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HHR won't start. Please help.

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HHR won't start. Please help.

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Old 08-12-2018, 01:17 AM
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HHR won't start. Please help.

I have a 2008 HHR LT. A few weeks ago the starter started binding up so I went and got a new one. Been working like a champ. Today went to go somewhere and wouldn't start. Lights and radio come on and get one single click at every turn of the ignition from the engine bay. Checked the starter relay it's good. Battery is under a year old. So tried jumping it and still same result. I'd like to check the alternator with the old taking off the positive trick but cant get her going. Any idea? I'm at a loss.
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Old 08-12-2018, 03:34 AM
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Sounds like either the new starter has bit the dust, or the battery has insufficient charge. The age of the battery really doesn't mean anything - they can fail within a day or two of being put into service, or can last over 10 years. What is the battery voltage? If it's less than 12.5V the battery is suspect. The jump you did should have worked if the battery was not up to par, but check the battery anyways - jumps are not always that reliable.

Have you had the battery load tested? Just because the lights come on, along with the radio, is no indication that the battery has a sufficient charge. Pretty much any auto parts store will do a LOAD TEST on the battery for free - to check the voltage and the capacity (life status). A not exactly accurate way one can replicate is turn the head lights on as one tries to crank it over - if the headlights dim a whole lot, the battery needs a charge.

Try a direct Positive connection to the starter bypassing the solenoid to test the starter, or pull the starter and connect it to 12 volts to test. Or, once again, pretty much any auto parts store will test it. Same with the alternator.
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Jonny2012 View Post
I have a 2008 HHR LT. A few weeks ago the starter started binding up so I went and got a new one. Been working like a champ. Today went to go somewhere and wouldn't start. Lights and radio come on and get one single click at every turn of the ignition from the engine bay. Checked the starter relay it's good. Battery is under a year old. So tried jumping it and still same result. I'd like to check the alternator with the old taking off the positive trick but cant get her going. Any idea? I'm at a loss.
Above, (in red) is a big NO NO !!!
With todays computer controlled electronic cars, you're just asking for problems doing that.
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by firemangeorge View Post
Above, (in red) is a big NO NO !!!
With todays computer controlled electronic cars, you're just asking for problems doing that.
Good luck with it. Have you checked all fuses? Let us know it works out.
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:37 AM
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I would suspect the starter as being defective. I had that happen on a Corolla about 15yearsv ago. A small shop put a new starter in for me while I was at work. When I picked it up he asked me to drop off the old starter for him so they would credit the core charge. No problem as it was on the way home. Dropped the starter off, came back out and it would not start. He had to bring his wrecker and tow me back to the shop. The starter had failed. So check the starter. It used to be you could disconnect the starter and apply power directly to it to check them but on HHRs I don't know if you can do that.
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:31 AM
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I think I would try to put 12v directly to the starter, the odds are that the new starter is defective, just a common thing for a lot of rebuilt parts nowadays. If you have the tools or ability it would be nice to check the voltage drop at both the primary and secondary side of the starter
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:52 AM
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It is a whole lot easier to start with the battery. A simple VOM will tell if it has 13 volts or not. If that is low check the alternator, if it is good check the starter. Also check for a good connection at the under hood fuse box, the front red wire goes to the battery and the starter, the back wire goes to the power steering.

If you don't understand how the starter is wired STAY AWAY from it. The red wire to the starter is ALWAYS HOT. If you wish to check the starter by jumping anything jump the solenoid with 12V.

Lights and radio draw much less than the starter, not a measure of anything.

You "old trick" is dangerous and no longer valid.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed ke6bnl View Post
I think I would try to put 12v directly to the starter, the odds are that the new starter is defective, just a common thing for a lot of rebuilt parts nowadays. If you have the tools or ability it would be nice to check the voltage drop at both the primary and secondary side of the starter

That will tell you if the connections/wiring in the starting circuits are bad. Testing just battery voltage might not be enough.
It's fairly common for the battery connections to be oxidized and still look good.

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Old 08-12-2018, 11:37 AM
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It's possible that a cable is loose, either at the battery or the starter.
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:40 AM
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K.i.s.s.
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