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VIEW SOLUTIONS TO COMMON PROBLEMS
Neutral Safety Switch
Flywheel / Flexplate
Solenoid Heat Shield
Select a part to view solution for common problems associated with the item.
Operation: The battery stores the electrical energy that is used by the starter to crank the engine. Advice: Check for low voltage (less than 12 volts) or corrosion at the battery terminals. Either condition could cause the starter to turn slowly or not at all. Recommendations: Digital volt ohm meter
Operation: The Battery cables provide the electrical connection between the battery and the rest of the electrical system. Advice: Check for frayed wires or corrosion under the insulation or between the cable ends and the battery terminals. Corroded or frayed battery cables can not carry the electrical load necessary for proper engine cranking and can result in what appears to be a bad starter. Recommendations: Replace frayed or corroded battery cables.
Operation: When activated, the ignition switch sends 12 volts to the starter solenoid which in turn activates the starter. Advice: A faulty ignition switch can cause a no start condition. If the ignition switch is suspected to be bad, place the gear selector in Park or depress the clutch on standard transmissions and check for battery voltage at the trigger wire of the starter solenoid while holding the ignition switch in the crank position. If battery voltage is present, the ignition switch is not the cause of the no start condition. If battery voltage is not present, there may be a problem with the ignition switch, neutral safety / clutch interlock switch or the wiring harness in between. Recommendations: Digital volt ohm meter
Operation: On a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission, the neutral safety switch inhibits starter operation unless the gear selector is in the Park or Neutral position. On vehicles with a standard transmission this job is handled by the clutch interlock switch, which inhibits starter operation unless the clutch pedal is depressed. Advice: The neutral safety switch and the clutch interlock switch can be tested with an ohm meter. Disconnect the electrical connector from the switch and check for continuity across the terminals. Continuity should exist only when the gear selector is in Park or neutral or when the clutch is depressed. Recommendations: Digital volt ohm meter
Operation: Starter shims are used to correctly position the starter in relation to the ring gear on the flywheel or flexplate. Advice: Worn gear teeth on the starter drive and / or the ring gear is an indication of improper starter mounting. Follow the directions that come with the shim kit for proper installation.
Operation: The starter solenoid and the starter relay are magnetic switches that are activated by the low current of the ignition switch to close a circuit controlling the flow of very high current to the starter. In the case of the starter mounted solenoid it also physically moves the starter drive into contact with the ring gear. Advice: The most common indication of a bad starter solenoid or starter relay is a rapid clicking noise whenever the ignition switch is turned to the crank position. This condition can also be caused by low battery voltage or high resistance caused by loose or corroded battery cables and / or connections.
Operation: Vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission have a flexplate, vehicles equipped with a standard transmission have a flywheel. Both flywheels and flexplates have a ring gear that the starter interacts with to crank the engine. Advice: Before mounting the new starter, check the ring gear for chipped or worn teeth. In the case of a flexplate, check for cracks between and around the flexplate mounting bolts. If damage is found in either area, the flywheel/flexplate should be replaced. Failure to do so will damage the new starter. Recommendations: Replace a cracked or worn flexplate/Flywheel.
Operation: Some starters require a shield to protect them from the searing heat of the exhaust system. Advice: Failure to reinstall the heat shield will cause a new starter to fail in a short period of time. If the vehicle came with a heat shield make sure it goes back on whenever the starter is replaced.