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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:( When I turn the key it clicks once then nothing. After that first click all the dome lights go out and it doesn't do anything when you turn the key.
If I jump start it it will turn over just fine (starter sounds good). The lights were flickering at night after i had it jump started so i had the alternator tested at autozone. I bought a new alternator and installed it. It still doesn't start on it's own. So, today I went and exchanged the battery (which was only a few months old anyway), tried to start it, one click then nothing. Could it be the starter relay, bad ground,???? I'm lost at this point. Oh yeah, it's a 97 passport EX 3.2 v-6.
 

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I think the one click you hear IS the starter relay.

If you keep trying the starter, will it eventually start? The contacts inside the starter solenoid are known to cause problems if they get dirty (cleaned my last week-end).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, it will start right up if I leave it hooked up to the jumper vehicle for a few minutes to charge up the battery. It seems like the starter isn't getting any juice unless it's being jumped. If I don't have a jumper hooked up to it, it will click once on my first try, then on my second try it won't make any sound and the interior lights go out.
 

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WOW! Now I'm stumped. :shock:

Do you have a volt meter? If so, you can check your battery voltage before and after starting. It really sounds like something is dragging down your battery.

Check your battery voltage before you try to start it (should be between 12.2 and 12.8 volts). Now try to start it; and check the voltage again. If it is significantly different, then I would suspect some kind to short (maybe a bad relay?).
 

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I agree with Kevo, check your battery voltage before trying to start. Once started see if you are getting 14 volts or so.

If you don't have over 14 volts when running your alt isn't working.

If you don't have more than 12 volts stopped then you are more than likely getting some type of drain on your battery as it sits overnight. (this is assuming that your alt was working properly.

Kevo mentioned the starter contacts. I replaced Smileys for him a few weeks ago. His didn't need cleaned, his needed replaced. His were toast.

He was getting a hard start, he could turn the key multiple times and it would end up starting. See if this will work. If it will you need to replace your starter contacts.

Hope you can make sense of some of this.

Joe
 

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yep I was gonna type exactly what Kev said, I had a similar problem on a Suzuki but it was clear to me because I had a new stereo installed a little bit before, so I new it was in my case the stereo draining the battery. Get a volt'o'meter lol and check each connection to the battery.
 

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Bad starter solenoid. Just went thru this same thing on a '95 Rodeo - 3.2l.

Pulled starter, took to elect. rebuilder. Plunger and contacts on Denso starters are notorious for being the culprit.

I'm assuming the exchanged battery is OK.
 

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I would have agreed with it being a starter problem, but that wouldnt explain why he can jump start it fine, which still leaves me with the suspicion his battery is being drained
 

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I've had 3 different batteries in one week from O'Reileys... Whenever you buy a battery, have them test it and make sure it has full charge before you pay for it.

I would suspect something's either drained the battery or...

Lol, this is going to sound bad, but did you have your new alternator tested? I worked for a company that rebuilds and builds new alternators for several companies. I know a few of the testers who test one and pass two...

Just a thought...
 

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If the solenoid contacts are dirty/worn, there will be increased resistance in the system. This requires more power(I can't remember the formula, but current, voltage, and resistance are all related). That's why jump starting is successful.
 

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Kevo said:
If the solenoid contacts are dirty/worn, there will be increased resistance in the system. This requires more power(I can't remember the formula, but current, voltage, and resistance are all related). That's why jump starting is successful.
EXACTLY.
 

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this isnt a soloniod problem, nor a starter problem. This exact same things has happened the my gf 99 amigo. There is a wire that comes from the black box under your hood, it is not getting a good connections When you turn your key, everything turns on. When you go to start your truck it all goes out. This wire that comes from the box has been disconnected or has corrosion on it. I bet if you clean all the contacts to your batter, or the cables that connects to the main cable on the battery. got it?

kevan
 

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this isnt a soloniod problem, nor a starter problem.
If we were talking abotu a 99 I'd tend to agree. But, we are speaking of a 97. The contacts I replaced in E-zoo-zoo-one's starter were VERY worn. The contacts that were put back in were twice as thick.

Don't rule out certain things. Just start with the easy/cheap stuff first. Clean you battery posts. Take your grounds loose and clean under them, and tighten them back. If you can get to the connection at the starter (Through the wheel well with the tire off) take it off and clean it, reinstall.

Then you can go for the more expensive fixes, and the harder to do. Like removing the starter to replace the 10 dollar contacts. We had to take the engine and tranny mounts loose and raise the engine about 3 inches just to get the starter out. This is on a truck that has a 3" body lift. I doubt you could get the starter out this way in a stock truck.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok, I jumped it today to bring it to my cousin's house. it turned over right away. i drove it about 12 miles and parked it on the ramps and turned it off. I immediately turned the key back on and nothing. So i swapped the starter relay with the horn relay (just in case) and tried to start it. this time i got a little power to the interior lights and the beepers but still no starter action. then i turned the key one more time and the starter clicked very fast without enageing. i tried it a couple more times and it clicked fast again. then i tried jumping it again to get it started. now it is completely dead and will not even jump start. i'm thinking new starter? i don't want to go through the hell of yanking this starter just to clean the contacts and then have it happen again. would you guys agree? I know it's a pain in the arse cause i changed one on my 96 passport and had to drop the exhaust and ended up snapping an exhaust manifold stud.
 

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I still think you should borrow/buy a voltmeter. You problem is sounding less and less like the solenoid problem that alot of us have experienced.

I certainly wouldn't pull the starter until I knew for sure that is the problem. Sounds like you understand what a pain that can be. :twisted:
 

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I highly doubt its the starter,
did you clean your battery cables?
did you make sure there is no broken cables? meaning no open wires?

check the wires
different trucks, same problem

kevan
 

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I'd suggest doing the contacts. There's no sense in spending the money on a new starter when yours is fine. Yes it's a pain in the butt to get to, but you are going to do that part of the job either way. Just make sure whatever you do, put a good coating of high temp antiseize on your exhaust bolts you have to remove to get the starter out.

Honestly order the contacts and you should be okay. Test the starter before putting back in the truck and if it's still bad then go plop down the big money for the new starter. This way you'd only be out about 10 buck for the contacts if they don't fix it.

You might want to give Auto Battery and Electric in Portland a call (503-238-0888). They were great to work with an it only cost $10 for a set of two contacts.

Joe
 
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