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Old 05-24-2016, 03:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 3 starters so far... now the battery.. what gives??

96 Cicic EX auto

Ive bought so far 2 starters, and one was given to me by a friend. All starteres were bought used and one of them was taken out of a previously running car that got wrecked.. So WHY are they all failing? Before I installed the last one, I made sure all my grounds were good, even added an extra ground to make sure everything was fine. So i installed the 3rd starter and now my battery is dead after a few days...(and looks like the starter as well, but im not 100% sure) Opened the hood and there is a "burned" smell every time i open the hood, the bad part is that the smell is only notice able when u open the hood, trying to pin point were the smell is coming from is very difficult, BUT i kinda noticed it comes from either the dead batt OR an area around the starter... Umm cable?

So what can cause this? And what are the odds off all the starters failing? When they fail, they all die the same way, when i install them, they are stroing, but later they start to get weak, to the point were they cant turn thr engine over.

Help will be highly apreciated.
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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could be a broken or hella corroded starter cable wire. if the only thing that's been replaced is the starter and not the wire, I would run a new heavier gauge wire from battery to starter and see if it fixes it.


not to mention, you stated its draining the battery....which means its grounding out somewhere as well.
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Old 05-24-2016, 05:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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could be a broken or hella corroded starter cable wire. if the only thing that's been replaced is the starter and not the wire, I would run a new heavier gauge wire from battery to starter and see if it fixes it.


not to mention, you stated its draining the battery....which means its grounding out somewhere as well.
Well I started taking off the battery cables for replacement...... And it seems the burned smell is coming from the fuse box.....
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Old 05-24-2016, 05:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sounds like your cables are bad or you have a short somewhere.
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Old 05-24-2016, 06:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds like your cables are bad or you have a short somewhere.
Well i removed the battery cables(one of the cables that goes to the fuse box runs with the main harness, so couldnt remove it), battery, fusebox and even the starter. Placed everything in the trunk, and i can still smell like a burned "chip" or plastic... I can smell it when the wind blows a little BUT cant figure out were its comming from.... I know its somewere or around or near were the battery goes or somewere around the tranni..

I know if i get a new batt/starter the car will turn on but would like to figure this one out first..

Nothing has changed on the engine compartment. On the alarm system on the other hand, the wire that is cut and used for the starter kill on the alarm system I made a "brige" and ran a long speaker wire that lays under my seat witha swith. That switch has to be on in order to start the car, otherwise starter wont even engage. I highly doubt thats the issue since the starter kill within the alarm stystem does the same thin, i just did a bypass for added security. (Unless the cable is too thin causing problems?)

Lastly since I have an after market alarm, my dome light wanst working, so i did the paper clip trick to the connector behind the radio, again i doubt this is an issue.
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Old 05-24-2016, 08:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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yeah, I wouldn't use speaker wire to interrupt the battery wire to the starter, unless youre talking about the starter signal wire. pics would be helpful
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The burnt smell could be ozone, which is created when electrical arcing occurs. Some people say it smells like chlorine, but you've probably smelled it around laser printers, welders, or after a thunderstorm.

Aftermarket alarms can be a nightmare to diagnose. Poor insulation can result in a partial short - which means a slow battery drain w/o popping a fuse. If your battery is drained several times, then it will have a very reduced power output.

Back to the starter, a lot can be the cabling. If it cranks fine in the beginning but gets worse, there's a chance the wiring is bad enough to cause lots of arcing. When there's increased resistance, voltage drops & amps increase. If you've ever touched a wrench between the positive post & ground, you'll see what high amps can do.

One thing about old Civics - they nearly all have shitty ground & battery cables. The irony is all those cables are very cheap from the dealership.
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Are you sure your killing the starters, and it's not the battery that's dead?

Like said above bad positive and negitive cables could be your problem. There all so could be something draining the battery or the alternator isn't chafing the battery, causing you to get a few starts out of it before the battery is dead.
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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One thing I forgot to ask - does your engine start within 1-2 seconds? If your engine needs much longer than that, chances are you are overheating the starter. Overheating any motor will result in cooking the coils, which can short them out & reduce power.

Generally for every second your use the starter it needs 10-20 seconds to cool down. Much more if the engine was previously running & warmed up the starter.
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Old 05-25-2016, 12:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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[quote=HiProfile;4928642]One thing I forgot to ask - does your engine start within 1-2 seconds? If your engine needs much longer than that, chances are you are overheating the starter. Overheating any motor will result in cooking the coils, which can short them out & reduce power.

Generally for every second your use the starter it needs 10-20 seconds to cool down. Much more if the engine was previously running & warmed up the starter.[/QUOTE
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One thing I forgot to ask - does your engine start within 1-2 seconds? If your engine needs much longer than that, chances are you are overheating the starter. Overheating any motor will result in cooking the coils, which can short them out & reduce power.

Generally for every second your use the starter it needs 10-20 seconds to cool down. Much more if the engine was previously running & warmed up the starter.
Well the wire under the dash is a bit thicker than the starter signal cable, ill post an image tomorrow morning.

Ill take the alarm off tomorrow and put everything back how it usto be. Just to rule out the alarm.

The ONLY thing im aware thats draining the battery is the sterio, the previous owner connected the sterio directly and stays on, im guessing even if i remove the faceplate it stills stays on, will fully disconnect it tomorrow.

Hopefully i figure this out by tomorrow. It would seem that the alternator is bad since with a fresh starter and charged batt, the car starts up right away, it litterally does take a second to start since its a fresh rebuit. The weird part is that the batt thats in the car atm is dead... And wont hold charge... BUT before i knew it was dead and wouldnt hold charge, i just thoight the battery was drained so we jumped started and wola it turned on, the next day again car didnt start, again tried to jump start it and the starter would just "click" like if there was not enough juice. The only way I would get the engine to turn over was without spark plugs(so it could be easier for starter) and turning the jey to the "on" posissiob a lot of times, super fast like if i was wiggiling it, and eventually the engine would turn over, weak ofcourse even with the help of the jump start...?
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Well boight a new battery, new cables, and had the starter tested in Autozone and O'reilley.

I was good to go, installed the starter, then cables and finally installed the battery. Wile connecting the battery cables to the battery, there was no spark at all like if the battery was low, tested the battery and gave me a reading of 12.7v. Instantly I thought that was wierd, but i continued with the installation.

The first attempt was a bust, forgot the reconnect the starter signal cable to its original.

The second attempt was the one that got me dissapointed.... With everything good and ready to go, gave it a try and it sounded like a "click" in the engine and that was the end. Fuel pump wont prome, cant hear it, main relay is dead too cant hear it either, tested a few other relays same result... And last but not least my cluster light, mainly the check engine light, and other lights that you see when youre about to turn the car on are dead aswell......... The car literally feels more dead than before... Im kinda pissed... Ill check fuses tomorrow, if still noting im getting rid of it...

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Old 05-26-2016, 08:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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All this sounds like a bad alternator to me.

Low voltage will cause a weak start issue until it is so low that it only clicks the starter relay.
Low voltage is probably due to a bad alternator not charging the battery.
Bad/dead batteries wear out alternators quickly.
None of the relays will work without 12 volts.

Before you throw any more money at it though, check voltage at the battery once the car is started.
If you have 14+ volts, your alternator is good.
If you have less, it's time to replace the alternator.

Good luck .
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Take an old screwdriver & jump it between the starter solenoid and ground. If it doesn't spin when the solenoid is jumped, pull all the engine bay fuses & try again. If it spins, replace 1 fuse at a time & repeat.

If it DOES spin like a mother when the solenoid is jumped, it could be the ignition switch. A bad ignition switch will not power ANYTHING, let alone the main relay. A failing switch will either be intermittent, or it could also show continuity but with a very high resistance - particularly when the starter load is added. You can rip the column cover off & do the same trick to the heavy-gauge wires on the switch.



BTW did you ever have the other "bad" starters re-tested?
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Take an old screwdriver & jump it between the starter solenoid and ground. If it doesn't spin when the solenoid is jumped, pull all the engine bay fuses & try again. If it spins, replace 1 fuse at a time & repeat.

If it DOES spin like a mother when the solenoid is jumped, it could be the ignition switch. A bad ignition switch will not power ANYTHING, let alone the main relay. A failing switch will either be intermittent, or it could also show continuity but with a very high resistance - particularly when the starter load is added. You can rip the column cover off & do the same trick to the heavy-gauge wires on the switch.



BTW did you ever have the other "bad" starters re-tested?
Sorry forgot the alternator was tested aswell and its fine too. Ill test the the starter with your method. Hopefully its a bad fuse somewere.. Hopefully because i spent hours checking all my ground wires etc, and thankfully everything looks good. Kinda disapointed since its a fresh build ..
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Take an old screwdriver & jump it between the starter solenoid and ground. If it doesn't spin when the solenoid is jumped, pull all the engine bay fuses & try again. If it spins, replace 1 fuse at a time & repeat.

If it DOES spin like a mother when the solenoid is jumped, it could be the ignition switch. A bad ignition switch will not power ANYTHING, let alone the main relay. A failing switch will either be intermittent, or it could also show continuity but with a very high resistance - particularly when the starter load is added. You can rip the column cover off & do the same trick to the heavy-gauge wires on the switch.



BTW did you ever have the other "bad" starters re-tested?

x2 on the ignition switch
try this .. wire in a push button start. ( bypassing the key switch. )
start button can by had for about 5-10 bucks.

if that connection at the key switch isn't good ,
it's causing resistance and it bottlenecking the power. you still get 12v but not the amps needed.
and i'd be willing to bet your burning up solenoids and not the starter motor.
the contacts for the motor inside those are pretty darn beefy ..
pull one apart , check the contacts for the motor, they'll probably be fine.
then test the coils on the motor .. they'll probably be fine too
the motor can't be spinning when it contacts the flywheel teeth.
the starter motor can't spin if it's not "throw forward" first by the solenoid.
The motor contact points are not even accessible to the starter motor until then
it's designed that way, so you don't eat teeth on your flywheel.

ALSO: there are NO wires in the car going to the "starter motor" that is "directly" connected to the battery.
it gets ground via the block
the one wire in the car is going to the solenoid.
as mentioned above , the key powers the main relay and if the main relay isn't coming on ,
that's a clue that combined with the wiggling of the key that seems to suggest ignition switch.

it's very unlikely that both your ignition switch and main relay are bad at the same time ,
but the relay is dependent upon power from the switch.
try that start button , see if that fixes your problem.

BTW: i plan on putting a start button in my rex just to avoid the pressure on the ignition switch.

PS: if your main relay isn't coming on .. you'll have to replace the switch anyways .. or re-solder the contacts.

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Old 06-01-2016, 04:43 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Check your fuse box . There are a few 40amp fuses for main ignition.

Throw car in N. Car off no keys need to be in it.
Jump starter solenoid to the big power bolt on the starter(this thick wire goes to the battery).

If the starter kicks in and turns over the motor, then your starter is good and that is working.

Pull the steering colum cover. (3 + screws under it.)
Look at the igniton switch. It will be labled batt, ign, ign2 acc.
That a volt meter and check for battery volts at batt.
Then turn the key and check for power at each one.
If you get power on all then your ignition switch is good and you might have blown a fuse or wire under the dash.

Of no power when you switch it over then younhave a bad switch.

You can also check the starter wire at the ign switch also.
Should be labe s and s2. (When you turn the key fornstarter it should get power)
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Old 07-02-2016, 03:52 AM   #17 (permalink)
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you need to go thru and clean All the underhood ground cables. I have been got twice by bad grounds in my car. Alt wasn't charging fully once, and it wasn't starting good the next time. the second time was the ground at the transmission end.
you could check the charge at the batt and it was 12.4, and at the alt it was 14.3, with the car running.
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