Question about 1998 Chevrolet Malibu

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I go to start my car and hear one click and a wuring noise, it wont start. 98 malibu v6

I've gotten the starter tested and it works, I have also used the screwdriver trick and hear the same wuring noise but hear no click or spinning. I've cleaned the engine block and chasie grounds and cleaned all of the connection for the starter. I dont get full illumination of my dash board just battery light and check engine light when i turn it to the on position. the ignition switch was replaced six months ago. some of the fuses looked worn but were connected. I can turn the crank by hand. Im at a loss. What do I do?

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  • Chevrolet Master
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So the starter was tested but was it tested properly
was a torque test done to check the pinion drive clutch for operation
sounds like either that clutch is faulty or the pinion drive is not being moved out by the solenoid linkage before the starter is engaged

Posted on Dec 07, 2016

Testimonial: "Thanks for your respone bill,. I took it to Auto Zone and watched the guy test it. Didnt seem to confident in what he was doing. The machine that he hooked it up to showed it to work. Would this machine have tested these things. Is there a way to test those things? Im new to being a self mechanic so i'm learning a bunch but still kinda in the dark. Especially with electrical. any tips would be great? Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, just super frustrated."

  • Bill Boyd Dec 07, 2016

    The tests on a starter are several
    1-- bench test is a straight short across the terminals ( power to solenoid activate wire) to see if the armature spins
    that checks the solenoid
    next is to clamp the starter in a vice and place a tool across the pinion teeth with the end of the tool attached to a spring balance
    operating the solenoid turns the gear against the spring and the reading indicates the torque produced by the armature ( torque within the recommended parameters would probably suffice at this point )
    That determines if the armature and field windings are in good condition or are partially burnt out
    It also tests the over ride clutch of the pinion gear because if that is failing, the armature will spin but not produce the lock up situation needed to test against the spring balance
    next --there is a distance that the pinion gear is moved before the contacts in the solenoid are engaged to power up the armature
    finally the starter is pulled apart to check brush length and armature condition( burnt bars , loose bars brushes worn at an angle
    the armature is checked for shiny sections indicating that the bushes are worn allowing the armature to come in contact with the field shoes
    An accredited auto electrical shop would carry out all these tests when searching for a problem such as yous where as a parts shop would not

  • Brian Wheeler
    Brian Wheeler Dec 08, 2016

    Thank you Bill! I went and bought a new starter and you were absolutely correct. I installed the new one and am on the road again. Next time an Auto electric shop it is.

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