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Integra 95 LS: starter has not been replaced (ever!).

Vehicle had difficulty starting and the battery was replaced after 50 months of service. It started a few times and now the vehicle does not turn over. A replacement starter was purchased, but before installing, is there a test that can be performed to confirm that the starter really is the problem? It may be one of multiple problems, however, if it is not truly a problem then I hate to spend $140 to replace a good working part.

Diagnostic procedures / questions are appreciated. Spark plugs, radiator, water pump were replaced in the last 3 months.

UPDATE: Issue was resolved as described in this hyperlink

  • You can bench test the old starter, but it will only tell you if the starter will turn or not. Under load it may not want to turn at all. Other than pulling it apart to visually inspect the brushes, not much else you can do. If it isn't working, it isn't working. I guess you could directly jump the solenoid to see if it is engaging and doing it's thing. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Feb 16 '17 at 18:59
  • Just want to make sure I'm understanding this correctly-- It had trouble starting, you replaced the 50 month old battery, and now it won't even crank? So the new battery was the tipping point from "barely starts" to "won't even try"? – Zshoulders Feb 16 '17 at 19:22
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    Check for power on the b+ terminal at the solenoid and check for ignition voltage at the s terminal when cranking. Are both OK? No voltage drop on the b+ cable? What about the ground? is the engine to chassis ground intact? Any voltage drop? What happens if you jump power to the s terminal? – Ben Feb 16 '17 at 20:04
  • Please clarify. You replaced the battery and as a result, the starter no longer turns the engine? Does it do anything? Does it make any sounds? Is there power getting to the starter? – CharlieRB Feb 16 '17 at 20:42
  • Good questions: clarification that it started a handful of times after battery replacement. It failed two weeks ago when I was leaving to go out of town. No that I have returned I bought a replacement starter. Engine does not turn over: clicking sound – gatorback Feb 16 '17 at 21:53
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Since it was working after the battery change, then quit, it sounds like the starter has failed. If you really want to know for sure, you will have to remove the starter and take it to the parts store to have it bench tested.

Once confirmed, half your work is already done. Now install the replacement starter.

Note: Check the condition of the cables and connections. Clean any corrosion and replace any damaged cables.

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As CharlieRB noted, it is most likely your starter. If your starter is gone, you should have the following symptoms:

  1. No turning motion or engine sounds at all (other than possibly some fans and/or pumps). NO MOTOR MOTION.
  2. All lights and gauge cluster lights working and lit when the key is in the "ON" position.
  3. All lights and gauge cluster lights off when key is pushed to "START" position.
  4. Repeated start attempts show little effect to battery charge.

One final test you can make (if you have a multimeter is to connect one lead to the hit on the starter, and connect the ground lead to a solid grounding point (you can use the battery negative terminal). (NOTE: If you are doing the test alone, then you need to position your multimeter so that you can read t from the driver's seat. If you have another to help you have them turn the key.) Make sure your multimeter is set to read VDC and try to start the motor and - take extra effort and ensure that the multimeter leads and/or any other wires are clear of any and all moving parts!!! If you motor starts for some reason, it'll shred your leads or other wires.

Result

If you get a voltage reading, that means your starter is getting juice, and it's probably toast. If you're not getting any reading, then you've got another issue -* but that doesn't mean that nothing is wrong with your starter.*

Other than the above, the best way to confirm the starter as the issue is to replace it and see.

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