TROUBLESHOOTING BASIC STARTING SYSTEM PROBLEMS

Many starting system problems are the result of neglect. This chart will show you which problems you can fix yourself and which require professional service.

Problem Is Caused By What To Do

Engine does not crank (Solenoid or relay does not click) Dead battery Charge or replace battery
Loose, corroded or broken connections Clean or repair connections
Corroded battery terminals (lights will usually light) Clean terminals
Faulty ignition switch Have ignition switch checked/ replaced
Faulty neutral safety switch or clutch switch (To test: push on brake pedal, hold key in start position and move shift lever or clutch pedal) Have neutral safety switch or clutch switch checked or replaced
Defective starter switch, relay or solenoid. Have defective component replaced

Engine will not crank (Solenoid or relay clicks) Low or "dead" battery Charge or replace battery
Corroded battery terminals or cables Clean or replace terminals or cables
Defective starter solenoid or relay Have defective component replaced
Defective starter motor (if current is passed through relay or solenoid) Have starter replaced or overhauled

Starter motor cranks slowly Low battery Charge or replace battery
Loose, corroded or broken connections Clean, repair or replace connections
Cable size too small Replace with proper size cable
Internal starter motor problems Have starter replaced or overhauled
Engine oil too heavy Use proper oil viscosity for temperature
Ignition timing too far advanced Set timing to specifications

Starter spins, but will not crank engine Broken starter drive gear Have drive gear replaced
Broken flywheel teeth Have flywheel checked

Noisy starter motor Starter mounting loose Tighten mounting bolts
Worn starter drive gear or flywheel teeth Have starter or flywheel checked
Worn starter bushings Have starter replaced or overhauled