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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by ALLDATAdiy.com users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.
 
 

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  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'90 Buick Century, Starter Problems

Q: I've got a ‘90 Buick Century that's having starter/solenoid problems. (I don't know which). Yesterday, we drove the car 10 miles into town, turned it off, and I waited for my wife to return from the store. I tried starting it between time, but it acted like it had a bad battery. It finally wouldn't even click. I walked to an auto parts store, bought a battery and installed it. Still no luck. I finally got under the car, tapped on the starter and some life came back to it. While tapping, my son was turning the key and sparks flew out of the terminal end of the starter, but it did start. We drove it another 10 miles and parked. As soon as I turned it of I tried starting it again, but all it did was click once and nothing else. This time tapping on it didn't even produce anything. So which is it? The starter or the solenoid? And where do I find something that will tell me how to replace these parts?....Jon Clemons

A: With sparks flying it is a pretty good guess that there is a connection problem at the starter. The problem may be as simple as cleaning and tightening the connections or the starter (due to age may be in need of rebuilding). If you had no experience in rebuilding starters the suggestion would be to remove the starter. Inspect the external connections to see if it is something that can be simply addressed such as cleaning and tightening. Once removed if the problem appears to be deeper , replacement of the starter would probably be in your better interest. The installation of a rebuilt or a used starter would have you up and running quickly. One other important item, do not forget to unhook the battery when servicing the starter!

 
     
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