Single click when attempting to start vehicle

Tiny
BUDDY MORRISON
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 CHRYSLER SEBRING
  • 2.7L
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 130,000 MILES
Usually only in the morning, when I attempt to start my car, I hear a single click after I turn the key then nothing, it starts right up after a few tries though and does not do it again until the next morning. Other possible related symptoms include dimming interior lights like my dashboard, stereo display and shifter, especially when I use a turn signal or switch between low and high beams as well as my stereo not working at all anymore. The check engine light is on, but it is for a large EVAP leak only, which I am told is the probably the gas cap. Is it the battery, starter or alternator? Or something else?
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Thursday, September 20th, 2018 AT 8:28 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi and thanks for using 2CarPros.com.

Since you get a click and then eventually it does start, it sounds like either a dirty or loose battery connection or the starter is going bad.

Based on your description, it sounds like a dirty or loose connection. Unlike water, metal expands when it gets hot. Thus, a connection can be tighter. Take a look through this link and follow the directions for checking, cleaning, and tightening the connections.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/everything-goes-dead-when-engine-is-cranked

If you determine that the starter is bad, here are the directions for replacing it. The attached pictures correlate with these directions,.
____________________________________

REMOVAL
1. Open Hood.
2. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
3. Raise vehicle and support.
4. Disconnect the electrical connector from the O(2) sensor.

Fig.5 O(2) Sensor

5. Remove the O(2) sensor from the exhaust manifold (Fig. 5).
6. Remove the front mount through bolt.
7. Remove the front mount bracket from engine block.

Fig.6 Starter Motor

8. Remove the battery cable from starter (Fig. 6).

Fig.7 Starter Motor Removal

9. Remove the lower starter bolt and remove starter (Fig. 7).

INSTALLATION
1. Install starter to transmission.
2. Start the upper starter bolt.
3. Start the lower bolt and snug it so that the starter will not move.
4. Remove the upper bolt.
5. Connect the battery cable and torque nut to 8.5 Nm (75 in. lbs.).
6. Install the front mount bracket and check heat shield location.
7. Install bolt the upper bolt and torque bolt to 54 Nm (40 ft. lbs.).
8. Install the lower and torque bolt to 54 Nm (40 ft. lbs.).
9. Install the front mount through bolt and torque bolt to 61 Nm (45 ft. lbs.).
10. Install the O(2) sensor and torque to 27 Nm (20 ft. lbs.).
11. Lower vehicle.
12. Connect the negative battery cable.

If this doesn't help or you have other questions, let me know.

Take care,
Joe
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Friday, September 21st, 2018 AT 7:47 PM
Tiny
BUDDY MORRISON
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your response, especially with such detail! I took it to AutoZone today to have my battery, alternator and starter tested, all three passed and are in working condition. To my surprise, the stereo started working again directly after the test. I am thinking it is probably a loose battery connection because of that. There is no corrosion and the battery cables are very clean. The AutoZone associate suggested it could be my starter solenoid starting to go bad. Is that a possibility? Is that a part I replace alone or is it apart of the starter itself and I replace it as a whole? Thank you, I truly appreciate it!
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Friday, September 21st, 2018 AT 8:18 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
No problem. I am happy to help. As far as the solenoid, he is most likely correct. If it truly is the solenoid, it will progressively get worse until it will not engage anymore.

As far as replacement, the solenoid can be replaced, but honestly, no one does it anymore. The entire starter is replaced which includes the solenoid. I attached a picture of a starter for you to see. The larger portion is the starter motor. The smaller cylindrical component attached to the top of the motor is the solenoid.

I recommend just replacing the entire component.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Take care,
Joe
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Friday, September 21st, 2018 AT 9:08 PM

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