Is there a cure for sticky starter solenoid?

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Geoff Lebowski
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Is there a cure for sticky starter solenoid?

Post by Geoff Lebowski » 24 Nov 2015, 11:28

The ever present click but actual starter motor not turning problem is here yet again. I'd of though Valeo would of engineered this out by now. With repeated attempts she'll pull in but I'm fed up to the back teeth with the same problem.
Does any one know
1) the cause
2) the solution
3) is there a starter motor brand that does not suffer from this e.g. Mitsubishi?
The one on my standard bx worked faultlessly and is the original. But I can't work out what make it is, not Valeo though.
I bought a used one but that's giving up too.

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CitroJim
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Re: Is there a cure for sticky starter solenoid?

Post by CitroJim » 24 Nov 2015, 12:15

Geoff, the starter may well be 100% blameless and the real root cause is voltage drop on the wiring 'twixt battery, ignition switch starter contacts and the solenoid..

This is an incredibly common problem on V6 variants of the Xantia and XM and the solution is to install a 'helper' relay so that the solenoid is fed directly from the battery (via fuse of course) by a relay that is operated by the ignition switch starter contacts....

This is always a 100% cure...

furriegurrie
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Re: Is there a cure for sticky starter solenoid?

Post by furriegurrie » 24 Nov 2015, 13:00

One to be carefull with though. Installing it in the wrong place of the circuit can cause problems with the factory installed cruise control in the Xm. I've seen notes on where to make the mod on paper, but I don't know where to physically do it on the car. My Xm had an helper relay in the last bit of wiring to the starter, this is the wrong spot on an Xm with es9 and factory installed cc.....

Xantidote
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Re: Is there a cure for sticky starter solenoid?

Post by Xantidote » 24 Nov 2015, 13:04

As Jim says, not necessarily the starter motor, although it's one option. Worth checking out the simple and cheap checks, checking that the battery & charge are good, the battery clamps are good (not getting warm) etc. Try a jump lead from battery earth terminal to a clean earth point on the engine/gearbox, in case main earth lead suspect.

It may turn out in the end to be starter motor/solenoid - sometimes the solenoid's contacts can become burnt, or the starter's brushes have worn out over the years. Unsure with your starter, but on some, the brushes can be replaced but not always an easy DIY job.

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CitroJim
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Re: Is there a cure for sticky starter solenoid?

Post by CitroJim » 24 Nov 2015, 13:22

furriegurrie wrote:One to be carefull with though. Installing it in the wrong place of the circuit can cause problems with the factory installed cruise control in the Xm.
Yes!!! :twisted:

I made this mistake on my XM when I did the mod and wondered why the starter ran when I switched the cruise control on :roll: :oops: :twisted:

Geoff Lebowski
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Re: Is there a cure for sticky starter solenoid?

Post by Geoff Lebowski » 24 Nov 2015, 13:36

Right ok, points taken. I'll have a thorough check around, I know the earth clamp isn't the best - usual stretching lead.
On a related but different note then, the battery I'm using is a carry over from my XM, so bigger/higher starting amps than the original spec battery, (Oh, in case I didn't make it clear this is a BX) but with an original 50 amp alternator. Think the xm had 80amp.
So, bigger battery, same alternator. Does this mean that the battery, being 'bigger' takes longer to charge back up to full? So in other words, I need to match battery to alternator?

furriegurrie
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Re: Is there a cure for sticky starter solenoid?

Post by furriegurrie » 24 Nov 2015, 13:39

Did you ever get it right Jim? If so where in the connection did you put it? I'm not that good with electrickery....

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CitroJim
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Re: Is there a cure for sticky starter solenoid?

Post by CitroJim » 24 Nov 2015, 13:51

furriegurrie wrote:Did you ever get it right Jim? If so where in the connection did you put it? I'm not that good with electrickery....
Yes I did but I cannot recall exactly now... It's critical, as far as I can remember, which side of the starter inhibit relay the helper relay goes...

Have a chat with Rob (Ragger) and get him to look at my wiring of the helper relay!!! My helper relay sits right next to the starter inhibit relay on the RH side of the slam panel...

This sketch showing the modified circuit on a V6 Xantia may help illustrate the correct wiring... I know that works perfectly...

Image

furriegurrie
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Re: Is there a cure for sticky starter solenoid?

Post by furriegurrie » 24 Nov 2015, 15:33

that's indeed the diagram I've seen before! But I haven't been able to translate it into which wire to cut and where to look on my Xm.....
It's been behaving for a long time but the last months the starting has become intermittent again. Several tries will sometimes kick it into life.
I've put an additional wire on the solenoid that terminates close to the battery. We it doesn't start I pop the bonnet open and hold the wire to the positive battery terminal (with the ignition on).
That always deploys the starter straight away.....

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Re: Is there a cure for sticky starter solenoid?

Post by Geoff Lebowski » 24 Nov 2015, 16:16

Well I charged my known good battery (not that it needed it) and the starter still clicky but did not engage. I also cleaned up the battery terminals and connections but to no avail.
So it's either the ign switch taken a battering when priming the recent new engine or it's in need of a helper relay or it's the starter motor itself.
Think I shall wire up a helper relay anyway as it would be no bad thing for a 25 year old car.
Is a 25 amp relay sufficient?

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CitroJim
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Re: Is there a cure for sticky starter solenoid?

Post by CitroJim » 24 Nov 2015, 16:25

Geoff Lebowski wrote: Is a 25 amp relay sufficient?
Yes, perfectly Geoff... I fused mine at 30A.

RichardW
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Re: Is there a cure for sticky starter solenoid?

Post by RichardW » 24 Nov 2015, 18:19

I recall similar trouble with fitting a Dip relay on BXs - once fitted and activated the main beams would come on and stay on. I eventually figured out that the dim dip relay earthed via the main beam bulbs, and putting in a helper relay caused all sorts of mayhem once the mains were energised! Solution was simply to remove the dim-dip relay, or resistor, but it caused some confusion....

dnsey
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Re: Is there a cure for sticky starter solenoid?

Post by dnsey » 24 Nov 2015, 18:37

If if gives a solid click, and the problem's intermittent, chances are it's the solenoid contacts which are the trouble.
Connect a voltmeter across the heavy solenoid terminals. If any significant reading is shown while attempting to crank, there's your problem!
Some models have replaceable contacts, others can have their contacts filed a bit.

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Re: Is there a cure for sticky starter solenoid?

Post by wurlycorner » 26 Nov 2015, 08:43

If it is simply the solenoid sticking, giving the case some good whacks with a good sized (heavy) spanner will sort it. If whacking it doesn't help, then it's not a sticking solenoid...

Geoff Lebowski
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Re: Is there a cure for sticky starter solenoid?

Post by Geoff Lebowski » 29 Nov 2015, 08:13

It's not sticky is in stuck, but as seems to be a familiar problem they just don't make sufficient contact to pull the motor in.
I used a jump start cable to feed the starter solenoid direct and it was better, but still not 100%.
I then wired up a helper relay which did make some difference, but again not 100%.
I managed to find a Bosch starter motor with the correct number of teeth on the pinion gear and hey presto no problem at all (except I'm £30 lighter for buying the failing Valeo starter in the first place)
Personally I reckon it's a brand problem as I've only had this problem with Valeo starters!