The starter’s contacts were replaced at year 21. 7 years have elapsed since the contacts were replaced.

Starting has now become difficult: clicking, the engine does not turn over. After a 3-4 failed attempts:eventually the engine turns over and starts.

I expect this problem to grow worse: thus I would like to diagnose the root cause of the starting issue: given that the starter contacts were replaced, can starter contact wear be eliminated as the cause? If it is eliminated, then it would avoid unnecessary disassembly of the starter.

Any diagnostics procedures / suggestions are appreciated

2 Answers 2


That starter looks like a smaller version of the one in my Land Rover Discover 2.

I have previously replaced the contact in the starter solenoid with replacement kit I purchased through Ebay. The wear on the old one looked just like the wear on yours.

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Like yours, my new ones probably lasted only about six or seven years and I had to replace them again.

I would first suspect that the contacts need replacing again. On my Land Rover, it is possible (after disconnecting the battery) to remove the cover off the starter solenoid and inspect the contacts, without taking the starter off the engine. Maybe you could do the same.

  • Thanks for the reply insight with the Land Rover. I will buy a new eBay contact kit and replace the contacts. Did you have to replace the plunger?
    – gatorback
    Dec 12, 2023 at 13:54
  • 1
    If, as suggested, access to the starter solenoid cover can be removed to inspect the contacts, do so. If the contacts are good, suspect worn out starter motor brushes and commutator, which requires a full disassembly.
    – F Dryer
    Dec 12, 2023 at 16:34

Thank you for trusting us with your starter issue. I think it's awesome that you rebuilt your starter before. I think that you're right that the contacts are probably the issue. You describe hearing the solenoid clicking several times, meaning that it can partially engage before the amperage drops due to poor contact. All that makes sense. However, I would consider finding a new one. The reason why is that a new starter will last more than seven years, thus saving your valuable time and effort. Also, I would be concerned that the starter gear/plunger is surely beginning to wear by now. As has probably the rest of the unit. Basically, by the time that you're done, you've replaced the entire thing. Admittedly, this is cheaper than buying a whole new one, so ultimately it's up to you as to whether it's worth your time.

Let us know what you decide!

  • A new plunger and contacts were installed in original starter: it failed bench testing at Autozone. A new $125 starter was ordered from Amazon and was successfully installed today. amazon.com/dp/B007Y85MZY
    – gatorback
    Dec 17, 2023 at 3:13

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