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Author Topic: I'm back... and car question
Speed
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Hey all. I don't know if you knew, but I just got back from 3 weeks in Albania. I'll post pictures later, but it was pretty sweet.

Quick question, though. While I was gone my car sat unused for about 3 weeks. This morning I went out to start it up, and it refused. When I turned the key I got a loud, fast (but regular) metallic clicking sound that persisted as long as the key was turned. It sounded like someone playing a drum roll on the kitchen sink, and the engine didn't seem to make any noise at all.

I had to take a taxi to work, and now I'm trying to set an appointment with a mechanic, but I want to try to get some idea what's wrong with it before I call them so they won't think I'm some turkey who's begging to be ripped off.

Any mechanical types have an idea what might be wrong with it? Starter? Timing belt? Or something else?

Thanks in advance for any help you might have. Nice to see you all again. [Smile]

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Jim-Me
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It sounds like the starter wasn't engaging all the way, which could be starter, solenoid, or (most likely, given that it sat for so long) that your battery is weak, but not dead.

Try a jump start before calling a mechanic.

edit: and welcome back [Smile]

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Javert Hugo
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It sounds like the battery. Try a jump. If that doesn't work, clean all of the connections and try again.
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Desu
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I think we'd need more informaton. For example do you live in a hot and humid climate or a warm and dry one with lots of salty streets and slush?

What sort of car do you own, how old is it, when was the last checkup, have you previously had problems with it (and if so what were they), did you let someone else use your car? Was it parked in the sun outside for 3months?

If you answer all these questions and google for a car trouble shooting thread i'm sure either someone with good mechanical knowledge will be able to help.

Oh and did you check your oil levels / battery?

I don't mean to sound to cocky or anything, I just think the specifics are needed in this sort of thing, its like trouble shooting a PC [Big Grin]

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Desu
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Oups never mind guess it was an obvious problem, there goes the anal retentive approach.
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Speed
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Thanks, everybody. I'll try a jump start when I get home. That would be nice... I hate going to mechanics.

BTW, it's a '99 Dodge Neon, no real problems with it recently, it's about due for an oil change, but not long overdue, I checked the oil levels and they were fine (but didn't check the battery), and it was parked for about 3 weeks unused in a garage while I was gone.

Battery would be good, and if not, starter sounds better than engine. Good news either way, I guess (if you're a glass-half-full type person)

Many thanks again. I'll let you know how it turns out [Big Grin]

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BlackBlade
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3 weeks sounds like the right amount of time for the battery to be weak but not silent.

My mom's two cars that sit in her garage during non summer months have to be started at least once a month and run for 20 minutes or so, lest the batteries die and require a jump.

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Speed
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Many thanks, gurus. My wife was home when I got back from work, and she gave me a jump start, and it's working like new again. I've started it up 4 times since then and there hasn't been a problem.

I owe you one, everybody. [Hat]

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anti_maven
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Excellent news. Mechanics are fiends. Sadly I was too late to offer my top tip for sticking starter motors, but here it is anyway:

A hefty wallop with a hammer.

My mother once paid for a roadside call-out only to have the mechanic reach fro the hammer and belt the starter a right one. Fine, extact and painstaking engineering... It has served me well, as a driver of old and occasionally stubborn cars.

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Nick
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quote:
Originally posted by anti_maven:
Excellent news. Mechanics are fiends.

*tries not to take offense*
*is a mechanic*

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Farmgirl
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Maybe he meant to say "mechanics are friends", and just misspelled it!

[Smile]

FG

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