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Yamaha SRV250 - intermittent starting problem

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by More Revs, May 25, 2007.

  1. Hi all.

    I joined the forum last year, and have lurked a little, but the day has come where I can't find an existing answer to a query.

    I have a 94 Yamaha SRV250, and it has developed a more-often-than-not intermittent starting issue. Most of the time I turn the key on, and hit the start button, and all I get is a nice loud 'click' from under the seat.

    Just to clarify - this is in neutral, with side-stand and centre-stand up, and the kill-switch set to 'Run'. I'll give as much back-story as I can, because it's driving me bonkers, and isn't too crash hot if I stop on the side of the freeway and have to push-start the bleepin' thing!

    Occasionally, it will crank and start just fine, but this doesn't guarantee that if I stop it immediately, it will restart. If I test it with a quick half-second crank at any time, and it cranks, it is 99% certain that it will crank the next time I try (even if that's 4 days later). If it fails this test, it's 100% certain it won't crank the next time I try. By the way - push-starting works every time, and there is no issue at all once it's going.

    The headlight is always on and bright with ignition, and doesn't dim when it just clicks, but does when it cranks.

    I took it to one of the local motorbike shops in Pakenham at in February, and they assured me it was the voltage regulator. I'm a student, so started saving. 2 weeks ago, and $195 later, I purchase said voltage regulator. It was installed on a Sunday, and I had 30 hours of pure starting pleasure - I was pushing again Tuesday afternoon.

    I left it with the bike shop that friday (of course it started all day for them :evil: ), and got told that everything is fine, and all the output voltages are correct, etc etc.

    They recommended "IF" it happened again to pop it in first gear, rock it back-and-forth, and try again. I have, and it didn't change anything. Since it sounded like it was just locking and skidding the back wheel, I have also tried it in second, but no joy. It's honestly more effort to rock it that just push it and jump on.

    Vanessa (yes, Vanessa) is my only real mode of transport (by choice), and I do a minimum of 500km per week. Can anyone please suggest anything to try that won't leave me with another superfluous $200 part?

    I apologise profusely for the length of the post, but I didn't want the first 5 replies to be requests for info I'd left out.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. Sounds as though all the common avenues have been explored.

    Could it be something as simple as poor contacts on the battery terminals? Try filing them to expose fresh bare metal and tightening them properly.

    Poor contacts in the starter switch maybe? Try spraying it thoroughly with wd40 or similar.
  3. +1 on the starter switch, also keep your old voltage regulator (that is, if you still have it), also check/clean the wires to the start motor. The starter motor itself could be buggered.
  4. Hey thanks a lot for the quick replies Cammo & Ezyryder. I'll be having a look at those this afternoon.

    If anyone else has any more brainwaves, please reply - I'll post immediately if something changes.

    Thanks again,

  5. Well THIS is interesting...

    A development - my dad and I went to Sorrento via Arthur's Seat yesterday. Beautiful day, fantastic ride too! Nessy had a nice dummy-spit when we stopped at Mornington for a couple of photos. Took a helluva lot of pushing, and she STILL wouldn't catch.

    Exasperated, I sat up, knocked it in first and rocked it back-and-forth a couple of times. Back into neutral, started first flick of the switch.

    Now what does THAT mean? I have a vague knowledge of car mechanics (working as counter biatch in a half trade-sales / half-workshop and in auto retail for a few years), but my knowledge of motorbike-specific bits is non-existent.

    Is it possible the starter / ring gear has a couple of ratty teeth on it, and if the starter doesn't encounter resistance immediately, it just won't crank? I'm wondering aloud - please feel free to teach me a lesson that would help me understand where this leaves me.

    Cheers all
  6. Yep, possibly a tooth or two missing on the starter, worn bushes even. Bring it to the Mornington coffee night next Fri, I love those SRVs - gems of bikes (when they start and run) :)
  7. Next friday's out - am going to the GOR with a couple of mates friday morning till sunday arvo. We're making our own unofficial long weekend :grin: :grin:

    Have been meaning to get my bum into gear and go to a coffee night sometime soon - that's as personalised (motorcyclised?) as invitations come :)

    I'll see you around sometime soon.

  8. Look at starter armature, or brushes if the wiring is in order.
  9. Thanks for the reply Tweet... please forgive my green-i-ness when I say "...armature?"

    I'm sorry mate - I hate dumbing things down for my mates with computer problems. Guess the boot's on the other foot now...

    If you can find it in your heart to explain it a little to me, I'd be sure to make you a coffee when I next go to the kitchen...

    Collection of coffee is entirely your responsibility

  10. The armature is a shaft inside the starter motor that has windings of copper of sorts on it, if this has dead spots on it, then the starter will not turn when it is in a dead zone, now when you push the starter button a few times, it may supply enough current to the armature to shoot the bendix cog (the gear that shoots out into a ring gear with teeth to turn the motor) out ans start turning the motor over.

    To check it you will have to remove the starter and get it checked by an auto electrician on a special magnetic armature tester, takes 20 seconds once starter is disassembled.
  11. wot the others said, and also my own brainwave-

    teeth missing on the ring gear will make a sound, like the sound of an electric motor spinning freely. however, a partially missing tooth will sound sorta like putting a knife in to the blades of a running fan.

    the click you hear is the solenoid throwing out the starter gear, which bridges the gap between your electronic strarter motor and the ring gear that cranks over your engine. think of it as an arm with a hand, and once "thrown out" the hand turns on a tap (your motor) and once the tap is on (motor running) the arm pulls back to resting position.
    is the solenoid throwing it out far enough to engage the ring gear?
    this can be caused by lack of current (poor connections), dead battery (though wouldnt present as intermittent as you describe), shonky relay, or buggered solenoid.
    take it to your nearest auto-sparkie, he will surely find the problem within a short time.