does this sound like a bad solenoid? [Archive] - Chevy Nova Forum

: does this sound like a bad solenoid?

28th-April-2007, 09:47 PM
does this sound like a bad starter solenoid?

my car worked fine during its last monthly fireup in january.

however, for feb, there was a new problem. when i turn the key to 'on' and pushed the button that runs current to the starter solenoid, the whole car went electrically dead with a single click noise. the only way to get current back through the car was to disconnect the battery and reconnect it.

so i was like, ok. i checked the wiring, doesn't look bad. i checked the hot junction on the foward core support, 12.6 is ok. when the car dies, it falls to 2.4 volts.

to see if there is a short somewhere before the ignition button, i disconnected the ignition button, and left the ignition key to off in case there was something in the ignition that was bad.

on a normal car, if i use a screwdriver to short the big hot cable on the solenoid to the small hot terminal (which the ignition button is wired to), it should bump the motor over, right? because i'd have the dome light on, and when i short it, the click noise happens again and the car is again electrically dead.

what do you guys think?


67 Deuce 4 Me
28th-April-2007, 10:08 PM
You most likely have a bad ground @ the block or on the chassis.When it does it again get a jumper cable hook one side to the neg side of the battery and the other side the alternator bracket or somewhere clean on the block and see what happens. The best way to check it is a voltage drop test but this will do the job too.

28th-April-2007, 10:09 PM
Gerard, i got yer IM... i'm a dipstick when it comes to electrical... that junction block ya say that falls ta 2.4 screws me up... i'd say it sounds like the solenoid but man, i'm a dummy on electrical... don't take my diagnosis. wait for a more knowledgable guy OK ???

sorry i couldn't help ya... oh, also sorry i didn't hit ya back on IM, i was on the phone at the time.

be well my friend ;)

Custom Jim
28th-April-2007, 11:48 PM
Sounds like you have a meter with your one post so what I would do is put the meter right on the battery posts (not the terminals on the battery but right on the posts) and see what the voltage is and it should be around your 12.6 volt reading. Now try cranking the car and if you still have a bad connection or problem the car will no longer crank and your dome light will go out or be very dim but the voltage right across the battery terminals and not the connections to the battery should show right about 12.6 volts still.
Now leave one test lead on the one battery post and move the other one to the other battery posts terminal. If the connection between this post and the terminal is good then you should still read 12.6 volts or so. If not then this connection is poor. If it shows 12.6 volts or so then move the other meter lead to the terminal on the other battery post and see what it reads. Again if good then it will read 12.6 volts or so. If not this connection is poor. Keep moving away from the battery posts with one meter lead until you get to a point the voltage goes from one point of 12.6 volts to a lower voltage like your 2.4 volts. Between these two points is your problem.

What you are doing is slowly moving away from the known good supply of power in methodical steps to find the problem.

It could be a connection on either the power side or the ground side as it all has to make one big loop (and there are plenty of connections that can become poor).


29th-April-2007, 01:09 AM
You most likely have a bad ground @ the block or on the chassis.When it does it again get a jumper cable hook one side to the neg side of the battery and the other side the alternator bracket or somewhere clean on the block and see what happens. The best way to check it is a voltage drop test but this will do the job too.

the way my battery is set up is a basic trunk mount. i used a trunk mount kit to run the positive cable under the car which looks good. that cable runs to the starter solenoid. the negative cable goes to a bolt on the battery tray, that has a braid that runs to the chassis, and a welding cable that runs through the inside of the car and to an accessory hole on the driver side cylinder head, which also looks ok.

the starter solenoid has a hot wire from the battery cable that runs to the hot junction on the foward core support. the negative cable that goes to the cylinder head has no additional strap, but the block has straps running to the firewall and to the frame.

29th-April-2007, 01:13 AM

yes, when the car is electrically dead, the battery posts in the trunk still read 12.65 volts.

the testing method you described sounds good, but i might have to use the starter solenoid battery terminal post as the place for my positive lead.

i'm stuck out of town tonight and finals are this week and next monday, so i think it'll be till next weekend at the least for the next update :(

i appreciate all the replies :)

29th-April-2007, 07:28 AM
I had a simular issue in the past. I would crank the car and the car would go dead. It took me a while to sort it out but in the end it was a bad ground at the junction ground could be it too:)

29th-April-2007, 10:44 AM
once i get home later i guess i could set asided 15-20 mins to check or make a couple new grounds. if not, i'll do some more troubleshooting next weekend.

someone else also suggested a bad wind in the starter (and try turning it a bit) and/or removing just the solenoid and testing it seperately. :shrug:

29th-April-2007, 07:32 PM
I would run the negative cable directly to the frame for starters.

29th-April-2007, 11:48 PM
We just had the same problem with our 72. It turned out to be a bad battery cable. Clean the battery connections at the battery and be sure everything is clean at tight at the other end of the cable also. Our problem was a bad battery cable. The cable was loose in the batter post connector.

30th-April-2007, 12:12 AM
if noone had fooled around with the car after it left the factory, where should the hot and cold wires from the battery go?

30th-April-2007, 06:33 AM
in the originality forum I believe there are links to wirng diagrams for most years...I bet the 3rd gen one is there...that should show you what your looking for;) :)

30th-April-2007, 07:31 AM
i got hard copies of the diagrams too... hm, wonder where they are though :(

5th-May-2007, 01:39 PM
oh hawt dangit.

the batt tray in the trunk is held by 4 bolts, 3 of which are 3/8"

the larger 9/16" bolt has three things,

neg batt cable from batt, #0 braid strap, and neg batt cable to cylinder head up front

between each was a "stainless steel" star washer


i guess i never disassembled it because the junction looked 100% clean from up top. now i know not to buy chinese made stainless steel. what the hell do they consider stainless, recycled general tso chicken foil take out trays? :mad:

5th-May-2007, 01:43 PM
so do you think this might be your ground issue?

5th-May-2007, 01:46 PM
yup. everything works as it should now. lights are brighter and everything. Mao struck again ftl.

67 Deuce 4 Me
5th-May-2007, 01:51 PM
Thats good that you found it! Grounds are usually the culprit in those situations. Thanks for the update.