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98 Neon Starting Failure


iRetnuh
12-18-2008, 12:13 AM
Before I start I have read the other thread for a few pages that back, that looked like they would deal with my problem and did a search as well. Not much luck.

Ok. Here is what has happened and what has been done so far.

I let my friend drive my car, while his was in the shop, cause someone hit him.
On the last day of his car being in shop. My car died. Go Figure, He gets his car, and mine died. He would not do anything to it, with out telling me, cause he knows I would not care, even if he hit a wall.

But When I go down to check it out, The battery is Fully dead, and it sat there for a few days, till I could get a ride to get it charged. I have had this battery for about 9 months. Last one was cracked. So Its fully charged, and I put into the car.

I go to start. All is good with the Lights, stereo and gauges. However, when the key gets to the spot before you turn to start the engine, you can hear what sounds like few clipping sounds. It simpleminded me of my Step-Dads old ford truck. You would have to turn the key, and wait for the sound before you could turn the engine on. I take it it, that it had something to do with building up a charge for starting?
I do not even know if the car made this sound before, I always had hood down, and radio on.

Ok. Now I turn the key to start the engine. All I get is the sound of what sounds like a Valve opening and closing. To be more specific, It is not a clicking, tapping sound, or a crack sound. Then nothing. I don't even get the starter cranking. If needed I could try and get a sound clip of the sound it makes. I would have to wait for someone to help me though.

I live up near the great lakes, and it is real cold and snowy if that has to do with anything. I just moved in with a old friend here right before winter, and now im standed. The two years or so that i have had the car I have not been anywhere that has been this cold, let alone snowy.


I do not have that much money, it has been a week and a half now. I have missed some big events cause of this. Tommarow I am going to bank and get my stuff transfered here, then I am going to go buy a Tester to test to see if its the soleloid. I have read that that could be a problem and how to test it. I want to try and narrow it down as much as possible before I get a repair shop to rape my wallet.

Also, if anyone knows a link to where everything in the engine would be that would be helpfull :) I did not get a manual with my car.

I want to poke the starter with a 2x4 like one of the other threads mentioned.

Any help or respunces would greatly be appreiated.

iRetnuh
12-18-2008, 12:16 AM
I was wondering if it could be spark plugs? I bought some before I moved here, but don't know where that at on the engine.

I don't really know how to do it, but If there was a manual on it, I could do it.

I am not a car smart person, but I can read and imitate replacing things.

discnik
12-18-2008, 02:04 AM
Go to this site there is free repair manual info. for D.I.Y.'s
http://www.autozone.com/home.htm

Hope it helps. Post back what you find concerning the solenoid.

iRetnuh
12-18-2008, 06:34 AM
Go to this site there is free repair manual info. for D.I.Y.'s
http://www.autozone.com/home.htm

Hope it helps. Post back what you find concerning the solenoid.


Since that site had the spark plug information, I will try that first thing in the morning. Since It does not require me to go 20 miles in the snow. :D

It also has info I needed for other minor repairs. Thanks.

iRetnuh
12-18-2008, 04:10 PM
ok. the sound i mentioned is wrong. I thought it was making a different sound, but I was down there this morning when it was quiet. It makes a opening like sound when the Key is turned, and makes a closing like sound when your turn the key back.

Ok. I cant test the car yet. Cause The bank wont let me cash checks or anything till I get my licensed changed.

denisond3
12-19-2008, 09:50 AM
Unless the engine was turning over, (cranking when you had the ignition key in the start position), the spark plugs would not be a factor in causing any noise or problem.
The normal noise when you turn the key to the 'on' position, but before you turn it to the 'start' position is a very low -hum- due to the fuel pump back inside the fuel tank running for 1.5 seconds. After 2 seconds that noise would stop. And if the heater blower was left on, you would also hear the windy noise of that blower, when the key was in the 'on' position. There might also be a tiny noise from the radio, if its a radio that will play CDs, and there is a CD in its drive.
The first reason that I would suspect for the battery being dead, was that your friend neglected to turn the ignition key off after he wasnt able to start the car...but this would mean the key was left in the ignition: Because you wouldnt be able to remove the ign key unless it had been turned to the off position. Another reason would be that it was dark when he went to start it, and he left the lights on, or even the dome light on. And the dome light can stay on if you leave a door 'ajar', or not fully latched shut. If your radio is wired to work with the ignition off, then it could drain the battery in a day or two also.
When the starter is nor working right, due to a bad battery cable, or a bad connection of one of the battery terminals or a discharged battery, the common noise when you turn the key is a clik,clik,clik,clik. Thats
the sound of the solenoid repeatedly pulling the starters 'bendix' gear forward into contact with the starter ring on the flywheel. But this can also be a single 'click', when the solenoid pulls the bendix gear into contact with the teeth on the flywheel, but there isnt enough current to turn the motor. There would then be another single 'click' when you released the ignition key from the start position.
This condition can be caused either by a poor electrical connection on the battery or the positive wire (from battery to starter) or the negative wire (between the battery and the engine block). It can also be due to a starter that was worn out. That is to say, the starter might work again (barely) if it were much warmer outside. I had to replace the starter in our 97 Neon for that reason. It had been working fine - but sat for 3 weeks while I removed the engine from the car. When I put it back together, the starter would turn the engine very slowly, though not fast enough to start it. It turned out the brushes inside the starter were worn down to the thickness of a fingernail, and the commutator was coated with a greasy mush that was a mixture of grease and the carbon from the worn-out brushes. A rebuilt starter fix that, but keep reading....
You might want to undo the terminals from the battery, and clean the battery posts and the insides of the battery cable ends, using a pen knife to scrape away crud. You want a clean surface on both the posts and the terminals on the end of the cables. If that doesnt help, have someone sit in the car and turn the key to the start position, while you watch to see if the engine turns at all. This would be visible by watching the power steering belt to see if it moves.
In cold climates with plenty of moisture, you can get a build-up of ice in strange places, such as inside the guts of the starter. When you park the car at night, things cool down, and moisture is drawn into crevices as the air cools and contracts. This can draw water into the starter - which is no problem unless there is too much of it, and it freezes. If the car were driven for long drives, the heat from the engine would drive out such moisture. If the car gets mainly short trips - then any subfreezing night can result in frozen stuff. For example, the car doors being hard to open if it rained overnight and froze.
So you might try using a blow dryer to get the starter above freezing. Even a 100 watt light bulb placed next to it for a couple of hours would melt accumulated ice.

And if you can park the car where you can run an extension cord to it, keeping the battery warm will make it start as if it were a summer day, even if its zero outside. When we lived in a northern state, I would use a 100 watt bulb placed so it was against the battery, anytime it was going to be below 25f. The light bulb doesnt get hot enough to hurt the battery when its winter. A trickly charger on the battery will help keep the battery warm too - since in cold weather, most of the energy from the charger just goes to warming the battery.

iRetnuh
12-19-2008, 03:16 PM
When the starter is nor working right, due to a bad battery cable, or a bad connection of one of the battery terminals or a discharged battery, the common noise when you turn the key is a clik,clik,clik,clik. Thats
the sound of the solenoid repeatedly pulling the starters 'bendix' gear forward into contact with the starter ring on the flywheel. But this can also be a single 'click', when the solenoid pulls the bendix gear into contact with the teeth on the flywheel, but there isnt enough current to turn the motor. There would then be another single 'click' when you released the ignition key from the start position.


Ok. Humming would be teh best term for what I said earliar. That would explain that noise. And There is a Single Click when I turn key to one, then one Click when I turn it off.

Also, He did not leave the key in it, or else he could not of came back in the apartment building. And My dome light has not worked for over a year. Bulb or Fuse, I don't know, I never really like the light anyways. It's probably illigeal at night when a cop pulls you over, but they have not said anything yet and it still passed inspection... the second time. First time was cause my window did not roll down all the way. :D

I can't run a extenstion cord to the car, all the plugs outside are locked.

But I have some Heat packs, that produce like 110 degrees heat that i could lay or strap to the starter. and leave sit for a while.

When My roommate gets here, I will have him try and start the car while I watch engine. after I clean termanal some more.

iRetnuh
12-19-2008, 04:34 PM
Well. After cleaning the terminals again, this time I got them real clean.

It could be that i cleaned it,or that its warmer out today then it has been for a while.

I did not try before cleaning, so I'm not sure.

But it was either weather or terminals.

Thanks

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