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

furbyreyes
80

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!

18 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-

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
judge_roy
Not Active

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

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
furbyreyes
80

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

5 out of 5 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.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Michael Tutty
5,385

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.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
furbyreyes
80

It does not dim,

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
judge_roy
Not Active

does it go click?

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
You 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.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Alex Nazarian
935

+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
10

sounds like your battery cables not tight enough

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Bhawk0790
70

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???

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
Cora Ellis
40

I have a question about my car .. My lights was dim and the radio worked for a minute then went off and now I have no lights ... When someone goes to give me a jump my car wants to start but won't ... Could that be my battery?

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
dannybap
0

Maybe

tamela37
10

I have a question my car will not start but the lights and radio came on. Had someone to jump it wouldn't start. Come to find out if was a fluse. We changed the fluse. And it started up .work all the next day. Then the next morning it wouldn't start again i had someone jump my car and it wouldnt start the lights and eveything went off .what could it be

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Hondaracer_H22
0

I have the same problem I have a 97 vw jetta gt mk3 gas not diesel I turn the key an clink about a week ago it ran fine I knew it needed a new battery so I got a new duralast one with new battery connectors there tight on the battery I drove it threw a few 8" deep or so puddles on a back road (had no choice) an once I got back on the asphalt it just died I tried starting it till battery died had a guy give me a jump took my after market filter off an kept it at 2k rpms to dry it all out drove 20 feet an it died again would start just tried to call my buddie he towed me the rest of the way home with his truck cars a auto had it in neutral the whole way put the battery charger on 200 amps an then the clickING started took the starter out grounded it from the shaft to the chassis an turned the key an it spun freely I've already turned my fly wheel with a flat head turns freely can feel the compression I put the starter back in an click again I also tried jumping the solinoid srew driver from positive on starter to My oil pan skid Plate an alotta sparks but click again is it my starter the solinoid, ignition switch wiring some where a relay I kno very little about vw's

Hondaracer_H22
0

An when I try to start an hear the click everything goes off cluster lights guages head unit an day time running head lights not dim completely off

Lavondra Stubbs
0

Everything comes on radio power windows lights... but wont turn over no clicks. Nothing hit starter a few times it started but now it wont do it... what could that be? I have new battery, rottery cap stitch and cap, and Transmition

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