starter inconsistency

Kneale Brownson knealeski at
Mon Dec 17 17:36:30 PST 2007

I'd forgotten that I polished, dielectric greased and/or replaced the wiring to the starter while it was out a year ago as part of my clutch replacement on that car, so the wiring still looks pretty good.  The starter looked a little shoddy, with corrosion all around its case and a very black braided ground strap, so I replaced it with a refurbished starter I've had on the shelf in the barn.   I'll take the one I removed to my favorite Bosch service center (I know, Bernie, I know) to have them go through it.  I'm not into rebuilding starters and alternators myself, because I can't do nearly as good a job as this shop has done for me over many years.
  Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

Brett Dikeman <brett at> wrote:
On Dec 17, 2007, at 3:34 PM, Bernie Benz wrote:

> Likely the battery.

If it clicks and various accessories work, it's most certainly not the 
battery. Clicking means it is not the ignition switch.

A more likely culprit is the copper strap from the solenoid to the 
starter. It's well known to corrode and fail on almost every 5- 
cylinder Audi/VW built. If you install a new/rebuilt starter, paint 
the cable- heavily.

Another possibility is a dead-spot on the starter rotor, or damaged 
commutator. The cable is easy enough to visually inspect.


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