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should i change my solenoid, or the whole starter?

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by kawasaki_kid, May 6, 2010.

  1. kawasaki_kid

    kawasaki_kid Rockstar 100 Posts

    seems like every week im fixing my truck.. time to sell?

    my truck has been starting bad on and off for the last year(basically since i bought it). it used to be everyonce in a while it sounded like a extra heavy drain on battery when trying to start, like the battery had low voltage(but it didnt). since then its gotten worse and worse to the point of now sometimes not starting at all. other times when i try go to start it it starts totally normal(very rare now).

    tuesday it wouldnt start at all, i heard the starter engage on the fly wheel once, then after that wouldnt do anything. left it for a couple hours, came back, and started just fine. now today when i wasnt at home it did the same thing. like the starter was totally disabled. tryed boosting, no change. pulled out my hitch and tapped the starter, it engaged but wouldnt turn over. pounded the starter with the hitch, started right up. my next stop was to Canadian tire to pick up a starter, i lucked out, it was on sale($114 for starter, $10 back when i bring in my old one, good price?) champion starter with a 3 year warrenty.

    My question is.. should i just go ahead and change the hole starter, or look for just the solenoid at another part store, i would guess saving myself $40-$50. i am on the right track right? it is my starter solenoid?

    thanks again guys.
  2. unplugged

    unplugged Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Could be the ignition switch. But a load test of the starter will tell you what you need to know. Most parts stores can test the solenoid/starter.
  3. murdog94

    murdog94 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Ditto on taking it to the parts store.. and you might want to consider having it rebuilt.. I know that it is just cheaper for me to buy a rebuilt one from the parts store for my TBI.. It is $42 US for a rebuilt starter here and the cheapest place i found that rebuilds starters in my area charges $55.. So no brainer but i know up in canada prices can be often skewed a bit from ours.
  4. Loggerhead Mike

    Loggerhead Mike Rockstar 100 Posts

    you need to load test battery

    do voltage drop tests on batt pos to starter and bat to engine grnd

    do a cranking amp test

    once you know all your circuits are ok replace or rebuild the starter
  5. vncj96

    vncj96 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    A common overlooked problem that will give you a crappy battery charge and rob voltage when trying to start your vehicle is corroded battery wires. The blue clumpy corrosion can even creep inside the insulation of the wire if its been there long enough and will be very parasitic when trying to start.
  6. kawasaki_kid

    kawasaki_kid Rockstar 100 Posts

    changed the starter. $104. cdn for a rebuilt champion. works like a charm now. looks like it was the starter indeed.

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