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Old 07-23-2011, 02:36 PM   #1
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Default Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

You will need a 12V test light and a jumper lead.

Unplug the starter lead from the starter solenoid terminal, looks like this, black terminal...
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Starter lead terminal, looks like this...
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Pull back the insulation from terminal...
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Plug it back in and clamp jumper to it...
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Make sure car is not in gear and set hand brake, touch other end of jumper to batt. pos.(+) post...
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If engine cranks, starter and starter solenoid are good.

Clamp test light ground to the starter lead terminal, [just like the jumper lead was]...
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Stick the test light probe into the batt. neg.(-) post...
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If you are alone, you can see the test light through the bottom of hood...
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Turn ign. switch to start, if test light turns on, start circuit, [ign. switch, CIS, starter relay (A/T gear position switch) and wiring is good.

The test light "test" is good if engine cranking is intermittent, if test light turns on without engine crank, the problem is the starter, starter solenoid or power or ground for the starter, if the test light does not light up, the problem is the ign. switch, CIS, starter relay, [A/T gear position switch] or wiring for the above and more testing is needed.

More to come if needed. 94
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Last edited by fcm; 01-04-2012 at 07:23 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

Nice write up!
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

Hey great thread. This should obliterate at least half of the "my car won't crank" threads that were to come.
Hopefully this gets stickied
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Old 07-24-2011, 02:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

This is a handy write-up.



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Old 08-07-2011, 08:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

awesome.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

thanks fcm, should be stickied
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

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thanks fcm, should be stickied
I wish it was, I have to keep looking for it when I want to link it. 94
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

Nice write-up but if I can add from experience, jumping the starter doesn't always rule out the starter/starter solenoid. I had problems with a couple re-man starters from advance where the solenoid would stick even after jumping, as in the starter would click but wouldn't turn over. The one I have now (3rd times the charm) starts up every time
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

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Nice write-up but if I can add from experience, jumping the starter doesn't always rule out the starter/starter solenoid. I had problems with a couple re-man starters from advance where the solenoid would stick even after jumping, as in the starter would click but wouldn't turn over. The one I have now (3rd times the charm) starts up every time
If it does not work when doing a bypass jump, [jumping] then it is the starter or starter solenoid, that's the point of the bypass jump, to bypass all the things before the solenoid that might be the problem. 94
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

You thought you were done with this post.

Ok, I have a '95 Civic with an A/T transmission. Have trouble getting the starter to crank. Checked all the paths from the ignition circuit and all is good. If I put a jumper wire on the positive battery terminal to the starter solenoid it doesn't immediately start. After a few minutes it starts cranking away. I've brought the starter in and it tests good. Also, I have a brand new battery and cable from the battery to the starter. Could my starter have a bad ground to the block? Hard to believe. Thoughts?
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

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Originally Posted by kzar View Post
You thought you were done with this post.

Ok, I have a '95 Civic with an A/T transmission. Have trouble getting the starter to crank. Checked all the paths from the ignition circuit and all is good. If I put a jumper wire on the positive battery terminal to the starter solenoid it doesn't immediately start. After a few minutes it starts cranking away. I've brought the starter in and it tests good. Also, I have a brand new battery and cable from the battery to the starter. Could my starter have a bad ground to the block? Hard to believe. Thoughts?
The transmission ground could be bad or the starter solenoid and contact point.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

The starter is an electric motor it can test good but the solenoid could be your problem.
Always use a voltmeter rather than a test light. If your solenoid coil isn't getting 12v its not going to create enough electromotive force to close the contact tips ( transfers power over to your starter). Or your tips can close but be pitted and not have a good connection. If the tips don't close the starter won't get 12v. Or battery voltage. Also make sure the starter is grounded it typicly grounds threw the starter case.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

And instead of a jumper to your battery you could use an insulated screw driver and jump your solenoid to the starter power cable.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:02 PM   #14
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

Problem solved. The bottom line the problem was a 1 year old rebuilt starter and / or solenoid from Pep Boys. The hard part was I brought the starter into a auto parts store and they tested it and declared it was good! I then checked to make sure I had a good ground path from the starter to the block to the battery ground cable, all good. I was stumped. I had already replaced the postive battery cable and clamp to the battery so I knew the whole cable was good. Things just didn't add up. I pulled the starter again and brought it to Pep Boys where I originally bought the starter. Pep Boys declared the starter dead on arrival and promptly gave me a brand new starter for FREE. All is well now. thanks for the help.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

yeah never take electrcal stuff to pep boys autozone etc. When I was 16 I took them myalternator and said it was good ended up being bad and had my car down for a week cause of the morons.
They have the equipment to test it but not the brains to test it right..
They can sell parts like a **** though
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:50 PM   #16
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

The problem with pulling a starter or alt. to have it tested at a car parts store is the starter or alt. is not tested under load, and although a lot of starters and alt. will test as "good" when not under load, when loaded down it is a completely diff. story. 94
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:17 AM   #17
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

Bump to the top to make it easier to find. 94
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

Bump
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:07 AM   #19
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

I think I am going to have to get a Voltmeter and jumper lead to check this out. My 98 gsr won't turn over. Maybe 1-1000 cranks it will, I have changed all wires to starter checked fuses changed the starter 3 times. Funny thing is that last time my car turned over I guess my buddy saw some sparks from the starter. If I try to jump the car it turns right on...I really want to take care of this problem. I am new to the H-T team so here we go!
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:40 PM   #20
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

Super helpful thread. My car just quit turning over one morning, it has electricity to all the components, stereo, dash etc but wont crank when turning the ignition, fuel pump works fine, primes (and I roll started the car and runs great), it acts just like if you try to start it with the clutch pedal not pressed down all the way (safety switch) but I checked the plastic stopper and it's all fine, I even pressed both switches manually and it still didn't crank. And finally I tested the starter per this article and it cranked right away.

I heard the main relay also controls the fuel pump right? But it works so I assume I can check that off. So maybe it's a bad ground? What else should I check other than that?
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:51 AM   #21
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

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thanks fcm, should be stickied
Done!
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:45 PM   #22
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Default Re: Simple DIY start circuit test, [bypass jump]

thanks for the useful diy
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