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Vitesse starter problem

john snape

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I recently acquired a Vitesse 2.0 saloon. She has been unused (garaged) for three years. A new battery has been fitted. Today she started fine but after sitting for 2 hours when attempting to start again there was a whirring sound but the engine didn't turn. The starter then worked again but I got out to close the bonnet before she was warm and the engine died. Now there is just a clicking noise on turning the ignition. With the aid of my sons we bump started the car and there were no problems running. However even with the engine running, turning the ignition key produces the same clicking noise. I assume the starter motor is jammed. is this the most likely cause?

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Could be a number of reasons.
Jammed starter.
jammed starter Bendix gear.
Failed starter solenoid.
Corroded engine block earth.
A multimeter will help you determine which of the electrical faults is present.   Test for voltage at the starter motor when you energise the solenoid, or just the terminal on the solenoid that leas to the starter.  Full battery volts?  The starter isn't responding.  No or reduced volts - solenoid problem.  NB! if the starter does turn the volts at that point WILL be less than battery.
Also, resistance, block to battery earth;  should be very little if any.  A good multimeter with a continuity test position will bleep for you to say that there is a good circuit.

If the starter isn't responding, remove and inspect the Bendix drive (QV)  it may be dirty and greasy - clean it in petrol or brake cleaner, drive and relubricate with graphite powder.  NEVER use grease or oil that attracts dirt.

Good luck!   And think about formally recommissioning your Vitesse.  Storage can cause deterioration of all rubber parts, and a full brake fluid change is needed.


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In my experience on a few of my own cars and others it's only been one of two things)

1) Bad HT connection. Both to the starter and the earth straps. Remove and clean them well, refit with a very fine smear of copper grease. Remember, copper grease is conductive, so don't just slather it everywhere!

2) Jammed solenoid, depending if it's on the starter itself or if it's a separate one will dictate your fixing method.

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