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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there - long time no see! :)

Before I forget, my car is a 2003 Sable with the 3.0L Vulcan and the AX4N tranny.


Well, the Sable has been running quite nicely of late, and I'd stopped stressing over every little thing. But yesterday, I believe the starter died. AGAIN.

First starter died late Dec. of '09, days after buying the car. Expert Tire replaced it.

That starter died last summer. Expert Tire replaced it (under warranty).

Yesterday, my son tried to start the car, and it it won't crank. Nothing but a thunk/click. He had his grandfather come try to jump it - after ten or fifteen minutes on the cables, still only a click.

Starter, yes? No? Yesno?

So, I was looking on RockAuto.com to see what kind of pricing I'm going to have to deal with, assuming I'm correct about the starter. Almost all of them are remans, which I prefer to avoid. I need the part *now*, but I'm not keen on getting starters from AutoZone, and no way will I (can I) pay Dealer prices.

The only Motorcraft are remans. I have no idea if I can trust that or not, but I know I'm squeamish about remans from any other brand, so... advice on this?

Here's what I found that is not Reman on RockAuto:
REMY Part # 97146 Remy Gold
without Dual Overhead Camshaft

$161.79

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NSA Part # STR2846
OHV Eng.

$99.79

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TYC Part # 106642 {#YF1U11000AA, YF1Z11002AARM}
OHV; PERMANENT MAGNET GEAR REDUCTION

- Stocked in outlying warehouse--shipping delayed up to 1 business day
$67.79

***********************

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. :)
 

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you need to have the battery checked. also look at the grounds. how has the lights been? there is no reason the starter should be failing that often unless it has been abused. reman starters is just as good as the company that redid them. in some cases they are better the new stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
you need to have the battery checked. also look at the grounds. how has the lights been? there is no reason the starter should be failing that often unless it has been abused. reman starters is just as good as the company that redid them. in some cases they are better the new stock.
Interesting... why would they be better remanned than new?

The battery was also bought in Dec. of '99. The first time the starter died, I was just *sure* it was the battery. It wasn't.

There was zero warning. It was driven with no issues or clues only ten minutes before it refused to start. All lights are working, dingers and bells do their thing. No dim lights... nothing. Also, with fifteen minutes connected to Dad's car (which was running) changing absolutely nothing at all... I don't think it's the battery. When and if my mechanic ever returns from out of town, I will have him check the battery, wires, etc. regardless. But I'm pretty sure it's the starter.

Also, I promise you I am not abusing the starter. Haven't even cussed this one, not once. Wellll... not until yesterday. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh, I called AZ and O'Reilly for quotes. I was surprised to find out this:

AutoZone:
Duralast new: $154.99
Not in stock - 7/1 delivery

Duralast Reman: $134.99 in stock with Limited Lifetime Warranty


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O'Reilly:
Motorcraft new
Not in stock - tomorrow morning delivery: $199.99
1 year warranty

It will sincerely screw me over to have to spend $200 on a starter, plus pay a mechanic, but I'm going to have to spend at least a hundred. Thing is, what i need most of all is for the darned thing to LAST.
 

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Interesting... why would they be better remanned than new?

The battery was also bought in Dec. of '99. The first time the starter died, I was just *sure* it was the battery. It wasn't.

There was zero warning. It was driven with no issues or clues only ten minutes before it refused to start. All lights are working, dingers and bells do their thing. No dim lights... nothing. Also, with fifteen minutes connected to Dad's car (which was running) changing absolutely nothing at all... I don't think it's the battery. When and if my mechanic ever returns from out of town, I will have him check the battery, wires, etc. regardless. But I'm pretty sure it's the starter.

Also, I promise you I am not abusing the starter. Haven't even cussed this one, not once. Wellll... not until yesterday. ;)
you might want to look at the starter relay. also the red 5 amp fuse in the car. if the starter was bad with the extra amps when jumped it should turn over. unless the plunger was shot.but there would be signs before this. i had a cracked batt term that caused a problem like this before..
im sure some others will pop in and help here. so dont just go off what i say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
you might want to look at the starter relay. also the red 5 amp fuse in the car. if the starter was bad with the extra amps when jumped it should turn over. unless the plunger was shot.but there would be signs before this. i had a cracked batt term that caused a problem like this before..
im sure some others will pop in and help here. so dont just go off what i say.
Personally, I've never been able to jump start a car with a dead starter. I'm not sure what the plunger is.

I took the battery to O'Reilly where I'd bought it - it's at 97%, so the battery is fine.

Starter or relay is my guess, still. Not that I'm determined to be right, I'm still open to other possibilities. Especially if they're cheaper fixes. ;)


I thought someone might have chimed in with an opinion either for or against at least one of the brands I mentioned, I'm actually surprised no one has.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
you might want to look at the starter relay. also the red 5 amp fuse in the car. if the starter was bad with the extra amps when jumped it should turn over. unless the plunger was shot.but there would be signs before this. i had a cracked batt term that caused a problem like this before..
im sure some others will pop in and help here. so dont just go off what i say.
Red five am fuse *inside* the car? Or under the hood somewhere?
I think of checking fuses for all sorts of things, but this has not been one of them. I would love this problem to be fixed by a fuse!!

Oh, and when I was messing with the battery, I paid attention to the terminals and wires. No corrosion, no cracking that I could find. Everything looks almost new, where the battery is concerned - including the battery itself.

Can a starter relay be tested without throwing a part at it? If so, perhaps Rodney (Bless him, I wish he'd get back to town and help me!) has a tool that can determine whether the relay is okay or not? I'd LOVE to spend $15 on a relay, rather than $200 for a starter.

I've learned a lot about a lot, and a lot of that came from this site... but I'm still very much a non-mechanic who doesn't know or understand nearly enough. So, again, I'm highly appreciative of ideas, explanations, advice of all kinds. Please don't let my questions or "thinking out loud" when presented with a new (to me) idea make you think I'm arguing. When I question, it's always with sincerity to understand. I strongly welcome input!

My daughter is in the Army, stationed at Fort Campbell - about 3.5 hours from me. I was planning to go visit her this weekend, I haven't seen her since before Christmas. If I do have to replace the starter, any chance of a trip is out of the question. Sigh. Even a new battery would have been much more preferable.
 

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im nt use to a starter going with out a sign of being bad. like slow crank. if the starter has a dead spot in it the old hit it with a hammer might free it up. i never had problems with a reman. i have them test it before i take it out the store. im sure someone will show up. a lot of the guys that know parts and manufactures show up around this time
 

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Bosch starters. German engineered. I use Bosch starters and alternators when I need a new one. Never had to replace one yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
im nt use to a starter going with out a sign of being bad. like slow crank. if the starter has a dead spot in it the old hit it with a hammer might free it up. i never had problems with a reman. i have them test it before i take it out the store. im sure someone will show up. a lot of the guys that know parts and manufactures show up around this time
I myself would be completely boggled by the lack of warning, but it was almost this bad last time. That time, there were no slow cranks whatsoever, until I went to pay my insurance on my lunch break that day. Car started quick and easy to get there. Parked, took care of business, came out to go back to work. It did that slow hard crank thing, you know, how it makes you think it's likely the battery? I got to work, shut it off (making sure to back into my space), and she wouldn't hit another lick until the starter was replaced. When Rodney came to look under the car while I cranked, he yelled to shut it down because it was throwing sparks.

I thought *that* was no warning. This time there was literally nothing.

And I *want* to go tap it with a hammer. But (and I know every single person who reads this will roll their eyes in disgust), I don't know how to find it under the car. I need a picture of what it looks like so I can find it, and a good description of how much force to hit it with.

I know. It's okay, you can say it. I'm useless. :/
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bosch starters. German engineered. I use Bosch starters and alternators when I need a new one. Never had to replace one yet.
I actually would have settled on a Bosch without too much worry, since I've always heard good things about the brand. But neither AZ nor O'Reilly's carries Bosch starters, and that wasn't even a listed option with RockAuto for my car. I meant to try Napa again (their line was perpetually busy earlier), but forgot. I wonder if they carry it?

At this point, based on my choices, I'm thinking Motorcraft reman might be my best bet. Although I'm still hinky about the reman, it would save me around $60 or so.
 

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the easy test.... locate the starter relay. have someone turn the key and listen for the click coming from the starter relay. if no click it could be a relay.
 

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I actually would have settled on a Bosch without too much worry, since I've always heard good things about the brand. But neither AZ nor O'Reilly's carries Bosch starters, and that wasn't even a listed option with RockAuto for my car. I meant to try Napa again (their line was perpetually busy earlier), but forgot. I wonder if they carry it?

At this point, based on my choices, I'm thinking Motorcraft reman might be my best bet. Although I'm still hinky about the reman, it would save me around $60 or so.
I get mine from Advance Auto Parts...
 

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you should be able to see the starter from the hood if i remember right, should be right under the oil filter in the front. if you use a piece of wood you shouldnt have to climb under the car, just be careful not to get the wires. it will have a thick red wire attached to it. thats the battery cable
 

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I myself would be completely boggled by the lack of warning, but it was almost this bad last time. That time, there were no slow cranks whatsoever, until I went to pay my insurance on my lunch break that day. Car started quick and easy to get there. Parked, took care of business, came out to go back to work. It did that slow hard crank thing, you know, how it makes you think it's likely the battery? I got to work, shut it off (making sure to back into my space), and she wouldn't hit another lick until the starter was replaced. When Rodney came to look under the car while I cranked, he yelled to shut it down because it was throwing sparks.

I thought *that* was no warning. This time there was literally nothing.

And I *want* to go tap it with a hammer. But (and I know every single person who reads this will roll their eyes in disgust), I don't know how to find it under the car. I need a picture of what it looks like so I can find it, and a good description of how much force to hit it with.

I know. It's okay, you can say it. I'm useless. :/

i beat it like it owes me money.:angry: :lol2: i normally start off light and get stronger. i test and see if it will start after the first couple of light wacks and hit it a little harder after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
the easy test.... locate the starter relay. have someone turn the key and listen for the click coming from the starter relay. if no click it could be a relay.
Do you mean the clunk-sounding click when I turn the key?
 
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