Intermittent starting issue

Tiny
HOOKIE
  • MEMBER
  • 1992 HYUNDAI EXCEL
  • 1.5L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 160,000 MILES
The original starter would do nothing;no sound when I turned the key on, no click, nada. Then it would slow crank and start. Sometimes it would start right up, so problem is intermittent.

I replaced starter with rebuilt starter and it's doing the exact same symptoms as the old starter I removed. My battery checks out fine.12.6 volts, cca 790, and alternator putting out at 14 volts. I did not replace my clutch switch, but did replace the clutch pedal bumper stop that hits the clutch switch, and still same intermittent start.
I checked all battery cables and grounds and things were okay. Sanded the grounds.

I do not want to remove the rebuilt starter as it a bear to remove and install. I am getting 12 volts to starter solenoid trigger but not sure if it's present all the time and all my voltage drop tests were in specs.

Please help. There is a starter relay but I swapped it with another same number part relay and still problems. Any advice much appreciated. Thanks you guys have always helped in the past. Very frustrated here.
i ordered an ignition switch but didn't arrive yet. I ohmed the clutch switch at disconnected wire and it showed continuity. I didn't push the switch in. Is it still suppose to get continuity if you activate the switch?
I need help. :( :( :(
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Tuesday, May 26th, 2020 AT 8:41 PM

12 Replies

Tiny
KASEKENNY
  • EXPERT
I am thinking there is something to the clutch position switch that you tested. How and where did you test it? I assume from what you said that you unhooked the connector and testing the continuity between the two terminals on the switch? If this is the case, that is a normally open switch so when it is not depressed, it should read no continuity. Take a look at the wiring diagram.

Let me know where you tested this and we can go from there. Thanks
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Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 AT 6:26 PM
Tiny
HOOKIE
  • MEMBER
Okay yes, I disconnected the wire harness that goes to a two prong clutch switch. When it was not depressed or pushed in, I had my meter beeping that showed continuity? The original Hyundai shop manual says you should have continuity with wire detached. Is my switch bad? I replaced the clutch bumper stop so that is new. I am undoing the wire harness. Taking one lead of my meter on one terminal coming out of the clutch switch and putting the other lead on the other terminal coming out of clutch switch. Without it depressed. I set my meter on continuity and it beeped across the two leads to switch. I don't know what that means. Thought it meant I had continuity without it being pushed in or depressed?
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Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 AT 8:22 PM
Tiny
HOOKIE
  • MEMBER
Also my starter relay is under the drivers side or so I thought in the box. There is a flasher relay next ti it, I don't see any relay box on passenger side under dash or anywhere.
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Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 AT 8:36 PM
Tiny
HOOKIE
  • MEMBER
Okay, I retested the clutch switch you are correct. I get no continuity while open and with wire detached. With clutch pedal depressed I get about.5 then it goes down to zero ohms. I tested the wire (black and yellow) going to the clutch switch and on one of the two wires it is hot with 12, 3 volts dc, with key in start position.
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Thursday, May 28th, 2020 AT 9:05 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY
  • EXPERT
Okay. That all seems correct as you are stating. However, the vehicle is currently starting, correct? It could be the clutch switch because we need to test it when the vehicle is not starting. The only thing that gives me pause about this is you said it has a slow crank when it acts up. That would not be the position switch. The switch is like a light switch. Either it is on or off. So if the vehicle does nothing when you turn the key (no click, no start) then that is most likely the switch. If it cranks slow and does not start then we have a battery issue or other wiring issue.

Can you try to get a video of the slow cranking when it acts up? That will really help. Clearly I know what a no click no start sounds like. :)
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Friday, May 29th, 2020 AT 4:10 PM
Tiny
HOOKIE
  • MEMBER
Okay, I really need help here. This is driving me nuts. As I said it sometimes the starter starts then sometimes slow cranks, and sometimes does nothing (no sound when I turn the key to start). I am getting 11.6 volts at the end of my trigger wire.
The battery checked out 12, 6 volts and 770 cca. Two stores said battery was fine and alternator fine. Now, I put in another starter in the 1992 Hyundai Excel and it's doing the exact same thing as the starter I just removed. This is the third starter.
Please help. When I turn key and it does not crank, I still get voltage at end of trigger wire. I am thinking maybe the trigger wire is not as tight as it should be on that silver solenoid spade terminal on solenoid.
This starter is a bear to take out but since I was getting proper voltages, I thought it was the issue. Any ideas? If the trigger wire gets battery voltage then my clutch switch and ignition switch should be okay, right? This is so frustrating. I am about to junk this car. SOS!
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Saturday, May 30th, 2020 AT 6:59 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY
  • EXPERT
When this is not starting what is the voltage on the trigger wire at the starter? The fact that it is intermittent points to a connection issue. However, it could be the wire itself. While testing these items you have is good, we need this info when it is not starting.

The 11.6 volts at the starter when the battery tests a full volt higher is concerning. That tells me you have resistance in the circuit somewhere. I wouldn't expect you to lose that much voltage on this circuit.

Next steps is to check voltage on this wire at the starter when it is not starting and tell me the actual voltage, not just that it has voltage.

You can also check the voltage drop on this wire when it is acting up. You do this by putting the leads of your meter on both ends of the circuit while cranking and see how much voltage is being used on the circuit. Clearly this should be very low. If you have 1 volt being used on the circuit then you have resistance in the circuit.

The other option is to just run a new wire that has less then a half ohm of resistance. This will eliminate the existing wire and you can ensure you have a good connection at both ends.

Let me know if you have questions. Thanks
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Sunday, May 31st, 2020 AT 10:30 AM
Tiny
HOOKIE
  • MEMBER
Okay, I meant to say that when I turn key to start position, I am getting 11.6 volts at trigger wire (small wire) to spade terminal on solenoid that is with key on and it not cranking. Still 11.6 volts at trigger when I turn key on and no crack. I have 12 volts on the big battery cable that attaches to starter. I just made my own wire to attach from trigger terminal on solenoid to battery positive. The starter will turn all the time and crank if I bypass everything and just hot wire it like i'm using a remote starter switch.
Why I have 11.6 volts means it should crank and that all before it is good (ignition switch and clutch). Correct? I don't get this.
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Sunday, May 31st, 2020 AT 11:48 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY
  • EXPERT
I am with you. That doesn't make sense.

You have 11.6 volts on the small wire while in start position and it doesn't crank and then you jump 12 volts to the small wire and it cranks? Did you remove the original trigger wire before you jumped your own to it?

It doesn't make sense because if you have 11.6 on that wire, it should crank or the starter is failed. However, jumping 12 volts to it proves that wrong. 11.6 I would think is plenty to trigger the starter, but it is the only thing that would make sense.

Let's do this, check the voltage drop and resistance on this entire circuit. Set the meter up as shown in the attachment. You may need to use jumper wires from each location and prop your meter up so you can see it while cranking.

We need to know what the voltage is on this entire circuit while cranking. Then disconnect each location so you are measure ohms on just the wire and components on this circuit.

At this point the only thing I can say is 11.6 volts is not enough to trip the control to engage the starter. Clearly when you put 12.6 volts to it, it works. So we have to have resistance in that circuit somewhere.
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Sunday, May 31st, 2020 AT 5:52 PM
Tiny
HOOKIE
  • MEMBER
Okay, still starting problems. Maybe you could still be so kind to help. Yes, when I made my own long wire to hot wire car, I did take the small trigger wire off the starter solenoid when I hooked up my wire, the other end I do you make a new wire. What gauge and where do you attach it and what do you do with the other trigger wire that is already there?
Just touched to battery positive and it will always crank the starter that way.
The clutch pedal switch is a bear to get at, but I don't recall if I ohmed it out with a crank or no crank at the time. It had no continuity but when I pushed the switch in, it did.

I swapped out the starter relay under the driver side dash with another with same part #. It still wouldn't not crank. But intermittent battery and alternator 12.6 volts, and charging at 13.9 volts.

I jiggled the trigger wire going into the black relay box under driver dash and cleaned all the grounds I could find and it seems to start a lot of times. I only have it not crank with no sounds a few times. How do you hook up a new wire and what gauge wire? Also where do you run it to and what do you do with the old trigger wire? Explain in simple terms. I am sorry to bother you but want to get this resolved so I don't get stranded somewhere. Battery and clutch check out fine. I have a new extra ignition switch, could that or the clutch switch still be the problem? I need to do voltage drops. 11.6 is the voltage on trigger wire detached from solenoid when engine will not crank. When I bypass the starter is cranks every time. Weird.
Should I test the clutch switch again when it wont crank? Thanks
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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020 AT 6:20 AM
Tiny
HOOKIE
  • MEMBER
Finally the car is fixed. Took me ten minutes to put in a new ignition switch. The starter tested good and so did clutch switch so not much else to replace. Voila! Starts every time, Amen. Thank you for all your help! I will not bother you until the next breakdown! Glad this is finally starting on every key turn!
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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020 AT 8:38 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY
  • EXPERT
I am sorry I did not get back to you sooner but it appears you didn't need me. :)

Great job and thank you for the update. I imagine we would have worked our way back to the ignition but I am glad you didn't have to go through all the wiring testing that I assumed we were going to have to do.

Thanks for sticking with it and letting us know what it was.
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Thursday, June 4th, 2020 AT 6:51 PM

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