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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Car was running perfectly fine!
Do my daily 35 miles to, and back home-work traffic.
After my shift, I want to start my car, but all I heard was a 'click'.
Tried it again, same thing.
Opened the hood, tried it again, same thing. Just 'click'..
Electronics are all fine, no fuse blown; no error codes.
The lights don't even dim when the starter tried.
I tried like 5 times.
Was about to give up, slam the hood, since I was stranded, and facing the 'now what?' question.
Tried it one more time,
Starter functioned just fine.
After my ride home, I try another 3 times, all went fine.

What happened?
Is the cruze known for starter issues?

2011 1.4t Eco 6spd manual, with only 60k miles on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did not, but I did change the battery twice already.
The current battery is a high capacity battery (fills almost the entire compartment), and keeps the voltage much better.
 

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Did it start after slamming the hood? If yes, my guess would be starter solenoid is on its way out and you should replace the starter sooner rather than later (whacking/jarring the starter will eventually stop working).
 

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Negative battery cable issues or ground connection issues aren't uncommon with Cruzes either.
 

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Did it start after slamming the hood? If yes, my guess would be starter solenoid is on its way out and you should replace the starter sooner rather than later (whacking/jarring the starter will eventually stop working).
I concur. The symptoms say worn out starter to me. But I just cannot remember any Cruze requiring a new starter.
 

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The lights don't even dim when the starter tried.
Sound like starter on the way out to me. That's a pretty common GM starter stunt. The starter solenoid also doubles as the starter relay. As the contacts go bad, it take more attempts to get things going. Or, it could be something is keeping the starter from fully engaging.

Yes, negative battery cable is common on the Cruze, but if that failed, I'd expect all the light to noticeably dim and perhaps the starter would "chatter".
 

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A starter requires a massive amount of current while the lights and many accessories have a much smaller current draw. If the ground cable was degraded you might have enough conductivity to have a strong voltage reading but it can't carry enough current to engage the starter. It could very well be a starter on the way out too, but with some common cabling problems that might be a good, inexpensive first thing to check before the cost and labor of a starter.
 

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Since you indicate the lights did not dim during attempted engagement, I'm leaning towards the starter itself.
The 'click' is the solenoid engaging and it does not require much current for that function. When it engages, it pulls a copper disc against the terminal that the main battery cable is attached to as well as placing the drive gear in mesh with the ring gear.
This contact, feeds the motor itself at the same time and that is the high power draw.

Your description sounds as though that final motor contact is not taking place. Check the main feed cable connection at the starter by pulling on the cable to verify it is tight......do not mess with the terminal bolt unless the negative cable is disconnected or sparks will fly.

Since the solenoid is not serviceable, a entire starter assembly is required if the cable connection is in good order.

IF.....it was the battery, the battery connections, or a high resistance you would have seen the lights go off the moment you hear the click....then, recover when the key is released.
This occurs when the high draw starter motor engages and saps all the available current......the lights go out.......upon key release, the lights recover since current is restored and all the lights only need less than 20 amps to operate. The starter will generally create a 180 amp surge.

Anyways, my thoughts are a disruption occurs at or in (stuck armature brush) the starter itself.......might happen again tomorrow, might work fine for years.......this is why my hair turned grey......intermittent gremlins.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I used to have a Chrysler PT Cruiser before, with a bad starter.It would still start the car, but barely.I would imagine the starter had 3 phases, and one went dead.When I started, the lights would dim very much.Not so with the Cruze.If it was a bad battery terminal, I would suspect the lights and dash to work intermittently as well, but it worked just fine.Electronic gremlins?
 
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