Beeping Starter

Is it dangerous to the car if the starter keeps beeping when the key is removed? Lights are out, doors closed. I just had to replace my battery, but it could just be old. We used to just push the outer plate and the beeping stopped, now nothing helps.

Why do you think it is the starter that is beeping? There is nothing on a starter that can beep, Push the outer plate of what?

I was told that it was the starter by friends. The outer plate is what the key slides through to turn and start the motor or turn it off. Usually when lights are left on or the door is ajar the beeping continues until lights are turned off or the door is closed, a safety thing. It isn’t a safety thing anymore because it beeps all the time and we can’t find the cause except to push on the plate, and we often just ignore it now.

Well, you can stop taking any car advice from those friends, they’re clueless.

This sounds to me like the reminder that you’ve left your key in the ignition switch. Try turning the key OFF, leaving the key in the ignition and then opening the driver’s door. If you get the same sound, your ignition LOCK is sticking such that it is sensing the key whether the key is there or not.

Lubrication of the lock may help. If not, replacement will be necessary to cure this anamoly.

Eureka! Thank you so much. WD-40 does it again (I have a black rag to prove it).
PS. the friends were 1. 3 mechanics, 2. my ex-husband
I used to do my own car maintainance, then they put in all the computer stuff. Now I’m afraid to change the oil. My husband likes to tell me what to do, but I’ve found he is afraid I know more then he does. I’m just not afraid to ask. I’m no dummy. Thanks for actually knowing something and sharing.

“the friends were 1. 3 mechanics, 2. my ex-husband”

And these “knowledgeable” people told you that the beeping noise was coming from your starter?

Hopefully, you misunderstood what they told you. If not, then I would avoid doing any future repairs based on their diagnosis.

78 miles North, 120 miles South to next city, that is why I’m here

" WD-40 does it again "

OK that is half the job. The next thing you need do is to clean all that WD-40 out of your lock. NEVER oil a lock. WD-40 is a type of oil, only worse than most for this use.

Wd-40 has a lot of light weight oils and well as some heavy weight oils. When the thin light weight oil evaporates, it leaves just the sticky heavy oils that attract dust and will cause the same problem all over again.

My advice is to get some zero residue cleaner (ask at Radio Shack) Use that to clean the lock and then you may follow up with a real lock lube like lockease.

I have seen more locked messed up with WD-40 than fixed.

OOps…will do–what is the difference between “lubrication” and “oil”? I thought oil lubricated, like in the engine???

WD-40 is not a good lubricant. The ‘WD’ stands for water displacer. It is a good surface cleaner, as well. But, like Joseph said, it causes more problems with these applications than it solves. I use a powdered graphite lube for ignition locks that works very well. It lubricates great, and is dry, so it doesn’t attract dirt and dust that may cause the lock to stick again.

I agree. Powdered graphite is the only thing I’ll put into the ignition switch or door locks. WD-40 or similar will just gum up the works.

OK. uh, is there a name of this powdered graphite that I ask for, or do I just ask for powdered graphite, and do I go to a garage to find it or someplace like Radio Shack or Wal-Mart?
PS>You guys are really great, thanks.

My local Lowe’s store has powdered graphite lock lubricators on display at the counter where they make keys.
I would assume that Home Depot would display it in a similar location.