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this morning my g/f's truck wouldnt start. its a 2002 chevy silverado 2500 HD. it just made a *click* noise. so i tried to fiddle with the tumbler thinkin the ignition switch might be going out. no luck. so then i was thinkin maybe all the cranking amps were sucked out of the battery because i showed 13v(full battery) but no crank. so i hooked up a charger and set to "crank" still got the *click*

then i got down on the ground. gave the starter a few light taps with a hammer and wallah! the truck starts. why does the starter do this? it was negative 5 degrees this morning with a windchill down to -20. does the starter have to be replaced or was this just a fluke and some moister got down into the starter and froze? ideas?

thanks in advance!
 

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Well since the starter has permanent magnets, hitting it with the hammer probably cracked one of them which will effect its performance from here on in.

Typically when you tapping it with a hammer gets you going it means you have a bad comm bar on the armature. Being really cold can sort of cause it too, dont know that minus 5 is enough though. I would plan on changing the starter out soon. As long as it does not come to rest partially on one of the bars (I think you have a 2/28 chance) you will start. The two bars that are bad now, will soon turn into 6 and then after that, a new starter.

WARNING: (for the future) If a starter has bolts/large screw heads in its body 90 degrees apart around the barrel, the fields are held in with pole shows. Never good to beat a starter, but these starters will typically survive hammer blows. Seen some that had been hit a couple hundred times. If there are no screw/bolt heads, it has magnets fixed to the barrel on the inside. Hitting them will cause them to crack, break, or dislodge. Does not take much to do that. It use to void the core credit for the starter if it came with hammer marks around the body. But china crap is so cheap nobody cares anymore. Still not a good idea to beat them on the barrel.
 

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Well since the starter has permanent magnets, hitting it with the hammer probably cracked one of them which will effect its performance from here on in.

Typically when you tapping it with a hammer gets you going it means you have a bad comm bar on the armature. Being really cold can sort of cause it too, dont know that minus 5 is enough though. I would plan on changing the starter out soon. As long as it does not come to rest partially on one of the bars (I think you have a 2/28 chance) you will start. The two bars that are bad now, will soon turn into 6 and then after that, a new starter.

WARNING: (for the future) If a starter has bolts/large screw heads in its body 90 degrees apart around the barrel, the fields are held in with pole shows. Never good to beat a starter, but these starters will typically survive hammer blows. Seen some that had been hit a couple hundred times. If there are no screw/bolt heads, it has magnets fixed to the barrel on the inside. Hitting them will cause them to crack, break, or dislodge. Does not take much to do that. It use to void the core credit for the starter if it came with hammer marks around the body. But china crap is so cheap nobody cares anymore. Still not a good idea to beat them on the barrel.
i didnt beat the ever living shit out of it. there isnt even enough room to get momentum to hit the dang thing. i just gave it some light taps on the back and side....started right up.


hmmm, ill just replace it
 

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LOL. The magnets may have survive. I have seen them broken without enough force to leave a dent, just a slight scratch. If you want to take it apart, may be able ot service the comm, but not likely. We never do, as most of the time it is done, and if something fails commonly, we never reuse the part no matter how good it looks. (we do rebuilding too) Any permanent magnet starter with marks on the barrel gets tossed in the scrap. More chance than it is worth. Keeps our warranty rate below 1% on our rebuilds, our new is almost 100% no warranty, 1-2 in 1000 maybe, dont keep track it is so low. (ok done beating our drum)
 

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i have seen them with the large stud "loose" so to speak. heat/wear/tear breaks it loose from inside the case of the starter. not sure if they are held in by epoxy or a nut. seen it happen more than a few times. we got my buddys truck home by just wiggling on the power cable so it would make contact enough to fire over.
 
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