Car wont start, not even crank... starter solenoid??

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by bleeatch, Aug 24, 2006.


  1. bleeatch

    bleeatch Member

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    Yesterday, when leaving for work, my car started just fine and drove just fine. However, then when leaving work it wouldnt start or even crank over. The battery is good, I can hear the fuel pump come on, all accessories work, guage shows enough power, etc. So anyways, I take a look under the hood and look for anything obvious, nothing. I try it again after 5-6 min, still doesnt start. I walk back in my work, make a phone call, come back out, try it again, and the damn thing starts right up just fine. WTF? I make it home with out any problems what so ever. I try it again today, and the damn thing wont start again. I dont have a hood on my car right now cause my intake mani doesnt clear my stock hood and im still waiting on a cowl. It has been raining lately and although I havnt driven the car in the rain, or drove it when wet, I still have a feeling that has something to do with it. any ideas what it might be? how can i test my starter solenoid? touch a wire from the positive to the starter side?

    Anyother ideas would help. Thanks!
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  2. HISSIN50

    HISSIN50 "How long does it take to get help in here? SN Certified Technician

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    I like your battery cable connection idea, especially a grounding issue. I ran into this in Seattle on older cars, and they had hoods to keep the weather out. :lol:

    Yes, to check the solenoid, you'd jump the S-terminal wire to the battery lug.

    Good luck.
    #2
  3. bentley429

    bentley429 Banned

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    Exactly what he said, and if it still doesnt start its possible the starter is shot.
    #3
  4. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    Here's a checklist:

    Since some of the tests will bypass the safety interlocks, make sure that the car is in neutral and the parking brake is set. Becoming a pancake isn’t part of the repair process…

    Check battery, terminal connections, ground, starter relay switch (also known as solenoid) and starter in that order.

    A voltmeter is handy if you are familiar with how to use it to find bad connections. Measure the voltage drop across a connection: more than .5 volts across a connection indicates a problem.
    See http://www.fluke.com/application_notes/automotive/circuit.asp?AGID=1&SID=103 for help
    [​IMG]

    1.) Will the car start if it is jumped? Then clean battery terminals and check battery.

    2.) Check the battery to engine block ground, and the ground behind the engine to the firewall.

    3.) Jump the big terminals on the starter relay next to the battery with a screwdriver - watch out for the sparks! If the engine cranks, the starter and power wiring is good. The starter relay is also known as a starter solenoid.

    4.) Then pull the small push on connector (red wire) off the starter relay (Looks like it is stuck on a screw). Then jump between the screw and the terminal that is connected to the battery. If it starts, the relay is good and your problem is in the rest of the circuit.

    5.) Remember to check the ignition switch, neutral safety switch on auto trans and the clutch safety switch on manual trans cars. If they are good, then you have wiring problems. See http://www.autozone.com/images/cds/gif/large/0900823d80195963.gif for 88-90 year cars .OR see http://www.autozone.com/images/cds/gif/large/0900823d80195964.gif for 91-93 year cars. See http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiB..._us/0900823d/80/1d/db/3c/0900823d801ddb3c.jsp for 94-95 model cars.

    6.) The starter may be hung, loosen up the bolts that hold it on, and give it a good whack with a big hammer. Tighten up the bolts and try again.

    7.) If that doesn't work, use a jumper cable from the positive lead on the battery direct to the starter post where the big wire from the relay connects. If it cranks then, it is the power wire from the relay gone bad. This will be hard to do, since there isn't much room to do it.

    8.) Pull the starter and take it to Autozone or Pep Boys and have them test it. Starter fails test, then replace it. If you got this far, the starter is probably bad.
    #4
  5. bleeatch

    bleeatch Member

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    well the engine cranked over, so its pretty safe to say i need a new starter solenoid right?
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  6. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    Where did you get to on the checklist?
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  7. bleeatch

    bleeatch Member

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    tried 3 and 4. I already knew it wasnt the battery and I had a good feeling it was the starter solenoid so i just replaced it since it was like 12 bucks

    Turns out that was my problem

    jrichker -- did you paste that list from a website? if so will you share the URL so i can bookmark it?

    thanks for everyones help!
    #7
  8. HISSIN50

    HISSIN50 "How long does it take to get help in here? SN Certified Technician

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    That made no sense.

    Anyhow, glad you got it fixed.
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  9. Saleen0679

    Saleen0679 Member

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    I think that statement was in reference to the suggestion of jumping the lugs on the starter relay.
    #9

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