1997 Dodge Intrepid Car starting after several tries

Tiny
AROHNR
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 DODGE INTREPID
1997 Dodge Intrepid 6 cyl Automatic 114000 miles

I just got this car last week. The guy I bought it from said it had been doing this for at least a year but it never quit running so he didn't bother to get it fixed. He said he thought the starter needed replaced (had a flat spot), so I was gonna get it replaced but took it to Auto Zone to get tested before I did.

The problem: When I start my car, it just clicks. It can take a few times up to about 15 tries for it to turn over and start. First thing in the morning takes a long time. After it's run all day off and on it starts first try or after a few.

When I took it there I had them check the starter, alternator and battery, as well as my check engine light that goes on and off all the time. The starter he said was fine. The alternator and battery were both a bit low but he said that could be because the car was sitting for months before I bought it. The check engine light he said was caused by my oxygen sensor not working. He said this could be caused by junk build up on my battery terminals or falty wiring to my starter, and to have both thigns checked. I'm gonna have someone check these. But I was wondering what your guys' opinion of what could cause this is?
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Monday, August 9th, 2010 AT 12:25 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Always start at the battery when dealing with electrical problems. Clean them and tighten them. If that doesn't help, my first guess would be a bad solenoid on the starter. If it worked when you took it to him, there is no way he could have known if it was bad.

Let me know if you have other questions.

Joe
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Monday, August 9th, 2010 AT 11:27 PM
Tiny
AROHNR
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Checked the battery terminals. Took them off and cleaned them and applied that battery terminal coater stuff. Don't remember what it's called but you know what I mean. Replaced the negative terminal cause it wasn't making good contact. It started right up for me after that until I was leaving work this morning and it started the clicking noise again. Took it back to auto zone and the guy said the positive wires need adjusted cause they're not making good contact. So I'm gonna do that next. If that doesn't work, what next?

What exactly is the starter solenoid? Is it an expensive/difficult part to replace? Are you saying If the car doesn't do the clicking thing when they check it at auto zone, then it wouldn't read that it's bad?
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Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 AT 11:24 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
The solenoid is part of the starter on today's cars. When you get a new starter, a new solenoid is attached to it. That is where you attach the wires to. And yes, it is was working when they checked it, they wouldn't have been able to identify a solenoid problem.

Let me know how you make out with the positive cable. Maybe that is the problem.

Joe
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Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 AT 12:05 AM
Tiny
AROHNR
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We cleaned and reconnected the positive terminal. Still clicking at me. I gotta wait til I get paid next Thursday and then replace the starter. Hopefully that'll fix it.
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Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 AT 9:38 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
You can wait, or remove the starter and have it bench tested at a parts store. Most don't charge for the service, and then you'll know if that is the problem for sure.

Let me know what you find.

Joe
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Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 AT 9:54 PM
Tiny
AROHNR
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Well I changed the starter and now it's perfectly fine. Thanks for all the help :)
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Thursday, August 12th, 2010 AT 10:46 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
That is what I thought it was. I'm glad it's fixed. Let us know if you have trouble in the future.

Joe
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Thursday, August 12th, 2010 AT 11:22 PM

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