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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my car isn't srarting all of a sudden. It *appears* the battery holds a charge and the Alt IS charging. When I turn the key there isn't even a solenoid click. But I do get dash lights and everything else.

- About a year ago I replaced the starter solenoid
- Alt is at 14.4v at the battery
- battery after driving 12.8v
- turning on the key, battery at 12.3v and the battery at rest
- Yesterday it would start after we jumped it. I drove it home started it and stopped it 8 or so times and the battery afterwards was about 12.2v

So I don't think it's the battery or the Alt. they all seem to test fine, But two other things the starter solenoid trigger spade connector on the wire side seems pretty loose, I pinched it and put it back on, but there might be debris in there.

Also, the positive side batter terminal has seen better days whoever had the car before me did a number on the whole thing. All the fuses look ok


Honestly I'm just looking for clues as where I might look before I start tearing into things, the solenoid is a pain to replace so I don't want to go there if I don't have to. Plus it's new.
 

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Yeah and mileage? I'd check the crappy connection to the battery and the starter. If that's not it, the starter is probably worn out -- sounds like you've had the same issue in the past. New starters can be had for ~$75 from DB Electrical. 3-day shipping is included in the price.
 

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With just a quick read of your problem, what comes to my mind is grounds and cables.

Disconnect ALL the big ground connections and clean them. Look at the cables if there is ANY corrosion INSIDE the cable, replace them. Do the same thing with the power side. Avoid those replacement clamp on battery terminals... they cause a LOT of starting/charging issues.

To explain: Due to the fairly low voltage found in automotive systems and the power (current) needed to turn over the engine, it doesn't take much resistance at the connections to cause enough voltage drop (read "power loss") to make the starter not work. Each poor connection in the circuit adds to the problem as they are in series. These problems are more common in rigs with large motors, but if allowed to degrade with little attention, it can effect our little TracKicks.
 

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Yeah battery terminals need to be tight, and main ground comes to mind. (especially if youre getn no CEL). I had same issues, then wouldnt start all of a sudden, even after new battery and starter. Turned out the wires on my starter were on backwards, and terminals loose... I thought that was odd, but I didnt change my starter, PO did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Earlier did a bit of field repair that ultimately, failed. I removed the negative terminal and cleaned that and removed the positive. The positive clamp has been replaced, there was a massive amount of corrosion, I poured soda on it to break it down, separated the two wires and cleaned the connections and put it all back together. That's also when I pinched the starter relay wire spade connection.
 

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Can you put your car specs into your signature, along with the kind of tranny that you have? If you have a manual tranny, you may also want to check the safety switch on the firewall at the top of the clutch pedal, just in case (a good check is, when the car doesn't start, actually get under the dash and push the switch in by hand - making sure that the car is in neutral and parking brake on, and see if the car will crank.
Aside from loose/bad connections, of course, you are advising that when you turn the key, you only get the dash lights and no cranking at all, yes? Just for your info, the clutch safety switch problem can be intermittent. If your connections are good, your battery holding the charge, your alternator working properly, then I would investigate the switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok I have an update....


Today I pulled the trigger wire off the starter solenoid, there 0v with the ignition on/off then with the starter key it's only 3v. obviously this isn't right, it should be 12v. The wire was jumped directly from the spade connection to the volt meter then to battery ground.

Also, for the third time the car started fine cold (this time after sitting for 5 days) then after driving it for 15 minutes it wouldn't start again.


I'll point out everything else seems to work correctly even when it won't start.
 

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Have you checked the clutch safety switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
no, but it's on my list today.

First thing I'm doing is replacing the positive battery terminal.then I'll start tracing the wire back and testing each of the components.

Have you checked the clutch safety switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That safety switch is a total hell to get to. I couldn't get it off there is too much in the way.

I replaced the positive clap and cleaned the posts. Everything seemed to be working better the car even seemed to start smoother but alas it's still not stating correctly. I swapped around the ignition and starter relays and still have the same issue.

Today I'm going to rig a bypass up so I can at least drive it.

I still need to measure the voltage at the relay and switch.


And suggestion as how to get to the clutch switch? It works, when I depress it with the the key in the momentary position there is a solid click coming from the relay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The verdict is in......

It's my damned solenoid. :mad:

This makes me angry, I would have rather had to chase a gremlin than this.


Three times prior I beat on the solenoid with a hammer and wrench and it didn't do anything. But today the car was stuck in a parking lot for hours and I bypassed the whole system and went straight from the battery to the solenoid switch and it didn't help. So I got a bigger hammer and a bigger metal pole and two good wacks it worked.


I'm upset because I JUST replaced the solenoid about a year ago. Now I have to figure out who I bought it from and whether I can get it warrantied.

:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
 

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Just do yourself a favor and get the whole DB Electrical unit.
 

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I think DB usually means distribution board.
What Is a Distribution Board? (with picture)
Maybe the suggestion is that there is some reason why your solenoid keeps giving you trouble, and that you should look at the entire circuit to see why you continue to have this ongoing problem.

Edit: Frankly, if you are just replacing the solenoid (2x in the past year?) I would just get a whole new starter assembly......???
 
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