Dakota Forumz banner


216 Views 5 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  immattj
Why is it that my starter went bad 1 year after replacing it now my 5 speed 96 5.2 won't start with key I have to take a screwdriver across the starter poles to get it running .. what could this be . Is it the clutch peddle or ignition ? Please help.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Not all that horribly long ago I had a '94 Firebird with a 3.4 & a year or so after I bought it the starter took a crap so I bought "the very best that Advance had" with a life time warranty, & two more of those crapped out on me also. (And that POS Pontiac was a PITA to replace starters on.) But where I am going by reliving the painful period of that vehicle in my life is to say that I don't think that the quality of a lot of replacement parts is very high a lot of the time. As a matter of fact, I'd say in the case of those starters from Advance, the quality was pretty low.

I think it is possible that your problems simply come down to the quality of the replacement starters that you are getting.

And on edit, rereading your post, if you are starting it by jumping across the large terminals on the starter solenoid, I believe that is a bad starter solenoid on the starter itself. You could check that with a meter: if you are getting voltage to the solenoid (at the small wire) when you have it cranked, but no voltage is getting across to the starter motor, I believe that would mean the solenoid had failed.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
. . . here is a short tutorial on starter solenoids with a helpful diagram near the end of it

and here is another tutorial on testing a starter solenoid; it starts off rather basic & dumbed down, but it does provide a description of where to place your test leads.

And if you do a google, there are a ton of youtubes on the subject.
. . . and lastly I will say that I do not have a schematic for '96, but for the helluvit I just did look at the schematic for the engine starting system-manual transmission for '97 through '99 and if those are similar to yours (check all your fuses) you have the ignition switch, the clutch safety switch, and the starter relay, all of which, if I am interpreting the schematic correctly, could be bypassed by jumping across the terminals of the starter solenoid as long as you had the ignition on.

I really am inclined to suspect the starter solenoid, but the easiest thing to check first is the starter relay, so look in your PDC & there should probably be an identical relay in there & swap the two.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I am going to troubleshoot again today. O'Reilly's is the problem it has to be because the last starter worked after turning the key about 3 times went from whining to catch to the silanoid wouldn't engage. I took that starter out took it to O'Reilly's they tested as good I brought back same starter and installed it back in and nothing. It wouldn't engage just whine . Went to different store demanded a new starter. Put new one in and nothing at all. so here I am screwdrivering it, in which sucks . So I need to either get my $200 back and go somewhere else or go to another O'Reilly's location. this is getting old I've done the swap relay, clutch switch looks ok no wires off ignition ( turn key to start)get a click out of starter soooo. Any thing I miss ?? Please help if so. Thank you very much .
( turn key to start)get a click out of starter soooo. Any thing I miss ?? Please help if so. Thank you very much .
I recently read a post in which the OP was asking about a Dakota that would click when he hit the key & he would hit the key several tims before it would catch & start. OldMarine replied that, to him, this sounded like a bad ground somewhere . . . and . . . OP got back & sure enough, it was. In the case of that OP I think I remember he said he cleaned up his neg battery terminal & connector & retightened it back down.

So I'd say check your grounds.
(I guess what happens is a shaky ground must give sufficient current to get to the solenoid, hence the 'click', but not enough current to travel from the battery terminal to the starter motor terminal & actually get the starter motor to turn the engine? Just hypthesizing on that.)
And I'd also say that if when you hit the key & the starter clicks, that means the circuit all the way to the solenoid must be good.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts