Jumping Starter Solenoid Does Nothing

Trying to start your car without success sits comfortably in the top five most annoying disappointments. This is most especially in cases where it is an issue you are not familiar with and thus not sure what to do. When you encounter a problem when starting a car pronto, a typical course of action is to jumpstart the starter.

While many are successful in doing this, many also report that doing so does nothing.

This non-effect can result from several reasons that vary immensely. Depending on how far gone the fault is and the source of the problem in the first place, jumpstarting your car solenoid may have no effect.

In this post, we will be evaluating this action, how to go about it, what it does, and if it works in all situations. We will also be highlighting ways to troubleshoot a bad starter, reasons why this problem may arise, and some alternative routes to take in such cases.

Can You Jump a Bad Starter Solenoid?

Yes, you can.

A starter is a device with the mechanism of initiating engine function in internal combustion engines. It generally constitutes six main parts, with the solenoid being a key feature. The solenoid is an electromagnet that controls the starter motor with small currents it receives.Can You Jump a Bad Starter Solenoid

When you turn your key at the point of ignition to start your car, the functioning mechanism usually follows this path of ignition switch sends power from the battery to starter solenoid/relay. The starter solenoid then energizes the starter motor with large electric currents to rotate the engine and start up your vehicle.

If the starter solenoid becomes faulty, power transmission becomes disconnected or erratic. Either it cannot start up the rotor motor completely, or it does only sometimes and in rare cases on its own.

The role of jumpstarting is not to help your engine start. Jumping helps boost your battery power or supply power where needed. So, it will only work if the problem with your starter is power-related. In the case of a bad solenoid, it cannot provide the power necessary to control the starter motor when required. Thus we can bypass this component and deliver the needed current directly.

Jumping your solenoid will only be non-effective if it is not done correctly. This statement is based on the assumption that the cause for jumping is an issue with the solenoid. If it isn’t, then jumping your starter solenoid does nothing.

How Do You Jump Terminals on a Starter Solenoid?

There is no need for jumper cables or a jump pack in jumping your starter solenoid. Instead, a long screwdriver will be sufficient, preferably with a thick rubber handle and a rubber glove.How Do You Jump Terminals on a Starter Solenoid

Firstly, locate the starter solenoid of your vehicle. For most models, it is attached to the top of the starter motor, while in some, to the battery. It is a mid-size cylindrical component. Scan your battery for the positive terminal, usually red. Trace this terminal to the part it connects to, the solenoid.

Secondly, crank up your car with your screwdriver. Place the metal part of your conducting object on the part of your solenoid that connects to the starter motor (frequently a large bolt).

Next, you position the metal against the terminals on the solenoid. After this step, you can now ask someone to turn on the ignition. After a few sparks, your vehicle should start running.

Of course, there will be instances where you are doing this alone with no second party to help put on the ignition. Before beginning the first procedure, turn on the ignition just partially to run. Please do not turn it entirely to power the starter and continue the process above.

Note that this significantly amps up the risk factor while simultaneously reducing its effectiveness. Being extra careful is a requirement. Whatever approach you employ, you can redo it a few times if it doesn’t work the first.

If It Does Nothing

The first reason doing this will not work if it’s, in fact, not a poor solenoid issue. A second reason will be that along with the faulty solenoid; the battery is flat or faulty. If this is the case, then no jumpstarting would work as not enough current is available.

To combat this, you can use a booster battery or the help of another car’s battery. Place the negative on a clear metal frame of your engine. Next, place the positive on the side of the solenoid connected to the starter motor until the engine starts.

Precautions When Jumping Your Solenoid Starter

This procedure is quite dangerous, with many risks and potentially arising issues. And we strongly recommend that except if necessary, you should not do it. With this established, here are some essential things you should watch out for and be mindful of.Precautions When Jumping Your Solenoid Starter

When starting up the engine, movement ensues. Place the transmission on neutral to prevent your vehicle from jerking forward while jumpstarting. As a further precaution, use the parking brake before working on it.

Whenever you deal with electricity, there is a massive possibility of electric shocks. More so where high volts are transmitted as you use the metal as a manual switch.

Ensure you wear rubber gloves, and that the metal/screwdriver has very thick insulation. Also, make your body is not touching any part of the metal/screwdriver or engine.

To be totally safe, avoid touching the car as much as possible. However, do this in a way that does not compromise the actual process.

Immediately the engine picks up, it is essential to immediately remove the screwdriver/metal right away to prevent arc welding to the terminals.

Read More: How Far Can You Drive with A Disconnected Battery?

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Solenoid on a Starter?

Below are some signs that indicate your solenoid starter may be defective. They do not equate a lousy solenoid but a possibility of it. To be sure, you should undergo further troubleshooting steps.

  • Hearing a single but pronounced click sound when you try to start your vehicle. This sound emanates from the engine areas and may potentially infer issues with the solenoid working components.
  • Hearing repetitive clicking sounds. Our first point of suspicion is usually a battery fault when this occurs. However, there are situations where a lousy solenoid can cause it by being unable to accept sufficient voltage from the battery, resulting in continuous clicking.
  • When there is no change in anything when you try to start up the vehicle, meaning nothing happens. More a faulty starter problem, a defective solenoid can also cause this if it goes entirely bad, cutting off the power transmission process completely.
  • If the starter engages and remains in that state even after releasing the key. This refusal to disengage may infer that your primary solenoid contacts are welded together. This welding can cause severe damage to your vehicle.
  • When your car starts sometimes and then ignores your efforts at other times, the solenoid is likely at fault. It may be a sign of your solenoid progressively failing.
  • Lastly, although very rare, your engine starting on its own without any input from you is a big sign.

Some Quick Fixes to Car Not Starting

Apart from solenoid issues, encountering problems while trying to start up your vehicle mostly results from battery and connectivity issues.Some Quick Fixes to Car Not Starting

Note the type of starter noise. These noises are usually a sign of a flat battery, poor battery terminals, or poor ground connections. Check fuses and tighten loosened connections.

If you have a voltmeter, doing a voltage and crank test will help you check battery voltage. A simple chart is 0 -11.9 volts equals a flat battery while 12.0 volts and above means the battery has sufficient power.

For the crank test, crank the engine and read the measurement. Below 9V equates to a faulty battery. Jumpstart if necessary.

Check for loosened or dirty battery terminals. If corroded and dirty, dissolve and clean the build-up with baking soda mixed with water. We recommend using gloves as they may be harsh on your hands. Apply petroleum jelly to reduce future dirt accumulation.

Do a simple volt drop test to sound out poor or faulty ground connections. This is a recommended cause of action if you notice your car lights come on, but it doesn’t start.

However, the most reliable and advisable option we advocate is getting your vehicle as soon as possible to a trusted mechanic for proper diagnosis and fixing. Issues with the starter are not the most complicated vehicle-wise. Thus it should be relatively affordable with reasonable work time frames to fix.

Know Also: How Much Charge Does a Car Battery Need to Start

Why Am I Not Getting Power to My Starter?

Your starter receives power from the battery of your vehicle. If it’s not getting it, it may be due to one or two of the following reasons.

  • Loose Terminals: If your battery terminals are loose, or maybe even faulty/damaged, the power flow will cut
  • A Drained or Defective Battery: when there is no or insufficient transmittable power on the battery, your starter will receive non.
  • Damaged Alternator: This component functions to power your vehicle’s electrical systems. It recharges the battery. Thus, a lousy alternator equals low battery voltage, which will be insufficient for your starter.


If there are issues with your car’s starter solenoid, jumpstarting your car to start is possible. However, we do not recommend it as it’s not beginner-friendly. It would be best only to do it to get your vehicle to the mechanic.

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