UPDATE: Well, picked up my car from the garage this afternoon. I was right, the alternator was fine. The battery, though was actually also fine, it was the starter itself that was the culprit. Total cost? $429 CAD.....yay. That seems a bit high to me considering the starter only is held in by 2 bolts. It’s down at the back of the engine, but the only things you have to remove to get to it are the airbox assembly (and ECU mount, technically which is part of the airbox assembly) and the end points of the shift linkage for my car’s 5-speed manual....i.e. (according to my copy of the Service Manual):
To remove the air cleaner assembly:
I’m no mechanic, and I didn’t try it myself so I guess I really shouldn’t comment (no time to try with 4 jobs), but I don’t know...$429 CAD just seems a bit high to me. The starter was $149 of that. A lot more money then I figured it was going to cost (I was thinking high $200s, like $290) At any rate, at least I have my car back!
The new starter sounds a lot different than the old one, which will take awhile to get used to!
So, my car HAS been starting lately, but rather than a reliable sounding “RRR RRR RRR RRR START”, it’s been more like “RRR.........RRR RRR RRR RRR START” for a month and a half or so now (if that makes sense).
I have the Torque app on my phone and an OBDII bluetooth dongle, so plugged that in to see what the charging voltage says and it shows as 14.2+ volts while normal driving and 13.7-14 volts while driving under load (with everything turned on....fog lights, rear defrost, heater fan on full, etc, etc). SO, I think the alternator is fine.
Sounds like a battery issue. I don’t have my multimeter because my old one died in the great basement flood of last October and my new-from-Christmas multimeter is packed away in one of a zillion unknown boxes from the basement being emptied out for repair work to start (which started 2 days ago by the way!)
Now, since yesterday...the key does nothing to start the car at all. All I hear is either a click or nothing when I turn it to ‘Start’. I went out and said screw it, the battery is the most likely and cheapest culprit, so bump-started my car and went to town for some work I had to do and, while there bought a new battery and put that in......car is still doing the same thing. No start, even with new battery, and either clicks or does nothing on key turn to ‘Start’. Does this definitely sound like a dead starter to you folks?
Also, I had to bumpstart (as gently as I could) my car like 7-8 times today while I was out and about so I could get everything done I had to do and get home....have I been doing any big damage to it?