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.

Thomas Salley: Hi There, Nice Video. I have a 1990 Ford f250 with a 460. I have problems with starting. When the engine is cold, the starter turns good and starts up. After running the engine to temp, if i try to start, sometimes the starter sounds sluggish. sometimes it will crank and sometimes it will barely turn over. Battery was tested and good. i have replaced the starter, ignition coil, and ignition switch. i have heard that the 460s have heat sink, where the engine heat is absorbed by the starter. I have wrapped the starter in heat shield, but it does not seem to make much difference. My next step was going to be to upgrade from 4 gauge to 1/0 batter cable, and also wrap the headers. any thoughts anyone?

Msr roa: I have a '86 f150 really starting to boggle me, should be so simple. I turned it off one day and when i returned it just clicked , not once, but multi times, like it does with a low battery. I have a new battery and just checked the voltage 12.48v i replaced the solenoid, had the starter checked , was told it =was bad, but think they didn't know what they were doing, replaced the battery was still under warranty. I'm curious as to how to check the cables for resistance not sure if the voltage drop test will work or not, since i'm not getting any noise at the starter , almost like my voltage is stopping at the solenoid I suspect the ground or positive cable form the negative battery terminal and from the solenoid . I cleaned and checked all the connections, everything appears to look ok please help

G pa: No one has figured this one out. I hope you can. 2001 F-150 4.6 Automatic. Symptoms; Normal day temps in 40's plus.. no problems. If it rains, before key is even in the ignition, the odometer has dashes across it, dummy lights are on. Put in key and try to start and it just turns over. Take the pos off the batt and put it right back on and truck starts fine. If it is still raining the radio is dead, no lights, time, nothing. Heat AC blower works fine. Windshield wipers won't turn on unless trans is moved to N, turn them on then they will work. They just won't shut back off unless put in N, turn off. When it gets real cold, like now below 30, it does the same stuff but also the starter will keep re-engaging, it cycles on and off, in P or N but not when in D or R. What do you think?

Papito Papito: I need help my father in laws 1999 f150 will start and drive for about 5 to 10 minutes than it will die after he uses a screw driver to short out the solenoid (I think) it will go on for another 5 to 10 minutes and it will die again

ChyAnne Micah: so I have a 1991 ford f150 xlt lariat 351c truck and it has issues starting, I try to start it and the solenoid just clicks. but I have replaced the solenoid, the starter, and the ignition switch. but I noticed in this video it says that the positive battery cable and all other things besides the starter cable go on the port that is next to the batter. when I bought the truck, the guy who I bought it from said there was just problems with the solenoid, but the cords were backwards. the cable going to the starter is closest to the battery and that is how it was when I bought it. so I reconnected the new one the same way and it still clicks. advice? and are the cables the wrong way? because it starts when I use a screwdriver.

Todd Smith: I have a 1990 F150 with a 302.When I turn the key to the start position, I can hear the fuel pump engage and all the normal lights on the dash come on, but that is it. I have taken a screw driver and connected the two large posts on the solenoid and it starts just fine. The truck does have a manual transmission. Any ideas? 

Jerry Braun: How professional ! Best video I have seen on You Tube for instruction. I arc'd or jumped my solenoid with a screw driver, big post to big post, and with key in on position, it starts up, so I think it is solenoid issue (only clunks once with just key turn, and no jumper to help). I am going to replace mine today, and thought I would search out any nuances, and I got a nice education in the process. I probably would have just disconnected and reconnected to same posts as shown, but glad to see there is nothing else to consider, yet.

Randy Wyant: I recently replaced by starter and solenoid, also the transmission. after I finished hooking it up., it started fine., but, I noticed that my gauges were kind of screwy.... the temp guage rose fast., fuel guage is reading full., the other gauges are suspect,,, after it runs for a few minutes I flipped on the headlights and the van died.. do you have any ideas to check?

Terri Nelson: Hi I have a 92 ford explorer. ...It wouldn't start just clicked once. ..changed the starter, solenoid, and positive cable from battery to starter...now it starts but starter won't disengage. ..help please

Dirtyblac: I have a '86 Ford F-150 somehow my starter wont disengage... I changed the solenoid and brought a brand new starter... every time I plug up the negative post to the battery the starter trys to crank the truck without the keys..should i buy a new ignition switch or look for wiring problems..

Nafir Alvarez: My solenoid clicks but Ford truck wont start. Batteries good and so is wire from ignition to solenoid. I got a screw driver and did the old solenoid trick connecting the 2 bolts and turning the ignition on but no start. Do I have a bad Solenoid?

Ricky Farmer: i have a 02 ford f-150 replaced the solenoid on it because it just wouldnt do anything. After putting a new solenoid on the starter was hanging bad and you could start to smell so i also put a new started on it. After the new starter got on it is still hanging up after it is started i put a test light on the wire that goes to the s post and it lights up when key is turned and goes off when you let the key off. Could it be i just got a bad solenoid or does the starter need to be shimmed or what please give me some advice as i'm lost....

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???

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? 

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

Jared Whitman: I have a 78 Ford F100. Drove the truck to work today and as I was leaving my home it stalled on me. Lately it has been having a little trouble when I start it up in the morning after sitting overnight and I'll need to give it some gas a couple times to keep it from stalling. When I went to leave work I was getting the loud clicking noise from the solenoid exactly like in your video. I was ready to go out and get a new starter until I watched this. Does it sound to you like my issue is just a poor connection/low charge on my battery? My commute to work is only about 4 miles and is all city driving (nothing over 35mph usually), should I worry about my battery going dead on me? Thanks!

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!!!

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. 

Chase Grubbs: 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.

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.

David G: Thanks for well done informative video. It helped me to diagnosis and replace my solenoid. My old truck is up and running and ready for work. cheers. 

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

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.

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.

Chris Arancibia: excellent video.

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

Keithen Woody: I got a 2004 Ford F150.and i just put a new battery in.It work good for a week but the following Monday it still wont start.What you think.Help...

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

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

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

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

BsLEEzy506: Thanks for the vids they help alot.

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)

Billy Stephens: 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.

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