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99 zx2 doesn't always start

05-12-2010, 10:37 PM
This one has me really confused. I've got a 99 zx2 with 130,000 miles. Just replaced the alternator and I'm on my third battery this year. The problem is that sometimes, it doesn't start. I hear a "click" which I assume is the starter engaging but it never actually cranks. If you give it a few minutes it will then start without any issues. Also, if you jump it, it also starts without issue. Plugs and wires are good, starter has been tested and is good. What could cause this?

05-14-2010, 10:08 PM
I'm not an expert by any means, but I have a couple of suggestions:

- My '99 ZX2 was acting similarly early this past winter. Turned out to be a broken wire on my after-market Remote Start System's on/off toggle switch. Resoldered it and it has started fine since then.

- My '99 Taurus SHO just had an issue with the Anti-Theft Transceiver within the steering column. It was on its way out and acted intermittently - activating the anti-theft feature effectively shutting down any signal to the starter even though the matching key was in the ignition. It finally gave up just after I installed a new battery.

- Maybe the starter is going. Brushes within it can get short/worn enough that it'll be fine one moment, then nothing the next time you start it. Better to get it rebuilt now rather than milk it and cause greater damage to the unit, or risk getting stranded somewhere!

Hope this helps! :)

05-15-2010, 10:04 AM
I think the armature is grounding out to the field in addition to the brushes going bad. It wouldn't show up in a bench test all the time. Hitting the starter and getting a "click" could be the short in the starter. When you have a major ground out like that it will finsih off a new battery in short order. With 130k it is time to replace the starter. Check it by engaging the starter with the dome light on in the passenger compartment. If it goes real dim this is the problem.

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