How To Test a Starter Relay
Have a helper turn on the ignition switch while you listen to the noise the starter relay makes. If turn on the ignition switch, there’s a single or a series of weak clicks, you will have to test it for electrical resistance. If the sound is a single strong click, you should check the starter relay for voltage drop.
The starter solenoid is a fairly simple mechanism that transmits electrical current from the battery to the starter. When you turn the key, the solenoid engages, using the electrical motor in the starter to get your engine running. If the solenoid is not functioning properly, the vehicle may not start. Determining whether the issue is the starter solenoid, the battery or the starter itself can save you time and money when repairing it yourself and seeking to have the repair work done. Start by locating the starter and work to narrow down the cause of the issue.
How to Check a Starter Solenoid or Remote Relay
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Adventure Rider – Error
Depending on the age of the car, it usually manifests as absolutely nothing happening when you turn the ignition to start. No click. No series of clicks, just silence. Your accessories will operate, which is how you know it isn’t a bad battery, but you won’t get anything else when you go to start the car.
Most large Kohler engines on riding lawn mowers use an electric starting system. Part of that system is a starter solenoid. The cylindrical solenoid is a low-amperage relay that safely completes the high-amperage electrical connection between the battery and starter motor when the ignition key is turned. A bad solenoid can deny electricity to the starter motor and prevent engine startup. But other basic problems may also exist.
Starter relay testing-wiring
When the starter motor is activated it requires a large amount of current to turn the engine over. The high current circuit carries this current to the starter motor from the battery. This circuit is easily identifiable as it must use a heavier gauge wire to handle the high current. The 6 to 8 gauge wires that connect the positive battery terminal to the starter relay and the starter relay to the starter motor make up the high current circuit along with the high current contacts in the starter relay.
Rotating electrical parts such as starters and alternators often have to be replaced on older, high-mileage vehicles. Fuel injection has helped prolong the service life of starters by allowing engines to start more quickly when they are cranked. Such is not the case with alternators. Higher electrical demands on charging systems have increased alternator failures.
Q: Our four-cylinder 1998 Toyota Camry has an occasional glitch. Upon turning the key, there will be a single, solitary click. The next attempt will usually be successful, but sometimes there’s a second solo click (followed by a successful start). I don’t suspect a voltage or battery problem because the car will start and there is no staccato rattle associated with a low or drained battery.