Car won't start, only clicks rapidly. Some smoke and burning smell on 2000 Mazda Protege

2000 Mazda Protégé ES. Car sat for 2 months but was running fine previously. Just clicking when trying to start. Had battery checked it is OK. Also tried another battery with the same results. When trying to start there is some burning smell and smoke. I suspect the starter but thought I would get other opinions first.

by in Fort Mill, SC on September 14, 2013
1 answer 2 comments
ANSWER by on September 14, 2013
Remove neg. battery cable! Then remove starter cable, clean and reattach, tighten it up! Now clean both battery cables and the post, reattach cables. Start engine! Unless it has those "mickey mouse" battery terminal, emergency, repair ends on the cables?? Worst thing ever put on a vehicle!! If equiped, replace those as well, at least it's better than trying to clean them. Smoke = high resistance which is poor, dirty or loose connections!!!!! Which may have killed the starter motor. Let us know what you find, for others with this problem.
COMMENT by on September 15, 2013
The smoke was coming from the negative terminal wire at the battery. I stripped off some fresh cable, cleaned up the "crimp" part of the connector, reassembled and the car started first try. I think I'll buy some new connectors to head off future issues. Thanks for your help.
COMMENT by on September 15, 2013
THAT'S COOL, but don't buy those crappy cheap 'emergency' repair terminal ends! Go to NAPA and get some real replacement cable ends! They have some that use a compression nut to retain the cable, bronze in color and avail. in diff. sizes. Another option is the crimp/solder on type, better yet but special tools needed to install. You are welcom.

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