I have a 2004 auto 2.2 eco Cavalier that lately we have had to put a blow dryer on that starter for about 10 minutes then it starts. weather has been like -10- -13 below, but others do not seem to have a problem with thier cars/starters. Anything I can do tired of the blow dryer before work thing?

Kelly Libby

Asked by Jan 02, 2014 at 05:48 PM about the 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

have to use blowdryer on starter on really cold mornings lately. anything I can do so that
the starter will not freeze?

1 Answer

John Carson

It may be the bearings in the armature of the starter are going bad and hang up enough in the below freezing temperature that it prevents the starter from turning. Just a guess. Usually electricity works better in cooler weather due to less resistance in the wiring. Is there any chance moisture is getting into the starter and freezing? Perhaps the starter solenoid is the problem. All modern starters rely on the solenoid to engage the starter drive with the ring gear of the flywheel. When the solenoid is energized, it operates a plunger or lever which forces the pinion into mesh with the ring gear. The pinion incorporates a one way clutch so that when the engine starts and runs it will not attempt to drive the starter motor at excessive RPM. Some older starter designs, such as the Bendix drive, used the rotational inertia of the pinion to force it along a helical groove cut into the starter drive-shaft, and thus no mechanical linkage with the solenoid was required. If a starter solenoid receives insufficient power from the battery, it will fail to start the motor, and may produce a rapid clicking sound. The lack of power can be caused by a low battery, by corroded or loose connections in the battery cable, or by a damaged positive (red) cable from the battery. Any of these problems will result in some, but not enough, power being sent to the solenoid, which means that the solenoid will only begin to push the engagement gear, making the metallic click sound.

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