View Full Version : 1989 ST, automatic: Starting Problems

03-23-2008, 09:53 AM
Two days ago I was not able to start my car and the guy from AAA did arrive and he hit my starter while I was trying to start the car... the car started and that guy told me to replace my starter.

Well, I went to NAPA and bought the starter. I did install it but after I finished my car can sometimes start and sometimes it can't. When it doesn't start I hear a click and a sound like zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz coming from the starter (same happened with my old starter). My spark plugs, cables, distributor, and distributor cap are ok. I suspect I have a problem with the starter relay (could it be?, can someone tell me where is it located?) but I am not sure.

Some people said NAPA starters are very good but in my case....

Any suggestions?

what is a good brand for starters? Bosh? Adelco?

Guys, I am just starting to know about "car starters issues"


03-23-2008, 10:05 AM
Starter Relay or weak battery.

03-23-2008, 10:34 AM
does your battery light come on? I wouldnt say relay, it just seems unlikely if its actually supplying power to the starter, and battery depends on if he has to keep charing it and if the alt is actually recharging it, a bad battery happens typically when they blow a cell and can barely hold a charge but a weak battery would more indicate a fault with the alternator. What I recommend doing is cleaning off your power connections with some sand paper to make sure you have good healthy connections, then see if the problem continues.

03-23-2008, 10:06 PM
The battery light never comes on. I took the car to Autozone and they tested alternator and battery. They are Ok. I did change the 2 relays under the driver side, to the left, and the car started to "start" more frequently than before. However, now, there are som few "times" where the car can't start but if I insist the car starts anyway.

Thanks for your suggestions

but, please let me know if you have more

thanks again

03-24-2008, 06:18 AM
Yeah, fourth gens do that. :)

It's a problem with resistance building up in the wires from the switch to starter, and not enough power gets through to fully engage the solenoid. The click you hear is the starter gear kicking out, not having enough power to spin, and retracting. One way to bypass it is to wire in an extra relay between the switch and solenoid, as the relay takes much less of a signal to trip. It can then send more power to the solenoid from a direct link to the battery. I've done it on both of mine, works great.

If you're not electrically inclined, don't worry too much - it'll always start eventually. I sat there jiggling my hatchback's key back and forth at least once a day for three years and it turned over every time, though occasionally it would take a few minutes... :)

03-24-2008, 01:18 PM
Thanks CriSco for the suggestion... It seems that your solution is a very interesting one. However, I wish I could understand it better... could it be possible for you to send me some drawing and/or pictures about the connections you made? do I need to get the same type or relay as the starter one? Please, let me know

thanks a lot

03-24-2008, 05:23 PM
its the same solution I suggested, clean your connections

03-24-2008, 10:17 PM
Thanks everybody for the suggestions...
I will take all of them to solve this problem completely


03-25-2008, 10:37 PM
Sounds to me like the oem wiring at it's age is no longer able to transmit the current it's required to, as Crisco eluded to.
And no, using a secondary relay and new wiring to bypass the old is not the same as cleaning your contacts.;)

03-27-2008, 08:37 AM
Thank you, Grayscale.

Joseccz, I'll be busy as hell trying to fix up my coupe's body before the track opens and having some unexpected repairs to do on my mother's car, but I'll take some pics when I get a chance.

The basic idea is to take a standard four or five pole relay (the fives tend to be more easily available as they're used to do aftermarket fog lights) and wire it in-line with the solenoid's switch contact. I'll get in to it more in depth when I get a chance, just don't be surprised if it takes a week or two...

But like I said, they always start eventually without this mod, so you'll be fine :)