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Jitterbug
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This thread is just full of random guesses.

Check the small wire at the solenoid, put a meter across it and a ground on the body and turn the key to crank. If you get 12V then there is a problem in the solenoid or the engine ground strap.

If you don´t get 12V then work backwards to the point where the 12V is stopped...

The PNP relay or its switches at the shifter is a good possibility, won´t it crank in either P or N??

You´ll need a schematic (which I don´t have to hand) to test it, or temp replace it to prove good or bad (which could also be difficult). I would follow the wiring back from the starter, that wire should have 12V on it when the key is set to crank. Other than that you can, with a meter and electrical knowledge, work out which pin does what and whether it is working but if you don´t have that experience you´ll need a replacement or a schematic. Try a wrecking yard??

I think your battery is just fine.
 

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Title User Custom
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Also of useful note, autozone.com has part of the schematic for it. Unfortunately it doesn't cover the whole thing.

Besides checking fuses, the usual first step.

Looks like pin 8 (Red w/black stripe) should be going to the small wire of the starter solenoid. This wire should be getting +12v when you turn the key to start, as mentioned by Simonsi.

If you're not getting +12v then it's a safe bet the neutral safety relay is the issue. But without knowing more on how it's wired, it's difficult to say what comes next.

However: If you have +12v there (which judging by the loud click you likely do), and at the starter's small red/black wire. And +12v to the large black wire on the starter. Then it will likely be the starter solenoid, or starter motor.


And of course for safety: Make sure you disconnect the negative terminal before playing with the big positive wires going to the starter. Beyond voltage checks that is.
 

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Hug it or drive it?
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Funny enough I am having the same issue. My bug was running really well last night, got home around 9ish pulled her into the backyard for the night. Went out there in the morning and tried to start her and nothing. Just a quick click and that was it. Lights work, radio turns on and all that but no running bug. Seems the solenoid is the culprit here, i'm hoping its that simple of a fix
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
quick question. Is the positive wire to the starter soleniod the one with a small wire attached to a clip to the solenoid or the wire that is covered with a protective cover and bolted to the solenoid?
 

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It's the same on just about darn every car making it easy, you'll have the following.

Small gauge wire with a clip or plug - This triggers the solenoid will get +12v when key is in the start position, and neutral/clutch safety switch is activated.

Large gauge wire bolted on, sometimes with a cover. - This goes directly to the battery. Always has +12v even with key off.

Large gauge wire bolted on going from solenoid to the motor - Will get +12v once solenoid is triggered, drives the starter motor.

There is no negative wire as the chassis, engine, and most every metal bit acts as the negative terminal.
 

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Jitterbug
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There is no negative wire as the chassis, engine, and most every metal bit acts as the negative terminal.
True but there IS an earth strap between the engine and chassis, if that isn´t there or is corroded you can get a poor circuit which will sap starter power. Its normally hiding under the battery tray...
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Thanks...I've checked it and got exactly what you said...12v all the time on the pole with the thick wire and 0v at the small wire even with the key at start. My wife "started" the car while I was reading the DMM and it didn't register any voltage...so I'm pretty sure that it is the P/N relay (175) as that is the only thing in the chain that is not tested (I don't know how to test it)...now where do I order one...
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Another question. I noticed on other posts that there is a Lock Relay for Starter (Theft Warning System) (185)...it is not present in my vehicle...Isn't it supposed to be there?

Thanks!
 

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Jitterbug
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Another question. I noticed on other posts that there is a Lock Relay for Starter (Theft Warning System) (185)...it is not present in my vehicle...Isn't it supposed to be there?

Thanks!
No idea, but if it hasn´t ever been there it can´t be causing the current issue...:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Now I'm at a loss.

I checked the voltage to the starter solenoid with a DMM...my wife "cranked" the key ignition, the voltage bounced to +2v and settled at less than 0.5v, so I know it is something before it hits the solenoid. The ignition switch is fine, tested per instructions in Haynes. I looked at the wires, they looked fine...but I couldn't trace all of them. I replaced the Park and Nuetral Relay (175), got it for 9 bucks...no cigar. Earlier, I replaced the brake light switch (8 bucks)...nope.

So I think I checked everything from the key to the starter solenoid...I'm sure that I missed something. I looked at the schematics...where is the transmission control module and multi-function transmission range switch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Sorry all, it is the Park Neutral Relay. When I replaced it last night...started it...no cigar. I forgot to reinstall my mass air flow sensor.

I cleaned the MAF sensor and set it aside to let it dry...and totally forgot it. It was totally unrelated, but since I had it out, might as well clean it...as I had a P0171 code (System too lean).
 
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