starter on a 96' sonoma

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i think the starter on my truck is giving out, but i thought i'd take expert advice before i go and buy a new one. i have a1996 gmc sonoma, 1 1/2 cab, 2.2L engine, 4v. Whenever i go and start my engine, the engine whirls like any other car, but if the truck doesnt start in the first crank, all the cranks after that sound different, as if the gear of the starter was disengaged. Is there any way to fix this? (btw, it doesnt matter if the engine is cold, or if its cold or hot outside, it does the same thing) I have noticed that pressing the gas pedal while cranking helps some ,but it does not solve the problem. it might also be useful to say that i had the transmission replaced, but the probem was there even before that. any help in determinening if i need a new starter or not ould be useful.

posted by  solidus1299

Could be the starter. Or you could be missing a few teeth on the ring gear. Nothing big enough for a new vehicle. But that's up to you :thumbs:

posted by  DodgeRida67

Would you care to explain this statement?

posted by  lectroid

please disregard my "gas pedal while cranking" statement. i realized that doing this didnt help. i have noticed that usually it starts if you wait like 10 seconds after the dashboard lights up. Actually, its after I hear a sound that I crank it when it usually works. its hard to describe the sound. it kinda sounds like a "burp" a very deep, short-lived burp.

ex: I put my key into the ignition, push it foward as if i am going to crank it (dashboard lights up) and then 10 seconds later, there is this "burp" and when i start it, it usually starts with no problem. If it doesnt start on the first crank, it always starts on the second.

I was told this burp has something to do with the fuel injection being dirty, but, since I am a total n00b in cars, i have no idea if this is true. I was also told that a new starter will NOT fix my problem.

"Or you could be missing a few teeth on the ring gear"

how do i fix this, Dodge? do I need a new starter?

posted by  solidus1299

Before we go deeper into this thing, clear something up for me. Do we have a problem turning the engine over to start it or it just won't start easily?

posted by  DodgeRida67

I'm with dodge here. Do you have a cranking problem or a firing problem? I believe that the "burp" you here may be the fuel pump relay but that should be more like 2-3 seconds. When you turn the key on, do you here the pump run?

posted by  stepman

Didn't read this, did you ? Written by the VWHOBO :thumbs:




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posted by  lectroid

Who was that for?

posted by  stepman

NOT YOU :laughing:

posted by  lectroid

I was just curious cus it seems to be a favorite post around here.

posted by  stepman

Solidus has me totally confused, which I might add, is not hard to do. :wink2:

posted by  lectroid

dodge, the engine will start, after I crank it a second (or even third) time. The problem is that I hear this whizzing sound when crank it. I've noticed that this burp( it may be the fuel pump, I suppose, stepman)

stepman, I do hear the pump run (if the burp is what you're talking about) and only after I hear this will the engine start.

lectoid, what is it that I did not read carefully? I dont think I left out anything in that list. sorry if my explaination confused you. I'm ovbiously not a car repair whiz, and a there is a lot of terminology I'm not familiar with. Please tell me what it is that I did not describe good enough.

I dont think I have a firing problem. I think the starter itself works, because when I crank it, it does whiz, even if it does it incorerctly. Now that I think of it, It kinda sounds like when you try to start a car that is already started, but the car isnt running.

posted by  solidus1299

I am neither trying to degrade or make light of your plight, I just can't get a focus on you problem. I'm not a trained mechanic either and don't profess to be.

3. Do not assume we know what you know or what you mean to say. We are more than willing to help but can only use the information you provide. Because we are online in a forum, we cannot see your face, hear the inflection in your voice or see, touch or hear your car. You are our eyes and ears and solving any problem begins with you and the effort you are willing to put forth helping us to help you. This brings us to…

4. The description. Please do not interpret what is going on with your car, just give us an explicit, step by step description. We need to know anything that might be a factor such as engine hot or cold, vehicle speed, weather conditions, etc. There are too many possibilities to name them all but you get the idea. Also, if you have already had the foresight to retrieve computer codes (in instances were that is helpful) let us know what they are. If you tell us you think it needs sparkplugs then your answer will be put in sparkplugs. Keep in mind if you knew what was wrong you probably wouldn’t be here asking for advice.

5. Another assumption you should never make. We don’t know who you are or what your mechanical ability is, your knowledge level or what type of tools, equipment or work area you have.

A whizzing sound to me, is the starter is Not engaging, but you state that it starts,but has to burp first. :doh: Gm starters don't whizz, but. Dodge/Chryslers do.

posted by  lectroid

i cant make sense of what exactly your problem is from the way your flip flopping your stories but two common problems with vortec engines are that the fuel pump dosent stay primed and also it has a different kind of fuel injection than most it has a cpi unit instead of injectors and the popit valves get clogged.
just a few extra things to check
1. get a fuel pressure gauge and turn the key to the on position and watch to see if the fuel pressure drop more then five pounds in two minutes if it does you need to change your fuel pump.
2.go to gm dealer and tell them you need a cleaner additive for your gas i think its like $25 u.s.
3.totally unrelated to your problem but those motors also have a probleem with the backside of the intake manifold leaking oil and coolant just slide up underneath the truck and see if there is coolant rolling down the exhaust on the left side or oil running down either side just a bit of preventative maintenence :thumbs:

posted by  chevyluv

Ok, ill try to clarify this as best to my ability.

There are two types of sounds that I am hearing. Sound #1, the starter is engaging, and the truck starts in 2 seconds (approximately). This is the sound that I"m sure most of you hear when you start your own cars. Sound #2, is a wheezing sound. I take it that this sound happens when the starter doesn't "engage". This is the sound that is not much different from the sound that you hear when you try to start an engine that is already started.

Now here is my problem: I go and try to start my truck, put the key into the ignition, push the key forward (At this point the dashboard lights up) then i crank it. At first, the sound will be sound #1. But, before the engine fires up, the starter switches to sound #2, and all i'm hearing is this wheezing sound.
There are variations to this sound. Sometimes, All I hear is sound #2, and sometimes, the starter works normal.

As I was saying about the burp. I have noticed that I can only start the engine when I hear this burp. (Someone here said it might be the fuel pump)
If I try to start the engine before I hear the burp, it will always switch to sound #2 and never start.

I dont know if this is relevant, but the Anti-lock brakes light comes up in my dashboard. This light (which, in my understanding, means that there is something wrong with the ABS) has been on since before I had this problem, so i'm not sure if it matters.

chevyluv, thanx for the tips. I have gone out to buy the fuel injector cleaner, and put it in my gas tank about an 1/2 hour ago, but I have not had a chance to try out if it helped or not.

posted by  solidus1299

If you are asking if your starter is gone there is a very easy soulution for that.

You want to perform a draw check on the starter in the vehicle under load to see if it's pulling to many amps. There are spec's to see how many your starter is suppose to pull. A bench check performed by many places( with the starter out of the car) isn't always accurate.

Take a ride to your nearest major part store. Advance, Autozone Pep boys,
and they will hook up an inductive clamp on the battery cable. After removing the coil wire ( Or some other means of disabling the ignition sysytem) you turn over the car and the tester will tell you how many amps the starter is drawing under load.

If it's within the acceptable range , it's o.k.

posted by  hitchhiker

OK, much better. You seem to be describing a starter drive/ lever problem. You could probably buy these parts for around $35, or a reman. starter for around $80-90. I would go with the reman. starter( DELCO ), not knowing your abilities. Replacing the starter is a straight forward job, just remember to disconnect the battery. Still don't know about that burp thingy :laughing:

posted by  lectroid

This would take awhile, but it's worth it because you could ruin your new starter if you don't do this.

Since your starter has been engaging, spinning, engaging, disengaging, you might have chipped a tooth or two on your ring gear. You need to check for this. When you pull out your starter have someone turn the engine and look at the teeth on the ring gear with a flashlight as it turns. Might want to mark the flywheel so you'll know when you;ve made it around once.

posted by  DodgeRida67

I'll second that. After reading thru this whole thing I believe what you have is the teeth missing or chewed-up every 90degrees on the flywheel. If you pull your ecm fuse and just let it crank, you can usually tell by the sound that you explained earlier. The 2.2's are bad on flywheels, pull your starter and have a good look at it.

posted by  stepman

thanks everybody that posted a solution. I went and bought a remanufactured starter ( u were right, lectroid 32 bucks). I checked the flywheel, and, surprisingly, it was in good condition. No chipped tooths, nothing. My truck works perfectly now. again, thanks for everybody that posted. :thumbs:

posted by  solidus1299

Thanks for letting us know the out-come. That helps everyone.

posted by  lectroid

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