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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: SE Kansas
Posts: 3
starting problems

Okay, so here's the deal. Often, when I try to start my '74 914, the starter does nothing but click. If I repeatedly turn the key, it sometimes works. Other times, it won't budge. When that happens, I can usually get it running by rocking the car back and forth in gear. That doesn't always work, though. I have had the starter checked. It's fine. So's the solenoid, I think. I don't know about the alternator. Can somebody help my poor baby? Thanks!
Old 01-03-2003, 10:26 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Stockton, CA
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This is pretty common on VW-based engines. It usually happens when the engine is warm but can progress to a full time problem. Do you have a starter booster relay installed? I would bet over half the 914s out there have one. It's a pretty basic install of a $20-$30 part.
Old 01-03-2003, 10:39 AM
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Sounds like a bad battery. If not that it might be your ground strap needs cleaning where it attaches to the bottom of the trunk & back of tranny. This happend to me and I cleaned both ends of the ground strap. Worked fine after that. Turn signals worked better too! Does this only happen when hot?
bruce
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Old 01-03-2003, 10:42 AM
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Try a search of the archives for starter related posts and you'll find lots of items to check. Besides the ground strap as noted, check the batt, batt connections and wires. If the wires are old and stiff I'd recommend replacement with some 2GA welding leads and new connectors which you can buy at auto parts store. Have the batt tested to make sure it is up to full voltage and has no weak cells and has good electrolyte level, etc. Good luck.
Old 01-03-2003, 11:02 AM
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Another common problem with your symptoms is the ignition switch wearing out. When it does turn over, does it do so at normal speed, as if the battery is OK?

Mine occasionally just clicks, but if I click it enough times it will eventually spin the starter. I'm sure it's the ignition switch in my case.
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Old 01-03-2003, 11:03 AM
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Try smacking the solenoid with a crescent wrench or hammer. If it frees up and turns there's the problem....some have had luck with lubing the solenoid.

Also the ground strap from the trans to the frame can be dirty, loose or broken......

If that is not it...probably the switch.
Old 01-04-2003, 04:58 PM
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Don't forget to check the Tech Article on the subject. Very comprehensive and thorough.

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Old 01-07-2003, 02:48 PM
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