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Q: Car won't start

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I have been having trouble with starting the car for a while now, After getting an oil change at walmart my car wouldn't start all all. Obviously Walmart never takes responsibility, I looked at the starter and there's a mesh wire that is disconnected but still attached; not sure if this is the problem. But I bought a cheap starter for $40 to test it out when I get the time to put it in. I'm 50% sure it's not the starter because the key switch sometimes doesn't start the car for some reason(junk inside the keyswitch maybe). Battery isn't the problem either. Seems to be either be something electrical in the car's ignition switch being shorted out. Not sure where to go to to fix the problem and Mitsubishi dealers are about 80 miles away from where I live so I would have to tow it there. But I'm not going to spend money towing it to one if I don't know what the problem is. and yourmechanic doesn't offer service in my area code - 21875 MD. What do you think?

My car has 150000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Without testing, it will be very difficult ...

Without testing, it will be very difficult to determine what is wrong. That being said, there are a few things that pop into mind. The mesh wire you see may be a ground strap. It is very important that the starter, as well as other components, are properly grounded to ensure efficient and proper operation.

It is possible that by not having a good ground, the starter may not work to full capacity. Some manufacturers also use that style of cable between the starter motor itself, and the starter solenoid. If the wire originates from within the starter housing, it is most likely the power source for the starter motor.

In this case, it should be attached at the other end to the starter solenoid. You may look at the new starter to see what I mean. If the cable is attached to the engine block or the frame, it is a ground strap, and you will need to refer to a factory service manual, or suitable information source, to locate where it is supposed to be attached.

It is also entirely possible that your ignition switch is faulty. If you have a heavy keychain, that can contribute to the problem by putting unnecessary strain on internal ignition components.

The result would be intermittent starting or sometimes the dashboard will not light up when the key is turned. Wiggle the key in the starter switch and see if the vehicle starts better or worse and if the dashboard flickers. Either result would indicate that the starter switch is likely the issue. A certified technician will be able to test and diagnose the root cause of your starting problem.

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