New Car Starter

Hi, my husband just now this minute replaced our old starter which was dead. Now the new one we can hear spinning and grinding etc… but contact is apparent to make the car start… what did we do wrong?

A lot of GM’s require that the starter be shimmed to properly mesh with the flywheel. You didn’t state the model year and engine option, so I’m not sure if this is one of those models. The starter instructions should have explained it.

Hi, it is a 1997 coupe LS… the starter though does not seem to actually be doing anything at all… I thought it was but it was just the normal car engagement noises when you are trying to start except the starter does not do anything. We cleaned battery connections and double checked all other connections to starter. My husband left the shim and did not remove it with the old starter but could it still be an issue? Another question is it possible to crank an automatic manually to start it?

The starter should be checked for proper alignment. Not properly shimming the starter can cause flywheel and starter pinion damage. Pinion damage is easy to fix with a replacement starter, but a damaged flywheel means removing the transmission to replace it.

Also, does the large cable to the starter run directly to the battery, or does it attach to a lug or junction that then runs to the battery on a separate cable? The reason I ask is because I recently had a car the used the junction lug, and the cable connection was corroded, preventing high current from getting to the starter.

I am not sure I will check it in the morning, we have lost the light… we will check the alignment to make sure it is correct… I will post tomorrow! thank you!

Also check that the engine can at least be turned by hand. Put a socket with ratchet handle on the crankshaft vibration damper bolt and try to turn the engine over. If the crankshaft will not move, take out the spark plugs and try again. If there still is no joy, something is seized in the engine.

Get back to us with the results. Good luck.

We checked alignment of starter and flywheel, seems ok… but of course we’re no experts so… I did notice massive corrosion on one of the terminals (part of the battery but neither of the post you normally attach to)… and there is a a wire (ground wire?) connected to it that is bundled in a hose leading to the starter then the top of the wired is connected to the battery as normal…this could be a problem… my husband called the mechanic we used before we moved and said since the starter was arcing when you tapped it that it is probably a bad wire… now my husband (MH for now on) will pick up some starter wiring and bring it home this evening… the thing is this is so corroded that I am afraid if touch it will fall apart… I guess we will find out…

Now the mention of cranking the engine manually… if we were to get it started in this manner could it be driven without stopping tell I reached the mechanic 80 miles away… or would this NOT be recommended?

Okay we were able to start the car by cranking manually… so we believe there is some electrical issue… so tomorrow we hope we can crank it one more time and get it to the mechanics… even though a certain place said they had wire connections really did not, wasted trip and GM dealership was $80 a piece for the 3 wire set RIDICULOUS! everybody cross their fingers!!! Thanks for the suggestions and help!