My 1995 Rodeo won't even crank.

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My 1995 Rodeo won't even crank.

Postby Crazypunkeguy » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:28 am

We have had a problem with the rodeo for a few years before I got it from my mom. To start the truck you have to turn the key more then once maybe 5-9 times, sometimes more, sometimes less. Well I was going to to start it and let it warm up. I sat in the truck for about a half hour turning and turning before I just got sick of it. I have searched around and it seems to be kind of common. The starter is newer but has a good 50k on it. We are going to check the grounds and the neutral safety switch. I have tried the trick like trying to start it in neutral or drive then switch it to neutral and still got nothing. Is there anymore I should check?

Also my mom spilled a lot of Coffee around the shifter. I took everything apart and got the brake lock system working better. Is there anything in there I may have messed up well cleaning? It worked for 2 weeks after but now nothing. Thanks everyone in advance for information!
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Postby mmPriest » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:07 am

I had friend with a 96' Ram who had the same problem you did, didnt last that long though. Turned out the copper contacts in the starter had worn out. Yours finally may have gone caput. If push comes to shove remanufactured starters are only $45 if you factor in core cost.

Dont know if that helps,

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Postby driftwood00 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:14 am

I just went through the same thing. I cleaned the connections at the starter cleaned all battery terminals and even changed the solenoid to no avail. I'm thinking that your solenoid contacts are bad. Does it make any sounds when you turn the key? Like any click sounds, you will hear the fuel pump, just listen for the solenoid to click when you turn the key. More than likely your contacts need replaced in your solenoid. I know you can buy kits to do this yourself. I will see if I can find a link, if I do I will post it. or just look on ebay. Hope this helps and good luck, Justin
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Postby Crazypunkeguy » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:34 pm

driftwood00 wrote:I just went through the same thing. I cleaned the connections at the starter cleaned all battery terminals and even changed the solenoid to no avail. I'm thinking that your solenoid contacts are bad. Does it make any sounds when you turn the key? Like any click sounds, you will hear the fuel pump, just listen for the solenoid to click when you turn the key. More than likely your contacts need replaced in your solenoid. I know you can buy kits to do this yourself. I will see if I can find a link, if I do I will post it. or just look on ebay. Hope this helps and good luck, Justin


Thanks for the information, It clicks and the lights all come on like normal. I got it to almost fire once but accidentally stopped and it hasn't turned over since. It seems to be the colder it is the worse the problem is my mom said.
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Postby nick1990 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:56 pm

Contacts on the starter or cables going to the starter.


My chevy did that. I would have to try it about 15 times before it would hint a start but I would go to fast and have to do it 20 more times before it worked........
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Postby Ramblin Fever » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:00 pm

starter itself could just be bad. Do you get a clicking sound when you try to start it?

Alternator, weak battery can also be culprits if it's sat long enough, and or voltage system is really drained.
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Postby firstamigo » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:48 pm

Sounds like the starter finally bit the dust. From the sounds of it the winding is bad in the starter and has a dead spot, which is pretty common. When the winding's start to go bad they will normally do like you described at first in that after several tries they will work. I'd take the starter off and have it tested to verify it.
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Postby jwood1016 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:35 am

lol..in my amigo i had to turn the key 30 times sometimes...unitil i got that magical start up...it went away after i while though....WEIRDDDD
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Postby dbikers » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:23 am

this happened to me on an infiniti i owned 17 yrs ago...most autos have a switch to either start in P or N. the adjustment was out on ours, sometimes it would start in P but sometimes not. they told us to try to start it in N. we did and it started right up. the dlr towed it to their shop and adjusted / fixed it.
try to start it in N....if coffee was spilt around the shifter perhaps it made its way to the switch...
just a thought....good luck
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Postby CatFuzz » Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:50 am

This is likely the solenoid contacts inside the starter. The side contacts wear out unevenly. It starts as an occasional no-start to more frequent no-starts to finally not starting at all. O'Reilly's has a contact repair kit that will fix the problem without having to invest in a reman starter. I happen to have a Denso starter in my garage out of a Subaru that uses an identical solenoid. I'll take pics to show everyone. Apparently, this still isn't common knowledge.
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Postby CatFuzz » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:15 am

Denso starter solenoid with access plate removed:

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Plunger pulls straight out, there is a spring beneath it. Don't lose it.


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Here are the contacts. The plunger is pulled down by an electromagnet to make the connection between the positive battery cable and the starter motor itself and it also pushes out the starter drive to engage the ring gear. This happens when the small wire is energized when you turn the key to 'start'. Battery cable connection is on the left, solenoid engagement wire beneath it, start motor wire on the right.


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It's the side contacts that wear out unevenly. If you could look at this one, you'd see one side is obviously thinner than the other. This accounts for the intermittent no-start and repeatedly hitting the key eventually makes it start again. Also why a jump from another running car makes it work better since you are getting 14+ volts from the other car as opposed to less than 12 when cranking normally. The extra voltage pulls the plunger down harder helping to make contact.

Go ahead and take one apart. It will become painfully obvious how these things work when you do.
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-- Then-Sen. Barack Obama, floor speech in the Senate, March 16, 2006

If con is the opposite of pro, Congress must be the opposite of progress.

ABS and traction control are for people that don't know how to drive.

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Postby Crazypunkeguy » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:59 pm

Wow catfuzz thanks, that is probably the culprit. Well it's in the garage I think I am going to clean all the grounds possibly make a few new ones. Take apart and clean the neutral safety switch on the transmission and replace the solenoid in the starter. Then hopefully that will resolve this problem and I can get back to driving this thing. I only got 4 days of daily driving it before it gave out. Thanks everyone else for the idea's as well.
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Postby CatFuzz » Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:36 am

You don't need to replace the solenoid. Just buying a solenoid is incredibly expensive. More expensive than the whole starter. Haven't figured that one out yet. What you need is a solenoid repair kit. Come with two sets of side contact for different applications. Just match your to the ones you need in the kit and then install the new plunger with the old spring.
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"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can't pay its own bills. ... I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit."
-- Then-Sen. Barack Obama, floor speech in the Senate, March 16, 2006

If con is the opposite of pro, Congress must be the opposite of progress.

ABS and traction control are for people that don't know how to drive.

Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers. syn- socialism.
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Postby jeremy_worden » Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:54 am

well i was going to chime in with my sob story about the starter on my 95 but it looks like you got this covered... good luck :wink:
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Re: My 1995 Rodeo won't even crank.

Postby Dtermined_1 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:07 am

Mine is doing the same thing, except I had to replace my alternator b/c it was bad and my volt gauge is still under 12 volts but not all the time. Also, when I went to start it, everything turns on except the heater blower?? You guys still think it is the starter?? I hear the clicks, sometimes it will start other times it will not. I have checked all the wiring and the clutch safety switch is wired on always.
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Re: My 1995 Rodeo won't even crank.

Postby tj_in_nm » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:26 pm

Well this is timely, the starter in the wife's Chrysler is doing the same thing. Why is this Isuzu-related? She keeps taking the truck!
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