Remote Solenoid Issue?

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by sandiego74, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. sandiego74

    sandiego74 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I had an issue come up with my starting system from a few autocross events ago. After pulling off after doing my runs to work the course, where the car sat for about an hour, my remote starter solenoid made a single loud click upon attempting to start the car. Tried jumping the battery with no luck, and ended up having to roll-start the car. It had been starting fine ever since then until last autocross event, where the exact same problem occurred. This time, though, I haven’t been able to start the car normally since. The remote solenoid just clicks.

    This solenoid is fairly new, as I only installed it a few years ago and the car is barely driven. What could cause this? Thought it was just heat-soak at first, which I thought would never happen with it being in the trunk, but now I’m thinking the solenoid is just bad. Any recommendations on which solenoids are good to prevent this from happening again? I believe this one was just a cheap Autozone replacement for a Ford.
     
  2. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    How do you have the remote solenoid wired? Does it just power the existing solenoid on the starter, or does it bypass it completely somehow? The original solenoid on the starter not only provides power to the starter, but it also has to engage the starter drive gear in the flexplate/flywheel. If it hangs up and fails to move the starter drive gear, all you will hear is a click of the remote solenoid, or if you have found a way to power the starter directly from the remote solenoid and the starter drive hangs up, you will hear the starter spin but not engage the engine to turn it.
     
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  3. sandiego74

    sandiego74 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I’ve got it wired to the original solenoid on my mini-starter. Sounds like you agree that it’s the remote solenoid, itself, that is the issue.

    I didn’t get a chance to check power on it today, so I’ll get to it tomorrow. Figured I would create a thread and get some other ideas in the mean time.
     
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  4. sandiego74

    sandiego74 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    This is getting frustrating...

    I was finally able to check power and, indeed, the solenoid wasn’t switching on and transferring power to the starter. Went to Autozone and got a brand new one, put it on, and the engine cranked perfectly. I even tried it several times to make sure, though I never fully started the engine. This was yesterday.

    Today, I’m working on a few more things with the car, and I decide to check if it’s still starts. I turn the ignition, and nothing again. No clicking sound from the solenoid again. Now, I’ve had brand new parts go bad quick, but could this be something else other than the solenoid? Is the Optima battery pushing too much power through it and breaking it?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  5. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    Temporarily remove the solenoid and put power directly to it at the battery. That should tell you if it works correctly or not. The battery can't push too much power to the solenoid. The solenoid can draw only as much current as it is intended to draw through the windings. The only way to blow it out that fast would be to hit it with 24v or some other excessive voltage.
     
  6. cadillac_al

    cadillac_al Veteran Member

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    Sounds like either 2 dud solenoids or bad battery connections. Extra solenoid = extra connections.
     
  7. CorkyE

    CorkyE Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    My last experience with that, and I bought another starter thinking that was the problem, turned out to be the cut off switch I had on the negative post.
     
  8. sandiego74

    sandiego74 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I thought about the cut-off switch, but the solenoid is getting power every-time. I’m going to try a good solenoid from Summit and see if that does the trick. If not, then I am stumped.

    I’m pretty sure the ignition wire is getting power, but I’ll check that again, too.
     
  9. 71flh

    71flh Veteran Member

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    Unless the battery is relocated, I'd scrap the remote solenoid. It just does some of what the starter solenoid does, and it complicates things. People usually add them because they don't care to figure out the actual problem.
    You also need a voltmeter and think about what each part is doing, and troubleshooting rather than swapping parts.
     
  10. sandiego74

    sandiego74 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I’ve got the battery in the trunk, by the way, and everyone recommended using the solenoid. Hell, I definitely feel more comfortable knowing that massive 1ga cable going up front is only hot when starting the car. As for troubleshooting, I agree. I took my test light to nearly every connection. This whole issue started with the fusible link at the starter being burned up, but the solenoid started acting up immediately after that. Like I said, though, I have seen electrical parts go bad as soon as I’ve installed them, and I was even hesitant buying this solenoid from Autozone because their Duralast parts are terrible, but it’s all they had on-hand and it’s returnable. I just ordered a good one on Summit, so hopefully it does the trick. If not, it’s back to chasing power.

    ...I hate electrical...
     

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