How To Diagnose A Bad Starter, Ignition, Neutral Safety Switch!




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Chad Steitzer: Have had a starting problem as well on my 1997 Oldmobile Achieva. I accidently had the power wire hit hit engine as i was changing the alternator, causing a spark at wire and down below I presume around my starter(solenoid) with bit of smoke and smell.. All fuses have been checked and are fine, Wires looked ok around starter(solenoid) area. I noticed car will start if signal lights work when i move ignition to on position. But if signal lights arent on...car wont start? When car is running also check Battery light Stay's on!! Note: Bout 5 month's ago also had problem with ignition switch...light stay's on in dash when i take key out ..have to remove fuse or battery and chimes will cause a dead battery so ..everytime i start car up just put fuse back in....So sorta stumped I know signal switch must be gone ..because of dash light's,etc but never had battery light stay on or starting problems with fuse was put back in...so not sure if I made problem worse with Alternator spark or added to the problem? ..thanks for reading...

Vânia Rosado: Hi, and thanks for your informative videos. My Toyota, usually very reliable, has started not cranking, making a 'want-to-start' initial noise and then a whirring sound when the key is turned. The battery test result was OK, according the technicians. To start, it requires being jump started but from then on, it is fine, starting first time every time. I noticed the negative battery cable was loose and had that tightened but the problem persists, only on starting it the first time round. Once jump started it runs fine, even if I turn the engine off and then on again. Any ideas?

Cody Hamilton: Got it running it was a ground cable connection Thank you for the help much appreciated.

Mark Schirripa: Nice video. I saw a post that said a rapid clicking sound indicates a dead battery. But I'm hearing that rapid clicking sound on my 1998 DeVille while it's being jumped by another car. It's doing less now than it did before I hooked it up to that other car. Have you any thoughts on this? 

Vânia Rosado: Delighted to have had a response. You are very helpful. Thank you, Cindy, thank you, ImRamro. Bless you. 

david simmons: hey everybody signal means power, no signal no power

borrego celery: This crap is very helpful when you dont know about cars

LLuE88: ON MANY OF THE NEWER VEHICLES THERE IS ANOTHER "STARTER" RELAY BETWEEN THE KEY AN THE STARTER SOLINOID ON THE STARTER HOUSING

Carrie Krull: I have a 91 Park Avenue, and sometimes when I try to start it, all the idiot lights come on, but the starter won't engage. Nothing happens. There is resistance when I turn it, but the starter won't spin. I tried to override it at used jumper cables and put the positive on the starter, and the engine would crank and fire for a second, but wouldn't keep running. Thoughts?

Jason Bothwell: I got a 96 Chevy k -1500 4x4 and just put a new battery in it but the guy I baught it from had two alarm systems connected to the old battery I had someone yank them out since the guy never gave me the clicker to it to turn off the alarm so now I got the new battery in and my truck still only starts in neutral not in park does anyone have any ideas what it can be ? Thanks

Cody Hamilton: Well I appreciate the help and yeah I just went down the list ya threw out there and I checked all the ground conections made sure they was clean and tight and no bad wires. Hooked the booster cables to my truck a she popped off on the first try. Thank you again im glad an easy fix was all it was and not a couple hunderd dollar repar bill.

Ramtopredneck: Ramro - You rock! I'm wondering what you think about this situation. A 97 Jetta suddenly won't start today. Battery has juice, everything comes on with the key but it won't crank. Not even a click. There is a very high pitched whine from somewhere near the air filter (maybe fuel pump?) It will however pop start. I'm thinking maybe the clutch safety switch........but I don't know WTF I'm talking about. Any ideas?

lostlotta: Sometimes hear a click sometimes not. There was a few times it took few extra seconds to get the engine going,and like I said sometimes Engine won't turn over at all. Took it to mechanic last werk and he said couldnt find anything wrong since the problem wasnt happening at the time. Its frustrating. My car is a 2006 Taurus

Alan G.: I have a 97 Jetta, there in no clicking noise at all. Just got a new battery because it was dead. But still nothing :/ Any idea of what it might be ???

Paul Mariani: My truck wont start...All we hear is one click but what it takes to start the truck is 3 PEOPLE. One turning the key, One jumping the solenoid on the fender, And the one on the starter PLEASE HELP, By the way its a 1994 F350 with a 460 V8

DreCL32: I have a 2003 honda accord ex . 2.4 I was driving and all of a sudden the car stalled on me . I tried to crank it a few times and it started and cut back off in like 5 sec and after that it hasn't started yet. After I try to crank it there is a buzzing from the ignition until I turn it back to the 1 position. Also when I turn to the 2 position the "D" gear indication comes on for a few seconds and then goes off. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated . I changed the ignition switch but that did not help. 

Linda Easley: My car won't start intermittenly. Went to store, got back to car and engine wouldnt turn over. After couple hours it staryed rigjt up and I drove home. Turnedoff ignition then immediately tried to turn it on again amd again engine wouldnt turn over

NATHAN slaughter: That long stud on starter is positive. Both stubs but after the solenoid is energized the stud becomes positive powering the starter 

Jason Bothwell: Oh and my engine is a 5.7 

Jason Bothwell: Oh and my engine is a 5.7 

coolslider2011: SORRY TO SAY but you are wrong on a couple of things there is no ground cable or nut on the starters the starter receives its ground from the requirement of being bolted to the engine. there are 3 nuts on a starter the nut with the copper is a power line but it only has power when the key is turned because the key activates power to the smaller nut engaging the solenoid and once the solenoid is engaged it closes a circuit allowing 12v power to flow from main nut to 2nd main nut.

Cody Hamilton: Ive got a 1993 Toyota Pickup 5speed Man. Tran. 3.0L V6 4x4. Just recently my girlfriend was driving it and she parked it and turned the truck off. When she went to get back in she went to turn the ignition switch and she got nothing no clicking sound, the radio would not come on no lights would come on nothing. we tried putting on a good battery and still got nothing. We tried to pull start it and still got nothing but while i was pulling her when i got up to around 20MPH her head lights would come on dim and her radio would try to come on. I have already checked the Neutral Safety Switch and it seemed to be fine. Im just looking for options. The truck has manual lights so I wouldnt of thought it would be the NSS or the Ignition switch but i could be wrong just looking for answers asap. Thank you.

Fwaz Fj: thank you 

Nicole Heath: corvetteignition http://www.tispecialty.com/ If your 64-71 corvette distributor is old and crummy and just wont get the job done anymore you need to look into this guy. He is VERY intricate and pays very close attention to details. He doesn't send anything out unless it is done right. 

Flappykillmore: I have a 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse, the only noise it makes is a soft humming sound when I turn the key. (Fuel Pump Engaging) Then after trying over & over it eventually turns over & starts. Then it runs great from there! Done this for the past week, turned it on about 10 times, check engine light just came on today saying "Crank Shaft Sensor", but I was told the car would turn & run like sh*t. So we've bought a new starter & we're gonna put that in. What do you think? Our local mechanics said there is no way it's the sensor if it's running fine. If it was the crankshaft sensor then the car wouldn't turn over, but it'd crank. But it doesn't even do that so I assume it's the starter right? Replaced the Clutch switch, started 30 times consecutively, then failed later that night. So assume it was just a lucky part of the starter. Suggestions?

robert jernigan: I have a 96 Nissan Sentra that i had a cranking problem with, i would turn the key and nothing! I changed the neutral saftey switch first and still nothing, so then i bought battery cables and same story nothing lol when i came across this video is when i bought a tester light and tested the ignition wire as shown in the vid, i had no power going to the wire so i purchased a new tumbler/ign switch installed it and she fired right up!!! Thanks for the help...

Warren Bewley: I do not mean to be critical. But if your battery was bad, it could still have enough juice to light up the small bulb on the tester, but not enough to turn over the starter which requires a lot of power. Before they go to the trouble and expense of replacing the starter, can't you put a screwdriver across the terminals on the starter momentarily and see if it spins to make sure?

borrego celery: This crap is very helpful when you dont know about cars

salamatzamo: cant your obd scan tool tell you if your starter is bad

2bu4musik: Great video! Time for me to invest in a test light. Thank you.

coolslider2011: easiest way to test your going to far take a flat head screw driver and jump the 12v live terminal to smaller nut if u hear a clunk clunk as u touch then the solenoid is fine..... if you take your flat head and jump the 2 bigger nuts and you here a motor winding then your starter works.... if you turn the key and nothing turns on then you have a bad switch but the key can unlock your steering wheel.... so if you turn your key to the on position and jump all 3 terminals big nut little nut and big nut your car will crank and run allowing you to move the vehicle if u need to a easier maintenance area

goheat77: I have an exytra bolt, its an unloader wire and everthing else you have there. ground, unloader wire, ignition wire, and big red wire. how do you dianose that one?

Brian Hunter: have a 99 5 spd cavalier 2.2, when i push my clutch in, also in neutral, i turn my key over and nothing. no turn over. new starter, battery is fine, have been having to push jump it lately, im thinking neutral safety switch, but not completely sure. any ideas?

kelly miller: Thanks for the video I have a 2003 Honda Element. I wanted to test the switch and neutral safety switch before swapping out the starter and didn't know how til this watching this. 

oldguy8177able: i was told if difficult to start nentral or park is neutral safety switch ,which is problem i had,i took it to a good autoelectrican took about 30 secs he said was ignition switch because when you turn key fast it starts turn it slow does'nt,anyway problem sorted i had this for about 5 years

Christopher Duecaster: ok the principles are there and i agree with most of the steps but try back probing the connection with a pin instead of making the female plug too big to make a connection or there is my favorite superglue and a sowing needle- to pierce the the wire cheek for power cover the hole with glue to seal less parts to take off

Gail B: Thank you. I think I can show this to my mechanic tomorrow and it will save us a trip to have Autozone check it for us.

1234abc341: I have a 03 toyota 4 runner it is does not started i preplaced a new starter and still not started,but when i turn the key on it's light up but not crank. Sometime start in neutral position instad parking.

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tpcoachfix: The bare copper wire IS NOT a ground wire! It feeds battery power to the starter motor from the battery feed post on the solenoid when you turn the key to the start position and the solenoid becomes energized. The starter motor gets it ground from the engine block.

Lilsmf06: Spent too much time explaining the same crap over and over and over. Booooooo!!!!

andres bee: Thnx for the vid. I sometimes have this issue with my 99 buick century. It struggles to fully crank so I step on the gas whichbit helps most of times. I hear a grindin soumd and thumping at the same time plus white smokes comes out the muffler. When i do have problems i have to keep mybfoot on the gas sonit wont turn off. Sometimes when its failin tonturn on it would just click once and i would have to leave it alone for days. A mechanic read my starter at 75

ImRamro: Sounds like the solenoid that is mounted to the starter. The solenoid gets energized and throws the gear out to turn the flywheel. It could be something else, but my Cadillac is having the same problem and it is my solenoid. You can test it with a voltometer, but a delay is usually the solenoid taking a long time to energize. I would replace the starter or remove the starter and replace the solenoid.

ImRamro: Sounds like the fusable link? The battery should have a wire that is attached to the positive cable. This wire is not the super thick main cable, but a heavy gauge wire about 1/2 as thick as a pencil. This is a wire that has a fuse inside of it, this wire is called the fusible link. All it is is a heavy wire with a fuse or thinner wire inside that will blow to save your components. It should run to the starter solenoid. The wire should have a lump in it. I had the same problem once, good luck.

ImRamro: If the car cranks, then the battery is still working. I would check for spark first. You can do this with a spark tester or removing one spark plug wire and sticking a screw driver in the spark plug boot. Then lat the plug wire with the screw driver inside it real close to something metal on the engine. When you crank the car, you should see a small blue spark jumping from the screw driver to the piece of metal. Don't touch the screw driver metal when you do this or it will give you a shock.

ImRamro: Thanks for watching and the comment. I have worked on all kinds of cars and I still need to watch YouTube videos to work problems out.

billbo1154: my starter runs all the time even whene the key is off. help.

Triston Walker: yes the motor sputtering like it wants to die

ImRamro: The intermittent starting problem can be the neutral safety switch? The easiest way to check it would be to test the wire like we did in the video. #1 You can try moving the gear shifter rapidly through the gears, then return to park and turn the key. #2 You can also try and start the car in neutral? If one of these two things start the car, it may be the neutral safety switch? It could be something else of course like battery cables or the ignition? You can make your own shims out of alum can

Timothy James Dean: Thanks Ramro - if it's that simple, I'll be delighted! I hadn't thought to search for a fuse in the line itself. I pulled and checked all the heavy-duty fuses I could see in the under-hood fuse box; 30 - 50 amp, and none of them were blown. I'll let you know.

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