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Is my starter going bad?
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LiveFreeOrDie
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Joined: October 23, 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:10 pm    Post subject: Is my starter going bad? Reply with quote

When I try and start my '86 vanagon, it is becoming more and more tired. I can't seem to pinpoint where exactly what needs to be addressed. When I turn the key there is a slight hesitation/pause then a start. This is becoming more and more frequent. Is it the starter switch, the starter itself of is the battery becoming tired?

Cheers!

Andre
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Is my starter going bad? Reply with quote

LiveFreeOrDie wrote:
When I turn the key there is a slight hesitation/pause then a start. This is becoming more and more frequent.


Mine was doing this too (and that's long after replacing/cleaning the grounds). Replaced the ignition switch as a first troubleshooting repair (easier to get to and cheaper than the starter) and problem solved.

However, I initially tested the switch and it proved to be going bad so I went ahead with replacement. If you wish to test it before replacing, click here for instructions.
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davevickery
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In wet climates like a trip to Minnesota or PNW mine seems to struggle a bit. I was guessing it is a weak ground, but it has never not started so I haven't checked into it.
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geo_tonz
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, good chance your switch is going, especially if you had some hard-starting (prolonged cranking) in the past. If you have some odd headlight issues and/or dash lights not always coming that'd be further evidence to suspect the switch. The juice for the starter runs through that switch so lotsa cranking can start to fry it. I replaced mine after a once-in-a-while-dead-van scenario and also put in one of Jay's (thatvwguy) hard start relays. Now the ignition just triggers the starter which gets all it's juice directly from the battery (and seems to spin a little stronger), not via the puny ignition switch power-bottleneck.
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1621
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

X2 on adding a hard start relay. Some have said it's a band-aid fix for the starter, but I see it as good preventative maintenance for your starting system. I went with Thatvwguy as well and was very pleased.
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