Jump to content

Welcome to TheMalibuCrew!

As a guest, you are welcome to poke around and view the majority of the content that we have to offer, but in order to post, search, contact members, and get full use out of the website you will need to Register for an Account. It's free and it's easy, so don't hesitate to join the TheMalibuCrew Family today!

Sign in to follow this  
jkloor

? starter, starter relay, or other

Recommended Posts

jkloor

I sure would appreciate help from the maintenance guys/gals out there.

Boat: 2004 Malibu VLX

Was out on the water today and the boat wouldn't start.

Details:

  • I just replaced both batteries in the past month, so that shouldn't be an issue
  • Headed out today, boat started fine, took a run, then the boat was stopped to pick me up.
  • When tried to restart, would hardly turn over, then heard the "clicking" sound I've associated with starter issues in the past.

That's basically it. Tried multiple times to restart but barely to no engine turning, just clicking.

A friend suggested it might be the starter relay, instead of the starter, a much easier fix.

Wondering what to do now. Go buy a starter relay and try that first? I've not done this before so I don't know where the starter relay is, how/where to buy another one, etc. Appreciate your help.

And if it's the starter, I think I'd have a professional put it in. I'm pretty handy fixing things, but feel this might beyond my skills, especially without an experience person to talk me/show me through it.

Thanks in advance.

JK

Share this post


Link to post
MadMan

When tried to restart, would hardly turn over, then heard the "clicking" sound I've associated with starter issues in the past.

This is the classic dead battery or poor connection on the battery/starter description.

Share this post


Link to post
skyskier

Since your batteries were replaced (messed with) I suspect a loose connection. Check all connections from the battery all the way back to the starter. Btw, if the starter does anything at all it is not the starter relay (solenoid)

Share this post


Link to post
kerpluxal

I sure would appreciate help from the maintenance guys/gals out there.

Boat: 2004 Malibu VLX

Was out on the water today and the boat wouldn't start.

Details:

  • I just replaced both batteries in the past month, so that shouldn't be an issue
  • Headed out today, boat started fine, took a run, then the boat was stopped to pick me up.
  • When tried to restart, would hardly turn over, then heard the "clicking" sound I've associated with starter issues in the past.

That's basically it. Tried multiple times to restart but barely to no engine turning, just clicking.

A friend suggested it might be the starter relay, instead of the starter, a much easier fix.

Wondering what to do now. Go buy a starter relay and try that first? I've not done this before so I don't know where the starter relay is, how/where to buy another one, etc. Appreciate your help.

And if it's the starter, I think I'd have a professional put it in. I'm pretty handy fixing things, but feel this might beyond my skills, especially without an experience person to talk me/show me through it.

Thanks in advance.

JK

Is the alternator charging the battery? If the alternator is not working, the battery will discharge to keep engine running and eventually the battery will drain. If the boat starts after a charge or new battery, I would suspect the alternator.. While boat is running, put a multi meter on the battery and check voltage... anything under 13.0 volts and you have a charging issue

Edited by kerpluxal

Share this post


Link to post
wdr

Got to concur with a loose connection. If everything was good before the batteries were replaced I would start there first as battery terminals are fickle things IME.

Share this post


Link to post
h2oratJR

Call Vince @ Ski Dim he is a great trouble shoot guy .

Share this post


Link to post
grandude

How old is the starter. Loose connections ARE a possibility but if you still have the original starter on the boat I would probably say it's done it's job and after checking the connections and proving they are good, consider replacing the starter. The symptom of cranking while cold and having issues while hot is a classic bad starter scenario.

Share this post


Link to post
mikeo

Take a set of jumper cables from a battery and go directly to the starter & solenoid (+) and engine block (-); make sure you can easily pull the + cable off the starter. Turn the key to run, and try to "hot wire" the starter. If it starts then it's a loose connection, if it clicks then it might be a battery issue.

An extreme case could be vapor lock/water in a cylinder. If it just clicks or sounds like it can't turn the engine over pull the spark plugs and try cranking it over. If the engine spins freely with the plugs removed (and one of the plug holes spits out a bunch of water) you've got a cracked head. Cross your fingers it's not a cracked head.

Share this post


Link to post
kerpluxal

How old is the starter. Loose connections ARE a possibility but if you still have the original starter on the boat I would probably say it's done it's job and after checking the connections and proving they are good, consider replacing the starter. The symptom of cranking while cold and having issues while hot is a classic bad starter scenario.

You can easily pull the starter and take to your local autoparts store and have it tested also....

Share this post


Link to post
Woodski

@jkloor: were the previous batteries showing any similar symptoms, and if not, what was the reason to replace them? If your bilge stays dry, I would not think the starter to be the main culprit, I would retrace your steps on the battery swap as that seems to align with the starting issue (connections/items messed with/etc.). You might also investigate the potential of getting a bad battery since the problem appears to have surfaced with them.

Edited by Woodski

Share this post


Link to post
malibu2004

Did you charge the batteries before you put them? You should always charge them before you install them.

It sounds like a loose connection or batteries to me.

Another thing you can try is taping on the starter and solenoid with a rubber mallet when it doesn't start and see if that helps.

Edited by malibu2004

Share this post


Link to post
jkloor

Thanks for the suggestions. I think it's the alternator.

Recent past: Both batteries were about 7 yrs old, Insterstates, from Costco. Got the boat out in December, and it started fine after not having been used for 7 months. But on the water, the dash display flashed BATT, along with numbers like 10.2, 11.0, and with a constant warning beep. Being the Louisiana dumbass I am, I should have realized at that time it could be the alternator. But b/c the batteries were old, I had expected they'd need replacing, so tried to do that first. Only changed out one in December. Boat ran fine for the 3 or 4 times we used it. Got back to Florida last week, boat started fine, but again display flashed BATT, with the low numbers. So I replaced the 2nd battery yesterday. Boat started fine, but as posted before, at the end of my run, in the middle of the lake, wouldn't restart.

Today: Using jumpers, connected from newest battery to starter, turned key on, boat started. But, the dash continues to flash BATT, with reading of 10.2.

So it is the alternator, yes? Which doesn't look too difficult to replace, just a couple of bolts.

I was wondering why the battery had enough juice to start the engine today when jumped directed to the starter, versus not being able to start it through the ignition.

Oh well, will order an alternator now.

Thanks for the help all. The Malibu is 12 years old, with 556 hours, and has run perfectly through the years. But I know it's time for things to start going wrong.

JK

Share this post


Link to post
shawndoggy

I would check output at the alternator before replacing. It could also be bad wiring or corroded connections.

Share this post


Link to post
malibu2004

You can start the boat and put a multimeter on the alternater to make sure you have an alternator issue. Or you can take it off and have a shop test it. I think it should around 14.5 volts when it's running. You can also put the multimeter at the batteries when running to see if you have 14.5 volts at the posts.

Share this post


Link to post
jkloor

I would check output at the alternator before replacing. It could also be bad wiring or corroded connections.

You can start the boat and put a multimeter on the alternater to make sure you have an alternator issue. Or you can take it off and have a shop test it. I think it should around 14.5 volts when it's running. You can also put the multimeter at the batteries when running to see if you have 14.5 volts at the posts.

i'll try this in a couple of days when the weather gets better.

Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
kerpluxal

lol i said alternator at beginning... you can take the alternator in to have tested at most auto parts stores to make sure

Share this post


Link to post
kerpluxal

I sure would appreciate help from the maintenance guys/gals out there.

Boat: 2004 Malibu VLX

Was out on the water today and the boat wouldn't start.

Details:

  • I just replaced both batteries in the past month, so that shouldn't be an issue
  • Headed out today, boat started fine, took a run, then the boat was stopped to pick me up.
  • When tried to restart, would hardly turn over, then heard the "clicking" sound I've associated with starter issues in the past.

That's basically it. Tried multiple times to restart but barely to no engine turning, just clicking.

A friend suggested it might be the starter relay, instead of the starter, a much easier fix.

Wondering what to do now. Go buy a starter relay and try that first? I've not done this before so I don't know where the starter relay is, how/where to buy another one, etc. Appreciate your help.

And if it's the starter, I think I'd have a professional put it in. I'm pretty handy fixing things, but feel this might beyond my skills, especially without an experience person to talk me/show me through it.

Thanks in advance.

JK

I took my boat and fakealake to NAPA and they tested the whole system for me without pulling parts out to be tested.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...