Question about Mitsubishi Eclipse

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Will not start and when jumped will not stay cranked

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  • bekkibb Jul 18, 2008

    Well I haven't tried any of that yet because I have been so busy and since I have another car it just hasn't been a priority...Here is a longer version of what happened...While driving home the dash lights came on and the odometer stopped working, or it was working on and off. After driving about 25 miles, the car just died on me and would not jump. I could start it up with the jumper cables, but as soon as I removed them the dash lights came back on and then the car just idled down and died. Finally pushed the car home...was just around the corner, and hooked up the jumpers for about 1 hour to charge up the batt. Then checked the voltage on the batt and was 11.3. The next morning car started fine except for a slight idle up and down (barely noticeable) and was ok. Only drove about 2 miles to work and then that night on the way home (2 miles) it dies on me again. I got it jumped off and 35 feet down the road it dies on me again, this time I could jump it off but of course would not stay running. So, I wound up pushing it to a safer place than the side of the road and leaving it for now. I haven't had any trouble with the starter and it seems a bit strange that this would happen without any previous problem of this sort anyway. I am thinking...could it be the alternator? The sad thing is I don't have a lot of time right now to be working on it and dont really trust many people working on it.

    If it's any help it is a 95 Eclipse GSX AWD Turbo and it seems these cars were made with a million problems. Please postg back and let me know if you have any additional advice/solution.




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Check the starting solenoid (most likely) and/or the starter (likely).

The starter system is initiated at the ignition switch when the key is turned to start. At this point, the ignition switch then provides +12VDC to the staring solenoid. The starting solenoid then performs two (2) functions. It provides the switching action (hundreds amps) from the battery heavy cable to the actual starter motor. The solenoid likewise pushes a small pinion gear along the shaft of the starter motor to engage the ring gear. The ring gear is of course on the edge of the flywheel which in turn is attached to the crankshaft.

Starter system problems could be corrected by:
1. check battery, battery cables and connections;
2. charge the battery if required;
3. clean brushes and guides of brush holders of the starter motor;
4. clean the commutator and commutator segments;
5. check/replace the armature or field coils if determined to be defective;
6. in some extreme cases it could be the drive pinion or the flywheel gear ring is defective.
7. often it is the big switch that the solenoid activates that looses contacts causing no +12V internally to the motor.
8. It could possibly be a defective the IGN switch itself. Relative to this, you might try and check the connectors/terminals and electrical joints.

In the picture below, the upper portion is the starter solenoid while the one below it is the actual starter.
will not start and when - c9b6a69.jpg
Given the amount of work to overhaul a starter, you might consider just replacing it. On the otherhand, a solenoid is repairable except when burned.

This of course assuming that all other vital components of the car are working.

Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Thank you for using FixYa.

Posted on Jul 17, 2008

  • Louie  Role
    Louie Role Jul 19, 2008


    Appreciate the postback and substantial additional information.

    Initially (and should not take you more a few minutes) check the battery terminals (loose or corroded tighten or clean with hot water). Another to check would be the fusible link.
    Since there would only be two terminals on the battery + and you would have
    checked/confirmed that the negative is body grounded, it would only be
    the positive terminal. The positive terminal has two (2) connections; 1
    would be very big and would go to the starter, another smaller would be
    the systems B+12. Often this 2nd B+12 wire passes through a fusible
    link which looks like a wire but is really a big fuse. It would
    likewise pass through a connector. based on this, you may want to check
    this fusible link and/or its connector. When in doubt, you can always
    temporarily replace this with ordinary automotive electrical wire to
    verify. Should this checkout OK, the next step would be to look for a
    master/main relay or a master fuse/circuit breaker.




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