Turn the key and the large relay off the positive battery cable engages (clunk so to speak) but when hitting the starter button the small square starter relay gives just a light click, but nothing more and nothing happening at the starter. Battery voltage was a little low, but even with a jump from a car battery still nothing.Wish I had a simple starting system schematic to follow.
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It sounds to me that the small post or wire going to the starter is touching the large wire. The large wire is the positive battery cable and the small wire is the signal wire from the ignition switch. If the two are touching each other the starter will engage as soon as power is applied and circuit is completed at the battery.
Well, if your starter starts to turn when you hook the battery cable up, then you have hooked the cable to the wrong post on the starter. You have two large posts and one small post on the starter solenoid, the battery cable goes on the large post that has nothing else hooked to it. The other large post should have a large braided cable going into the starter motor housing. If the starter still will not turn the engine over when it is wired correctly then you will need to look closer at the flywheel ring gear.
If I understand your question correctly, the car won't turn over (engine won't crank). While it's possible that the starter relay may be bad, the first place I'd look is the starter solenoid. If you follow the positive battery cable away from the battery, it should lead you to the starter solenoid, which is mounted on the starter itself (you may have to crawl under the passenger side of the car to locate it). The cable from the battery attaches to one large terminal on the solenoid, while a very short cable leading into the starter attaches to the other large terminal. Using a screwdriver with an insulate handle, momentarily bridge or jumper between the two large terminals being careful to not touch the screwdriver to starter or solenoid casings. If the starter momentarily engages when you do this, look at the starter relay as the culprit. If nothing happens when you jumper the two large terminals, the starter solenoid is faulty. This is a picture of the starter with solenoid so you know what you're looking for.
In a '97 model car most of your relays would be in the power distribution box by the battery, but very seldom that is the problem. Truthfully, without a multi-meter and some electrical systems understanding, you would just be looking in the dark. But having checked your battery connections-both cables are snug and tight on a new, fully charged battery? And the new starter had its mounting bolts down tight and, most important, the electrical connections (large battery cable end, and the small starter solenoid wire) all put back in place and tightened down?
Well, if you got it all back together right, turning the key to crank should send voltage to the small wire on the starter solenoid, energizing it and allowing battery voltage to pass to the starter motor and thus crank the engine over. If you have a problem with the starter, that's where you start looking=at the starter. Check if the small wire has power in start position of the ignition switch. Cheery-o's!
The large red wire at the starter is to the battery. The smaller wire is hot in the start position only! have someone turn the key to start and then check for voltage. If you have voltage you need a starter. If there is no voltage you either have an open from the ignition switch or a bad switch on the column. 1 last thing. Most cars have a fusible link at the starter. If there is a short somewhere the wire acts like a fuse and blows. You can check that by pulling in the wire or just feeling for a spot with no wire.
Verify all the battery cables are clean and tight, check for acid intrusion into the positive battery cable as well also check the battery cables at the starter and engine ground connections for being tight and having no corrosion.. Turn the nut and or bolts a 1/4 turn just to clean any possible corrosion under them.
1st, have your battery check to make sure it is fully charged.
Next, check the cable connections on the battery to ensure the connections are clean and securely tightened.
If everything is okay, then you most likely have a bad starter solenoid (relay).
A starter solenoid (or starter relay) is the part of an automobile which relays a large electric current to the starter motor, which in turn sets the engine in motion. In many vehicles the solenoid also engages the starter pinion with the ring gear of the engine.
If a starter solenoid receives insufficient power from the battery, it will fail to start the motor, and may produce a rapid clicking or clacking sound. The lack of power can be caused by a low or dead battery, by corroded or loose connections in the battery cable, or by a damaged positive (red) cable from the battery. Any of these problems will result in some, but not enough, power being sent to the solenoid, which means that the solenoid will simply make a clicking sound, rather than setting the starter motor in motion.
To reduce the likelihood of starter solenoid failure, the battery connections should be cleaned and tightened at every oil change. Starter solenoid problems can be diagnosed by a mechanic at a service center by a test of the car's starting, charging and battery systems.
If it is a single click, the problem lies in the starter solenoid or relay. If it is several clicks in succession, the battery may be low or there may be a loose cable. ----------also try this :-- Please make sure the battery is fully charged before doing this test! Also make sure all the connections on the starter, battery and cable ends are tight and clean! this is important!! This won't be fun to test but it will tell you if the starter is good or not. Crawl under the car. (Make sure you use the proper jacks and jack stands!) find the end of the starter (not the end that is attached to the bell housing) and find the solenoid switch. it should have 3 bolts on it. Two large ones and a small one. The top large wire should be the positive battery cable, the bottom large wire should go into the starter and the small wire should be from the ignition switch. Take a wire and hold it to the top large wire on the solenoid. (be careful of the other end of that wire when you have it connected to the top large wire of the solenoid! don't ground this wire. it will turn out badly. take the other end of the wire and touch it to the small bolt on the solenoid end. If the starter is working, the solenoid should engage and the starter will turn. If this happens it is most likely the ignition switch. If the starter doesn't turn, the starter could be bad. ====Starter Relay Test Place transmission in Park. Apply parking brake. Check for battery voltage between starter relay battery terminal and ground. Connect jumper wire on starter relay between battery and ignition terminals. If engine does not crank, connect a second jumper wire to starter relay between ground terminal and good ground and repeat test. If engine cranks in step 3, transmission linkage is misadjusted or neutral safety switch is defective. If engine does not crank in step 3, starter relay is defective. Follow this step by step and you will pinpoint the problem. -------- This will help. Thanks please keep
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Does the starting solenoid engages? This is would sound like a deep clunk on your starter. When the solenoid engages it close the contact that energize the starter motor, but a worn contact on the solenoid would result in it engaging but not having enough current to turn the engine resulting in a clunking noise when you try to start.
The starter solenoid gets its 12 volt from a relay. This is referred to as the starter relay. If you try to crank, and you hear only a click but the starter do not turn, then the contacts on the relay maybe worn.
To sum it up, if you hear a loud clunk when it dont crank, its the starter solenoid. If you hear just a click but no crank, it could be the starter relay.