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Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 11:20:35 -0500
From: Scott I. Remick <scottnopsamuteralt.com>
Subject: Starter & electrical system... describe operation?


Well the problem has never gone away, and in fact seems to be getting worse. So I need some more help. Can someone describe in detail the way the starter works, how electricity gets to it from the key switch, what goes where, and what happens on the three post contacts on the starter? As much info as you can supply would be great... I figure if I can understand it backwards and forwards, I can maybe figure out eventually what's failing when it happens. I have an '84 Saab 900S. Here's what happens: occasionally, you'll go to start the car and the starter won't budge. You have plenty of electricity to power every other part of the car (lights come on and so on), and you'll hear the fuel pump run for a moment, and the clicking of relays elsewhere... but not a sound from the starter. It SEEMS to happen more frequently when the car is warm. Let it sit for a while, and it will start. Sometimes though, even when it DOES start, there's a abnormal 2-3 second delay after turning the key before you hear the starter even turn. Maybe this is a hint...? When it doesn't start... a second or two after holding the key turned you start to hear a clicking coming from some device on the left (driver's) side of the engine compartment. I've located the device, but I don't know what it does. Other than the fuel pump, these are the only sounds you'll hear when the car refuses to start. I've replaced the starter several times... that's not it. And lately I've never been able to get it to happen for a service tech. Inevitably, hauling one down magically causes the car to start up just fine. So anyhow... I'm looking for a nice detailed description of how the starter/ignition operates (especially what happens on those three contacts and the ignition switch), so I can go at this with a multimeter and track down the problem. Thanks! ----------------------- Scott I. Remick scottnopsamuteralt.com Network and Information (802)388-7545 ext. 236 Systems Manager FAX:(802)388-3697 Computer Alternatives, Inc. http://www.computeralt.com

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