1994 Chevy Van Doesn't try to turn over

Tiny
CAB938
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 CHEVROLET VAN
Engine Mechanical problem
1994 Chevy Van Two Wheel Drive Automatic 211000 miles

I've had this chevy van sitting out in the cold for 8 months. Before that, the van was driven on and off, though it appeared to be leaking some fluids of some kind.

The battery is one year old, and seems to be fully charged (I boosted and had a charger on it overnight).

When I put the key in the ignition and turn it I hear clicking that sounds to me like like it is trying to start. However, it doesn't try to turn over. My thought at this point is that the plugs are firing, but there is something wrong with the starter.

When I head over to the engine compartment and open it, I can hear a whirring from the left hand side (where there is a big component connected with a red line that looks like a molex connector of some kind, and a black line that is magnetized and pressed up against the component - it is not fitted into any kind of connector, just magnetized).

My thoughts on reading from the web is that this component is the starter, and that the electric starter engine is going (e.G. The whirring).

I'm at a loss now - any help would be appreciated!

Chris
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Sunday, December 28th, 2008 AT 12:30 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
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When you turn the key to start-is the starter cranking the engine over?
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Sunday, December 28th, 2008 AT 12:35 AM
Tiny
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I don't think so, I just hear clicking.
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Sunday, December 28th, 2008 AT 2:31 AM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
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Let's get the battery up to snuff make sure its clean and properly tighten and try again. If it don't work come back and we'll go somewhere else.
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Sunday, December 28th, 2008 AT 3:21 AM
Tiny
CAB938
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I cleaned up the battery but things were already pretty good as it had been replaced last year. No difference. I brought it into a heated garage and let it sit, but this didn't change anything. I had heard that knocking on the starter might help, so I gave that a try. Once I had did this I got one step further - now then I tried to start it it actually make a ticking sound in the central compartment under the hood. This sound was more like the rhythm a clock gives off. A little more knocking around on the sides of the starter lightly and it started up!

Any explanation on what causes this? Presumably sitting out in the cold; maybe moisture on the starter froze and stiffened it?

Chris
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Monday, December 29th, 2008 AT 1:40 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
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You could be right and also other things

Starter problems can be caused by worn brushes (carbon pads inside the motor that supply current to the rotating armature), by shorts or opens in the armature or field coils, or by worn bushings that increase drag or allow the armature shaft to rub against the pole shoes.

Continuous and prolonged cranking is very hard on a starter motor because it generates excessive heat. If not allowed to cool down every 30 seconds or so for at least a couple of minutes, the starter will be damaged by continuous cranking.

You can check out a starter by bench testing it with the proper equipment. Using a battery and a pair of cables to jump the starter will only tell you if it spins, not how many amps it is drawing or how fast it is cranking. To accurately test a starter, you have to use a test stand that can measure amp load, voltage and rpm.

A good starter will normally draw 60 to 150 amps with no load on it, and up to 250 amps under load (while cranking the engine). The no-load amp draw will vary depending on the type of starter. If the amp draw is too high, the starter needs to be replaced. The same is true if the starter does not achieve the specified rpm.

Excessive starter draw can be caused by high resistance within the starter itself, worn brushes, or grounds or opens in the armature or coil windings. It can also result from increased internal friction due to shaft bushings that bind or an armature that is rubbing against the housing (if the starter is noisy, it is probably dragging).

Sometimes the starter motor works fine but the drive gear fails to engage the ring gear on the flywheel. If the drive gear mechanism can be replaced separately, there is no need to replace the entire starter.

A bad solenoid can also cause starter problems. The solenoid acts like a relay to route power directly to the starter from the battery. It may be mounted on the starter or located elsewhere in the engine compartment, and is usually connected to the positive battery cable. Corrosion, poor ground at the solenoid mount or poor battery cable connections will prevent the solenoid from doing its job.
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Monday, December 29th, 2008 AT 3:24 PM

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