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Starting Problem

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I've looked at all the other threads first, but am having a small problem diagnosing an intermittent starting problem on my '94 300Tdi 110 CSW. Any advice would be a real help.

Last few weeks the starter has been rather slow. Not every time though. Mostly when parked at work, but this weekend has become apparent when at home.

Here's what I've thought of and mostly eliminated:

Parked at work, was left in reverse, parked downhill. Thought strain on starter caused by slight movement when parked. Nope.

At work, thought possible short / earth through reverse switch when in gear. Left on flat ground and in neutral but still does it.

TRIED to clean earth strap on starter. How the bluddy hell can I get to it? Can't even see it!! Squirted WD40 everywhere. Twice. Am I missing something here. How do I get to the strap?

Been using Fan Speed 2 lots lately. Maybe pulling high load on battery? Sounds desperate, but can't think of anything else which is consistent.

Battery terminals fine.

Original (I think) Unipart battery. Topped up electrolyte.

So, I'm down to earth strap and / or possible new battery.

So far, never failed to start. But she's worrying me now.

Any advice? :blink:

Once started, which has never taken much more than a twist of the key, she's fine.

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I take it you mean cranking speed is slow...

1. Check battery voltage with engine running and headlights on, should be at least 14v, if not alternator not charging properly.

2. Check battery volts after engine has been off for 30 mins. Should be at least 12.6v. If not battery is duff.

3. Do 2 with headlights on, still should be at least 12v, if not duff.

4. Connect jump lead between engine block and battery negative. Start engine, if no different from before, then earth lead is ok, if better than before earth lead is duff. Run new lead from battery to gearbox bell housing bolt.

5. If 4 is yes to part a, then feed to starter motor is duff or the motor itself. Run jump lead from battery postive to big terminal on starter solenoid. If no difference in starting, starter is duff. If better, postive feed leed is duff.

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