Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Belleville, Illinois
Thanked 22 Times in 17 Posts
Yeah, when the smoke gets out there's definitely a problem. But that's not the cause of the slow cranking. The ignition switch just controls the starter solenoid, which is an on/off device. If it gets enough current to engage, that's as good as it gets.
If the problem is with the starter circuit it's most likely a high-resistance connection between the battery and the starter motor, or in the return path from the starter motor back to the battery. It's probably a good idea to disconnect, clean and reconnect every connection - battery , solenoid, starter, and all ground connections.
Or you can find the bad one with a volt meter. Put the probes between the battery post and the terminal on the starter while it's slow cranking. You will get a small reading, but if it's more than a few hundredths of a volt it shows a problem between those two points. You'll probably get a reading of several volts somewhere. Find out exactly where by moving the probes closer together. Then put the probes on the starter motor housing and the battery ground terminal and repeate the process for the ground side of the circuit.
Of course it could be an ignition timing problem too, but that would not llikely be intermittent nor would it start to happen by itself.