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When ignition switch is turned to start I get a small click but starter does not engage

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Hi,

If the starter or solenoid clicks but nothing else happens when you attempt to start the engine, there may not be enough amps to spin the starter. Or the starter may be bad. A poor battery cable, solenoid or ground connection, or high resistance in the solenoid itself may be the problem. A voltage check at the solenoid will reveal if battery voltage is passing through the ignition switch circuit. If the solenoid or relay is receiving battery voltage but is not closing or passing enough amps from the battery to spin the starter motor, the solenoid ground may be bad or the contacts in the solenoid may be worn, pitted or corroded. If the starter cranks when the solenoid is bypassed, a new solenoid is needed, not a starter.
Most engines need a cranking speed of 200 to 300 rpm to start, so if the starter is weak and can't crank the engine fast enough to build compression, the engine won't start. In some instances, a weak starter may crank the engine fast enough but prevent it from starting because it draws all the power from the battery and does not leave enough for the injectors or ignition system.


If the lights dim and there is little or no cranking when you attempt to start the engine, the starter may be locked up, dragging or suffering from high internal resistance, worn brushes, shorts or opens in the windings or armature. A starter current draw test will tell you if the starter is pulling too many amps.


A good starter will normally draw 60 to 150 amps with no load on it, and up to 200 amps or more while cranking the engine. The no load amp draw depends on the rating of the starter while the cranking amp draw depends on the displacement and compression of the engine. Always refer to the OEM specs for the exact amp values. Some "high torque" GM starters, for example, may have a no load draw of up to 250 amps. Toyota starters on four-cylinder engines typically draw 130 to 150 amps, and up to 175 amps on six-cylinder engines.


Hope this helps,Good luck!!

Posted on Aug 06, 2010

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so i am going to assume that you jumped from the battery side to the starter side on the relay and that engaged the starter... which is fine but you say the relay clicks when u turn the key. Pull off the clip on wire from the relay and push it against the battery side connection on the relay (u may need a small screwdriver to assist the connection) the relay should cause the starter to engage. If it just clicks (my bet) then you need to replace the relay (its really called a solenoid )

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