Washers solved this hard-starting problem

March 1, 2010 | By Richard Prince


In the October 2009 issue Mr. Ray Fischer from Bel Air, Maryland, has a hardstarting problem. Maybe the enclosed story from our Kaiser-Frazer Quarterly magazine can be helpful.


The article that Mr. Duda references offers a very simple solution to a very vexing problem. The article’s author, Steve Hermesch, had a never-ending hard-starting problem with his 1951 Kaiser 4-door Deluxe. This problem was particularly troublesome because Mr. Hermesch drives this car every single day. Since 1980, it has been his one and only everyday car.

After addressing all of the usual culprits, including the battery cables and connectors, starter motor, generator, battery, voltage regulator, and so on, the problem persisted.

At the suggestion of Phoenix restorer Stan Block, he placed flat washers on the starter solenoid stud, with one washer on either side of the battery cable connection. He did the same for the other side of the solenoid, the cable connection to the starter motor, and the ground connection cable.

The addition of these washers permanently solved the hard-starting problem. Mr. Hermesch later re-did the washer installation using high-quality brass washers to provide even better conductivity and corrosion resistance.

I’ve not tried this solution but have no reason to doubt that it worked for Mr. Hermesch’s Kaiser and therefore it can work for other cars as well.

Thank you to Rich Duda for bringing this article to our attention and to Steve Hermesch for sharing his experience with other hobbyists.