1998 kia sephia, starter kicks in but engine sometimes wont turn.
When the engine does turn, it starts right up. this is a intermittent problem. 3 out of 5 times i will have to turn the key multiple times to get the car to start. what can this be? i have had the started tested 3 times and passed. im assuming the ignition switch is working since the started kicks in every time. possible dead spot inside the starter? please help.
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It could be a lot of things but I would be very suspicious of the starter and flywheel. The fact that it will start with a push suggests that your codes are not the problem with starting. Your starter's bendix drive could be weak which means it will disengage before the car starts. The solenoid could be getting worn and not putting enough juice to keep the starter running. The flywheel could have a "flat" spot.
To check the flywheel for a "flat" spot you will have to look at it and turn it by hand. The best way is to use a screwdriver or small pry bar and work it around that way. You are looking for missing teeth, teeth that are ground off or narrower than the rest. If you find that the flywheel needs to be replaced. I would try to start the car and when the starter kicks out, start looking right there.
The only way I know of testing the starter and solenoid is to replace them and see if that works. Hope this helps.
Its located just under the intake manifold. you will need to remove the exhaust pipe to access it. there is also an upper and lower intake manifold support bracket that will need to be removed as well to extract the starter.