Starter motor issues

17
Posted 3rd Oct
Hello

thank you for taking the time to read.

I'm after some advice.....

I have a 59 plate clio 1.5dci my starter motor has been replaced twice in the last 3 weeks and the 1st went after 3 days.

we replaced it thinking it was faulty, it started straight away and no further issues until 4 days later it went again.

I have it at a garage who have replaced it again along with the fuses near the battery as they blew (AAs fault but another story).

so now my car starts again, but they say I may have a faulty alternator or alternator pulley and say this is what's causing the starter issues.

my OH disagrees and says there is no issue with the alternator as the battery is keeping it charge, lights dont dim etc.

I dont know if the garage is trying to bump up the cost?

does anyone have any guidance? would the alternator be causing this?

many thanks
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17 Comments
When it wouldnt start was the starter making any noises.? Like fast clicking, or just one click.?
Is it an older car with a separate solenoid to the starter motor?
Not a mechanic by any means, but had a Clio way back in the day and it was the key which caused the issue. From memory it was the immobiliser stopping the car from starting not the starter motor. The chip for it is in the key or something along those lines. The car was bought from brand new and was only 4 months old when it happened. If you have a spare key, try it for a while.
Edited by: "cecilmcroberts" 3rd Oct
MonkeysUncle03/10/2019 22:39

When it wouldnt start was the starter making any noises.? Like fast …When it wouldnt start was the starter making any noises.? Like fast clicking, or just one click.?


The first starter clicked once - I have an ignition button not a key.

The second time the starter/ car was making the right noises as in turning over but not actually starting- then the AA completely stuffed it by continually holding ignition button til it burnt out and blew fuses.

I've had suggestions of a bad earth, engine seizing but garage have ruled this out.

Now they say alternator......
Edited by: "mattaksgal" 3rd Oct
cecilmcroberts03/10/2019 22:48

Not a mechanic by any means, but had a Clio way back in the day and it was …Not a mechanic by any means, but had a Clio way back in the day and it was the key which caused the issue. From memory it was the immobiliser stopping the car from starting not the starter motor. The chip for it is in the key or something along those lines. The car was bought from brand new and was only 4 months old when it happened. If you have a spare key, try it for a while.


I had this issue too, my immobiliser wouldn't go off so car wouldn't start. I didnt know steering had to be locked. This happened again before my 2nd motor blew and I was getting a key not found error message.
Dyslexic_Dog03/10/2019 22:48

Is it an older car with a separate solenoid to the starter motor?


No the solenoid is attached
Get an auto electrician in. garage clearly not doing a proper diagnosis.

Why have they said the alternator? Seems unlikely to me.

Suggestion of an immobiliser issue sounds plausible.

How did the issue raise its head? describe the symptoms.
fault codes been read?

Loads of things will stop a modern car starting. Various sensors - eg cam/crank / fuel pressure + immobiliser.
I'm not familiar with renault dci but Id want fault codes as a first step, just to rule things out if nothing else.
cecilmcroberts03/10/2019 22:48

Not a mechanic by any means, but had a Clio way back in the day and it was …Not a mechanic by any means, but had a Clio way back in the day and it was the key which caused the issue. From memory it was the immobiliser stopping the car from starting not the starter motor. The chip for it is in the key or something along those lines. The car was bought from brand new and was only 4 months old when it happened. If you have a spare key, try it for a while.



I had a problem with the chip in my key for a Pug 206, it was loose so sometimes moved in the key head and sometimes it wouldn't start but if i took the key out and put it in the other way up it would, took me a day or two to work out the problem, sometimes the simplest problems are the hardest to fix as you overthink them! a screwdriver and spot of superglue sorted it.
No idea how they reached alternator conclusion.....

The car was fine and without problems until one day after it being driven and parked for an hour it just didnt start - nothing.

We changed the battery and then starter at the advice of the AA and this did the trick, it took a few tries initially to catch but after that it ran well for 3 days until the same happened. Just clicked.

Changed the starter again, started first time no issues until day 4.....

Turns over this time but doesn't start - also have the card not found issue.

Called the AA who sent some cowboys as they were busy, he hooked up not one but too battery packs and blew all the fuses plus smoked the starter.

Starter number 3 and new fuses fitted by garage, it starts first time. Just dont want to have to replace starter again in a few days so they investigate and come up with alternator/pulley??
Also I have no engine management or warning lights on dash.....
It’s a Renault, they are notoriously bad for poor wiring and electrical components. I’d say that’s the actually problem.

Then there’s the fault, it could now be the alternator due to them blowing up the starters and it could be the immobiliser. I’d lean towards the alternator/battery as the car is starting but blowing fuses (immobiliser issue would just make it not turn over).

Try turning off everything electrical such as heaters, radio, wipers, lights etc when you start the car to minimise pressure on the electrical system components.

If that doesn’t resolve it then it gets expensive I.e. ECU or scrap it as it’s likely to burst into flame at some point anyway, as mine did. Still got the scars from the skin graft.
Edited by: "cmdr_elito" 4th Oct
Had something similar, it was a loose earthing strap to the engine
No lights on dash isnt the same as no codes stored. Ideal is to see live data.

You need to be clear on how it doesn't start. Does it turn over or nothing? Any noises, lights dim?

Frankly putting two batteries together in series to try and start it could have knackered all sorts.

It could be a bad connection - as esar suggests or corroded earth strap. But I'd expect any garage to have checked that.

Possibly the alternator regulator has died and its putting out eratic voltages - but that is easy to check. Similarly if the battery isnt getting charged properly.
mas9904/10/2019 08:14

No lights on dash isnt the same as no codes stored. Ideal is to see live …No lights on dash isnt the same as no codes stored. Ideal is to see live data.You need to be clear on how it doesn't start. Does it turn over or nothing? Any noises, lights dim?Frankly putting two batteries together in series to try and start it could have knackered all sorts.It could be a bad connection - as esar suggests or corroded earth strap. But I'd expect any garage to have checked that.Possibly the alternator regulator has died and its putting out eratic voltages - but that is easy to check. Similarly if the battery isnt getting charged properly.


Its does start now 1st time, battery holds its charge, no lights dim or windows slow etc.

Time before I just got one click, nothing else but still no issues with battery or lights, we checked this and battery was fine (only 2 weeks old).
I would also sugest a bad earth as the issue or some water in the wiring. look along the scuttle panel and windshield to see if any wires have any water on them or they are rubbing on anything.
Just remembered, I had a similar problem on another vehicle I owned, corrosion on the battery connection because it was slightly loose, bought a lead cap spacer thingy and thoroughly cleaned all the metal of the connector and the terminal itself with fine sand paper. Those things need to be on tight!
Edit
Does your battery terminal look anything like this
38608183-a49Lu.jpgSee the red cable on the right, that goes to the starter, that's the one that I took off and sanded to get a good connection on yet another car (it was tight and didn't look corroded, but it did the trick)
Edited by: "esar" 4th Oct
I would also suggest checking battery connections and engine to chassis/body earth straps, I can’t believe you have had two faulty starters if you have don’t walk under any ladders.
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