Intermittent starter

(Larry Carbol) #1

After sitting all winter, my Series3 V12 starter is acting up. Turning the key the first or second time results in a short click and what sounds like a momentary turn over of the engine. After 2 or 3 attempts, the starter catches and the engine fires up. Almost sounds like the compression of the engine is stalling out the starter but tried disconnecting the coil and same result. New starter required or what?


(Erica Moss) #2

Sounds like it assuming the battery is strong and the ground is good.

(Tom D) #3

I would start by assuming it is the battery or a poor connection. I would also start by troubleshooting with a meter.

(W. Schuster) #4

Sounds like a starter solonoid problem.

(Larry Carbol) #5

Checked and cleaned all cables and chassis ground and tried boosting with another battery. No change so will check solenoid before replacing starter. Thanks for suggestions!

(Larry Carbol) #6

An update, don’t think it is the solenoid. When the starter doesn’t turn the engine, the power to the car is interrupted as the lights for the choke and oil pressure lights go out. In order to try another start, the key must be turned all the way off then to attempt another start. Looked in the passenger footwell to see if access hole for starter removal but firewall is solid. Looks like starter removal is a bear!

(Andrew Waugh) #7

Have you got a battery isolator switch fitted?

(Larry Carbol) #8

Not unless its hiding somewhere and the last owner added.

(Larry Carbol) #9

Fortunately the last owner included a new high torque starter new in the box from XK Unlimited so my plan is to replace the original.

(Erica Moss) #10

It’s more like a cub than a bear. Shops used to cut holes because they wanted to cut corners to do the job quick. You’ll need every socket extension and swivel you own, but it’s totally possible with the lower splash shield removed. Removing the down pipes helps a lot also. Reinstall with socket head bolts and it will be even easier next time.

(Larry Carbol) #11

I downloaded the instructions from XK Unlimited and they give the impression that the hole was original from the factory. At any rate, XK indicates that, using the hole, the starter can be removed in 15 minutes using an extension with the socket. If the correct location can be determined, a solution may be to cut a hole and then plug with a rubber plug when done. Since the hole is covered with an aftermarket heat material and the carpet, should be undetectable normally.

(Tom D) #12

Larry, there are certainly indications you may need a starter/solenoid. However, if the choke light going out is any indication, it sounds if if you may have a poor connection somewhere. I would repeat my first suggestion, troubleshoot with a meter. Based on your initial symptoms, I would not suggest this, but people describe and notice symptoms in various ways, but it could even be a poor ignition switch or started button. Again, it very well may be a starter, but why not spend some time troubleshooting first?

(Larry Carbol) #13

Thanks Tom. I checked the battery connections and cleaned the chassis ground but, as per your suggestion, will check out what is going on using a multi-meter. Will have to draft my wife or one of my sons to help as I have been working by myself to this point. Worth a try though as you suggest.

(tony) #14

a battery can hold a charge, and appear to all intents & purposes fine, but unless it has been load tested with the proper equipment, you cannot be sure.

the fact you are dropping even minor lights suggest further investigation prior to R&R the starter

having said that a bad starter will tax hell out of a battery

out of interest, removing a starter on a MKX-420G Saloon is also hell…if you follow the FSM.

If instead you remove a tiny factory plate, whose only job is to allow access to the bottom starter bolt, takes 15min…this plate or method is not mentioned in the FSM

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(Larry Carbol) #15

I considered the battery being the culprit so I hooked up a second fully charged battery in series and no change in symptoms. But thanks for the idea since I haven’t been able to find the problem yet.

(Erica Moss) #16

Did you check both grounds…the one for the battery and also the one grounding engine to chassis?

(Larry Carbol) #17

Yes. Cleaned both chassis ground and battery poles.

(Larry Carbol) #18

Before changing starters, I am going to try installing a new battery. All indications seem to point to a weak battery or a heavy draw from the starter. Battery seems like the lessor of two evils. Thanks to all for your advice! Will advise as situation develops.

(Larry Carbol) #19

Good news, I installed a new battery and the car starts perfectly now! Thanks to everyone who gave me their advice and suggestions. In particular folks who were correct when they remarked that even if the battery appears normal in most respects, they can break down under load. I had ruled out the battery as I hooked up, what I thought, was a good battery and still had the problem. I took that battery and the original one in for testing and they both were weak under load. The new battery is an Optima and comes highly recommended. Thanks again to all who took time to advise me!

(tony) #20

Isnt that better than changing out the starter, and still having the issue. Guess how I know!

Optima is a good choice, I have had several so called quality batteries fail within 3yrs