battery problems

Old 03-04-08, 05:00 PM
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battery problems

Can anyone help with starting problems? Battery is charged and terminals cleaned but I still get nothing when I turn key. Isn,t there a way to jumper starter to find out if it will engage and eliminate wiring and ignition switch. Starter doesn't turn at all and no clicks. Thanks for any help
Old 03-05-08, 10:58 AM
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Year, make & model please ? Any prior warning that problem was going to occur, like occasionally wouldn't start? Any new noises prior to no start?
Old 03-05-08, 11:04 AM
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But unfortunately, even though this is doable, "on paper", - on some/many cars, you can't hardly get to the correct terminal down at the starter, the way they have it almost buried under or behind other metal.

Easiest to do is if car has an under-the-hood fender mounted relay, where skinny wire comes from ignition switch and energizes this relay's solenoid, to allow the battery's big cable to send current from the one side of the relay, to the starter side of the relay, down to the starter. If you had one of these, you could jumper across the 2 big terminals to first see if the starter turns. If it does, then you know the starter is obviously good.

If this relay has TWO skinny wires along with the 2 fat ones, then the one skinny one sends power to the ignition switch and the other one returns to the relay from the ignition switch. You can do other jumper wiring here, if you have this, to find out if the problem is likely in the ignition switch, that relay, or down by the starter.

Even if voltages are all good for the relay, this does not conclusively prove a bad starter, as you could have a bad connection/poor ground down there, also. Unfortunately, if located in hard to get at spot, as mentioned, you may have to first remove the starter to check over everything. Once out, if you disconnect the wires, obviously you can bench test the starter also, or solenoid and starter individually.

If you have a voltmeter set for 12VDC, then you could have someone turn the ignition switch to "start" and with red test lead on the skinny wire end, and black lead touching anything grounded or negative battery, you could see if it jumps up to 12 volts, which if it does, would indicate the ignition switch its good. If no power there, then the ignition switch may be bad.

If you are not too familiar with what your car has, if you had a car manual can buy from auto parts stores, you'd be able to see what you have, and where likely good testing points would be at.

But first look to see if you have that relay under the hood, as these are unmistakeable in the fact that the big fat red battery cable comes and goes from this small relay box and has 1 or 2 skinny wires to it also. Let us know.
Old 03-06-08, 05:45 AM
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You said that the battery and terminals were good , but how about the wires that are connected to the starter itself ? A freind on mine had same problem in his truck, the postive cable corroded away at the starter.
Old 03-06-08, 06:54 AM
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first, do the lights, radio, headlights and other accessories work? what is the batt. voltage? have you tried jump starting it to see if it will crank? if all lights work, 11 or12 volts at batt., other accessories work, sounds like the solenoid is not engaging the starter. don't know what kind of car it is, but there is a wire from the switch(maybe through a relay) to activate to solenoid(which is an electormagnet) to engage the starter. it is a cheap fix if that turns out to be the problem. (cheap IF you can change it.) GOOD LUCK!

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