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After work today I stopped to get gas with my 2002 Mercury Sable with the 12v Vulcan motor and when I tried to start it all I got was a click instead of turning over. This has happened a few times before in the last two weeks but it usually ended up turning over about a minute or two after, so I figured it was just a battery cable or something and I’d fix it eventually. But now it refused to start so i decided to try and get a jump from someone to see if that fixed it which it didn’t. Next I tried beating the starter which also didn’t fix it but I also don’t know if I was hitting it with a hammer in the right place, but soon after that I tried to start it and randomly it just started about an hour later and i drove it home, then I turned it off and it started right back up, but then I tried it again and now it won’t start for any reason. All I get is a click but sometimes it will try and turn over but fail, almost like it loses power right before it fully turns over. The battery is brand new as of a month ago and the alternator was changed about 2 months ago. Does anyone know what the problem possibly could be? I’m thinking it could be the starter but I’m not sure. I uploaded a video of what it sounds like youtu.be/exHxRJ1hr04
 

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If it were mine.....: I'd get battery load tested - if battery tests good, get the wire brush tool for cleaning battery terminals and cable terminals - clean ground strap where it attaches to engine/frame - check for excessive draw on battery when car is parked/engine stopped - if you do all that and it still doesn't start, buy a new starter (or at least, look up how to test your starter, and test it and the solenoid - should be a YouTube video out there) [Probably a bad starter.]
 

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If you get to testing the starter, Advanced Auto (and others) do free testing. My bet would be a bad ground.
 

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I posted about this issue last year in March. I was having an intermittent no crank, no start condition. Finally traced it down to an oil soaked starter. My 2000 Vulcan had the factory MotorCraft, and subsequently three aftermarket starters. The most recent aftermarket starter had a black plastic shield over the back of the starter, kind of like a Pringle Can Lid. It is supposed to shield from oil. Don't know if you change your oil or rely upon someone else so if you are familiar with the layout, the oil filter is directly above the starter in a Vulcan. When you remove the filter oil drips down and saturates the starter motor. Supposedly the new shield protects from this. A guy in Kansas said he sees this 50 times a year in his shop so when he replaced a starter he would silicone that area to seal and has not had a failure since. Some other people here, one of which was tech advisor Jeff K told me he covers his starter for oil changes. I am sure they do not take the extra time and effort at a shop. I think the oil saturated starter failure will at some time or another effect every Vulcan owner.
 

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Yes, silicone the seams on the starter and also use a 2L soda bottle
with top cut off to slip over the starter to shield it during oil changes.
 
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