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Old 12-27-2011, 08:21 PM   #1
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1 click at starter solenoid no start?

My car was doing this single click noise each time I would try to start the car. It was intermittent at first but now car won't start at all. It would happen on first try sometimes the second try and then start.

After some troubleshooting I found the relay was making the single click noise, the battery is new and has 12.73 volts and the same voltage from positive wire to starter is the same. I tested the ignition wire going to the solenoid on the starter and when we turned the key to start the car the light on my tester came on at the same time and for the same length of time as the click from the relay.

I've bench tested the starter myself and the starter worked fine. I also took it to Autozone to get it tested and the guy there tested it 4 times and it passed all 4 times.

I'm removing the old non working alarm to help with my process of elimination of causes. I don't feel my ignition switch is bad or my neutral safety switch is causing the problem.

I could be wrong and that's why I decided to post this. Can someone help me with a solution, money is very tight right now I can replace A part so I'm trying to find out which part exactly. Thanks ahead of time.

Oh and as a side note the bolt on the solenoid that the positive wire from the battery goes to is loose, that's not normal right? Once I tighten the nut on the bolt it doesn't move around anymore.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:03 PM   #2
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It could just be a bad connection. If the battery is good and its clicking then it could simply be a bad connection you forgot to tighten? Maybe knocked a ground loose as well?
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:39 PM   #3
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I don't remember the bolt for the battery cable being loose on the starter. When you have the battery cable off of the starter, does the bolt move in and out of the solenoid housing or does it just wiggle? If it moves in and out, then tightening the bolt may be pulling the internal contact out of alignment inside.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:44 PM   #4
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Everytime I have bought a starter from Autozone it has failed, even when they tested it and it worked before I left. Was it a refurbished starter? Those are terrible. Even though they say they refurb everything they only refurb the broken parts.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:21 PM   #5
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Not sure if starter is refurbished or not more than likely it's the original. My father in-law bought it from his brother 8 years ago and his brother bought it new from the dealership. The car was never taken care of properly, only news tires when needed, oil changes 3 times a year I'd say and a tune up every other year. It was never driven hard or ran to the ground carelessly though. 235k miles and wasn't treated right until I started taking care of it.

The ground wires have been checked and even an extra ground was added. Wire from negative post to frame and extra from same point on frame to front of engine block. I had a third that went from 17 mm bolt on starter to a different point of frame but made no difference so I removed it.

I'm willing to bet the solenoid is the problem. You can wiggle the bolt the positive cable goes to when the nut is loosened but it doesn't move in and out. For a better description it will wiggle about 1/16th of an inch in any direction.

Thanks guys for your input, anything else you think it could be or that I should check?
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:51 AM   #6
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If it's a automatic trans try moving the gear selector around in the Park position while trying to start it.
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:24 AM   #7
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I had the same problem and tried just about all the steps you did. After finally degreasing and wire brushing that solenoid switch she started easily.

If the solenoid switch is bad replace it with a new or used OEM. The solenoid switch I got at autozone years back was not solid so I had to hold the key in start for 5 seconds to get enough current to the starter. I also couldn't remote start it with that aftermarket solenoid switch.
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:29 AM   #8
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Refurbished starters almost always prematurely fails
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:35 AM   #9
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Yeah rebuilt Nissan starters are like that...they test good on a bench, but not installed in a vehicle....The starter solenoids seem to fail and the solenoids always seem to lack enough current to slide the solenoid enough to engage the starter with the flywheel, flexplate!
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:38 AM   #10
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At the shop I worked at, the guys who used to rebuild our starters, I used to repeatedly change them all the time.. I think he used to change a little part on it and we would actually be paying for the new starter paint hed put on crooks
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:47 PM   #11
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12V at the starter end of POS cable?
12V at starter signal wire when turning key?
Good connection at both ends of NEG cable?
google voltage drop testing.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:27 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by asand1 View Post
12V at the starter end of POS cable?
12V at starter signal wire when turning key?
Good connection at both ends of NEG cable?
google voltage drop testing.
I really appreciate the assistance fella's. I haven't done much with it since Thursday, cause of New Years and all.

I'm going to try the volt drop test tonight.

However I did measure the some points on the solenoid and got strange readings. These battery and pos terminal on solenoid were tested before turning the key to start position.

Battery: 12.5 v's
Wire from from + bat terminal to terminal on solenoid: 12v's

These tests were done during the turn of key to start position.

Ignition wire from + bat terminal to other (forgot technical name) terminal on solenoid: .4 v's
Soldered point connected to ignition wire on solenoid terminal: 8v's

I didn't finish cause I had to leave, I took starter out and took it apart last night to check brushes which look new surprisingly but I think there might be some dirt and grease interfering between starter wall and brushes How do get the brushes out of there if I needed too?

Anyone think the readings are strange or to be expected?
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:51 PM   #13
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our cars are notorious for the ground to the starter. its grounded though the bell housing of the trans and over time it corrodes causing a hard start. run 5 separate ground wires see if that helps
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:39 PM   #14
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our cars are notorious for the ground to the starter. its grounded though the bell housing of the trans and over time it corrodes causing a hard start. run 5 separate ground wires see if that helps


I'll go ahead sand both of the mounting surface areas and reattach the third from the starter to either the frame or the bell housing like you suggested. I currently have a ground going from neg battery term to frame next to where the battery sits. Another ground wire from that same point to front of the engine. I'll also sand those areas down just for good measure. I've heard the theory "You can never have too many grounds" before hopefully my problem is a simple grounding issue.

The voltage readings I got earlier still strike me as strange too though. I don't understand why the terminal on the solenoid where the ignition wire goes to would say .4 but the the part that is soldered coming from same terminal would say .8 volts. If the ground solves my problem then I'll forget all about the voltage readings. I'll let ya'll know what happens tomorrow.
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMax03 View Post
Yeah rebuilt Nissan starters are like that...they test good on a bench, but not installed in a vehicle....The starter solenoids seem to fail and the solenoids always seem to lack enough current to slide the solenoid enough to engage the starter with the flywheel, flexplate!
The bolt (terminal) on the solenoid where the +battery cable goes to is hella loose. I want to see if I could open the solenoid up and correct but it I can't figure how to get inside the casing. Any idea?
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:26 AM   #16
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The head of that bolt is one of the switch contacts for the starter motor. You can short the two large contacts on he solenoid with a screw driver to check the operation of the starter motor and cables. This eliminates the solenoid and ignition switch from the circuit. I suspect you have a bad solenoid.

Each connection is expected to have a .2v drop. .6v between the battery post and starter signal terminal is good.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:32 PM   #17
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It's been a few days and I have just now been able to get back to work on my starter issue. I have taken it apart and I will be investigating the condition of the brushes and contacts. Forget about my question on whether or not I could get in to the solenoid. It's not gonna happen cause it's sealed on one side and all one piece on the other side. Instead I'll focus on everything else then put it back in and try it out.

Should know something by tonight or tomorrow.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mnick1 View Post
It's been a few days and I have just now been able to get back to work on my starter issue. I have taken it apart and I will be investigating the condition of the brushes and contacts. Forget about my question on whether or not I could get in to the solenoid. It's not gonna happen cause it's sealed on one side and all one piece on the other side. Instead I'll focus on everything else then put it back in and try it out.

Should know something by tonight or tomorrow.
Replace the solenoid as suggested earlier. That bolt should NOT move.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:20 AM   #19
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I've replaced my starter solenoid probably around 3 times in the life of my car. I have just resolved myself to it being one of those quirks, like the Knock Sensor, that happens on all 4th gens. But the grounding did minimize the clicks prior to replacing it this third time.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mnick1 View Post
My car was doing this single click noise each time I would try to start the car. It was intermittent at first but now car won't start at all. It would happen on first try sometimes the second try and then start.

After some troubleshooting I found the relay was making the single click noise, the battery is new and has 12.73 volts and the same voltage from positive wire to starter is the same. I tested the ignition wire going to the solenoid on the starter and when we turned the key to start the car the light on my tester came on at the same time and for the same length of time as the click from the relay.

I've bench tested the starter myself and the starter worked fine. I also took it to Autozone to get it tested and the guy there tested it 4 times and it passed all 4 times.

I'm removing the old non working alarm to help with my process of elimination of causes. I don't feel my ignition switch is bad or my neutral safety switch is causing the problem.

I could be wrong and that's why I decided to post this. Can someone help me with a solution, money is very tight right now I can replace A part so I'm trying to find out which part exactly. Thanks ahead of time.

Oh and as a side note the bolt on the solenoid that the positive wire from the battery goes to is loose, that's not normal right? Once I tighten the nut on the bolt it doesn't move around anymore.
When I bought my 4th gen it had a bad ignition switch. sometimes i would have to try turning it over 2-3 times before it would fire up. Then sometimes it would start on the first try. I think you're describing the same problem I had. The ignition switch is about 40$ to replace. And sure enough, replacing it instantly fixed the problem.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:24 AM   #21
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When I bought my 4th gen it had a bad ignition switch. sometimes i would have to try turning it over 2-3 times before it would fire up. Then sometimes it would start on the first try. I think you're describing the same problem I had. The ignition switch is about 40$ to replace. And sure enough, replacing it instantly fixed the problem.
If his solenoid is clicking, and the starter is not spinning, then it is not the ignition switch.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:29 AM   #22
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If his solenoid is clicking, and the starter is not spinning, then it is not the ignition switch.
Sorry for the delayed response I haven't been receiving notifications that anyone has responded to my thread. The starter will need replacing for sure. I tried taking it apart for the fourth time but this time I removed the magnets and brushes to clean out the dirt and gunk that had built up over time. Before doing this the starter would bench test fine. But click when turning the key once I installed it back in the car. After this last cleaning it still makes the single click noise at the relay and when I try starting it with a screwdriver it only sparks but not crank. Before cleaning this last time it would at least crank but not turn over when I used a screwdriver. I'm picking up a starter later this afternoon. We'll see what happens.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:12 PM   #23
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were you going to pick up a new starter motor? solenoid? or both together? I am having the exact same problem, a lot of folks told me to check out the solenoid which is the cheaper part by far. Just wondering what you resolved yourself to do?
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:52 PM   #24
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were you going to pick up a new starter motor? solenoid? or both together? I am having the exact same problem, a lot of folks told me to check out the solenoid which is the cheaper part by far. Just wondering what you resolved yourself to do?
Yup I'll be picking one up within the next couple of days. I planned on getting one tonight but it had to be ordered and should be here in a day or two. I started out needing to only replace the solenoid but after doing a thorough cleaning and re-greasing of the inside of the starter and checking the brushes now the whole thing stopped working. So to hell with it I've decided to go ahead and replace entire starter. Autozone has one for $120 that includes the core. Good luck with yours.
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