I'm pretty sure it's the starter that is causing the problem. When I try to start my engine, I hear the starter spinning but the engine doesn't crank. This doesn't happen all the time, I would say it's 50/50. I turn the key and definitely hear a loud spinning, then a loud thunk. When the loud thumping/thunking sound occurs whatever is happening is strong enough to shake my car a little. If this happens more than 3 times in a row I can see smoke rise out from the driver side of the engine bay, which is very scary to see. I also think my starter is pulling a large amp draw because when i attempt to start the car with the lights on they dim dramatically, this never occured before.
I'm pretty sure it's not my battery as its fairly new and i have a batcap that provides cranking amps. When i test the battery alone with a voltmeter it reads a steady 12.82 The batcap reads 12.87 when tested with the voltmeter. When wired in parallel and tested it reads 12.85. If i turn the key to the on position and turn the headlights on I still get very strong illumination.
Is it the starter? any suggestions? Should i just replace it or rebuild? How difficult of a DIY is it? I'm always up for the challenge, time is the only real issue. Thanks in advance
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