Starter juice - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 09, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Starter juice

I took my old starter to autozone (a DL3510S) and had it tested. It did the same thing on their bench that it did in my car... work occasionally. I replaced it with the same starter #. But the new one won't start or click at all. It seems that I'm not getting enough amps to the solenoid. I don't know what the amp draw is. I put a jumper wire from my battery to the "S" terminal of the solenoid and the starter works fine. So I can tell the volts or amps in my car's purple wire is not enough. I put a test light on various points on the purple wire and the current is there... but not enough to activate the solenoid to turn the starter. Can anyone tell how much juice I shoud be getting to the solenoid "S" terminal and how do I use a mulitmeter to test it? Should I set it on "A" 20m or 200m? I just bought the multimeter and don't know how to use it. Thanks.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 09, 08:51 PM
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Re: Starter juice

You'll need probably 10 amps for solenoid power. Your meter may not be set up for 10 amp reading unless its a Fluke or Beckmann.

Your scale reading of 20 mA & 200 mA is 0.020 amps and 0.200 amps respectively, not near enough.

Usually its the ignition switch after years of use, the contacts get a carbon buildup. You can replace it or for short term fix, use a marine pushbutton starter switch wired to BAT cable and S terminal with #10 AWG wire to pacify for the time.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 09, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Starter juice

I purchased a DT830 multi meter. The 20mA & 200mA I referred to are settings on the dial. I'm not sure where to set the dial to take the readings. The box is still unopened. It has a 10A input (unfused) and a 200mA max. input jack for the hot wire probe. Where do I set the dial to see if I'm getting 10 amps at the end of the wire? And, should I put the probe into the 200mA jack? Or should I return it to Autozone and get another type of meter?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 09, 08:33 AM
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Re: Starter juice

That meter will be fine.

You don't "get" amps, you "draw" them. How many amps a circuit draws depends on the resistance in the circuit

As Everett said, very possibly your ignition switch has excessive resistance. Could be a problem with the neutral safety switch too.

In the electrical basics sticky there are a few articles that will help you understand electricity and the use of that new meter. Congratulations on purchasing a diagnostic tool, now go read up on how to use it.





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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 09, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starter juice

Those stickies are great stuff... Thanks! Now I know how to access the ignition switch. I thought it was inside the upper part of the column instead of at the bottom.
Great stuff! Thanks.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 09, 11:46 PM
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Re: Starter juice

I'd advise you to stay away from using a meter to measure amps. There are two many things that can go wrong using amps.

Just measure the voltage drop between the solenoid wire and the battery (+) while a helper cranks it over. You should see minimal voltage (0.05 or less). Do the same test on the ground (motor shell) to battery (-) with a helper cranking. If you see more then look at ingnitions switches, connectors (firewall connector, ignition switch connectors), etc.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 23rd, 09, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starter juice

Thanks for the warning, "...using meters for amp checks". On my day off I plan to take a look at the ignition switch... go over it with emery paper and/or contact cleaner depending on what I see it needs. I'll run those voltage checks as suggested.

And I'll keep on reading other postings when I can. "Ground wire catches fire"... lots of good info there.
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