Could the Starter Solenoid on Your Car Be Faulty?


When you turn the key in your car's ignition, several independent parts are supposed to turn the engine flywheel so the vehicle starts. While these parts are generally reliable, they can sometimes fail, and if they do, you're likely to be stranded. How can you find out what is wrong, and is there any quick fix to get you underway?

Starting System

On the side of the engine and adjacent to the point where the motor attaches to the gearbox, you will find the starter motor. This is a clutch activated device that, when it receives power, will mesh with the flywheel and turn the engine. Typically mounted on top of the starter motor is the solenoid. This is essentially a master switch and when in the off position, will isolate power from the starter motor.

Completing the Circuit

When you turn the key in the ignition, a separate sensor will activate the solenoid, complete a circuit and transfer power from the battery to the starter motor itself. The solenoid will then switch off when it senses that the engine has fired, and will remove power from the starter motor.

Faulty Solenoid

If the solenoid is stuck in the off position or is not receiving the right amount of power, then you may simply hear a click when you turn the ignition key. In this case, the contacts may have burned out, and you may need to replace the solenoid itself.

Jammed the Starter Motor

If you hear a loud click or a series of clicks, then the solenoid may be working, but the starter motor may be jammed. In this case, the teeth of the motor may have meshed with the teeth of the flywheel, and it may be possible for you to fix the situation relatively simply.

Freeing the Motor

If your car has a manual transmission, make sure that it is parked on a level surface with plenty of room around. Select second gear (while the engine is off, of course), exit the vehicle and then try to rock the vehicle forward and backwards gently. This may be enough to free the starter motor from the flywheel and get you back on the road.

Replacing the Solenoid

If you suspect, however, that the solenoid is faulty, then you will need to get it replaced. This is a job for a qualified mechanic and especially as the solenoid may be difficult to access and hard to remove.

For more information, contact a local car repair service.


27 October 2020

Critical Auto Service Tips for Business Travellers

If you drive a lot for business, you probably put a lot of kilometres on your vehicle. Whether you are driving from client to client in the same city or driving across the country, your vehicle needs to be well prepared for the journey. You don't want to miss out on a great opportunity because your car has broken down on the way to the meeting. Hi, my name is Carla, and I've been stranded on the side of the road, desperately trying to reach a client to reschedule. After that experience, however, I decided that I needed to pay more attention to auto service, and recently I decided to create this blog to help others in similar situations. Thanks for reading! I hope my tips help you!