Recently had some small (I hope) problems with starting my bella.
Noticed the other day that the starter seems to "jam": just a 'hmmm' noise, and it failed to turn the starter over. Switched off and on again, and it started no trouble. It's always fired up instantly; I've never had to "wring the starter motor's neck" in the past.
Now tonight it happened twice. Seems to me that it's becoming more frequent, and if I don't take some action then one day soon I won't be able to start it at all.
Going by my bike experience, I'd tend to suspect starter solenoid, rather than starter motor itself. Does this sound plausible? Is the solenoid a separate unit, or is it built into the starter motor? And where are they situated (I'm a complete muppet with car engines)?
On my bike when this sort of problem occurs, sometimes it can be cured by cleaning up the contacts of the low tension lead to the solenoid.
On the other hand, I remember an ancient Ford of my Dad's where we used to open the bonnet and give the solenoid (which was piggy-backed onto the starter motor) a good clout with a heavy screwdriver handle! Come to think of it, I used to do the same on the old 2CV's I used to run (No sniggering at the back, there!).
Presumably starter motors, at least, can be picked up second-hand? I've got a decent guy in Bristol that serviced my car last time (following an AO recommendation
), and I can ring him next week.
Just wanted to get some background first.