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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Not quite sure why you don't just put in a new starter relay. I understand you are trying to troubleshoot, but you have to replace it anyway since the old one broke. If that doesn't work, move on to more troubleshooting.
The first thing I did was replace the battery, then replaced the starter. Then checked the fuses. Then replaced the ignition switch. Then looked at the starter relay. It appears as though the "new" starter only briefly worked for about 2 days before failing. That's why I'm doing all the troubleshooting now.

The first thing I did was replace the battery, then replaced the starter. Then checked the fuses. Then replaced the ignition switch. Then looked at the starter relay. It appears as though the "new" starter only briefly worked for about 2 days before failing. That's why I'm doing all the troubleshooting now.
I haven't put in a new starter relay yet because I don't have one yet. I ordered it and its due to arrive Tuesday. In the meantime I switched the identical relay next to it in the fuse box and it looked good but did not work to fix the no start issue.
 

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Not quite sure why you don't just put in a new starter relay. I understand you are trying to troubleshoot, but you have to replace it anyway since the old one broke. If that doesn't work, move on to more troubleshooting.
It’s a troubleshooting method that can save a lot of effort and time.

With the starter relay out, you have access to the wiring that goes to the ignition switch, the transmission range switch, and the starter solenoid. And since he also has the relay in hand, he can basically test 4 parts of the starter circuit all at once.



Thanks for identifying the correct starter relay pin slots for me to attempt the jump the starter. I now realize AJChien also identified the correct pin slots as well. I'll let you know as soon as I try it.

I have a test light ordered and supposed to arrive Tuesday. Thanks for your valuable input!
Sounds like you’ve done your homework. It wont matter for this relay, but I’m curious if you bought an “old school test light” Or a “computer safe” test light?
 

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Not quite sure why you don't just put in a new starter relay. I understand you are trying to troubleshoot, but you have to replace it anyway since the old one broke. If that doesn't work, move on to more troubleshooting.
With the starter cut relay out, it is important to do the test before putting in a new relay.
Otherwise may end up having to take out the new relay which might cause it to break again.

Control side one pin is Hot when key is in crank position.
The control side other pin goes thru the park neutral safety switch
Load side should have one pin hot when key is in crank position
And the other load side pin should go to starter solenoid

Jumping the load side should crank the engine if the starter is any good
If it doesn't then should check to see if powers and grounds are there at the starter
If yes then starter needs replacement
If no then wiring is suspect.

Note: "old school test light" or "computer safe test light"
The difference is usually the amount of current the test light will draw
Old school will draw enough to light the bulb
Computer safe will probably use LEDs to draw less current.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Thanks for identifying the correct starter relay pin slots for me to attempt the jump the starter. I now realize AJChien also identified the correct pin slots as well. I'll let you know as soon as I try it.

I have a test light ordered and supposed to arrive Tuesday. Thanks for your valuable input!
I inserted a single wire into one of the larger pin holes used by the relay starter and inserted the other end of the wire into the other large pinhole slot of the fuse box. I turned the ignition key and heard nothing. Then I got my voltage continuity and current tester light with probe and inserted it into each of the four pinholes used by the starter relay. Not a single time did the light turn on. To be sure my tester was working I tried the same test on the identical relay slots adjacent to the starter relay and the light did turn on in both sides of the relay- one for the smaller control side pinholes and one in the larger load side of the starter relay. I tried the tester light with the key on and off and no light came on for this test.

Does this prove the starter is bad or is the test telling me the starter relay is not getting power sent to the starter, which likely indicates the wire that sends power to the starter motor via the starter relay is damaged or disconnected?
 

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I inserted a single wire into one of the larger pin holes used by the relay starter and inserted the other end of the wire into the other large pinhole slot of the fuse box. I turned the ignition key and heard nothing. Then I got my voltage continuity and current tester light with probe and inserted it into each of the four pinholes used by the starter relay. Not a single time did the light turn on. To be sure my tester was working I tried the same test on the identical relay slots adjacent to the starter relay and the light did turn on in both sides of the relay- one for the smaller control side pinholes and one in the larger load side of the starter relay. I tried the tester light with the key on and off and no light came on for this test.

Does this prove the starter is bad or is the test telling me the starter relay is not getting power sent to the starter, which likely indicates the wire that sends power to the starter motor via the starter relay is damaged or disconnected?
using a test light…


regarding the small control slots:

to test for power your test light should be clamped to a good ground, and then you use the tip of the tester to touch the control slots, while the ignition is turned to III, start position. *one of the two slots needs to be the control power. if you do not find a control power, then you have a problem coming from the ignition switch part of the circuit.

to test for ground your test light should be clamped to battery power, and then you use the tip of the tester to touch the control slots, while the car is in park or neutral. *one of the two slots is the control ground. If you do not find a control ground, then you have a problem with your transmission range switch aka neutral safety switch Portion of the circuit.

regarding the larger load slots:

to test for power your test light should be clamped to a good ground, and then you use the tip of the tester to touch the load slots, while the ignition is turned to III, start position. *again, one of these slots is the load power. If you do not find a load power, then you have to go and look at the ignition switch part of the circuit.

one of the load slots will have no power nor ground, as it is supposed to supply power the starter Solenoid.


regarding jumping the load slots:

You again have to turn the key to III start position to do this. ***BUT this test will not be valid if you do not have load side power present. I.e. the purpose of jumping the load slots is to provide power to your starter solenoid to start the car. If you have no load power, you won’t accomplish anything.

———

so … assuming that you tested correctly with the right tools …

it sounds like you found no power at any of the control slots, nor the load slots. If you’re sure about your findings - you need to go back to the ignition switch. You’re going to have to check to see if the ignition switch is getting power from the fuses and if the ignition switch is sending power to the starter relay slots when the key is in position III.

it sounds like you did not test for control ground at the sockets.

it sounds like your load side jump was not a valid test since you did not have power coming from the load power slot. You may want to redo this step once you get load power present.
 

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I inserted a single wire into one of the larger pin holes used by the relay starter and inserted the other end of the wire into the other large pinhole slot of the fuse box. I turned the ignition key and heard nothing.
Turned the key to crank position and nothing?
If voltage present then the starter motor would be suspect.
If no voltage present then wiring or fuse suspect Or ignition switch

Then I got my voltage continuity and current tester light with probe and inserted it into each of the four pinholes used by the starter relay. Not a single time did the light turn on. To be sure my tester was working I tried the same test on the identical relay slots adjacent to the starter relay and the light did turn on in both sides of the relay- one for the smaller control side pinholes and one in the larger load side of the starter relay. I tried the tester light with the key on and off and no light came on for this test.
Good ground and probed the pins with key in crank position?
This would indicate that there is no power being sent thru the relay.
Wiring and fuse and ignition switch becomes suspect

Does this prove the starter is bad or is the test telling me the starter relay is not getting power sent to the starter, which likely indicates the wire that sends power to the starter motor via the starter relay is damaged or disconnected?
If there is no power at the relay with the key in crank position
then the wiring and or fuse are suspect of the cause of no crank issue
No power to the relay then no power gets to the starter solenoid/relay motor.
12 volts applied to one of the load pins on the starter cut relay socket should crank engine
If it does not then wiring to starter solenoid or starter motor itself
If it does crank then that part of the circuit is good.
Oh, for applying 12 volts, the key does not have to be in the crank position.

The next thing to look for is to see if the ignition switch is getting power
and then follow it out to the starter cut relay
If no power to switch then check fuses again
 

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If you’re headed to the ignition switch, the WHT wire is the power from the fuses into the ignition switch and the WHT/BLK wire is the wire sending power out of the ignition switch to the relay socket When the key is in start III position (avisitor is calling this the crank position). I think if you use a backprobe technique, that would be most efficient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Turned the key to crank position and nothing?
If voltage present then the starter motor would be suspect.
If no voltage present then wiring or fuse suspect Or ignition switch


Good ground and probed the pins with key in crank position?
This would indicate that there is no power being sent thru the relay.
Wiring and fuse and ignition switch becomes suspect


If there is no power at the relay with the key in crank position
then the wiring and or fuse are suspect of the cause of no crank issue
No power to the relay then no power gets to the starter solenoid/relay motor.
12 volts applied to one of the load pins on the starter cut relay socket should crank engine
If it does not then wiring to starter solenoid or starter motor itself
If it does crank then that part of the circuit is good.
Oh, for applying 12 volts, the key does not have to be in the crank position.

The next thing to look for is to see if the ignition switch is getting power
and then follow it out to the starter cut relay
If no power to switch then check fuses again
Okay so I redid the test of the starter relay pin holes and with the crank position on the key I do have power- one in the upper small pin hole slots and one in the lower!

I will test the ignition switch for power. Is that also in the Crank position?

If you’re headed to the ignition switch, the WHT wire is the power from the fuses into the ignition switch and the WHT/BLK wire is the wire sending power out of the ignition switch to the relay socket When the key is in start III position (avisitor is calling this the crank position). I think if you use a backprobe technique, that would be most efficient.
What is a backprobe technique for testing the ignition switch? I've been using the voltage tester light with probe. Do I do the same thing as I did with the relay? By the way, I did secure the ground wire on the opposite end of the probe light. It didn't work on a dusty chasis location I discovered.

What is a backprobe technique for testing the ignition switch? I've been using the voltage tester light with probe. Do I do the same thing as I did with the relay? By the way, I did secure the ground wire on the opposite end of the probe light. It didn't work on a dusty chasis location I discovered.
I went ahead and used the same procedure as I did with the relay to test the ignition switch wires. I kept the voltage tester attached to the battery ground and probed into the white wire and got a light to come one (in key position 2 accessory and 3 full crank) then repeated with the white and black wire combo and could not get a light to turn on. Is that my problem- a bad wire between ignition switch and ignition relay fuse box?
 

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Okay so I redid the test of the starter relay pin holes and with the crank position on the key I do have power- one in the upper small pin hole slots and one in the lower!

I will test the ignition switch for power. Is that also in the Crank position?


What is a backprobe technique for testing the ignition switch? I've been using the voltage tester light with probe. Do I do the same thing as I did with the relay? By the way, I did secure the ground wire on the opposite end of the probe light. It didn't work on a dusty chasis location I discovered.


I went ahead and used the same procedure as I did with the relay to test the ignition switch wires. I kept the voltage tester attached to the battery ground and probed into the white wire and got a light to come one (in key position 2 accessory and 3 full crank) then repeated with the white and black wire combo and could not get a light to turn on. Is that my problem- a bad wire between ignition switch and ignition relay fuse box?
Whoa. You’re going too fast. Slow down and think. You have presented discordant test findings that are implausible.

First, since you found control power and load power at the relay socket, that changed your diagnosis. It means that your ignition switch is good.

Second, since you went to your ignition switch anyway after proving it was good, you should have gotten power on the white wire all the time. You should have only gotten power on the white/black wire in position 3, crank. Because you didn’t that means your ignition switch is bad.

So you are presenting one test that proves your ignition switch is good and one test that proves your ignition switch is bad. they can’t happen together. you screwed up one of the tests.…

My wild guess is that you screwed up the ignition switch test, possibly by unplugging the connector to test. Backprobe technique means testing the wires for power without unplugging it. You can youtube videos on it.

I think you should go back to the relay and re-confirm that you have control power and load power.

a)If you have control power and load power, that means your ignition switch is good. Going one step at a time… next step is to check to see if you have control ground.

B) if you do not have control power and load power, that means your ignition switch portion of the circuit is bad, next step is to learn ways to test the ignition switch.

confirming the presence or lack or control / load power is critical. If you get it wrong, you go diagnose it wrong.
 

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Okay so I redid the test of the starter relay pin holes and with the crank position on the key I do have power- one in the upper small pin hole slots and one in the lower!
That is great. Circuit is good up to the starter cut relay.
The key in crank position is suppose to put power on those two pins
When the key goes back to run position, the power is then cut off.

I will test the ignition switch for power. Is that also in the Crank position?
No need to test ignition switch.
Power at the starter cut relay says that the circuit is good up to the starter cut relay.


What is a backprobe technique for testing the ignition switch? I've been using the voltage tester light with probe. Do I do the same thing as I did with the relay? By the way, I did secure the ground wire on the opposite end of the probe light. It didn't work on a dusty chasis location I discovered.
Back probe means to stick a pin into the back of a connector to test the wire at that point.
The pin makes it easier for test equipment to get to the circuit (wire)
Yes, need to know that the test light is getting what it needs to work correctly.
Sorry I did not mention this earlier.

I went ahead and used the same procedure as I did with the relay to test the ignition switch wires. I kept the voltage tester attached to the battery ground and probed into the white wire and got a light to come one (in key position 2 accessory and 3 full crank) then repeated with the white and black wire combo and could not get a light to turn on. Is that my problem- a bad wire between ignition switch and ignition relay fuse box?
No problem.
You found power at the starter cut relay
which means power is going from the ignition switch to the relay
Now, did you do the jumper on the larger set of pins in the relay socket?
Put the wire in and turn key to crank position
It should crank engine if everything else (other than the relay) is good.
If it doesn't crank then would suspect the starter
and/or the wiring leading to the starter solenoid and/or fuses.
Also, do not forget to test engine block for ground.
Engine ground strap could be corroded and need cleaning??
A simple test would be to put test light ground clip on battery negative
and probe on engine block. Then turn key to crank position.
If test light turns on then engine block has bad ground
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
That is great. Circuit is good up to the starter cut relay.
The key in crank position is suppose to put power on those two pins
When the key goes back to run position, the power is then cut off.


No need to test ignition switch.
Power at the starter cut relay says that the circuit is good up to the starter cut relay.



Back probe means to stick a pin into the back of a connector to test the wire at that point.
The pin makes it easier for test equipment to get to the circuit (wire)
Yes, need to know that the test light is getting what it needs to work correctly.
Sorry I did not mention this earlier.


No problem.
You found power at the starter cut relay
which means power is going from the ignition switch to the relay
Now, did you do the jumper on the larger set of pins in the relay socket?
Put the wire in and turn key to crank position
It should crank engine if everything else (other than the relay) is good.
If it doesn't crank then would suspect the starter
and/or the wiring leading to the starter solenoid and/or fuses.
Also, do not forget to test engine block for ground.
Engine ground strap could be corroded and need cleaning??
A simple test would be to put test light ground clip on battery negative
and probe on engine block. Then turn key to crank position.
If test light turns on then engine block has bad ground
I attempted to jumper the larger set of pins in the relay socket again and turned the key to crank position and the engine did not start or crank. I tested the engine block for ground as you said (in 3 different metal engine compartment locations) and got no light. However, I will have to get a helper to touch the engine block or wait till dark to see if the light comes on. Thanks for your generous help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Whoa. You’re going too fast. Slow down and think. You have presented discordant test findings that are implausible.

First, since you found control power and load power at the relay socket, that changed your diagnosis. It means that your ignition switch is good.

Second, since you went to your ignition switch anyway after proving it was good, you should have gotten power on the white wire all the time. You should have only gotten power on the white/black wire in position 3, crank. Because you didn’t that means your ignition switch is bad.

So you are presenting one test that proves your ignition switch is good and one test that proves your ignition switch is bad. they can’t happen together. you screwed up one of the tests.…

My wild guess is that you screwed up the ignition switch test, possibly by unplugging the connector to test. Backprobe technique means testing the wires for power without unplugging it. You can youtube videos on it.

I think you should go back to the relay and re-confirm that you have control power and load power.

a)If you have control power and load power, that means your ignition switch is good. Going one step at a time… next step is to check to see if you have control ground.

B) if you do not have control power and load power, that means your ignition switch portion of the circuit is bad, next step is to learn ways to test the ignition switch.

confirming the presence or lack or control / load power is critical. If you get it wrong, you go diagnose it wrong.
I did get power the entire time with the white wire, whether I turned key or not. You are correct that I unplugged the connector to test the newly replaced ignition switch. I could not find any videos on backprobing this connector.

How do I check to see if I have control ground? Is that the same thing as putting ground alligator clip on voltage tester probe and then putting probe on engine block to see if light comes on?
 

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I attempted to jumper the larger set of pins in the relay socket again and turned the key to crank position and the engine did not start or crank. I tested the engine block for ground as you said (in 3 different metal engine compartment locations) and got no light. However, I will have to get a helper to touch the engine block or wait till dark to see if the light comes on. Thanks for your generous help.
This should mean that engine block ground is okay
But, to be sure other things must be in place
So for now, we will just set aside this result.

Turning the key to crank or start position puts power at the relay
This means the fuse #19, 80amp, ignition switch are should be good.
Doing the test with jumper wire at the larger pin in the relay socket,
It means the issue is in the second half of that circuit
Sometimes the wire that comes from the relay to the starter solenoid can be open
But, it could also mean that the connector on the solenoid is faulty
And lastly the starter could be faulty.

If it is the starter motor then sometimes tapping or hitting the starter will help get it going one last time???
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Okay so I have a confession to make. I just discovered my headlights were on this evening- possibly throughout all my testing! I only recall turning them on the first day I was testing if my battery was fine. Possibly bumped it when I replaced the starter switch.

I just now put a battery charger on it to bring it back up as its reading only 4-5 volts after possibly sitting with lights on for possibly multiple days. After I get it charged back up and can re-test the jump starting with a wire. This could be why I was getting mixed results.
 

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I did get power the entire time with the white wire, whether I turned key or not. You are correct that I unplugged the connector to test the newly replaced ignition switch. I could not find any videos on backprobing this connector.

How do I check to see if I have control ground? Is that the same thing as putting ground alligator clip on voltage tester probe and then putting probe on engine block to see if light comes on?
To check for control ground…

you “reverse” your test light. You put the clamp of the test light on battery positive, and then use the tip to touch the control relay slot (opposite of where you found control power.) Since the clamp is on positive power, if your test light tip touches a good ground it will light up. This should occur when the car is in park or neutral.


put the back probe thing in the closet for now, you should concentrate on the relay sockets testing done right. you can get to the topic again later as one of a few options to test the ignition switch.
 

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Okay so I have a confession to make. I just discovered my headlights were on this evening- possibly throughout all my testing! I only recall turning them on the first day I was testing if my battery was fine. Possibly bumped it when I replaced the starter switch.

I just now put a battery charger on it to bring it back up as its reading only 4-5 volts after possibly sitting with lights on for possibly multiple days. After I get it charged back up and can re-test the jump starting with a wire. This could be why I was getting mixed results.
Its always good to be truthful when you find these things out. you really don’t want to start changing parts off of false results.
 

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Okay so I have a confession to make. I just discovered my headlights were on this evening- possibly throughout all my testing! I only recall turning them on the first day I was testing if my battery was fine. Possibly bumped it when I replaced the starter switch.

I just now put a battery charger on it to bring it back up as its reading only 4-5 volts after possibly sitting with lights on for possibly multiple days. After I get it charged back up and can re-test the jump starting with a wire. This could be why I was getting mixed results.
That is a very deep discharge on that starter battery.

Best to have it properly load tested and it's internal resistance/CCA checked once you have it fully recharged. Reason: you may have significantly degraded the actual charge capacity of the battery with a deep discharge like this... and that battery will in turn fail early and inconveniently for you.

Generally speaking, a discharge to 8vdc is recoverable (at least a few times), but a deep discharge below 5vdc.... battery integrity may have been permanently compromised
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I tried to jump start the CRV as described above using a single wire between the two larger terminals pinholes used by the starter relay. Despite the overnight charge I still got no crank sound but did hear a click.
 
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