Ford Starter Solenoid Troubleshooting, Replacement And Function




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Wells VE: I need help. I have an 87 f150 and I put a new solenoid on it and every time I go to hook the battery up the truck tries cranking it self..I'm only 14 and I have no one to help me do this.

KEYSERSOZE1965: Also Mark, is it possible that the engine will not crank when I turn the key if the KEY ITSELF is bad, as if the chip inside has worn out???

sivaraj palanisamy: is there any way i can bypass solenoid to test starter in car.

Adam Cooper: Im 15 and i gotta 91 Ranger with a 4 banger engine with a 5 speed manual. it was just handed down to me and has been sitting for about a year. i charged the battery and all and attempted to start it (foot on clutch etc.) the truck just clicked. it tried to turn over but couldnt make it. could it be this? 

Gary Meyers: I'm having that clicking noise problem on a 2000 Ford Taurus. I kind of drained my battery trying to start it when it was very cold outside. I cranked the engine on and off for 5 minutes and eventually the clicking started and then the car lights went out. I went and bought a 900 amp jump started and tried to start the car. The lights inside the car worked with the jump-starter, but when trying to start the engine, i hear that clicking sound immediately and the car does not turn over at all. Could it be that the jump-starter doesn't have enough power to start the car still? I would think a 900amp jump starter could start a small v6 engine no problem. I really hope I didn't ruin the starter by cranking it too much in the cold.

KEYSERSOZE1965: Hi mark, I have a 2000 Ford Ranger. Over the last week there were times that the truck did not want to crank, it would not do ANYTHING. and then it would crank fine. I took it to Autozone and had them test the battery to find out that the battery was bad. They replaced the battery and the truck started up fine with one crank. Since then however the truck has not cranked at all. I have power, the battery works, the starter is no less than 3 months old and everything APPEARS to be in working order. I can turn the key for the ignition but all I here is a slight whirring noise and a small click around the power distribution box. The engine will not crank, absolutely nothing. What could be the problem? i I should note the solenoid was not replaced when the starter was replaced back in January. Could this be the problem or does it sound like something else? Please Help!!!

sivaraj palanisamy: hi, what cause hitting hammer of starter working.. is it freeeing bendix, or brush or anything else.. please advise.

Nate Balcom: Hi Mark. I had a single click from the solenoid with no crank and no start. Following your comments, I jumped from solenoid to starter and was able to get starter to crank. I then disconnected jumper and it now starts when I turn the key but it is very sensitive and seems to only start just before I hear a single click from the solenoid, sometimes starts, sometimes it doesn't and I hear 1 click when it doesn't. Any ideas? Battery seems strong and lights don't dim out when I turn the key. 

Chris Arancibia: excellent video.

Keithen Woody: So if your so Solenoid is clicking.Then the problem aint the Solenoid?

catfishstinch: can a silenoid stick closed causing the starter to not not stop turning once the engine is started? This only happens when it is really cold out and the starter stays powered for around 20 seconds after the engine starts. on warm days it still does the same thing but only for around 1 second. could you please help as i hate throwing expensive parts at a problem trying to fix it.

jack47250: I have a 91 ford F-150 and replaced my Starter Solenoid and I believe I tighten the bolts to much and cracked the solenoid would that cause it to not function? And yes I know im a dumb ass for doing that

Darnell Avery: I have a 2000 crown victoria 155, 000 miles I started it today but it idled low and cut off I turned the car on and off when it did it again and repeated the cut on and off several times before the car stopped all together no clicking noise nothing just the sound of the fuel pump and bright red brake light everytime I turn the key.... also the car isn't on a hill nor emergency brake isn't usually applied. .. help please

Daniel Gibson: I am having problems with a 1992 Ford F150. I turned the key over to start the truck and got a single click. I took the starter off to test it and it kicked out and spun. I replaced the solenoid. I am still gettin a single click when I try to start the truck. Does anyone have any ideas of what I can do to fix this? please help? This is my only way back and forth to work.

tom gibson: I have a 1996 T Bird 3.8L auto. When I turn the key the lights go out and all electric to the dash drops off but no clicking or any sounds at all, just nothing. The lights have always gone out as does the dash electric. This "nothing " condition has happened a few times over the last 2 years. The starter was replaced the first time it happened. Then a few months later it happened again. Usually when it happens I just jump in the truck and magically a day later maybe a few hours later the car will start right up with no problems. When it happened last month I put a new battery in as the old one was 7 years old. It happened again tonight while I was away from home. .. Could it be a faulty starter solenoid? I'll tear into it when it gets light outside but need a pointer or two if available. Thanks

Dave Nevotti: Great information, I have a 93 F-250 7.5l. Just started having a no start issue, the info. in your you tube video helped solve the problem. Thanks

ThomasTechCon: @Wellstech Thanks for the quick response! I've taken battery, firewall relay, cable harness, and starter assembly out of the F-150. There's some corrosion on the negative battery cable, so I'm cleaning that up then will reassemble on a test bench and try it out. Will give you a call if it still doesn't make sense. Thanks again for all your help! Mark Thomas Thomas Technical Consulting

Wells VE: Great Thanks for the update! Mark Hicks Wells Vehicle Electronics

Wells VE: Thank you for the kind words. If you need assistance, please let us know, Mark Hicks Wells Vehicle Electronics

Bernadine Trujillo: @67FordRanchWagon also the cables get eccesivly hot while trying to start

Wells VE: The light green / yellow wire fron the relay is grounded at the computer to activate the starter on the 3.9 engine. Not sure what engine you have. What might work best is if you click on the link in the description and you will go to our website. There you can leave a question for the tech department and we can send you the wiring diagram. Or you can call us and we will help you diagnose it. 1-800-558-9770 Mark Hicks Wells Vehicle Electronics

Sam De. Blah Blah: My buddy and I are having problems with his 2001 ford f250. we start the thing and it doesn't even make a noise. it was working a second ago but it suddenly just stopped after we had breakfast. We are almost sure it is the starter but I think it's the cable between the fuse box and the starter, any ideas?

Wells VE: A solenoid is just a connection from the battery to the starter. Use a jumper cable and connect one end to the starter and tap the other end to battery possitive. When you do this the starter should crank. When the solenoid clicks it means it is working 99.9% of the time. When you jump this make sure the transmission is in park or nuetral!!! Mark Hicks Wells Vehicle Electronics

afjrotc20041: the rapid clicking from the solenoid is what my Mustang is doing, video just gave me a huge push in the right direction. I am just trying to distinguish between the first series of clicking and the one after, they sound the same.

Wells VE: @blueskymut Yes it is the wrong application. Starter relays are meant to carry a heavy load for a short period of time and then have at least a 30 minute cool down time. On our website under the tech / testing specs and diagrams, there is a listing of all the solenoids in our line. I would suggest an intermittent or continuous duty solenoid. If you know the amperage draw, give us a call and we can suggest a few regular relays that may work. 1-800-558-9770 Mark Hicks Wells Vehicle Electronics

Brian Radom: Hoping that this video is still being visited WOW if we could discuss this: My 1982 ford wagon wound up in storage for two years untouched outside mainly sickness in the family, I at last had the time to bring it home VERY happy to have old perfect back. troubles began weeks later. seafoam detergent seemed to get it going again (to be continued)

mudsharkable: Your most probably right, Fiddled with it some more and now I get nothing! Had to screwdriver start the car and took it straight to my mechanic... I'll let him figure things out, he's has lots of experience with this sort of stuff. Thanks for your insight and help.

Wells VE: IF you get one click and the starter does not engage, it means either the battery is low, a bad connection to the battery, bad battery cable, bad connection on the starter or a bad starter. When it does not start, turn on the headlights, when they are on try to start it. If they go out at that time, check your cables and battery. If they stay bright, check the connection on the starter and starter. If the connection looks good, try tapping on the starter with a small hammer while the key is

Wells VE: It sounds like you now have a bad connection on the battery. Turn the lights on and wiggle the connections to the battery. When the lights turn on you have found the terminal with the bad connection. First test the battery to make sure you have 12 volts. Mark Hicks Wells Vehicle Electronics

Leta Robinson: Thank you so much for this valuable video! Today I replaced my starter solenoid, YEAH, with watching the video & reviewing the instructions that came with the part! I'm a mom trying to make it and never thought I could fix my car. It was simplier than I feared. I gained some confidence and save some money. I think I'll do the chicken dance. :)

rlinarte1071: Wells VE , Hello,I am having the same problem with my 2001 Ford Expedition,I've changed the Solenoid,starter and starter switch,problems are lights on dashboard,odometer lines - - - - - - - on when I get all those car is just cranking but won't start,when lights go out from dashboard and car starts and then starter gives a big crank,I checked the "S" terminal and I'm getting voltage back,I left everything disconnected because lights stayed on an dashboard.....thanks for your help

codenamelibra: Q: 91 crown vic relay periodic sticks & starter runs even with "S" wire off; "I" relay post not used. Bump relay w/ hard object to stop it; then ok for a while. ST404 relay changed 4x in 2 years and starter 1x last year. 2 fixes found, T or F: 1 - cross relay low-current posts with diode; 2 - ditto with a diode shunt to ground on high-current relay post feeding starter to prevent backlash arcing which rapidly ages relay. Advise HOW to do #2 if true, as well #1, and what size diodes / R-C shunt ?

heyahiya: Thank you for such a great informative video! You confirmed that my dad and I are on the right path for fixing my van.

BalGreene: Thanks for the excellent video. Although I ran out and got one, the video saved me from installing a new relay/solenoid when really the battery was just flat!

Wells VE: LOL I love it! Thanks Mark Hicks Wells Vehicle Electronics

Wells VE: @ThomasTechCon Either you have a bad connection, bad battery, or using the wrong gauge wire. The relay clicks because there is not enough current to hold it engaged. It is possible, because the cables are getting too hot the starter is drawing too much current also. Please feel free to give us a free call at 1-800-558-9770 press 3 for the tech department. We are more than happy to help. Mark Hicks Wells Vehicle Electronics

Jason Zeidler: i have a 71 ford mustang. I replaced the solenoid earlier, but then replaced the starter. it worked great for awhile now it wont start. all i hear his clicking from the solenoid. i have new battery in. is there away to bypass the solenoid completly and start the car to test the starter?

mike levesque: 1996 f 350 7.3 diesel. clicks when turning over. noticed i have two solenoids/replay on the pass side fender, only one clicks. changed out the one that doesn't click with new one. still nothing. hit starter with hammer, still not starting.any idea?

Adrian Skywalker: Great video. I've got a problem with exactly this solenoid on my '87 XR4Ti. Trouble is I can't really get them in Europe(Romania), so I replaced it with a similar solenoid, but not original. I only wonder why does Ford US use this design and not the simpler solenoid-on-starter design that Ford of Europe and pretty much everybody else uses? How is this any better? Good day to you!

Wells VE: This is a great question! To be honest I am not sure. All I can think of is it might have something to do with the length of the cable. By putting a solenoid in the middle you end up with two shorter cables and not a very long cable. By doing this I would think your voltage drop would be lessened. If you have any ideas or thoughts I would love to hear them. Mark Hicks Wells Vehicle Electronics

Glendora Black: need one for a 1987 ford ranger it has different wiring and lots of it also need the color code on all. some help

Wells VE: @67FordRanchWagon The color of the coating on the cable should not matter, as long as the gauge is correct. The small wire, does it have voltage when you turn the key to the start position? Is it connected to the "S" terminal? If you try jumping from the battery positive to the "S" terminal of the solenoid, what happens? Mark Hicks Wells Vehicle Electronics

Wells VE: Thanks for your comments on our Ford Starter Solenoid video. Feedback helps and makes this worthwhile for us. We are glad you found it helpful. Others apparently have too. Yesterday was a record for us with over 2300 views in one day! We now have had over 600,000 views of our technical and diagnostic videos.

Wells VE: On a normal vehicle with normal compression there should be no need for a diode set up. Are you running higher compression. Why is the starter darwing so much current? In this case I would suggest going to a solenoid made to handle the extra draw. On our website there is a solenoid search available. Mark Hicks Wells Vehicle Electronics

csedan510: Another development, I went to move it last night, got it to fire after jiggling the solenoid, when I went to turn the headlights on, everything shut off. Light relay too maybe?

codenamelibra: Thanks Mark. Your diagram shows the snubbing diode for the relay's signal (low-current) side. But again my dilemma is with rapid contact aging on the contact (high-current) side caused by starter backlash current contact arcing. All of the chat around on the net on this subject shows that folks aren't clear on the difference. Setups exist for relay-controlled motors (e.g. forklift), but I don't see a ready made solution for car starters. Weird since far more cars around than forklifts.

Wells VE: @heliraisers9 Have you checked the starter relay? It located on the right front fender apron, near the battery. If you need any further assistance let me know, Mark Hicks Wells Vehicle Electronics

Wells VE: AutoZone does sell solenoids at different quality levels. If you had issues with the least expensive solenoid, I suggest purchasing a higher quality one from AutoZone. another consideration is the quality of the starter. If the starter is drawing too many amps, it can cause the solenoid to lock up. Mark Hicks Wells Vehicle Electronics

Wells VE: Thank you for the kind words. Mark Hicks Wells Vehicle Electronics

Wells VE: @afjrotc20041 We are happy the video was a help for you. When you are hearing a rapid click from the solenoid it means either the battery is low in charge or you have a bad cable or connection on the battery or solenoid. I am not sure what you mean by the first series of clicking and the clicking after. If the clicking first or after is coming from the solenoid search it out as stated above. Try turning the headlights "on" and cranking the engine. If the headlight go very dim or "out"

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