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mattseattle

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
2,694
Location
Seattle, WA
Hey everyone!

I need a good recommendation. My starter or something in the electrical system went out on my jeep last week. When you turn the key it just clicks. I tried jump starting it thinking it was a weak battery but no go.

So if anyone is or knows of a good mechanic in the Seattle area I would love a recommendation. It's an older jeep so I don't want to take it to the jeep dealership because it would cost an arm and a leg.

Either PM me or post on here. I appreciate the recommendation.
 

Doug1

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
249
Location
Southern Oregon
Sounds like a bad solenoid. The ease of fixing depends on whether its seperate and up top like a typical ford, or mounted on the starter like a Chrysler. If you can pull it off and take it to a parts place they can check it for you. Not a hard repair if you label the wires and can twist a wrench :)
 

reedman

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Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
3,255
Location
Mukilteo, WA
I'd side with Doug. Sounds like something in the starter. Any Shucks can bench test a starter for you and tell you if it's bad or not. I don't think they charge anything.

Starter are real easy to replace if that's all it is.
 

mattseattle

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
2,694
Location
Seattle, WA
yeah, my issue is I live in an apartment with a parking garage. Also I don't have but the basic set of tools :) I think I found a place that AAA recommends pretty close to where I live so I'm going to get an estimate from them.

Thanks for the advice everyone.
 

mattseattle

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Jul 15, 2003
Messages
2,694
Location
Seattle, WA
oh you wouldn't believe what the issue was. just upsets me thinking about it. i used AAA about a month ago to do a battery change on my jeep because i had a bad battery. well the guy couldn't get the positive terminal off the battery. so he cut the cable off right behind the battery post. he installed a new terminal but it was one of those 'emergency' terminals. well, the positive terminal has 2 wires coming into it. one for the starter and one for the rest of the car. well the one for the starter over the past month had wiggled out a little bit so it wasn't getting the full 15 amps or whatever it needs to turn over. so i took it to a mechanic the other day and he figured out what it was. now i have to buy a new wiring harness for the positive side of the battery which is like 115.00 bucks plus the cost of installation @ 85.00 per hour. it's still at the mechanics but should be done tomorrow. i'm going to complain to AAA about this but i doubt they'll reimburse me for the mechanic bill. the mechanic also said i'd probably have to get another battery that since the terminal wasn't installed properly that the battery wasn't being charged and all correctly and has ruined the battery. luckily i bought a 60 month battery from Les Schwab so I'm just going to take it back there and get another battery instead of buying another new one.
 

Doug1

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
249
Location
Southern Oregon
Ouch , that sounds like the stuff tv exposes are made of:( Its a battery cable , it shouldn't be a $115 harness or 8 hrs labor, and if the battery wasnt bad shouldnt cost you squat to replace :(
 

Desolas

Free Jolly Jenkins.
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
165
Location
Lynnwood, WA
Yikes. You're getting hosed.

1) Those "emergency" terminals are actually good repairs if done right. They can loosen, what was done wrong was the installer did not tell you that, and they should be retightened after 500 miles or so. If install right with a little loc-tite they can survive for years as long as they are kept clean. No, they are not as good as a soldered on terminal, but for $1.50 they do a darn good job.

I charge $5 to do a repair like that and I guarantee it won't fail or I'll replace it for free.

2) If the cable end was indeed not allowing enough charge to the battery the worse thing that will happen is you will have a discharged battery. It happens once, the car fails to start, and you recharge the battery. A connection issue like this won't cause a battery to fail, it will only make it discharge once. If your battery fails after being cycled one time it was on it's way out anyway and needed replaced. Take it in and have it checked, since you've got warranty take it to Les Schwab, they will probably tell you it's fine. If your battery is 2-3 years old it wouldn't be a surprise to see it fail, 84-92 Jeeps eat batteries like candy. They typically only get 2-3 years out of one.

Mechanics like to always say the battery is at fault because they can get you for a $50-100 battery, plus ASE recommends 1/4 labor to install on, so they can get you for $125 for literally 5 minutes worth the work. If he wiggled the cable inside the terminal and the vehicle started, the battery is not faulty or discharged.

I would not go to that mechanic again. The terminal end can be repaired without doing the entire cable in most cases. Any auto electric shop can solder on a new terminal, or a battery shop can put a new bolt-on end on that will actually last.

Look in the phone book under Battery, find the ad that says they do free testing, and take it to them. They can test your car and will tell you what's up without having to pay a mechanic, and it's free, plus most of them will do a simple repair or cleaning for a minimal charge.
 

mattseattle

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Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
2,694
Location
Seattle, WA
the conclusion of the story wasn't so bad except for the cost. apparently there was also some corrision on the positive cable so it was going to have to be replaced. the mechanic showed it to me today when i picked up the jeep. the battery only tested bad because it was so low. when he charged it up it tested fine as well as the starter and the charging system. i ended up paying 115.00 bucks for a new wiring harness which replaced the positive and negative battery terminals as well as the cable to the main harness in the jeep and the cable to the starter. i also had to pay an 1 hour worth of labor. so little over 200.00 bucks for the total repair bill. i didn't feel like the mechanic was trying to rip me off as he could've tried to sell me a new starter :) i think he did the repair the 'right' way for the long run.
 

Katchupoy

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Joined
Jul 9, 2003
Messages
2,188
Location
Kent 98031
Dosed it with cold water.... tap it for several times with a screw driver... then it should come off very easily.... Happened to me so many times so I learned it from experience.

About the click thing on your jeep. At least your relay is good. Also need to consider the bad/poor connection of the battery since you mentioned that its been replaced by an emergency thing. Is it manual transmision? Maybe you can push then start (i cant remember what do you call it here but it can be done)... This way you can tell if its the starter. Charge the battery overnight then try it again. Just to isolate battery issues...

The starter parts is very cheap... around 60 dollars i think.... But the one that will kill you is the labor. They will ask you if you want it fix/rewire or whatever? or just replaced by a reconditioned?... I go with latter because its faster in terms of labor.

I hope everything works out.
 

mattseattle

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
2,694
Location
Seattle, WA
hehehe - well it's fixed and i think it was done the right way. maybe not the cheapest but at least i won't have to worry about the cable coming loose again :)
 
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