Starter issue? Wiring issue?

LokiPMustDie

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Hey, everyone. I should preface with I know practically nothing about cars, it's my wife's thing. However, she's stubborn so I'm here. We've got an 06 Cobalt LS that's been through hell. This go around, we've replaced the starter twice now, she'll click over, but that's all. We've already replaced the alternator and are just kinda dealing with all her other issues (sensors reading off, check engine light practically refuses to go off, all this outside of our entire front end needing more work than we could put in.) My wife thinks that there might be a wiring issue preventing it from starting, and then goes back to the scrapyard to grab a different starter. So, my question is, am I an idiot and the wiring issue is tied to the starter itself? Or do we just have crap luck and keep getting bad starters? I'm grateful for any help in advance. Thanks!
 

SideShow Bob

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Hey, everyone. I should preface with I know practically nothing about cars, it's my wife's thing. However, she's stubborn so I'm here. We've got an 06 Cobalt LS that's been through hell. This go around, we've replaced the starter twice now, she'll click over, but that's all. We've already replaced the alternator and are just kinda dealing with all her other issues (sensors reading off, check engine light practically refuses to go off, all this outside of our entire front end needing more work than we could put in.) My wife thinks that there might be a wiring issue preventing it from starting, and then goes back to the scrapyard to grab a different starter. So, my question is, am I an idiot and the wiring issue is tied to the starter itself? Or do we just have crap luck and keep getting bad starters? I'm grateful for any help in advance. Thanks!

First, make sure you have a good, fully charged battery. If you don’t have a battery tester, take the battery to a auto parts store, most will test it for free.

Next clean and tighten all of the connections, both at the battery and at the starter end for the positive, and at the battery and the ground point for the negative. If you still only get the clicking, try momentarily shorting between the big connections on the starter solenoid to if the starter will spin over.
It you have a known good battery, good clean and tight connections and the starter will not spin when shorted between the solenoid terminals, look at all the grounding straps from the engine & transmission to the body/sub-frame for loose connections and or corrosion, if any are broken, green or have a powdery build up, replace them . Clean up the connection points at both ends.
If All of the grounding straps are good, inspect the battery positive from the battery to the starter, looking for breaks cuts or swollen corrosion spot
 

jmaurais

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Like Bob says.... start with a known good, charged battery. Stop going after the starter, after replacing it twice it's unlikely to be your problem. Also as mentioned above, make sure all the battery connections are clean with no corrosion. If still not turning over, you must test the starter solenoid like Bob said; jump the two large terminals with a piece of metal but be careful not to touch anything else while doing it. If the battery and connections are good and jumping the solenoid works, then replace the solenoid.

If not cranking after all that, then you can start tracking down a bad ground to body (in trunk) and body to engine (under hood). These grounds are likely NOT your problem unless someone had some work done like an engine removal or an accident repair. Those major ground points are usually good for the life of the vehicle from the factory.
 

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