop ?
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Old 05-12-09, 08:39 AM   #25
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I took the caps off the battery and there was no water in the cells.. i filled it with tap water. (I know I know)

but the problem is still there.

i checked that hot negative cable that runs under the EGI fuse box and into some harness that heads into the abyss by the engine. nothing seems out of the ordinary.

If i bother someone to to give me a jump, do you think it will start so i can get it down to the shop ?
Maybe, but w/o water, the battery has probably turned into a useless lead weight. Get a new battery.

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Old 05-12-09, 08:39 AM
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