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Post Starter Solenoid

My solenoid is once again not popping out.

Well, a few months ago, my starter was engaging intermittently, then finally stoped engaging at all, the solenoid was stuck I guess. So I took it out, cleaned the starter as best I could. The solenoid didn't seem like it could be opened so I just sprayed some WD-40 wherever I could. I even checked it by hooking it to 12V, worked great, and did so for 3 or 4 months, till now, where its happening again.

I remember a few years back when I rebuilt my engine I removed this funny lookin little box(about a 1.5" cube) that had 4 or 5 wires going to the starter. there wasn't any wiriting on it, it looked like the PO added it, so I didn't put it back on. Any idea what it might be? and if it might help me? or should I take out my starter again and either replace the solenoid or find out how to open and clean it?

Thanks
Old 10-19-2001, 03:45 PM
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That was a "hot start relay". I'm not a huge fan of them, but some people really like them. I have heard that Bosch now recommends them for their reman'd starters, but I cannot verify that.

It might help, or it might not. Cleaning up all of the connections in the circuit may help. Replacing the starter may help. Check Jim T's "starter troubleshooting guide" in the Tech Articles section of this website.

--DD

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Old 10-19-2001, 08:00 PM
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Solenoids don't like WD-40. I used a heavier grease that I got from an electrician. Been awhile so don't remember whether it was lithium based or what..
Old 10-20-2001, 11:50 AM
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Yep; unfortunately, you're gonna have to go the "Hot-Start Relay" route.

Most of the "aged" solenoids (and the new units Bosch installs in their reman'd starters) draw more voltage/current, which the stock wiring can't provide. A (properly installed) relay alleviates the problem by providing direct battery power on-demand.

For some, it's a band-aid solution; heck, I had to do it to my son's '86 Jetta when it started leaving him at school/work/video-arcades. No problems since.



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Old 10-20-2001, 11:54 AM
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dbeardsl,

I'm having the same problem and I HAVE A HOT START RELAY. Do they call them that because when the engine gets hot the relay doesn't work? If I let the engine cool for 20-30 minutes -VVRRMMM! and away we go.

I have cleaned all connections on & around the relay, the solenoid, the starter, the battery pos & neg cables. Oh yeh & the tranny ground cable. The only thing I have yet to do is clean connections on the relay board (In the engine bay), but can these really make that much difference? I thought the relay was wired more directly to power than that.

Any other ideas?

Thanks,


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Old 10-20-2001, 07:45 PM
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Yeah, I got a hot start relay a while back too, and sometimes the car will still not start when it's really hot. But it's rare; it has to be quite hot outside and having driven the car a long way. It did solve most of my problems though...

[This message has been edited by toman (edited 10-20-2001).]
Old 10-20-2001, 08:16 PM
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I am not a fan of the hot start relay. I just went through this on my car. The po had installed a hot start relay and said that it cured his starting problems. I think not. The kit is recommended by Bosche for all there rebuilt starter solenoids, something that makes me think the move they made to cut labor costs affected quality also. Back to our subject at hand. You have four wires on the relay. Red is your "hot wire", Black goes to the solenoid, Yellow is ground, and "blue?" (i think it was blue) goes from your ignition switch to your relay. There was also a fuse one the ignition switch side of my harness. I had been having trouble with my car having a starting problem and thought it was a worn ignition switcht at first. Then one day after a nice hard run I parked it only to fin out the next day it didn't want to start. I was afraid the starter solenoid had failed, couldn't hear it trying to do anything at all. So I crawled under the car and seeing the relay thought I would start there. I disconnected the relay from its harness and installed a jumper from the splice in ignition switch solenoid wire to the soilenoid. She started right up. I then removed the "No Start relay kit" and haven't had any problems since then.

I think the biggest problem with these kits is that most people don't realise the amount of heat generated by the exhaust. Most of these kits sound like the relay has been installed close to the exhaust. The problem with mine was that the realy had melted internally from the heat. If any one out there feels they need one, great. Just remember to place the relay in an area were it will remain cool (not near a heat source), and take the time to make the connections properly. The use of "scotch locks" is only asking for problems over time, THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A GOOD SOLDER AND SHRINK TUBE CONNECTION THEY ARE FAR SUPERIOR TO ANY OTHERE CONNECTION. Also, don't neglect your starter switch the plastic case on these items often cracks causing poor connections on that end of the system. Good luck to all of you with this this problem, hope this helps out a little.

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[This message has been edited by jsb (edited 10-21-2001).]
Old 10-21-2001, 07:53 AM
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Well, did some checking... its definately the solenoid, with a fresher battery it engages half the time but doesn't turn over hardly at all. Like the solenoid isn't closing the contacts very well. I remember the solenoid being pretty closed off, I remember not being able to take it apart to clean anything. Anybody know where I could get a new solenoid? I may end up just getting a rebuilt starter, though mine looked fine when I opened it up, and even better after I cleaned it.
Old 10-21-2001, 03:00 PM
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I had this problem occur twice this weekend on my '74, both times after three hours on the highway and then sitting for fifteen minutes. Car starts fine any other time. The first time I started it by jumping the 50 terminal on the starter to the battery cable post using a quarter, the second time I was home and able to determine where the problem was. This car has a starter relay and the relay board and seat belt interlock relay have both been eliminated, so 50 power from the key switch goes directly to the starter relay. Checking at the relay showed no power coming from the switch. If I checked at the ign switch I could make the test light occasionally glow weakly if I wiggled the key. Connections are all tight and the light is bright on the 30 and 50 terminals soo...it seems the ignition switch is no good. My theory is that the wiper contact inside the switch is heats up over time from powering the 15 and X contacts and doesn't make good contact till it cools. An hour later it started fine. And Dave, although I'm a big fan of relays in general (could you tell?), some manufactures and Bosch do recommend adding a starter relay in certain applications. I'll bet Rousers sons Jetta is an automatic..

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Old 10-21-2001, 04:51 PM
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Ed you hit it on the money, the Hot Start is used as a band aid when the contacts inside the key switch get worn.I have seen this problem on many VW cars and Buses, Including my 80 Vanagon. I ran an wire from the starter to a push button mounted on the dash, I picked up the hot lead to the push button frob the battery under the pass. seat. Sometimes when the engine is hot and it is turned off thenI try to, started within a few minutes, it wont turn over,If I push the button it turns over instantly.I can then turn it off and start it with the key. This indicates to me that the problem is in the key switch not the solenoide. Steve



[This message has been edited by SteveStromberg (edited 10-22-2001).]
Old 10-21-2001, 07:43 PM
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Well, hmm.. I'll have to check that too. tomorrow I'll yank out the ignition switch and see if its cleanable. Any important pointers on doing this?
Old 10-21-2001, 11:09 PM
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There is also something called "flyback current", which goes back through the ignition switch circuit when you let the key come back from "start". This can be fairly high voltage, and can arc across the contacts inside the switch, eventually burning them. Kyle Ehler once wrote in with a description of where to put some diodes to keep this flyback current away from the switch, but I don't have that info available to me right now...

Perhaps someone better with electrons than I can tell us what is going on with that.

--DD

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Old 10-22-2001, 03:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dbeardsl:
Well, hmm.. I'll have to check that too. tomorrow I'll yank out the ignition switch and see if its cleanable. Any important pointers on doing this?
I think I cut myself off on my last reply. Anyway, if all those items I mentioned are
okey, and you still get a slow engine turnover when starting, then install a hot start relay. If you want to know how to connect it, email me and I will send a diagram.
philinjax

Old 10-22-2001, 04:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dbeardsl:
Well, hmm.. I'll have to check that too. tomorrow I'll yank out the ignition switch and see if its cleanable. Any important pointers on doing this?
I guess what I thought I sent, I killed somehow.
In any event, if the electrical contact module on the back of the mechanical part of the ignition switch (part no. 111-905-865-K)is good, the electrical connection of the yellow wires twisted together under the passenger seat is solid, the tranny to chassis ground strap connection is solid and you get over 13 volts when the engine is running, the engine should spin over quickly
on start. If not, only then will you need the hot start relay.
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Old 10-22-2001, 04:13 AM
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I drove back from the Porsche concourse in Malibu in the heat. A two hour drive, and I will admit to some spirited driving on Hiway 1. I parked in my driveway, and went out 15 minutes later to pull the car into the garage. The starter didn't budge. I have the Bosch starter, hot start relay and a Honda S2000 remote start button. The solenoid hot soaks and freezes. I solved this problem on my Corvette by switching to a light weight gear reduction starter. I guess that is what I need to do to the 914. Kinda expensive.
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Old 10-22-2001, 07:07 AM
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Would the high torque starter that is available now eliminate all these problems?
Old 10-22-2001, 08:01 AM
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BeeJay is your push button hot lead from the battery or is it taken from another spot on the wiring .Steve
Old 10-22-2001, 09:31 AM
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My son's Jetta is in-fact an automatic.

The hot-start problem drove me nuts. And yes, I even checked/changed the battery cables, crimped on new wire connectors, and replaced the ignition switch; no simple feat, as it required removing the steering wheel just to get to one small (blasted!) retaining screw.

After properly performing the relay mod (conclusion from previous 914 posts), it hasn't peeped (not peeped?) since. I gotta go with the results.



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Old 10-22-2001, 12:43 PM
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Well, as far as my problem is concerned, I traced it down to the solenoid. I did a quick jumper cable test (with the starter out of the car). I applied positive current to the solenoid input(big bolt) and positive terminal then negative to the other solenoid terminal (the small one, not the high current connectors). The solenoid did pop out, but the starter didn't spin, aparently the solenoid didn't close the high current contacts. I think...Hmmm. but I already dismantled the solenoid, de soldered the coil wires and opened it up, the contacts look fine... clean and smooth. I don't get it, unless I'm confused about the inputs.

BTW, the starter spins fine when I put neg on the chassis and pos on the solenoid output.

Hmm... in my first test, should I have put the neg on the chassis?
Old 10-22-2001, 05:29 PM
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Well I don't have a Hot Start Relay any longer! But I do have an extra wire.

I was so fed up with this, I decided to start over, not wanting to trust the PO hot start relay. So I removed it, and wire the starter per the wiring diagram. I took the car for a typically long enough drive, got the engine nice and warm, brought it home, parked in the garage, and shut it off.
Tried to start it and VVRRMMMM! Fired right up.

But now I have a red lead that comes out of the center tunnel (appears to have factory-like sheathing on it), up through the sheet metal, and out to the where the relay was at. I checked it for voltage, switched & unswitched - nothing. I also don't see this one on the wiring diagram.

Any ideas?




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Old 10-22-2001, 06:04 PM
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