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Old 12-04-2012, 06:05 PM   #1
dougc767
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Starter solenoid?

My son's '95 had a dead battery, he jumped it and got all the lights and buzzers to come on. While it was still jumped, he moved the key the first position and all was well, when he moved it to the crank position everything went dead. No lights, no buzzers or anything, completely dead while still jumped. What's going on here? Tomorrow I'm heading down to the college to check it out and would like to know what I'm up against. Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:56 PM   #2
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Sounds like there's a bad ground. Clean the cables, the posts, and make sure everything is tight.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:19 PM   #3
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Will do. (kinda hard diagnosing a problem from 2 hrs away, I'm just going on the info that my son gave me) I'll update my findings tomorrow. Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:26 PM   #4
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Take the battery to a shop (Les Schwab?) and have it tested. If it's deader than dead it might be rechargeable but that will take an over-night charge.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:32 PM   #5
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I replaced the battery about 6 mos ago. The thing that gets me is that while its being jumped and the key is turned to the crank position, everything dies. I'll know more tomorrow. Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:11 PM   #6
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The thing that gets me is that while its being jumped and the key is turned to the crank position, everything dies.
And that right there it's why I'm believing it's a dirty or loose connection
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:02 PM   #7
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Do the lights come back on when the key is released to the ON position?
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougc767 View Post
I replaced the battery about 6 mos ago. The thing that gets me is that while its being jumped and the key is turned to the crank position, everything dies. I'll know more tomorrow. Thanks!
Not really.. crappy, small diameter, cables with cheap connections may not have near the current carrying capacity to actually turn the engine... and it'll act just like a nearly dead battery that does that exact same thing when you try to start it.

I had a set of those... had to let the cables sit on the battery for 5-10min to actually charge it, before I'd even attempt to try to start it. Took 3 tries with different cars to learn that lesson.

Now I have a set of HUGE cables, and NEVER a problem...
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:53 PM   #9
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No, according to my son. He's says it's dead after he went to the crank position. Still dead with no lights or anything. How ya been?
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:43 PM   #10
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No, according to my son. He's says it's dead after he went to the crank position. Still dead with no lights or anything. How ya been?
I'm voting bad connection as well. Check out this diagram to probe continuity.

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Old 12-05-2012, 01:03 AM   #11
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Thanks Will! Happy Peak season to ya!
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:06 AM   #12
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Thanks Will! Happy Peak season to ya!
Same to you! A little birdie told me some positive rumors have been swirling around your company and may bode well for my future?

Anyway post up some more questions if you have em. Seems like a simple fix, even if the diagnosis may be a little complicated.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kf4amu View Post
Same to you! A little birdie told me some positive rumors have been swirling around your company and may bode well for my future?

Anyway post up some more questions if you have em. Seems like a simple fix, even if the diagnosis may be a little complicated.
Yes! I've been hearing the chirp too. I'll pm you some more definitive info when I get it. (International growth in Asia, from the rumors).
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:23 AM   #14
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Wanted to post this for you last night but wife and daughter were doing
homework on this computer. :)

-----------------------------------------------------

Here's my way of doing it... YMMV

1) It's messing up?
Don't mess with any wires etc get the analog meter out first-thing!
That's so you won't "clear-up the trouble on yourself" and then won't know
what needs fixing. BTDT and BTSeenThat both. :/ Do yourself a favor and
let the voltmeter do its job before you go monkeying with it. ;)

2) Read the battery voltage by digging the voltmeter's leads into the
battery's terminals (not the clamps;). Should read ~12 volts.

3) Have a helper try to start the vehicle. I've done this by myself, so don't
tell me you can't too. ;) But a helper's cool you can teach the helper how
to trouble shoot a starting/charging system while you're at it.

4) Watch to see how far down the needle goes...
Less that 10 volts and sounds sluggish or don't turn over? --> 4a
Don't move really, stays at ~12 volts and don't turn over? --> 4b
Drops to ~11 volts and starter sounds good and engine starts fine? --> 5

5) After it starts, does the voltage stay at ~12 volts or rise to ~13 volts?
If it just sits there at the original voltage then you got charging circuit
trouble could be the alternator or the voltage regulator or both.
Alternators can be fixed, BTW. ;)

The trick is to first try it on a vehicle that's working fine to see it in action.

An analog voltmeter is all you need.

4a) Typically you've got a good connection through the whole starter's
circuit and got a low or weak battery.
How old is the battery?
A brand-new battery can be bad, BTDT.

4b) Typically you got an "open circuit" (as opposed to a "short circuit")
and the analog meter will find it for you if you-let-it-lead-you to it.
In steps, move the leads closer to the "load" (the starter) until you get
virtually-zero-volts (when the helper tries to start the engine). Use little
bitty steps as you narrow in on -exactly- where the open-circuit-is. ;)

-----------------------------------------------------

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Old 12-05-2012, 12:02 PM   #15
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Thanks Alvin! I'm loading up tools and testers and heading "Back to Skool". (gotta brush up on my Longfellow).
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:41 PM   #16
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One eazy thing to do is to hook the neg jumper cable to the engine (instead of the battery post) If it starts, Its the ground between the battery and engine. If it still doesnt start, Hook the pos jumper cable to the start soliniod or right to the starter. (becareful about the engine turning over) If it starts, the problem is in that cercuet.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:01 PM   #17
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Battery voltage 12.27, with it running 14.45v. Drove almost 2 hrs to get there, all I did was test the battery, put the key in and cranked it. Fired right up. My son's jaw hit the ground. I did poke around looking for loose or corroded connections but couldn't find any. He's coming home on Friday for Xmas break, so I'll have more time to tinker. Thanks for everyone's input, gotta hunch that I'm not done.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougc767 View Post
Battery voltage 12.27, with it running 14.45v.
...gotta hunch that I'm not done.
Yep. :) Me too. :)

How old's that battery?

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Old 12-05-2012, 09:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougc767 View Post
Battery voltage 12.27, with it running 14.45v. Drove almost 2 hrs to get there, all I did was test the battery, put the key in and cranked it. Fired right up. My son's jaw hit the ground. I did poke around looking for loose or corroded connections but couldn't find any. He's coming home on Friday for Xmas break, so I'll have more time to tinker. Thanks for everyone's input, gotta hunch that I'm not done.
You had a perfect opportunity to give him a bunch of shit about how he forgot how to start a car! Hope you capitalized on it
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:34 AM   #20
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You had a perfect opportunity to give him a bunch of shit about how he forgot how to start a car! Hope you capitalized on it
No kiddin'! I should've dropped the hammer, but didn't (I'm a softy). I was up for a road trip. Anyway, he called me a little while ago and said that it was doing the same thing as before. He'd been driving it since I left with no problems whatsoever. He tried to crank it the last time and it immediately went dark, no lights or buzzers. Popped the hood open and the engine compartment light blinks rhythmically. So, that's what I've got to go on. It's the bulb!
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