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No Crank No Start unless I jump from solenoid?


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66 replies to this topic

#26 sregor13

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 10:04 PM

Okay the problem has returned.
Sometimes the car starts fine, other times when turning the key there is a long pause before it starts ( a moment of silence preceding), and yet other times I have to click click click it until it catches and starts. Very scary when having a hungry baby in you car in a Walmart Parking lot. Consistently one thing that actually will start the car without fail is by arching the Spade terminal with the Battery lead that goes in the back of the Starter. ( I do this with a very long screwdriver) This should tell us something. I need help and I need it quick. This car is about to be used by a single mother of two and winter is right around the corner.


So i tried the switch idea as a temporay fix until some genius is able to peice together the puzzle of this dilema and solve the problem entirely.- I put in a push button and had it set up as such- The button had a known to be good positive lead ran to one side and a good ground on the other. The switched lead ran to the spade terminal on the back of the starter ( I believe this to be the solenoid-not sure). So this would send 12 V to the terminal just like turning the key should do. This worked great as long as the key was in the off position. Now it is not even working at all! So I really in a bind.

I have a starter from a 90 Legacy, not sure if it will work in this ride, but if someone can help me troubleshoot this I would be very greatful. Thanks Gabe

#27 Cougar

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 10:45 PM

If you don't have a test light probe to check voltage with I would suggest you get one. Then you will know if you have voltage to the test point. We need to check voltages from the ignition switch. Your first check is to see if the ignition switch is ok. Place the probe on the start contact. Hopefully it is marked "ST" or something like that. The wire color may be Blk/Yel. If the probe shows you have voltage while the problem is occuring then you need to check the inhibit switch. My manual shows that the inhibit switch uses the colors black/white and black/yellow. Using your probe to check those connections should lead you to the trouble if you can catch it while it is happening and the wiring is the same.

#28 sregor13

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 10:59 PM

I have this thing that is a wire with a couple of metal poins on it ( knida like the points on a cheap Soldering Iron) Anyways on the handle is a red l.e.d. Is this a test light?

Just to note the black and yellow wire and the black and white were jumpered to bypass the N.S.S. As I recall the black and white wire was coming from the Ignition switch and the Back and yellow wire was going to the starter. Or perhaps visa versa. Regardless, should I put the test light on after the jumpered connection? I did test the Voltage on the wire that leads to the Solenoid Spade Connnector. It had 12V. I will go check it out.

On the inhibit switch are you saying to test before and after the Sitch. If so do you have any idea where the switch is located? Thanks

#29 Hendrik

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 02:20 AM

Electrical internal resistance ?
The look at :

http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=38952

#30 Cougar

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 02:57 AM

The device you have may be a test probe though they usually have a regular light bulb in the handle. If it is a LED, then it shouldn't work in the reverse polarity position. Place the probe across the battery and reverse it to see if the light works both ways.The inhibit switch is under the car near the shifter area I think. You need to trace each wire connection while the trouble is happening to find the trouble spot.

You should only have voltage on the small solenoid wire when trying to start the car. The voltage turns on the solenoid to run the starter. Something isn't right if you had voltage there and the key wasn't in the start position. The device you have may be a continuity tester. If there is a battery in it then it is not what you want, you need to get a voltage tester.

#31 MilesFox

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 08:59 AM

hjow did you hook up thge pushbutton? ypu will want your wire to come from +12v to the switch, and then from the switch to the starter

from what i read you connected a wire from the starter to the switch to ground?

you can use the fuse panel for 12v+ from the accessory and run pos, so the starter works only with the key on

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#32 sregor13

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 11:58 PM

Okay I have a 12V lead going to the switch and then from the Switch to the Starter. So that if the key is on and I push the button then it sends 12V to the Starter Spade Terminal. I was mistaken about the Ground. I was thinking of a toggle. Needless to say I just used a Hot lead from where the Radio used to be. I am pretty sure it is a switch 12V but it might be a constant. For some reason this is not working. However I think I should note that the usual wire that hooks on to the Spade Terminal is also on the same terminal. The wire from the Pushbutton and the usual wire are crimped together and both on the spade terminal on the back of the starter. BTW What is the Spade Terminal? Is that the solenoid? Does the pushbutton need to be going directly to the big red positive lead on the back of the starter next to the Spade Terminal? Thanks

#33 Cougar

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 01:24 AM

I assume you have checked to see that when you push the button, that there is actually 12 volts getting to the solenoid. It shouldn't matter that the old solenoid wire is still on there unless it is shorted to ground somehow. You will just backfeed 12 volts on the line. It doesn't matter where you tie the lead to for the 12 volts as long as it can handle the rather small amount of current needed to run the solenoid coil.

You asked about the spade terminal and yes, that is the solenoid terminal. If the solenoid isn't working when 12 volts is applied to the terminal then the solenoid coil is open and you will need to replace it. Using your ohmmeter to measure the coil resistance will prove it.

#34 KStretch55

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 10:36 AM

This is exactly the same problem I've been chasing in my 93 Loyale 3AT w/pushbutton single range 4X4.
Mine will start everytime by the "short with a screwdriver" method or with a remote starter switch hooked between the battery positive terminal and the starter solenoid terminal (small spade connector on the starter). This confirms that the starter is fine. I was pretty sure of that, because I've had it apart a couple of times, checked it over and replaced the solenoid contacts.
With the starter out and secured to the rubber intake duct with zip ties, I hooked a jumper wire between the solenoid connector and the solenoid input wire. I clamped the normal starter ground cable (normally connected to the bracket that's held under the top starter mount bolt) to the starter with a C clamp and connected the starter hot lead cable (the red one) to the stud on the starter (where it's normally connected). So, for all intent and purpose, the starter is connected as normal, just not mounted to the bellhousing. With it mounted and hooked up in this fashion, it functions every time without fail. However, remember there is no load on it.
This confirms to me that the starter is fine, even though I can't put a load on it without it mounted to the bell housing, it worked fine with a load and the screwdriver short or remote starter switch. This also confirms that my starter curcuit is working, to a point. I think this tells me that somewhere between the ignition switch and the spade connector for the starter solenoid I have a connector or switch contacts with higher than normal resistance, since the solenoid clacks like the electro magnet is pulling the plunger but not with enough current to move it far enough to overcome the spring and engage the starter contacts.
I've checked the ignition switch and the connector that is closest to it, so far. The connector has obviously been hot at some time, which seems to be typical, but is making good contact. This leads me to believe that my problem is either another connector further down the line or the inhibit switch and I haven't had time to look further for the last couple of weeks. I have tried shifting to nuetral when the no start condition occurs and can't say it makes any difference. I really suspect it's the inhibit switch that is my problem. It's either out of alignment, dirty or worn out. I don't know for sure yet, but I believe it's mounted on top of the tranny near the shifter. When I get time to look further I'll post what I find. Good luck.

BTW, someone else out there probably knows better than I, but I don't believe there were ever any 4 speed Auto trannies nor dual range auto trannies installed in Loyales. Yours must be a transplant, correct?

[quote name='sregor13']Okay the problem has returned.
Sometimes the car starts fine, other times when turning the key there is a long pause before it starts ( a moment of silence preceding), and yet other times I have to click click click it until it catches and starts. Very scary when having a hungry baby in you car in a Walmart Parking lot. Consistently one thing that actually will start the car without fail is by arching the Spade terminal with the Battery lead that goes in the back of the Starter. ( I do this with a very long screwdriver) This should tell us something. I need help and I need it quick. This car is about to be used by a single mother of two and winter is right around the corner.

#35 Cougar

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 10:57 AM

I've checked the ignition switch and the connector that is closest to it, so far. The connector has obviously been hot at some time, which seems to be typical, but is making good contact.

BTW, someone else out there probably knows better than I, but I don't believe there were ever any 4 speed Auto trannies nor dual range auto trannies installed in Loyales. Yours must be a transplant, correct?


I would be very suspicious of the burned connector causing this problem. To check it out I would see what a voltmeter reads on boths sides of the connection while trying to start the car. There should be the same 12 volts on either side of the connector. You need to test this with everything hooked up normally so the current is flowing to the solenoid. Even if this isn't the problem, a burned connector should be fixed. It will only get worse over time. Another way to do this is to measure across the connector while starting. If the contacts are good there will be no voltage drop across the contacts so no voltage will be read.

As far as trannys, I think my '88 GL-10 had a 4 speed.

#36 KStretch55

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 11:09 AM

Agree. I did just that, and cleaned up both sides of the connector with a tiny wire brush, then used epoxy to repair the damaged shell and secure the terminals. Should be as good or better than new now.

I stand corrected, I read where someone else said they had a GL-10 that had a 4 speed AT too. Wish I had one. The 3AT is great for everything except freeway driving or highways with steep grades.

#37 Cougar

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 11:12 AM

Agree. I did just that, and cleaned up both sides of the connector with a tiny wire brush, then used epoxy to repair the damaged shell and secure the terminals. Should be as good or better than new now.

I stand corrected, I read where someone else said they had a GL-10 that had a 4 speed AT too. Wish I had one. The 3AT is great for everything except freeway driving or highways with steep grades.


I take it then that the problem is still there and the inhibit switch needs to be checked. This is under the car, near the shifter I believe. Did you check the voltage there to make sure it is ok while in the start mode?

#38 KStretch55

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 05:30 PM

Yep, it's still an intermittant problem. Finding the inhibit switch and checking the voltage and current across it is my next project. Just have to find the time, hopefully this weekend.

#39 MilesFox

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 08:07 PM

if pushbuttoning doesnt work, run the spade terminal from a wire and touch it on the battery post. if you hear a click but the starter doesnt turn, check the continuity between the starter and the battery post across the battery cable itself

had a problem that baffled me turned out to be the battery cable was broken inside the insulation

#40 sregor13

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 11:47 PM

BTW, someone else out there probably knows better than I, but I don't believe there were ever any 4 speed Auto trannies nor dual range auto trannies installed in Loyales. Yours must be a transplant, correct?

I will write more later, but mine is not a transplant. It is a 4 Speed Auto Turbo 90 Loyale with Full Time 4WD. I dont even think it was called AWD for this model. Also is goes Drive 3rd 2nd and then there is a hold button below all that that I think is supposed to denote a 1st Gear. Thanks

#41 Cougar

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 01:12 AM

That's just the way my factory installed tranny was.

#42 sregor13

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 01:19 AM

Ok, took my wire off the Solenoid. Ran a wire straight from the battery with the key in the on position and started up fine.

Tested the back of the ignition switch. The Black and white wire gave off 12V when I cranked the key. So I went all the way to the end of that line right where it would normally connect to the Solenoid and it still was giving off 12V upon Cranking. So capped that off for now and hooked up the switch indepentantly.

The Switch is ran from a green wire by where the radio used to be. It appears to be a Constant 12V hot line. That runs into the Switch and the other goes striaght to the Solenoid.

I have been just using a Multi-meter to check for juice on these wires. Like I said, the Black and White Wire that is typically hooked up to the solenoid is producing 12V when I crank the key. I have not hooked it up at this point.

I have hooked up the wire coming from my Pushbutton Switch. It does produce 12V when I push the button. This will crank the starter, and the car will start when the key is turned to the on position ( not start but acc on) Just to note, the wire going to the Pushbutton is a Constant 12V Lead. I might make it switchable at some point, at this time it is not.

So can anyone expliain what the inhibit switch does? Is there any thing else I can do until it starts to screw up again? Thanks

#43 Cougar

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 04:00 PM

So can anyone expliain what the inhibit switch does? Is there any thing else I can do until it starts to screw up again? Thanks


The inhibit switch is there so the engine can't be started up unless the shifter is in the Park or Neutral position.

#44 sregor13

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 01:08 PM

Ok thanks, I am pretty sure I bypassed that by Jumpering the wires earlier. Thanks

#45 Mr. Carb

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 10:42 PM

I'm having the same weird problem with the coup, sometimes it starts, and sometimes it doesn't, but if I jump the battery + terminal on the starter to the silonoid it starts without issue... Problem seems to exist between the ignition and the wire, I have yet to do any trooble shooting on it yet. Been focused on getting it through emissions. I will return to this post when I make findings..

#46 KStretch55

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 12:40 AM

Ok, here's my latest update on chasing this li'l Gremlin: I pulled up the console and found the inhibit switch. On mine (92' Loyale wagon) it's mounted to the shifter. I ohmed the switch and it was good, closed in Park and Nuetral (with very little resistance) and open in all other positions. I disconnected the connector to it (the largest connector under there, it has 8 - 12 wires in and out. I don't recall exactly now) I used a voltmeter to find the wire that gets 12v when the ignition switch is put in the "start" position. As I expected it was the large black with yellow tracer(there's two of them, one is input to the inhibit switch and one is output from the inhibit switch to the starter). With the connector disconnected I got 11.9v at the connector with the key in "start" on one of the black/yellow wires and 0v on the other. With the connector reconnected and the key in "start", it started the first time, of course. When I got the no start gremlin, there was only 8.9v on the input (to inhibit) black/yellow wire and 8.6v black/yellow output (from inhibit to starter). Indicates to me that something is pulling the voltage down. I'm kind of stumped, but have a theory that I'm going to check out tomorrow.

My theory: When I first took the starter apart I put a very light film of grease on the solenoid cylinder (whatever you call the steel cylinder that the electromagnet pulls to initiate the starter). I'm wondering if that grease causes a bit too much drag or an air seal that prevents the solenoid from fully initiating. So, I'm going to pull the starter and clean out all the grease and excess oil in that part of the mechanism and see if that works any better. Some things are made to work with little or no lube, or dry lube only.

Any thoughts????

#47 Cougar

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 03:08 AM

Any thoughts??? You betchya we got thoughts on your good troubleshooting info. Don't pull the starter.

The low voltage means there is a resistance problem (bad connection) up stream of the inhibit connector. The BY wire ties to the ignition switch and from there it ties to a large white wire that goes to the black fusible link that ties to the battery. My bet is the fusible link connection is bad. If the fusible link checks out ok and has good contact then the ignition switch is the culprit or in the wiring to it or the inhibit switch. The wires should be ok unless they are damaged somehow. There may be a loose connector on the ignition switch that is causing this problem also. By removing the covers over the steering column you may find the problem there. If the link is ok then check that.

#48 KStretch55

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 12:42 PM

Thanks. I'll try that and let you know.

#49 KStretch55

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 08:22 PM

Well, I pulled the black fusible link and checked it with the ohm meter. Twisted it around to make sure it didn't have a break or intermittent connection. Put it back in and haven't had the problem since. Could be it was oxidation built up on the connectors, but I didn't see any that was obvious. Will keep you posted.

#50 Cougar

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 11:39 PM

You might want to clean the contacts with some alcohol or contact cleaner. Be sure the connection is tight.




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