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'Battery checks out fine.'

Means nothing if it was not loadtested to the proper CCA and please tell us specifically so. Many simply throw a volt meter on the battery and see 12 volts and say it is fine, it is NOT. Don't care how old battery is, I used to sell them and many new are bad, they commonly sit for a year before being sold.

Why a simple reply back like that can cost you hundreds if not more. A battery at 12 volts is DEAD and can easily cause trouble.

'...a guy tested his starter by jumping the starter relay in the fuse box.'

Incompetent conclusion, that tested the IPDM relay and nothing else. The more you make the current path direct the better a marginal part will seem to be.

Starters with integrated main solenoid/relays on them typically eat small portions of the solenoid contact pad as they work, like spark plugs eat the tips off over time. At some point the contacts become too eroded to carry enough amp to pull the starter shut to power it up and then the problems start and you can fool yourself all over the map at that time by bypassing this or that and you think it is all of it when you have to weed out each part separately. The entire power path must be low resistance as well, there are actually two of them, one to activate the starter and the actual main power through it to turn the motor. Either one can be defective.

After battery is checked you check starter amp draw itself, if too high the starter will be reluctant to crank up and going even with perfect power to it. Anything 200 amp and higher is too much, the norm being around 100-150 amp.

If you haven't devoted some time to cleaning battery connections by now you should have, the car would already likely be fixed. They MUST be physically taken apart to do it, simply cleaning the outsides is a waste of time.
 

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Battery connections are good. I broke out my voltmeter and checked the voltage at the starter and solenoid. Both looked okay. Finally took a hammer and tapped the side of the starter a few times. Started up. Started this morning too.

Is it time to order new starter now? ;)
 

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Battery connections are good. I broke out my voltmeter and checked the voltage at the starter and solenoid. Both looked okay. Finally took a hammer and tapped the side of the starter a few times. Started up. Started this morning too.

Is it time to order new starter now? ;)
I would say so. Thats why I have a short piece of 2X4 in my trunk. Not for my vehicle, but just in case somebody runs into the same problem you have.
 

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And what most of the rest of the planet does. If the starter has a solenoid on it change that alone, but expect to go through fits getting one, they commonly expect you to buy the entire starter. I just do the solenoid only and have not bought an entire starter in 40 years and a long stream of cars. But then I at some point rebuild the starter when it is off the car for something else. Typically just fresh grease on parts and cleaning up the electrical can often be worth another 15 years with no part bought at all other than solenoid if needed.

The hammer tap working commonly means the grease has dried up to let the solenoid linkage hang somewhat, then sometimes it does not connect properly to spin the starter up, or the contact points inside it have eroded to not pass full power.

With the ridiculous amounts starters go for now it's nice to get essentially a new one for nothing for the price of a solenoid only.

Others can do what they will of course.
 

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That likely may be an utterly crap Chinese starter that is not fully rebuilt even though they claim it is. Those are reworked to simply work again and for who knows how long. You've already got one that good on the car, probably better. People throw away better parts to use crap ones because they are 'new' all day long. I used to sell them.

Be my guest............$64 at Rock Auto but you have shipping too. TYC part which although Chinese says all new armature and solenoid plus other parts. Lifetime warranty. For crap I personally have had pretty good luck with TYC parts but then I mod a few of them to last longer like the rad fan assemblies.

I'm eating crow on this one, the solenoid alone is twice what a starter complete goes for, oh well. Can't be right all the time..............it's all about the numbers. Probably have to go directly to the rebuilder suppliers like I used to to get it cheaper. Many have dried up though like alternator parts. I used to get them for pennies until all the sources dried up to make you buy complete units. Thinking the rebuilders are making them sign no compete contracts.
 

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I appreciate your comments. We'll see how it goes. At least the starter on the Versa is very accessible, so swapping it out shouldn't be too bad.

I'll post again after the new starter goes in.
 

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Yup, it was the starter. Took 45 minutes to swap it out. Pretty easy location in the Versa. Such a nice feeling when it starts right up. Thanks for everyone's help.
 
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