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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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starter problem

Hi gang - sorry long time no visit. That's because the wagon has been running BEAUTIFULLY after my opti and related seals overhaul. HOWEVER, at 333,000 miles, I have oil leaks which I am tracking down - here's my question: would hot oil on the starter cause the starter to not want to crank? I've noticed recently that after a long or hard drive, the starter needs "coaxing" to turn the engine over. Once everything's cooled down, it's fine. I've gone over all the electrical connections, but one of my oil leaks is running down onto the starter, so I think when the engine is hot, and hot oil is on the starter, then it's not happy. I have read a very good post on the forum about where that oil might be coming from, and now that the snow is almost gone (I live in eastern Oregon and have no indoor work space) I'm going to investigate. I've been watching my oil leaks for awhile now, and this is the year to address them!


The starter is only a couple of years old, and is one of those gear reduction types. I bought it from O'Reilly's but can't remember if it's a "new" or rebuild. I also tried to follow a link to replacing the intake manifold gasket, but the link was too old (2007 I think), so any newer info (current links) would be greatly appreciated. I've got a 95 Caprice wagon.



V
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VManganese View Post
Hi gang - sorry long time no visit. That's because the wagon has been running BEAUTIFULLY after my opti and related seals overhaul.
HOWEVER, at 333,000 miles, I have oil leaks which I am tracking down.
Here's my question: would hot oil on the starter cause the starter to not want to crank? I've noticed recently that after a long or hard drive, the starter needs "coaxing" to turn the engine over.
Once everything's cooled down, it's fine.
I've gone over all the electrical connections, but one of my oil leaks is running down onto the starter, so I think when the engine is hot, and hot oil is on the starter, then it's not happy.
I have read a very good post on the forum about where that oil might be coming from, and now that the snow is almost gone (I live in eastern Oregon and have no indoor work space) I'm going to investigate.
I've been watching my oil leaks for awhile now, and this is the year to address them!

The starter is only a couple of years old, and is one of those gear reduction types. I bought it from O'Reilly's but can't remember if it's a "new" or rebuild.
I also tried to follow a link to replacing the intake manifold gasket, but the link was too old (2007 I think), so any newer info (current links) would be greatly appreciated. I've got a 95 Caprice wagon.

V
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Any starter should be able to operate normally even when its engine has been heatsoaking for a while or is close to overheating.
Starters that are too close to headers typically get protection via some form of heatshield for fear that they'll succumb.
Blablablah, point is, hot motor oil on the starter seems well beyond its operating envelope. Till you find that oil leak, maybe protecting it from oil landing on it would help.

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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 12:12 PM
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Before checking out starter damage have the battery tested in the car when the car is hot.


Quote:
I've gone over all the electrical connections
This would mean cleaning the battery terminals, battery clamps, ground connection to the engine, and the ring terminal at the starter.


The next check would be to the battery cable to the starter. When hot very carefully connect a voltmeter lead to battery + and the other to the starter + stud. When the starter is cranking there should be only a small voltage loss in the cable. Less than 1 volt? Voltage lost in the starter cable reduces what the starter can use. Battery cables can corrode over time and cause starter problems. Ohm measurements will not show the problem.

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 12:23 PM
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If the oil were the problem, why would it start normally after it cools down?

I had so-called no-start-when-hot starter problem with my other Cadillac. It is a known problem and caused with thermal deformation of armature.

You drive for a while, turn the engine off to buy a pack of cigarettes, come back in a few minutes and ... no crank! You wait for some 15-30 minutes (depends on how hot the engine was and on outside temperature) and it starts. They say spraying water on starter or whacking it slightly with hammer helps, but I never tried that. You could try.

There’s nothing as permanent as a temporary solution.

1995 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham 122,XXX miles.

Last edited by HUF; 03-21-2019 at 12:25 PM.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 12:24 PM
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Voltage drop seems to be 0.2V to 0.5V. Preform the same test on the negative cable from the battery to the block. You can google voltage drop test for more information. Bottom line is large cable problems show up when hot and large current is run through them. Ohm meter tests do not use enough current to show the problem.

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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your info. I did not know that large cable problems show up when the cable is hot. I carefully went through all my electrical connections as soon as I started having this problem, but suspect the positive cable has internal corrosion. I will check the voltage drop.



Huf - my theory was thermal warping of the armature, (caused by hot engine oil heating up the starter) also. But thought I might just be crazy. I drive this car between Pendleton and Portland, Oregon, and it's really disconcerting to stop for a pee and not be able to start the car again. This JUST started, and seems to coincide with an increase in oil leakage. Is there a current thread about R&Ring the manifold gasket? If that indeed is where the leak is coming from. I tell you, if it weren't for this forum I would never have been able to keep this car running.



Marky - yes, I am familiar with heat shields on starters - my husband has an Alfa 164 where the starter is mounted between the transverse engine and the firewall, right below the exhaust manifold! The heat shield is one of the things that makes dealing with that starter so difficult. Change it out when you do the clutch, they told me. So I did. Anyway.


Am now trying to decide between doing taxes and working on the car in a muddy driveway.


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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
I did not know that large cable problems show up when the cable is hot.
Good cables have more resistance when heated. Resistance ratings are at 20degC and will increase a small amount with heat. Engine compartments get much hotter, hence most engine wire insulation is rated for 105 to 125degC so the insulation(cover) does not melt off the wire. Corroded cables reacts worse to heat.



Quote:
suspect the positive cable has internal corrosion.
The cable(s) may test bad when cold. If they do they will be worse hot.


Cold winter temperatures can mask problems like this. Spring temperatures may be your problem more than the oil problem. Please consider the battery as well.

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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z09B4U View Post
Good cables have more resistance when heated. Resistance ratings are at 20degC and will increase a small amount with heat. Engine compartments get much hotter, hence most engine wire insulation is rated for 105 to 125degC so the insulation(cover) does not melt off the wire. Corroded cables reacts worse to heat.



The cable(s) may test bad when cold. If they do they will be worse hot.


Cold winter temperatures can mask problems like this. Spring temperatures may be your problem more than the oil problem. Please consider the battery as well.
All good points, but because starters on these cars are so easily serviceable, next time it happens, a quick "whack test' could confirm (if positive) that the starter needs replacement.

There’s nothing as permanent as a temporary solution.

1995 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham 122,XXX miles.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 09:19 PM
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We don't know how much oil is landing on your starter....at some point if the starter gets pissed on by any fluid it likely can effect its operation

I suspect the starter is fading, assuming your battery isn't, and/or the battery cables are done. at 330k mi they would be long done if originals. Even if they have been changed at some point if they are auto part store type....replace with IW ones

IDK what "gear reduction" starter you got but many of us got the Denso (new) "Corvette" one at Autozone if you wind up needing a new one.

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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 05:41 PM
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One more vote for the Innovative Wiring LT1 cables--it's nice to order, hold, and install such a high-quality product.

Hey, everyone, remember how we used to crank cars before fuel injection? If you kept your carb/choke/ignition perfectly adjusted, a pump of the gas pedal would bring a very quick start, but it's nothing like electronic ignition and fuel injection and ECM w/ sensors. Now it's like one second to start. Heck, my Fleetwood starts faster than my gf's Mercedes, which is almost as old.
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