Question about 1996 Pontiac Sunfire

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Starter wiring messed up need help

I just bought a 1996 pontiac sunfire se and the wires going to the starter are all cut and re connected with different wires and the car wont start with the key but if i jump it off the solinoid or bridge the relay it will what do you think the problem is and what wires are supposed to go to the starter

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  • Anonymous Mar 26, 2014

    abs wire from the wheel is dangling as well as the wire that it is supposed to connect to



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There should be a large battery cable red going to the large terminal of the solenoid, another thin wire going to the flat blade connector which should go to the starter switch, The way to test the wires to find out which one is the ignition switch wire is to get someone to sit in the car and turn the ignition key as if to start it and you can use a simple test light to see which one goes on and off as the ignition switch is turned on and off.
There should be another wire that connects to the same terminal as the battery cable which goes to the altenator, about twice the size as the small wire is. If there are any more wires I am not sure where they will go to.
Hope that works for you

Posted on May 09, 2009


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I am not familiar with the model or the modification. The relay is required to act as a switch to relieve the load on the igniton/starter switch and the stock wiring. The starter switch now switches on the relay instead of operating the starter directly.

The relay contains two parts - the switching contacts and the relay coil or electromagnet that when energised pulls the switching contacts together or apart depending on design.

For use as a starter relay a standard 4-pin relay would be suitable but a 5-pin could be used without detriment leaving one pin unused.

The wire from the ignition/starter switch will be used to energise the relay coil and therefore switch on the current flow to the solenoid. In order to energise it must be part of a circuit and so current must flow through the coil from the ignition/starter switch and then to ground - the thin black wire is traditionally the ground wire for the relay coil, but you will need to check this yourself.

In order to switch a good supply of current to the starter soleniod the relay switching contacts are connected, one to a battery supply and the other one to the soleniod S terminal. The battery supply could be from the battery or from the large stud terminal of the soleniod. If from the battery or other remote place best practice would be to ensure a suitable fuse is also included. While the relay coil ground wire is traditionally thin the battery supply and solenoid wires traditionally are fairly thick.

Sometimes a relay has a helpful circuit imprinted on the cover. Many relays can easily have the cover removed and once you see inside the way it works becomes failty obvious.

I hope this helps...

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check ALL connections relating to the starter and please email me at with any other info or questions

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