How do I tell if its my battery or starter that is bad?

furbyreyes
50

Asked by furbyreyes Mar 03, 2013 at 04:01 PM about the 2001 Saturn S-Series 3 Dr SC1 Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hello all,
Last week, my car did not start. What was weird was that all the electrical stuff was working, my headlights and all,however; my car was not kicking over. I would turn the key and it just went all the way through so to speak. It did not crank or anything, just *click*. Someone came and gave me a jump and It started right up and worked fine until yesterday.

Same scenario, all electrical working, and same *click*. I called someone to give me a jump and let it charge for a while, but it did not start this time. Is this my battery or my starter? I would appreciate any help, this is my only car and I am stressed out of my mind!

12 Answers

judge_roy
Not Active

well grab your voltmeter. your battery should read 13.5 volts. Next you have to get it to a load tester, this will impose a load drawing the battery dead, if it isn't up to par and checks the ability to accept a charge..if it fails, just get a new battery. Your starter will need all the amps the battery will put out, so if you're battery is a weak sister all you'll get is a 'click'- they will bench test your startermotor at the same place at your battery. NAPA auto parts comes to mind, but they all will bench test ya-

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
judge_roy
Not Active

don't get stressed out over $79 dollars worth of lead...really.

furbyreyes
50

I took my battery to autozone, they told me it wasnt holding a charge. Just got a battery from the junk yard,its only one year old. I put the thing it and charged it, but it didn't start. All electrical works. They checked the battery at the yard, but my car is doing the same thing

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
judge_roy
Not Active

invest in an interstate battery, little more money, but they will stand behind every battery, pro-rating up to ten years after purchase....on exchange..later.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Michael Tutty
4,685

When you turn the key, does everything go dim, or does everything stay the same? If everything dims, there is a good chance the battery does not have enough amps. If everything stays the same, or only dims a very little bit, then chances are the starter motor itself is defective. The click you are hearing is the solenoid engaging.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
furbyreyes
50

It does not dim,

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
judge_roy
Not Active

does it go click?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
judge_roy
Not Active

clearly you need a new battery, not a junkyard one. invest a bit and be happy, rather than the annoyance of never knowing whether it's gonna start.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Alex Nazarian
795

+1 on new batteries/verifying the battery you just got is up to the task.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
chantheman16
10

may be one of your sensors,but most likely its gonna be your starter.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
fent
0

sounds like your battery cables not tight enough

Bhawk0790
10

Hey guys I've got a no crank no start problem with my 01saturn sl1. All the lights turn on but no crank. Got starter checked, it's fine. Got battery checked and they said the cells were bad so I got a new one. The car started just fine for about 24 hrs, but now I'm back at square 1. Any suggestions???

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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