Chrysler Neon 1995-1999 Repair Guide

Starter

Print

TESTING



Testing Preparation

Before commencing with the starting system diagnostics, verify:



The battery top posts, and terminals are clean.
 
The alternator drive belt tension and condition is correct.
 
The battery state-of-charge is correct.
 
The battery cable connections at the starter and engine block are clean and free from corrosion.
 
The wiring harness connectors and terminals are clean and free from corrosion.
 
Proper circuit grounding.
 

Starter Feed Circuit

See Figures 1 and 2


CAUTION
For 1995 vehicles, the ignition system must be disabled to prevent engine start while performing the following tests. For 1996-99 vehicles, the ignition and fuel systems must be disabled to prevent engine start while performing the tests.

  1. Connect a volt-ampere tester to the battery terminals. You can use a multimeter if it has an inductive clamp for reading high amperage.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: This test requires the use of a volt ampere tester



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Proper volt-ampere test connections

  1. For 1995 vehicles - disable the ignition system by unplugging the ignition coil electrical connector.
  2.  
  3. For 1996-99 vehicles - disable the ignition and fuel systems by disconnecting the Automatic Shutdown (ASD) relay, located in the Power Distribution Center (PDC) in the engine compartment.
  4.  
  5. Verify that all lights and accessories are Off, and the transaxle shift selector is in Park (automatic) or Neutral (manual). Set the parking brake.
  6.  
  7. Rotate and hold the ignition switch in the START position. Observe the volt-ampere tester:

    If the voltage reads above 9.6 volts, and the amperage draw reads above 8 amps, go to the starter feed circuit resistance test (following this test).
     
    If the voltage reads 12.4 volts or greater and the amperage reads 0-10 amps, refer to the starter control circuit test.
     
    If the voltage reads below 9.6 volts and the amperage draw reads above 80 amps, the trouble is within the starter.
     

  8.  


WARNING
Do not overheat the starter motor or draw the battery voltage below 9.6 volts during cranking operations.

  1. After the starting system problems have been corrected, verify the battery state of charge and charge the battery if necessary. Disconnect all of the testing equipment and connect the ignition coil cable or ignition coil connector. Start the vehicle several times to assure the problem was corrected.
  2.  

Starter Feed Circuit Resistance

See Figures 3, 4, 5 and 6

Before proceeding with this test, refer to the battery tests and starter feed circuit test. The following test will require a voltmeter, which is capable of accuracy to 0.1 volt.


CAUTION
For 1995 vehicles, the ignition system must be disabled to prevent engine start while performing the following tests. For 1996-99 vehicles, the ignition and fuel systems must be disabled to prevent engine start while performing the tests.

  1. For 1995 vehicles - disable the ignition system by unplugging the ignition coil electrical connector.
  2.  
  3. For 1996-99 vehicles - disable the ignition and fuel systems by disconnecting the Automatic Shutdown (ASD) relay, located in the Power Distribution Center (PDC) in the engine compartment.
  4.  
  5. With all wiring harnesses and components (except for the coils) properly connected, perform the following:
    1. Connect the negative (-) lead of the voltmeter to the negative battery post, and the positive (+) lead to the negative (-) battery cable clamp. Rotate and hold the ignition switch in the START position. Observe the voltmeter. If the voltage is detected, correct the poor contact between the cable clamp and post.

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Fig. 3: Testing battery connection resistance

    2.  
    3. Connect the positive (+) lead of the voltmeter to the positive battery post, and the negative (-) to the positive battery cable clamp. Rotate and hold the ignition switch key in the START position. Observe the voltmeter. If voltage is detected, correct the poor contact between the cable clamp and post.
    4.  
    5. Connect the negative lead of the voltmeter to the negative (-) battery terminal, and positive lead to the engine block near the battery cable attaching point. Rotate and hold the ignition switch in the START position. If the voltage reads above 0.2 volt, correct the poor contact at ground cable attaching point. If the voltage reading is still above 0.2 volt after correcting the poor contact, replace the negative ground cable with a new one.

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Fig. 4: Testing the ground circuit resistance

    6.  

  6.  
  7. Remove the heater shield. Refer to removal and installation procedures to gain access to the starter motor and solenoid connections. Perform the following steps:
    1. Connect the positive (+) voltmeter lead to the starter motor housing and the negative (-) lead to the negative battery terminal. Hold the ignition switch key in the START position. If the voltage reads above 0.2 volt, correct the poor starter to engine ground.

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Fig. 5: Starter motor ground test connections

    2.  
    3. Connect the positive (+) voltmeter lead to the positive battery terminal, and the negative lead to the battery cable terminal on the starter solenoid. Rotate and hold the ignition key in the START position. If the voltage reads above 0.2 volt, correct poor contact at the battery cable to the solenoid connection. If the reading is still above 0.2 volt after correcting the poor contacts, replace the positive battery cable with a new one.

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Fig. 6: Positive battery cable resistance connections

    4.  
    5. If the resistance tests did not detect feed circuit failures, refer to the starter solenoid test.
    6.  

  8.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 7, 8 and 9

This starter motor removal procedure is time consuming. An alternate method of removing the starter would be to remove the engine fan(s) and radiator, then remove the starter motor from the top of the engine. If you chose to go this route, radiator and fan removal can be found in Engine and Engine Rebuilding of this guide.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. If equipped with A/C, perform the following:
    1. Use a floor or jack stand to securely support the engine and transaxle assembly so they will not rotate.
    2.  
    3. Remove the front engine mount bolt from the insulator and front crossmember mounting bracket.

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Fig. 7: If equipped with A/C, unfasten the front engine mount-to-bracket bolt

    4.  
    5. Carefully lower the front of the engine, rotating the engine forward allowing more space for easier access to the starter.
    6.  

  6.  

For easier removal, do not remove the wiring from the starter at this time.

  1. Remove the 2 starter motor-to-transmission housing mounting bolts.
  2.  
  3. Remove the starter and solenoid assembly from the transmission housing. Position the starter accordingly for access to the wiring.
  4.  
  5. Remove the positive battery cable nut and remove the positive battery and alternator output wire from the starter. The wiring is shown in the accompanying figure.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: Location of the starter wiring connections

  1. Detach the push-on solenoid connector. Pull back on the slide and push down on the rear tab to release the lock.
  2.  
  3. Position the starter vertically so the pinion end faces downward, then remove the starter motor through the bottom of the vehicle. It may be necessary to move the A/C lines aside slightly to maneuver the starter out of the vehicle.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: Removing the starter motor from the vehicle

To install:

Clean the corrosion and dirt from the cable and wire terminals before fastening the wiring to the solenoid.

  1. Connect the positive battery and alternator output wire to the starter solenoid post.
  2.  


WARNING
It is imperative that the alternator output terminal be connected to the positive battery terminal of the starter solenoid for proper starting and charging system operation.

  1. Connect the push-on wiring until it is fully engaged.
  2.  
  3. Position the starter face into the transmission housing. Support the starter in the pilot and start the top bolt.
  4.  
  5. Attach the ground cable to the lower mounting bolt and start the bolt.
  6.  
  7. Make sure the starter is aligned properly before tightening the mounting bolts to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).
  8.  
  9. If equipped with A/C, perform the following:
    1. Using a floor jack to carefully raise the engine and transaxle assembly to its original position.
    2.  
    3. Install the front engine mount bolt through the insulator and front crossmember mounting bracket. Tighten the bolt to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).
    4.  

  10.  
  11. Carefully lower the vehicle, then connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  

RELAY REPLACEMENT



The relay is located in the Power Distribution Center (PDC) in the engine compartment. Refer to the underside of the PDC cover for starter relay location. Simply unplug the relay to replace it

 
label.common.footer.alt.autozoneLogo