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Remanufactured Starter - who does the best job?

07-18-2011, 10:45 AM
I have previously posted in the Mitsubishi section, but I wasn't sure where to post this as it is a general question about starters, especially remanufactured starters who does the best job at taking them apart and remanufacturing them. I assume this is done in Mexico.
We have a Mitsubishi Mighty Max 1990, 4 wheel drive with 3L engine. It has been having problems thus:
It starts fine first thing in the morning, I take it once a week to town. It has been hot for the past 3 months or so. When I get to point B, go do something for a bit, like shop for groceries, etc. and when I try to start the truck, it won't always start (starter won't turn). It has been getting worse where I don't trust driving it anymore. So, I looked on the internet for what it could be, and also talked to hubby. He said it was probably the ignition switch being well worn. I found a couple of forum threads where they said it was probably the starter, as when it heats up or the air heats up, it loses conductivity. So, I'm leaning towards the starter needing to be replaced. For one, I am familiar with removing it as I took it out several years back to have it tested, when it turned out to be just a battery cable problem.
I can go to AutoZone for a Duralast. I have the starter next to me on the desk (Yes, I almost cried yesterday when I couldn't figure out how to remove it, as hubby has the metric tools and I had to use all sorts of extensions, but I finally got it out, weak upper arm strength and all) and have compared it face with those I see at AutoZone (they only have the Duralast reman. which is exactly like mine) and Advanced Auto, that has quite a few, some new, some remanufactured, and a lemon one that got bad reviews called Worldwide brand. Anyway, I'm interested in the ones that look exactly like mine, this way I know it will fit in the space. So, of the remanufactured brands, there is Duralast from AutoZ, and from Adv. Auto., Denso, Beck-Arnley, and Driveworks, though Driveworks doesn't have an image of starter, but says it is a reman. Mitsubishi/Mando. I've not heard of Mando. There is a new starter, Remy, but it has a bump-out of metal near one of the bolts, which could make for not a good fit in the spot.

So, to put question in a short form, which remanufacturer do you think does the best job.
And, after writing all of this, it may not matter, as my husband has given hints that we should sell it, so even the low-end guys will do. I just prefer giving our money to someone who does a good job.
Thanks for reading this!

07-18-2011, 10:53 PM
Later that night...
I did a few searches on the companies in question and went by my gut feeling on who was the best of those listed. I didn't feel good about Driveworks because I couldn't find anything on that company when doing an internet search, only some Microsoft hard drive something or other. And, AutoZone only carrying one manufacturer didn't go right by me, either. I did find one recommendation at a forum for Denso, and since they weren't at the very high end for price, I went with them and ordered through Advanced Auto. There is a one year warranty for the Denso reman. starter.
Oh, I did manage to bring the starter to Advanced Auto late in the day today and had it tested. The guy showed me the gear wasn't engaging (pulling/lifting out) so it was bad. So, it was the starter. I have to thank a user at another forum (dammitmitchell) for this clue, as at first, my husband thought for sure it was the ignition switch, and dammitmitchell mentioned that heat can reduce the continuity on a starter. Makes sense as ours is pretty old. One trick mentioned if it is the starter and it causes you problems while you are out on the road, to tap it with a piece of metal, this can knock off any debris and will allow you to start your car and get home.

07-20-2011, 03:59 PM
Hi Samina,

Denso is a Japanese brand, a very well known and well respected one.
They mostly manufacturer parts for car manufacturers to fit as original equipment.

Most of their parts are made in Japan, but things like re-manufactured starters could come from anywhere.
I wouldn't worry about where it came from though.

It sounds like the solenoid on the starter has failed.
This is the bit that drives out the starter gear so it can engage the flywheel.
Any competent auto electrician would be able to replace it with out having to get a new starter.
Although given the age of the vehicle, it maybe just as easy and cost effective to buy a new, or reconditioned starter.

07-27-2011, 09:40 AM
Thanks for the feedback, Moppie!

I guess I did good then.

I ordered the starter on the 18th from adv. auto online site and it is coming from the manufacturer, so it only shipped yesterday. In the meantime, I have a rag stuffed in the starter hole to keep any bugs out of it. :smile: The little things I learn from my husband.

We did discuss having a local fellow overhaul the starter, but this is such a small town in the mid-South and especially with electrical stuff, we doubt they would do a good job due to lack of know-how.

My husband did mention how he's noticed the core fee has gone down. When he changed out the timing belt he was hoping to get a re-manufactured water pump as well, but we were told just to chuck it. Nice junk of metal, what a waste.
Again, much obliged for the information. I appreciate it!
Regards, Samina

07-27-2011, 03:09 PM
My husband did mention how he's noticed the core fee has gone down. When he changed out the timing belt he was hoping to get a re-manufactured water pump as well, but we were told just to chuck it. Nice junk of metal, what a waste.
Again, much obliged for the information. I appreciate it!
Regards, Samina

No worries, hope the new starter fixes the problem for you.

Starters are pretty common items, the only differences tend to be in the size and shape. So any decent auto sparky should be able to rebuild one, regardless of what car it's from.

Here in NZ, we don't even bother getting things reconditiioned, it's always cheaper to just buy a new part.
A new radiator for my Accord cost less than getting a new header tank put on the old one.

But, we also have a very active scrap metal industry, so it's easy to just drop of anything you don't want. If it's a large enough quantity, you even get some money back for it.

08-07-2011, 10:28 AM
Hi Moppie,

I'm emberrassed to say, what finally fixed it was replacing the car battery. My husband never asked how old it was, and I was the last one to change it, and I couldn't remember exactly when it was last changed, but assumed in the last seven years. Well, after getting the starter replaced, then we started sliding down that slippery diagnostic slope that shade-tree mechanics are known for, and replaced the ignition switch. That didn't help. I finally noticed that I did get one good start after cleaning the terminals and posts of the battery, and after that, the dash board lites dimmed and I finally checked the headlights-no output. I thought, I better check how old this battery is. My husband was ready to look over the diagrams I had sent him for the ignition system, switch and starter, when I managed to have a battery delivered. I noticed right off when I opened the car door, the interior light was bright. Turned on the headlights, check. Then I started the truck. Started. Turned it off. Waited about 3 minutes, started it again, check. Next day took it to town on a very hot day here. Check. I know most of you assume the person with car problems has a good battery and has checked to make sure the terminals and posts are shined up for good connection and all, but that was one of the last things I checked. The battery is thirteen years old! That was a good battery and I don't think they make them like that anymore. Also, we didn't drive the miles off of this truck, which is one reason the battery lasted so long.
I hope I learned a lesson, but boy, I was the last one to change the battery, and funny thing, that was when I removed the starter and had it tested (tested fine) those thirteen years ago. Then too, I ended up replacing the terminals and eventually the battery. My husband says I have shade-tree mechanic talents.

P.S. Yes, we scrap here, too, and my husband has always stockpiled steel for any use he has for it, and then, after so many years we take it to the local scap metal dealer and get a bit of money for it. Last time I took the aluminum in and got $45.00 for it! Not bad.
Regards, Samina

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