So here it is. My car wouldn’t start, when i turn the key i hear a click, but the engine wont even turn over. Knee-jerk reaction was the battery, so i hooked up the battery to a charger. tried the quick jump setting, nothing. So i trickle charged it all night, nothing. I had the battery checked by O’Reilly Auto Parts, they said it was fine and fully charged (it better be after a night long charge!) Next i thought the starter, so i replaced the starter and still, when i turn the key the car wont even turn over. I heard it could be the solenoid, would this make sense? I also heard (or read rather in an answer to a similar question on this forum) that if it is the solenoid that you can tap the starter with a hammer while you try to start the car- still, it makes a single click when i turn the key and wont turn over. any help or tips would be appreciated
Get a cheap multimeter and set to read DC volts. Measure from the fat lead of the starter to ground (any big bare metal piece of the engine). You should see 12V there at all times.
Move the wire to the thinner wire on the starter and ground.
You should see 12V while starting.
It may be your starter. Actually it likely is the solenoid on the starter but they usually replace the entire starter.
So it may be the starter/solenoid , i haven’t had time to check yet, however are there any other possibilities? Since I replaced the entire starter, would it have to have been a faulty solenoid on the replacement?
It could be. I’d check with a voltmeter to be sure, tho.
Yep, a likely solenoid.
The way the system works is simple. When you turn the key, you apply 12VDC to the starter solenoid. The solenoid slides some parts that (1) engage the starter motor gear to the ring gear on the flywheel, and (2) close contacts that apply a full 12VDC directly from the battery to the starter motor windings. Every time the contacts open and close, they experience a slight arc, as all energized contacts will when opened and closed. Those small arcs cause vaporization of tiny amounts of the contact material, which adds up over time to erode the contacts.The clicking you hear is the solenoid moving the parts, but the contacts are eroded to the point that they’lll no longer allow the circuit to the motor windings.
In some vehicles the solenoid assembly can be changed seperately, but in most it’s a part of the starter motor assembly not designed to be fixed in the field. Although some guys have been know to do so. But in your case the labor would cost you more than a replacement starter assembly.
Follow Remco’s advice. And let us know how you make out. We do care.