When trying to start this vehicle, it will simply click once and then no sound whatsoerver, over and over until perhaps after 5 to 20 trys, it will crank for a second and nothing again. After 2 or 3 cranks like that it will generally do a normal start and off we go. The battery is fine and the car runs fine in every other respect. It has about 160,000 miles and will be 10 years old on the 4th of July.
How do you know that the battery is “fine”? First, try a jump start. If the vehicle starts right up, the problem is either the battery, or the cables are corroded at the battery. If the same thing happens, then the problem may be the starter solenoid, the starter itself, or corroded cables at the end where they attach to the starter solenoid.
This probably has a Japanese starter in it. with a very worn main contact pole.
Easy fix I’d say given the description of the problem. The solenoid pulls in, but the “ring” contact at teh end does not make good contact until it rotates randomly to a “sweet spot”.
You could remove the end cover and plunger without removing the starter from the car, clean it and the insides of the solenoid. IF that makes an improvement, but does not cure the problem, then at least we know it IS the problem.
Check this link for details. Parts are about $30. and easy to fix… if you can extract the starter from the vehicle easily.