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If the screwdriver doesn't work use the hammer

Tom and Ray gave this timeless (though in this case not very helpful) advice to a caller today, then shared a story about giving the same advice for a dead starter.

A couple cars ago I went on a 2000 mile road trip and the same thing happened to me when I was 800 miles from home. My car wouldn’t start after filling it up with gas. Just after the station attendant told me I had to get out of the way of the pump or he’d have me towed, someone recognized my predicament and helped me out by whacking the starter motor while I held the key in the start position. It worked like a charm.

After that I found that I had sufficient arm length to hold the key in the ignition and reach the starter motor with the tire iron. I continued, to the entertainment of any friend who may be riding with me, to start my car the same way for a year and a half until the car was ultimately totaled. needless to say, I didn’t lament the wreck as much as I might have.

That whack/smack releases the pinion gear that is stuck or reconnects the electrical solenoid contacts.Good job.