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Old 06-01-2006   #1
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Marea 1.6 Auto - Problems with Starter Motor

Hi,

I hope that someone can give me some advice.

My partner's Marea suddenly decided yesterday that it would not start. I had a quick look last night and my unproffessional opinion was that it was a problem with the starter motor. There was no problem with the lights, they came on and did not dim, so that appeared to rule out the battery, and turning the key just led to a quick succession of clicks that appeared to come from under the engine. The engine did not turn at all.

My partner tells me that there had been no odd sounds at all when starting of late, it surprises me then that the starter would suddenly just go.

I tried tapping the starter with a spanner but this did not have the desired effect, unfortunately I am unable to bump start the car as it is an auto.

Does anyone have any suggestions before I remove the starter this evening (other than disconnecting the battery of course!).

Is it a simple job? It appears difficult to get to but am I right to assume that it will be a quick job once the car is up?

Does anyone have any sugestions as to what I could then do with the starter, for instance is it worth taking it apart? If so, are there any common problems that I should look out for? I am hoping to pick up a Haynes (Bravo) from the library on my way home, if it is not in stock are there any diagrams on the net that I could refer to when dismantling?

If the worst comes to be, how much am I looking at for a new starter? Do I have any options other than a main Fiat dealer?

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

D.
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Old 06-01-2006   #2
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Re: Marea 1.6 Auto - Problems with Starter Motor

From your symptoms I'd be thinking along the same lines but I'd double check your battery and earth connections and also the connections to the starter motor first. I presume your battery has enough power to actualy make the starter engage.

Sometimes the motor just sticks and taking them out and cleaning out the dust does the trick. Have a look on ePer for a rough guide to price
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Old 06-01-2006   #3
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Re: Marea 1.6 Auto - Problems with Starter Motor

I know that it is not good form to reply to your own posts but I will do anyway.

I just called a local Fiat dealer to find the prices and was quoted 326 for a new starter, 130 for reconditioned, both being for parts only. I am staggered by this, does it seem unreasonable to others?

Cheers,

D
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Old 06-01-2006   #4
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Re: Marea 1.6 Auto - Problems with Starter Motor

Unreasonable? yes Surprised? No.

I expect you'll get a better deal if you shop around, some auto electrical places can recondition your existing one or there's always a scrappies
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Old 06-01-2006   #5
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Re: Marea 1.6 Auto - Problems with Starter Motor

fiat prices are shocking.as said i would check the batterys charge and connections to the starter before buying a new one.
a sticky pinion on the starter can cause the clicking you describe. a low tech solution is to give the starter body a whack with a hammer,to see if it un sticks it.
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Old 06-01-2006   #6
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Re: Marea 1.6 Auto - Problems with Starter Motor

Thanks for all of the replies so far.

A couple of hours under the car and I am still struggling to remove the starter motor, I still haven't disconnected the second wire.

I have a picture of the starter motor as it currently is (click on image to enlarge):

http://img13.imagevenue.com/img.php?...0_DSC02432.JPG

The nut that I am trying to remove is almost centre picture and is enclosed very tightly by the plastic casing. I have a 14mm socket that will fit in this gap but is too big, and a 13mm which seems too tight. The nut to the right was a 13mm and was a doddle.

Any suggestions as to where I might be going wrong would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-01-2006   #7
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Re: Marea 1.6 Auto - Problems with Starter Motor

HI, I know the post is a bit late, but there is an inhibitor on automatic cars connected to the gear linkage somewhere which prevents you starting the car in gear. Are you sure this is working properly?
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Old 06-01-2006   #8
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Re: Marea 1.6 Auto - Problems with Starter Motor

Also, the wire in the picture does not need to be removed (and ought to be refitted to aviod confusion) as the small casing part (solenoid) will be fixed the the motor. The left nut should also need a 13mm socket, but as the thread is slightly longer your socket may not have a long enough reach. If so you should try removing the socket from the wrench and putting it on the nut by hand just to see it it will go on. This wire is the main wire from the battery.

The top wire (covered by a rubber sheild) should be your soleniod activation wire. This is the wire which receives power from the keyswitch. It might be worth reconnecting your wires and battery and checking if you get power to this wire when in park or neutral and the key in the start position. You will then know for sure if you need to remove the starter.
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Old 07-01-2006   #9
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Re: Marea 1.6 Auto - Problems with Starter Motor

Many thanks for the responses kjlith.

Good point about the reach on the socket, I think you are right. Looks like a trip to halfords in the morning to get a better one.

As regards the smaller wire, I was following the Haynes manual when I removed this but will heed your advice and reconnect for now, then see what happens if and when I get the other nut off.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-01-2006   #10
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Re: Marea 1.6 Auto - Problems with Starter Motor

As the autos age this might come up more and more. Having an auto like this I wouldn't mind a comprehensive troubleshooting guide as a FAQ on this site....

( hint )
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Old 07-01-2006   #11
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Re: Marea 1.6 Auto - Problems with Starter Motor

Ok, after almost three hours in the rain (that third bolt really is a pig to get to), I have the starter motor in front of me.

I am planning to take it apart, is there anything I should be cautious of? (eg, is it loaded with a spring etc?)

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-01-2006   #12
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Re: Marea 1.6 Auto - Problems with Starter Motor

I wouldn't take it apart at this stage. An electrician would test the solenoid and starter now by putting a battery power 12v across the starter terminals and see if that's working and then test the solenoid for operation by putting 12v across that. Find out more about what's wrong, if anything

You may have already "fixed" the problem by freeing the solenoid and all it might need is a clean off and putting back.

Taking it to an auto electrician/garage now to be tested would be the best advice. Messing with batteries and jump leads is precarious
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Old 07-01-2006   #13
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Re: Marea 1.6 Auto - Problems with Starter Motor

I didn't take it to an auto electrician, we are without transport at all at the moment and there is nothing within reasonable walking distance. My car (a six month old Galaxy) broke down on the Continent last week and is still being repaired - great start to the year!

I dismantled the starter motor and all of the gears seemed to be intact and in place, and it didn't seem overly dirty inside. Odd that I couldn't find a spring though, I am sure that last time I took one of these apart, albeit on an Orion maybe 15 years ago, there was a large spring. Should there have been a spring inside? Could this be the problem?

Anyhow, I reassembled the motor, refitted it, and the problem was still there. A loud clicking from the starter motor and nothing else. Presumably this clicking indicates that the starter terminals are fine?

I am minded now to get a replacement starter motor, I have found a breaker that will supply a used one for around 40 with a 60 day warranty.

Before I do this, given the symptoms that I have described, could the problem possibly be something other than the starter motor?

Thanks for all of the advice received to date, any other advice would be gratefully received.
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Old 07-01-2006   #14
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Re: Marea 1.6 Auto - Problems with Starter Motor

The "quick succession of clicks" that you mentioned at the start show that some power is getting to the starter solenoid but that's just the sort of sound it makes if there isn't enough power eg low battery or poor battery earth connections. Pamper me and redo your battery connections and redo check the battery has a good earth contact to the engine as it's a common problem and will cause all your symptoms.

If all of that is ok then I'd check the battery cranking power by putting a multi meter across the battery terminals while someone turned the ignition key to the start position
Normal voltage whilst cranking might be expected to be down to 10v but if it's not cranking (as yours isn't) then it proabably won't drop much at all. If the voltage drops right down then the battery is up the duff


I'd check the power to the solenoid by putting one multimeter lead on the small solenoid terminal while someone turned the ignition ket to the start position. Check if you're getting a good 12v to it

If you're not then I'd bypass the ignition key and put power to the solenoid small terminal directly (the smaller terminal under the protective cap). If that made it work then you know it's a problem in the wiring to the solenoid and nothing wrong with the starter. There's a handy remote starter gadget you can buy to help you do this. It's simply a push button switch with leads to attach to the battery and the solenoid to bypass the ignition/starter circuit

Modern starters don't have the meaty bendix spring like starters used to have, it's a bit more subtle and sophisticated than the old "crash starter"
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Old 07-01-2006   #15
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Re: Marea 1.6 Auto - Problems with Starter Motor

Many thanks for the expert adavice Deckchair, I now have a list of tasks for tomorrow (as well as another walk to Halfords for a multimeter!).

Sorry to ask a dumb question but:

<i>I'd check the power to the solenoid by putting one multimeter lead on the small solenoid terminal while someone turned the ignition ket to the start position</i>

Where should I put the other multimeter lead? Presumably one of the battery terminals?

As regards the remote starter that you mention, is this the sort of thing that you mean:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/NEW-DRAPER-REM...QQcmdZViewItem

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
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