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Starter issue?

My 85 camaro sport coupe with the 173ci V6 has a starter issue. I believed it’s wired correctly, but it won’t draw any power. Fuse isn’t blown, and it has old relays and I don’t think they’re blown either. I’ve tested two starters on it and both have the same problem. Can someone help? I’m not the best with diagnosing wiring. This is the only thing keeping me from getting this car running. Thanks

5 Answers

  • M.
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Here is simple help.  You must determine whether the problem is in your primary starting circuit or your secondary starting circuit. 


    consists of: 

    1. Starter/solenoid. 

    2. Battery. 

    3. Positive battery cable. 

    4. Negative battery cable. 

    With a charged battery, clean battery posts, clean battery terminals, and cables that are not corroded or broken, you do this simple test. 

    With an automatic transmission in PARK, or a manual transmission in NEUTRAL, and the ignition switch OFF, you temporarily CONNECT the big terminal with the positive battery cable at the solenoid, TO the small terminal with the solenoid wire, with a short screwdriver or a push button switch capable of 10 amps.  The desired effect is the starter turns the engine.  Make sure your hand or your clothing or your hair is not near the belt or pulleys.  The starter turns or it doesn't turn.  If it turns, then you obviously don't need to change the starter any more.  The engine will not run.  This is just a test that verifies whether the primary starting circuit is the problem.  If the starter does not turn the engine, then you have those 4 items to troubleshoot. 

    SECONDARY STARTING CIRCUIT (the control circuit) consists of: 

    1. Starter relay, IF there is one. 

    2. Fuse or fusible link, IF there is one. 

    3. The ignition switch. 

    4. The neutral-safety switch (automatic transmission) OR the clutch pedal safety switch (manual transmission). 

    5. A relay controlled by a security system. 

    6. All the wiring and all the connectors within the wiring harness. 

    If the starter works using the above explained test, then something is wrong in your control circuit.  You'll need a wiring diagram for your exact car, plus a 12 volt test light or a voltmeter.  You trace the circuit like a roadmap. 

    Check whether your city library or nearby junior college library has an online subscription to 

    Look up your exact vehicle and find the wiring diagrams for the starting circuit.  Print the relevant diagrams.  Using the test light or voltmeter you systematically go through the circuit and find where the control circuit has an "open" (a disconnection). 

    Understanding an electrical diagram and knowing where to find everything on the car are obviously required. 

    The local high school auto shop class might be able to do this.  Talk to the teacher. 

    If you don't understand electricity or know where to find the parts of the car that are shown on the wiring diagram, then you will be stranded.  Good intentions are not enough.

    -Engine overhaul mechanic and general automotive mechanic since 1972

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  • 2 months ago

    Did you do a load test on the battery? There's a fusible like or two on the wires running to the starter solenoid. They can burn through if you hooked up the battery backwards for a couple of seconds. Or you have a 200 AMP fuse or lower AMP fuse that blew somewhere in the fuse box. The solenoid exciter wire is what throws the solenoid and connects the starter wire(s). Those thick high AMP wires don't do anything until the solenoid is engaged.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Get a jumper cable and connect one end to battery negative and one end to a metallic part of the engine.  Try to start. Car starts, check for a bad engine ground cable or connection.


    No start, get a jumper wire, connect one end to the S terminal of the starter solenoid (the terminal with the smaller wire connected to it) and with key ON, briefly touch the other end to battery positive.  Starter cranks (and car starts), check for a bad ignition switch, a bad start relay, a bad park/neutral switch, a bad start wiring from fuse to ignition switch to relay to solenoid or a bad relay ground.

    No start, get a jumper cable and connect one end to battery positive and one end to the B+ terminal of starter solenoid.  Try to start with jumper cable and with key ON.  Starter cranks and car starts, check for a bad battery cable to starter and a bad fusible link (if car has one).

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  • arther
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    inhibitor switch not making maybe? Try testing for power if you jump the switch terminal does it turn over?

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  • Barry
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    Swap the relay(s) for new ones. They are not expensive and sound a likely cause.

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