Either the starter solenoid, which is the part with the spade connector, or the starter itself is defective. Either way you're taking the starter off and having it serviced or replaced.
Thank you. I'll pull it off and see if I can rebuilt it before ordering a new one.
For testing the starter some instructions say to jump the spade connector with the large power cable at the solenoid while others say to jump the spade connector to the main battery post. Is one better than the other?
I checked the starter related wires to be sure the connections were solid. Then I did a quick test to see if it would start. Sure enough it fired right up from the ignition switch so I'm doubtful this is a bad starter and thinking I must have a loose connection or partially broken wire. The few times this has happened was after aggressive offroading.
I'd like to share with you, a personal experience with the starter on my Pajero - not an identical vehicle, but, the starter circuits are pretty much the same.
I bought the car used, cheap, with problems, and one of those was an intermittent "no crank" issue - you had to hold the key "just so" when starting the car or it would not crank - a worn ignition switch, but since it always started if the key was held right, I drove it like that for years.
Some time last year, I noticed a change in the pattern, sometimes I would have to turn the key two or three times before it would crank, and I wasn't quite certain, but it seemed that on occasion I would hear the starter click when it didn't crank - my first step was to replace the ignition switch, fortunately Mitsubishi supplies the ignition switch in two parts, the electrical side and the lock cylinder side, so replacing the electrical side was easy - one screw, two plugs - after removing the various covers.
No - it was not my imagination - every once in a while, even with the new switch, I would have to make multiple attempts to start the car and yes, there was a click from the starter when it didn't crank.
There were two distinct & different problems - the switch was one, the solenoid was the other.
By jumping the spade lug on the solenoid to the battery positive or main lug on the starter, you have eliminated 95% of the wiring that can cause a no crank situation - that last 5% is the battery lugs, the connections to the starter itself and the ground strap from the engine back to the battery.
98 - 1.8 Mitsubishi Pajero iO
98 - 2.0 Suzuki Grand Vitara - SQ420
05 - 2.0 Suzuki Grand Vitara - JB420
15 - 2.4 Kia Sportage
I pulled the started and tested with a new battery and it was fine. Tested with the Sami battery and it was fine. Tested with the Sami hot battery cable attached to the starter and it wouldn't turn over. Tried a new hot battery cable and that fixed the problem.
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