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October 4th, 1999 Article
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Continued from last week:

What to do when you try and start the vehicle and all you get is a slow RRRRrrrring noise and the engine turns over very slow and sometimes ends with a rapid clicking as long as you hold the key in the start position.

Once again you must turn to a friend or neighbor with jumper cables. Hook up the cables and try to start the vehicle. If the engine still does not want to turn over and you are SURE that you are getting a good contact on the jumper cables, (Try wiggling the clamps around a bit to make sure they are contacting properly.) hold the key in the start position and ask whoever is helping you to touch the battery cables. If the cables start to get harm or even hot, this shows that the starter motor is drawing WAY TOO MUCH and you have a starter problem. (It is also possible that there may be an internal engine problem that will not allow the starter to turn the engine. If possible, try and turn the engine a bit by hand to see if it will move.)

Now I want to try and save you a little more frustration and it has to do with what will happen when you go to the parts store, to ask for a replacement starter. With the great number of different engines, vehicles and combinations of each, there maybe more than one starter listed for your vehicle.

So how do you get the RIGHT one? It is always easier if you can take your old starter off and take it into the parts store. In that way, the Partsman can look for numbers on the starter to cross reference to the proper replacement. However, if you would prefer not to take the starter off first, I would suggest that you be sure that you are able to provide the year, make, model, engine model and transmission information. Some vehicles can just be identified by the make, model and engine size but a lot of the imports require the engine model number. If you look around under the hood you will likely find a metal plate with all of the model information that you need. This will save having to make two or three return trips to the parts store because you got the wrong starter the first time. But, if your testing has shown that you do indeed need a battery, what kind of battery do you want to buy? Car batteries are just like any other type of battery in that you have to have the proper battery to do the job. Just like a flashlight that requires "D" cell batteries, a flat nine-volt won't work. Sure, you could even make "AAA's" work in the flashlight, if you don't mind spending a little time with wire and tape but it is still better to use a PROPER replacement. It is also best to use the proper replacement battery for your vehicle, even though it is possible to make another one fit.

The real question is which one to choose? Just like the last time you needed batteries for some battery-powered item like a flashlight, there are hundreds of different brands and types. Do you choose the "Bunny" battery or one of the other guys? Are the "NO-NAME" brands just as good, even though they are a lot cheaper? Just like any other decision that you have to make, they are easier to make if you have the right information before making that decision.

Next week I will try and give you as much RIGHT information as I can.

"TOOT" Rick "The Wrench" - October 4, 1999
Copyright of Rick The Wrench, 1999

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