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Discussion Starter #1
[:(] Hey gang,

I need to fix this today! I am at work right now, I had to walk to the train station and take the train to work, but I need to fix this when I get home.

Trying to start my car this morning i turned the key.....click, click, click...absolutely no sign of turning over. All the dash lights came on and it just clicked, thats it. This is one problem I have been fortunate enough not to have on any of my previous vehicles. Therefore, I've never had to deal with it.

What are your thoughts? Just the battery? Starter?

I'll get home about 6:30, so I'll only have a limited amount of time to get to autozone or pepboys and get what i need to fix it.

Any help/opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Mario
 

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Sounds like your battery. Get a jump start then take it over to autizone and have them testthe battery. Or if you have a multimeter you can do it. It should read 12.5 volts or higher. If not then you may need to wither charge the battery or replace it. Autozone can tell you if the battery is junk though. Good luck.
 

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sounds like the ignition switch
Though that's the same problem I had on my grand am, symptoms and everything
Other, more experienced people should comment as well
 

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Discussion Starter #4
much appreciated. I'll take it to autozone and let them test it. I could care less if I need a new battery. I just don't wanna be sitting in my driveway all night trying to change anything else.
 

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The first thing to do is check the terminals. Over time crap builds up on the positive terminal inhibiting the connection. The easiest way to clean this is to remove the terminal, and wipe the terminal and area with Windex. Windex will clean up the copper very easily. I'd then use a water hose to wash off all the corrosion from the engine compartment. It will probably be excessive. Then reconnect the terminals. This might be all you need to do for the car to start. If it doesn't start, then it's time to test the battery.

It could be an ignition switch if the battery passes this test. I would consider an ignition switch after checking the battery, and alternator. What I would do is test the battery with a voltmeter first. Anything more than 10v is acceptable for starting most of the time. In a few rare cases, an old battery will have exhausted it's electrolyte, will show 12v, but will not crank an engine.

If you replace the battery, then you should immediately test the alternator via the battery terminals. The reading should be 13-14.4V with the engine idling. If so, then the cause was an old battery. If not, then the underlying cause was the alternator not charging which ran down the battery.

Before assuming that an ignition switch is to blame, check the large cable connection at the starter. This cable can loosen due to vibration, and will not make a sufficient connection to start the car. Be sure to disconnect the negative terminal from the battery before you go messing around with the cables on the starter or you will spark on something grounded.

If you've checked the battery, alternator, and starter to be all good, then I'd consider an ignition switch. The only way I can think to test it is to have someone turn the key to start, and use a voltmeter to test the small wires on the starter for 11v minimum. OH, nearly forgot, I'd also swap the starter relay with another relay that has the same pin configuration, but you know works. I believe either the headlight or AC relay will be the same part. Then replace the ignition switch if that doesn't work. The reason I left the ignition switch to the end is that there's no easy way to test it, and your problem is more likely to be another easier to test component.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
well being that half of that made no sense to my noobness, I'm gonna pray that it's a dead battery, or dirty terminals. haha
 

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You've got a 2003 car, this means your battery is around five years old, that's about as long as you're going to get out of a battery. Mine died at 3 and a half and my wife's croaked at 8 months so you've really gotten your moneys worth if it is the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
that's exactly what i said this morning whent his happened. I thought the battery had gotten used beyond it's expectation. My problem was that I am a technical newb and know nothing, so I didn't just want to go buy a new battery and have it be something else.

At this point I can care less if its the starter, because then i can try my hand at changing it.

I'll keep you guys informed once I get home and get a verdict.
 

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should be the battery if you are getting the click click click. Take a look and see if there is any currosion on the terminals and make sure that you have a good connection, then give it a jump. If it is an origional battery, it is prob dead or dieing. Especially with the hard Philly winters
 

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100% battery. my car did this about two months ago. original battery, 3.5 yrs old. i went to start it one night and it died. got a jump from my buddy, let it run for about 30 minutes to charge it, went to bed, and got up for work in the morning and the car wouldn't start. went to oreilly's, got a new battery and haven't had a problem since.
 

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Your story reminds me of the days when I had a Jeep cherokee and I would have to resort to banging on the starter with a hammer to get it to turn over. It would click and hum but would refuse to turn over. That thing was a beast but I'm glad those days are gone with the arrival of my foci :).
 
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