Very little chance it's a starter problem. The chance of it failing at exactly the same time it stalled on the highway is pretty remote. Be sure it's in Park. Try starting it in Neutral, then Reverse. If it cranks in any other gear, the "PRNDL" switch, (formerly known as the neutral safety switch), is out-of-adjustment or defective.
As a test, you can put the car in Park, then bypass the starter relay to see if it cranks. That will instantly divide the circuit in half. If it cranks, the high-current side, which includes the battery, battery cables, and starter motor are fine. The problem then is in the low-current circuit which includes the ignition switch and "PRNDL" switch on the transmission.
There's two ways to bypass the starter relay. The hardest way is to remove it from its socket, pop the cover off, reinstall it, and squeeze the contact. There might not be enough room to get your finger in there, but you can get in there with a pencil.
Another way to bypass it is to remove the relay, then look at the five terminals on it. Two will be parallel to each other, on two adjacent sides. Disregard those. Also disregard the terminal in the center. That leaves you with two terminals that form the letter "T". Those are the two terminals to jump in the socket. A paper clip or piece of wire will work fine.
If it still does not crank, and makes no sound, suspect the smaller of the two wires on the starter motor is knocked off, loose, or broken off. If it makes one loud clunk, you should have heard that when you turned the ignition switch. A common cause is worn contacts inside the starter motor's solenoid. These can be replaced at low cost but most people just replace the whole starter. You could also have a problem with one of the fat battery cables.
Thursday, June 4th, 2009 AT 4:38 PM