Old Truck, starting problem, like battery and then

albert_135December 27, 2005

Weekly I use this old truck, '88 Chev, that has curious starting behavior.

First time I try to start it turns over about three times Whirrr, whirr, whir and nothing like a dead battery.

Then, about three hours later, if I try again it suddenly starts.

What can be causing an old truck to sound like it has a bad battery and then three hours later start without hesitation?

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sounds like bad starter windings, or a bad solenoid

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 8:44PM
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bill_h may be correct but should that be the case then a more curious question is poised. (I have no need nor no access to the truck except on Tuesdays. The truck is not used Wednesday thru Monday.) The damn thing won't start at 8 or 9 am on Tuesdays. Then about 2 or 3 hours later on Tuesdays it will start without hesitation and then will start without hesitation as many times as need be for the remainder of the day.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 4:25PM
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It might be condensing water vapor in the ignition parts overnight, and gradually drying out the following day, as the sun warms the hood. There could be dirt, dust, and carbon dust in the distributor cap. If the cap is also cracked, the high voltage from the ingnition coil could be leaking to ground, when the cap is damp.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 7:23PM
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What kind of fuel delivery system does your truck have: carburetor, throttle body injector, or multi-point fuel injectors?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 2:11AM
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The first thing to check out is the battery corrosion on the electrical connectors - all of these must be clean and tight.
I may have the same or similar problem, the car is now ten, but it is too cold right now to pull the battery,crawl under the car and do a complete check and cleaning..

Does the starter spin the engine over slow or fast ??

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 6:59PM
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I re-read your post. Your starter acts like one whose electrical contacts are worn out. The soleniod may or may not be able to establish the power circuit. If, when you turn the key to the start position, all you hear is the soleniod going "clunk" and nothing else, then the power circuit has not been established. As another check, open the door and watch the dome light as you try to start. You should be able to discern if the power contacts make circuit by watching the degree of dimming of the dome light.

If, as I suspect, the power contacts are worn out, I fear this starter will leave you stranded soon. You'll get the truck started and go somewhere only to find it will not start again (until the starter is repaired or replaced). It makes more sense to run this truck into a garage while it still starts and replace the starter before it strands you (and it) somewhere.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2006 at 5:38AM
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Maybe it's just not a morning truck.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2006 at 9:00PM
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Think my x-wire said something like that, once.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 10:24AM
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If you can not hear the starter solenoid clicking shut, examine the park-neutral switch.

Do you have a starter interlock on either the brake or clutch pedal? On some trucks, it is required to depress the brake pedal before the starter will energize.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 3:21AM
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