Tip & How-To about Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Starter motor symptoms, faults and fixes

Symptoms, faults and fixes associated with starter motors:-


  • Check battery condition and cable connections to terminals
  • Sticky solenoid due to corrosion or glued up lubricant and dirt - dismantle and rub clean with some emery paper
  • Worn starter motor armature brushe - strike motor body with end of a piece of timber whilst cranking; the jolt may encourage enough contact to get the starter motor running for long enough for ignition to occur.
  • For a permanent fix dismantle the starter motor and replace the carbon brushes.
  • Corrosion in the starter motor body between the steel jacket and alloy gear casing - insert self tapping screw between the two parts to bridge the corrosion laye
  • For a permanent fix remove motor and strip down and then wire brush components back to the metal and then reassemble. Painting the outside of the newly reassembled motor to keep dirt and water at bay is a good idea, wrapping insulation tape over the joins also keeps corrosion at bay.
'Click, click, click' ...occasional start
  • Check battery condition and cable connections to terminals
  • Worn contact plates in solenoid failing to provide high current to energize the starter motor winding - dismantle solenoid and replace copper contact plates and plunger ring (readily available as an inexpensive (<$10) overhaul kit.

'Wahr, wahr, wahhrr'...laboured motor

  • Worn bronze bearings on the ends of the starter motor are allowing the motor core to run off centre and grind against the surrounding field magnets on the inside of the motor body - dismantle motor and check that outside edges of the motor core are looking polished. If so, replace the bronze bearings (inexpensive fix)
  • Over-drawing motor - high current is being drawn but this is not translated into effective turning effort by the motor. The field magnet windings have begun to short out, probably as a result of age or, more likely, through over use in trying to start a poorly igniting engine. With prolonged use the field windings get very hot and eventually burn off the insulation between the individual wires in the windings creating a short - replace/ exchange the starter motor as the field windings of the stator magnets on the motor body are fried and beyond repair

'Wheeeeeeee' ..no start

  • Although engaged fully with the flywheel a slipping pinion gear clutch means that the motor is ineffectual at turning the engine over - remove the starter motor and replace the pinion gear on the end of the starter motor shaft

Lottery start...occasional no start

  • The motor occasionally refuses to start to turn first time and has a defined rhythmic pulse when turning over - this is due to either burnt out armature coil or the contact face of the armature has become badly pitted or has worn off centre causing the brush to miss making contact - replace brushes and ensure brush passages allow free movement - replace/ exchange the starter motor as armature contact area and windings are beyond repair.

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1 Answer

Starter does not engage. Only clicks when I turn the key.

The first thing to do is to check the condition of the battery cables/terminals. Make sure they are clean, free from corrosion and are tight. Also check the black earth lead where it connects to the block/bodywork. A poor earth can cause the symptoms you describe.

If that doesn't work, disconnect the positive battery cable (but bear in mind that you may lose the radio code.. do you know your radio code?) and then disconnect, clean the cables on the starter motor.

If that does not do anything - suspect the starter motor solenoid. It can be removed and cleaned (remove the starter motor first). You can 'bridge' the terminals on the solenoid with a screwdriver to try and start the car... but be careful.

kia sportage 2 0 starter motor
2007 kia sportage 2 0 starter motor Google Search

Mar 25, 2016 | 2007 Kia Sportage 2.0

2 Answers

2005 model turn key nothing lights on radio go dim completely dead ,new battery is fitted have full voltage ,,intermittent fault,starts after 10 min!!

Bad connection . Clean battery terminals till they shine .check the battery cable earth clean and tighter .Clean and tighten battery cable to starter motor terminal.

Aug 16, 2014 | 2005 Toyota LandCruiser Prado

1 Answer

starter wont engage after replacing dead battery

Check power to starter motor solenoid, solenoid operation and starter motor voltage during cranking. If the starter motor is receiving power from the solenoid, but isn't cranking, then replace the starter motor.

Also check the condition of battery terminals, wiring and connections. Also check the earth wire from the body to the engine.

Nov 12, 2012 | Cars & Trucks

3 Answers

new battery but the engine will not turn over

check the starter..is there a click?if so... wiggle battery connections..if still nothing... try tapping on the starter under the jeep while somebody turns over the engine

Sep 30, 2009 | 1996 Jeep Cherokee Country

1 Answer

system is completely dead, won't start, won't even crank over

1) Check your battery condition. Ensure it is charged and serviceable,
2) Check battery terminals are clean and firmly attached - not corroded.
3) Check battery ground connection is intact and firmly attached to frame earth.
4) Check +12V cable is properly connected to starter motor,
5) Check condition of 'fusible link' or master power fuse,
6) Check 12V power is available at the main power distribution / fuse panel.

Aug 03, 2009 | 2007 Saturn Aura XR Sedan

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