2003 Kia Rio Starting

Tiny
YUSAVAGE15
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 KIA RIO
  • 1.6L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 94,000 MILES
Having a hard time cranking over. I replaced the battery and starter just last year. What could be the problem?
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Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 AT 12:42 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
What exactly is the symptom? Does it crank too slowly for the engine to start? Is there a no-crank condition until you cycle the ignition switch multiple times?

Do you have a voltmeter or test light and know how to use it? What happens to the brightness of the head lights or interior lights when you try to crank the engine?
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Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 AT 3:26 PM
Tiny
YUSAVAGE15
  • MEMBER
Has a slow crank. Sometimes all I get is a click from the starter. Everything turns off when cranking the vehicle. I had a slight valve cover leak just fixed that today. I have used a voltmeter from time to time in the shop but just cant diagnose the problem. Could oil have cause the starter to act this way?
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Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 AT 8:42 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
With some cars, excessive oil leaking onto the starter can dissolve the brushes and cause intermittent and / or slow cranking. All starter motors actually have two interconnected circuits, and if one fails, current flow will stay pretty close to normal, but the motor will have only half its normal power.

The place to start is by measuring battery voltage. First test it without cranking the engine. It should be 12.6 volts if it's fully-charged. If it's around 12.2 volts, it's good but discharged. We'll need to test the charging system.

Next, measure the battery voltage while a helper cranks the engine. We're looking for voltage readings when the starter is cranking, but too slowly. Put the meter probes right on the battery posts, not the cable clamps. If the voltage during cranking drops below 9.6 volts, suspect the battery.

Now move the meter probes to the cable clamps and take the reading again. It should be nearly the same as in the previous test. Move the negative probe to the engine block and take another reading during cranking, then move the positive probe to the terminal on the starter, and test again. At the starter, you want to be on the threaded stud, not the terminal bolted to it that's crimped to the end of the cable.

You're hoping to find a point at which the voltage drops a lot compared to the previous step. That indicates the point of a loose or corroded connection.
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Thursday, January 15th, 2015 AT 2:48 PM

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