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Horizon Starter problem

08-05-2003, 07:22 PM
You guys any good at diagnosis? God like?

Ok, 1986 horizon. Drive down to lumbermans. Buy my goods. Drive across the street to load up. Load up my goods. Car won't start.

Turns out the starter is bad.

Replace the starter.

Drive the car to work. Park. Drive the car home but stop at the bank on the way home. Park. Car won't start.

Get a jump. Looking at the area fo the battery from within the car I see smoke.

Examine the wiring and see one of the wires from the starter relay has fried. Trace it back and replace the whole wire.

Being unsure I get a new starter relay.

Replace the starter relay.

Attempt to start the car. Nothing.

Attempt a jump thinking it is low battery. See some more smoke from the same area. Wiring is hot but can't identify which wires are fried if any.

Examine the starter for shorting wires. None found as the starter wires are designed in such a way as to prevent shorting at the starter.

Take the starter to NAPA. Tests the starter and it blows their circuit breaker.

2nd starter bad. 3rd starter ordered.

I am pretty sure this is not caused by the starter. The starter is the poor recipient of the problem.

Somewhere between the starter relay and the starter SOMETHING is wrong that shorts this stuff out and fries the wiring. Anyone have any ideas? Is it actually the starter and I'm having bad luck? Why did it drive for a day or two and then go out again?

Do I risk putting the 3rd starter in and deal with the potential to blow it?

Who among you guys is godlike in your knowledge and can answer why the starter has been blowing and why the wire melted and what the effect on the starter relay is?

BTW, I'm not a car person. I just can't afford to take it to the shop. Automotive repair costs are far far too high. As well, This wiring and starter system seems to be the epitome of bad engineering. I would hope that not all cars are designed so poorly.

08-05-2003, 08:12 PM
Examine the starter for shorting wires. None found as the starter wires are designed in such a way as to prevent shorting at the starter. This is true AT THE STARTER.I think you should look over the wires from the starter back.
If you have a wire getting HOT or smoking YES there is a short and should be found ASAP.
I would get the new starter look for short and fix if found. Then install the starter. Get another person that can start the car for you. Watch and see :sly: . If you see the wire getting hot CUT POWER. NEVER NEVER NEVER hold a power wire that may short . It can melt much faster then you can pull away. It hurts when the plastic melt into your skin :chair:
Any how hope it helps.

03-22-2004, 06:32 AM
I'd get one of those lighted circuit probes make sure you got power to the bolt on the starter, probably being as old as the car is, its possible that the ground wire on the gas tank to the fuel level sensor corroded off, this will cause the car not to start, If it corroded off use a little sand paper, and use a sodering gun and soder the ground wire to the rusted connector to the fuel sensor located on the bottom of the gas tank, my car the connector was made of iron and it simply rusted and the wire was dangling, it wouldn't start, etc...

P.S. Think the hall sensor on the distributor will allow the car to start but it will just cut out, you also have a starter relay, a fuel pump relay, but if the car was running fine, you might just go to parts store and buy the starter relay, this car has all those neat relays that corrode causing all kinds of problems, etc..

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