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Hey all. Went out to start my 89 Mini 30 the other day after it sat in the garage for about a week (and drove and started just fine the last time I drove it). Put my key in, before turning it over my cd player and all the dash lights come on as normal. I turn the key over and nothing, but a slight click. I was in a hurry, was pissed and jumped in my jetta to go run my errands. Went out of town for a few days, came home tonight, the weather is gorgeous and I again get in my Mini, same issue. When I drove it a week ago, I left the rear defrost on by accident. Would this drain the battery? I hooked up my jetta with jumper cables, let it run for 15 minutes hoping it would charge her up, and still nothing.
Does this sound like a battery issue? I know classics are notorious for electrical issues, and I dont think most car's rear defrost would stay on after you shut the car off, but who knows. My father has a battery charger, and I could run it over there and put it on a charger and at least see how much juice it has. Any help? Thanks.
I would definitely try charging the battery first, if it continues to just click (you are hearing an audible click?) it is more than likely the starter solenoid. the next step beyond that is the starter, you can put direct voltage to the positive side of the starter just to test it to make sure it it spinning, but that's last resort, and is best to do that out of the car, but I have touched a jumper cable to it while in the car just very briefly. If it is clicking without the starter engaging through while you jump it with another battery could mean bad connections on the battery too.. start there.. take the cables loose from the battery, clean them and the battery terminals.. put it back, charge and then if it clicks...do the same with the connections on the solenoid, clean everything all the way to the starter, then if the battery is charged and all connections cleaned, it is time to start with the solenoid replacement if the starter spins..
Oh, one other thing to try. If you hear a "click" only, then it typically means the battery does not have enough juice to spin the starter. If the starter is near the end of it's life, it may do that even with a good battery.
Try beating the starter with a dead blow hammer a few times to dislodge the brushes. I've tried this with success on a few cars with that symptom, but with a good battery charge.
take the battery out and run it over to AutoZone, Advanced Auto, Pep Boys or the like. They will slap it on the tester for free .... if it is just the charge they will also charge it. If it is bad then you are right there to get new....
If the battery is good check the ground straps in addition to the battery cable. When I had a similar problem it took TOO long to discover that the ground strap from the block to the body was loose & making intermitant contact. One day I'd start fine....next nuthin... I thightened battery cables, cleaned connections, replaced battery and wasn't for another two weeks before someone helped me notice the loose bolt on the body end of the ground strap that hooked to the bottom of the engine stabilzer....
Just an update... I pulled the battery out, charged it, hooked back up, no dice.
Took a hammer and tapped the starter and it started right up, no problem. So does that mean the starter need to be replaced or did the brushes just get stuck? Maybe carry a screw driver with me just in case it happens, and if it does, then replace it? Would hate to spend $240 if its just not needed and can get another year+ out of the current one.
Hi..a possible problem could be, is that the earth cable had corroded and not earthing properly, undo both ends and clean with coarse s/paper so you get a good concact to bare metal on engine and shell............hope this is of help.........
Since this is an older car you may be able to get your starter rebuilt for alot less. There used to be starter and alternator shops that specialized in this before they started to manufacture everything to be cheaper to replace than repair. Check your phone book there may still be a shop around that can do this.
It may not be the starter electrical, but the Bendix gear on the end is gummed up or not disengaging from the flywheel. Pull the starter. Clean the Bendix gear with a solvent (acetone). Dust it with some graphite - no oil or grease! Set it on the floor. Attach a ground from the battery. Hold it firmly. Hit the input post with a + line. It should spin freely & powerfully. The Bendix should slip forward rapidly and rebound rapidly when power is off. If the Bendix isn't working, it can be replaced. If the starter spins too slowly it needs rebuilt/replaced. Take it to an automotive electrical shop for rebuild or buy a new one. When off, you can check the brushes, also.
"Starter gear. There is no need to replace the whole starter if you've merely damaged the bendix gear! These are 'new old' stock. You can replace the gear with a little persistence and ingenuity. $49.95"