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How to check if you have a bad starter

This is a discussion on How to check if you have a bad starter within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hello everyone. I seen too many issues with starters lately so I decided to make this write up in order ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    How to check if you have a bad starter

    Hello everyone. I seen too many issues with starters lately so I decided to make this write up in order to help some members figure out if the starter is the problem.

    You will need a voltmeter or 12v test light.

    This is very important. Before you begin you need to make sure that the "security light" in the cluster is NOT FLASHING. If the light is flashing this procedure can not be followed until that issue is resolved 1st. The flashing "security light" indicates that you are having an issue with VATS. This will prevent the starter and fuel pump from working. Follow the steps in this link from the tech stickies to resolve the flashing "security light" BEFORE you continue.

    How to Bypass your VATS

    If your security light is off then continue reading.

    Jack the car up on the passenger side at least. Put some jack stands(safety
    1st). Now look underneath the engine for the starter, is on the passenger side of the engine.


    Now this might be alittle tricky becuase the solenoid of the starter is on the top. There's a few tests you can do to find out if the starter is bad.
    Use this pic as reference:


    1. Grab your voltmeter/test light and connect one lead to ground. Grab the other lead and touch the big red starter wire(from the battery) your test light should light up or your voltmeter will show 12v. This tells us that you have a good ground to continue with the test.

    Now leave the lead on the ground (that you have found), use the other lead and connect to the smaller wire on top of the solenoid. You will need someone to get in the car and turn the ignition switch to the "start" position like they are trying to crank the car. You should see the test light lit up or 12v on the voltmeter. This tells us the electrical part from the ignition switch all the way to the starter is working fine.

    If the small wire has 12v when you turn the key to start position the starter is bad and needs to be replaced.

    2. If you are not getting 12v on the small wire then your starter relay could be bad. A quick way to do that is to swap the starter relay with the one of the fan's relays(they are the same). The relays are located in the boxes on the engine bay towards the driver's side.

    Pull the covers off:

    Here is the location of the relays: (purple is the fan relays)


    I don't advise you to drive the car without one of the fan relays. If the auto parts is close then keep an eye on the temp and make the trip. If you can get the relay without driving the car even better.

    If you are having issues after swaping the relay it's posible that you have an open wire between the relay and the starter, an open wire from the ignition switch and the starter relay(not to be confused with the ignition cylinder key) or a bad ignition switch.

    I hope this help. Thanks for reading.
    Last edited by JayTA98; 06-25-2011 at 09:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    let me know what you guys think and if i miss anything. Thanks.

  3. #3
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    vote sticky!!!!

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Updated please check for any other revisions. thanks.

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayTA98 View Post
    Updated please check for any other revisions. thanks.
    Looks good! You nailed it now..

    Just to add all three of the those relays are for your fans.. The Black is the main bus..

    You are correct there too..

  6. #6
    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    Looks good! You nailed it now..

    Just to add all three of the those relays are for your fans.. The Black is the main bus..

    You are correct there too..
    thanks Smittro. next one is going to be for the whole cooling system flush.

  7. #7
    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayTA98 View Post
    thanks Smittro. next one is going to be for the whole cooling system flush.
    No prob @ all..

    You sure pick the easy ones..

    LOL, when I did mine I got it done but made a huge non eco friendly mess..

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    Senior Member Lunatikgixxer's Avatar
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    wish you would of did this before my post LOL

  9. #9
    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunatikgixxer View Post
    wish you would of did this before my post LOL

    lol sorry, but at least you got it solved.

  10. #10
    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    I Sticky myself. Thanks to Smittro for quality control.

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