Panic! My car suddenly won't start. What do I do next?

mrtask

Well-Known Member
#1
Panic! My car suddenly won't start. :(
When I turn the key the starter motor doesn't turn. I can hear a single dull 'click' but the engine isn't being turned over.
I've been out for a spin today, it had behaved flawlessly this morning.
Battery is charged, connections are clean and tight. Couldn't see any wiring connections being loose in the engine bay.
What should I be looking for? What do I do next?
 

harveyp6

Well-Known Member
#2
You could try giving the starter relay on the inner wing a tap with a screwdriver handle to make sure thats not sticking, and while you're there make sure the earth for the relay hasn't become dislodged from the brake fluid warning light switch. After that it's a case of getting a circuit tester out and seeing if you have a supply at the starter solenoid when the key is turned, and if not, tracing back from there.
 

harveyp6

Well-Known Member
#3
PS Don't forget to check that the two wires that went to the inhibitor switch when it was an auto, and you had to join together when you converted it to a manual, haven't come apart.
 

mrtask

Well-Known Member
#4
Thanks Harvey.
I'll wait until daylight tomorrow before I tinker with anything.
This unexpected hiccup has at least reminded me to join a roadside breakdown recovery service!
I just joined the AA online. Can't ask for their help for 24 hrs...
What with the car being lowered, getting to the starter motor and/or to the inhibitor switch wires in the tunnel is no easy thing.
 

mrtask

Well-Known Member
#5
Charged the battery, tapped on the starter relay, made certain all the wiring was snugly connected, thwacked the starter motor with a hammer, no joy. Admitting defeat I called upon the AA. The nice man with the van full of tools and toys got it started with his mobile battery, and diagnosed the starter solenoid as the culprit.
 
Top