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Disco 300TDi - 1995 - starter/ing problems


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I have a 1995 300 TDi Disco that has started perfectly until Saturday. When the ignition key is turned the starter solenoid sounds like a machine gun (rat tat tat tat noise) but the starter motor gear did not engage. The Disco can be tow started or hill started in about 3 yards so I assumed problem was defunct solenoid and have fitted new starter motor/solenoid but still get the same machine gun sound.

Battery has been charged overnight, earth cable taken off and chassis connection cleaned before refitting but still only had same multiple clicking noises as solenoid activated but starter did not engage.

BUT original battery is knacked (charged overnight and put back in Disco - put lights, heated rear window and blower on then tried to start - voltage dropped to about 5.5 from 11 on the newly acquired multi meter (should have bought one years ago!!)

SO - removed battery and connected fully charged 85amphr battery to terminals via jump leads. Used ignition to start - solenoid activates and crank turned over (ie starter spindle has engaged on flywheel) but then single bleep from alarm system andback to solenoid clicking but no starting.

Bench tested original starter - this is OK (gear activates) so have replaced in Disco (hope to return new starter and Xchange for new HD battery!!) - again original starter will turn the crank but not start the engine before single alarm bleep and then multiple solenoid clicks when ignition key held in start position

Help - any more ideas since still refuse to be beaten.


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The clicking is usually a flat battery or poor connection. Unless the jump leads are of exceptional quality, they won't make sufficient contact to allow the heavy current drain required by the starter motor. I suggest you connect the battery correctly, and make sure all relevant connections are clean and tight.


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Welcome to the forum,

Have you tried putting an earth from one of the starter motor bolts to the battery negative. (Use a heavy duty bit of cable). If this fixes the problem you need to find and check/repair/replace/clean the earth from the engine to the chassis (I am not sure where it is).



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Thanks Les and Pete

Just installed a new battery and engine started first time.

Moral - look for easiest option first but at least all the earth straps are clean now and the Disco's had another squirt of Waxoyl. I am also the proud owner of a new multimeter (should have bought one 20 years ago) so does anyone want to make me an offer for a piece of high tech electrical testing equipment - 12V bulb, wire and crocodile clip!!!! :)

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