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Austin Mini Hl Auto Refusing To Start Unless Solenoid Terminals Bridged?

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#1 tappouni

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 07:56 PM

So I’ve got an '81 HL Auto - I love the thing, but it has been having some starting issues lately, and just wondered if anyone would be able to advise on what I should try, or what my starting problem could be? 

 

Recently I’ve been replacing a number of components, e.g. alternator (the old one packed up), battery, sparks, coil, HT leads. But one issue I’ve been having is starting the car, and it’s worse when hot.

 

I replaced the original starter solenoid (the terminal which takes the feed from the key quite literally fell off) with a new Intermotor one worked for a week or so, but now I’m stuck.

 

When I turn the key, the starter solenoid clicks (similar if I rock the gear selector, it clicks), but the starter motor does nothing. If I bridge the contacts on the solenoid and have someone turn the key, the car fires up - starter spins, and the car fires up fine. 

 

Battery reads 12.9V, and it reads 12.5V at the solenoid terminal, so I think the battery cable is fine. 

 

Frequently it refuses to start when hot (solenoid clicks, but starter motor does nothing - if I let it cool a little, it's normally fine), but now it doesn’t fancy starting at all. Seeing as it starts when I bridge the terminals, I assume the starter motor is fine? Could the ‘new’ solenoid have given up, or not as it clicks?

 

Tried scrubbing the engine earth strap terminals, solenoid terminals, and battery terminals, but didn’t help.

 

If anyone has any idea of what it could be, would be great! Has been driven daily for the past 3 months, ran without problems up till now!

 



#2 cal844

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 08:28 PM

You need to charge that battery, trickle charge it overnight

Clean the connections and also make sure the solenoid is earthed to the inner wing

#3 Dusky

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 09:11 PM

That battery is fine if it cranks over with the solenoid bypassed. New solenoid sounds dead.

#4 tappouni

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 09:40 PM

You need to charge that battery, trickle charge it overnight

Clean the connections and also make sure the solenoid is earthed to the inner wing

 

Thanks for the suggestion - I'll leave it on charge overnight, see if that helps. Did give the connectors around the battery a clean, the earth strap, and around the solenoid (made sure it was firmly tightened to the wing). 

 

That battery is fine if it cranks over with the solenoid bypassed. New solenoid sounds dead.

 

That's a shame if it already died! Is there anything which might have perhaps caused the contacts inside the solenoid to weld together, or something like that? I guess get a replacement solenoid, hopefully it's nothing more serious than that!

 

Just surprised that it died so soon (actually I forgot to add that I had another solenoid before the Intermotor one, also lasted around 2 weeks before giving up, so I'm currently on the 3rd solenoid) - I wonder if there's something contributing.

Could an earth strap from the foot of the solenoid to somewhere else be worth a shot?



#5 cal844

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 09:46 PM


You need to charge that battery, trickle charge it overnight

Clean the connections and also make sure the solenoid is earthed to the inner wing


Thanks for the suggestion - I'll leave it on charge overnight, see if that helps. Did give the connectors around the battery a clean, the earth strap, and around the solenoid (made sure it was firmly tightened to the wing).

That battery is fine if it cranks over with the solenoid bypassed. New solenoid sounds dead.


That's a shame if it already died! Is there anything which might have perhaps caused the contacts inside the solenoid to weld together, or something like that? I guess get a replacement solenoid, hopefully it's nothing more serious than that!

Just surprised that it died so soon (actually I forgot to add that I had another solenoid before the Intermotor one, also lasted around 2 weeks before giving up, so I'm currently on the 3rd solenoid) - I wonder if there's something contributing.
Could an earth strap from the foot of the solenoid to somewhere else be worth a shot?

You need to make sure the mating faces of the wing and solenoid are shiny metal, anything less won't allow farthing to be achieved.

You could try earthing the solenoid by using an engine strap as a temporary diagnosis.

#6 62S

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 08:09 AM

Does your car have an inhibitor switch on the auto gear change?

#7 tappouni

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 12:33 PM

Does your car have an inhibitor switch on the auto gear change?


I must admit, I’m not 100% sure, but maybe? Something I hadn’t considered though - thanks for mentioning it!
Normally when I put it in neutral, it ‘clicks’ into place.

Given that in the past I’ve been able to start the car by rocking the gear selector (not working now), is it possible that there’s something up with it, so the car thinks it’s not in neutral, and therefore won’t start?

I’ll add that when I do rock it, I do hear the solenoid clicking, so actually it must know that it pops into neutral, hence the clicking.

Sorry for the questions, I’m just a little stumped...I know a little about cars, but not an awful lot, though owning a Mini does teach you a few things!

I tried trickle charging the battery overnight but that didn’t work.

New solenoid is on the way so I’ll fit that as soon as it comes.

#8 carbon

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 06:17 PM

Does your car have an inhibitor switch on the auto gear change?

Yes, almost definitely. There's one on my '69 auto, and it should be fitted to all auto Minis.

 

The first time it happened it took me a while to realise the problem, as I have always had manual boxes before. Basically if the selector is not in 'N' then the inhibitor switch cuts the circuit from the ignition switch to the solenoid.

 

Move it to 'N' and it should work OK.



#9 Dusky

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 06:24 PM

With the gear selector not in N ( or P on some vehicles, maybe not on minis) the starter shouldn't click either if it's the same wiring scheme on minis as on other autos I've worked on.

If it is the solenoid, try getting a Bosch solenoid or something similar. Most parts are hit and miss, but genuine Busch hasn't failed me yet. Mind, it costs more too

#10 tappouni

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 08:56 PM

 

Does your car have an inhibitor switch on the auto gear change?

Yes, almost definitely. There's one on my '69 auto, and it should be fitted to all auto Minis.

 

The first time it happened it took me a while to realise the problem, as I have always had manual boxes before. Basically if the selector is not in 'N' then the inhibitor switch cuts the circuit from the ignition switch to the solenoid.

 

Move it to 'N' and it should work OK.

 

 

I see I see, mine must have it in that case. 

 

With the gear selector not in N ( or P on some vehicles, maybe not on minis) the starter shouldn't click either if it's the same wiring scheme on minis as on other autos I've worked on.

If it is the solenoid, try getting a Bosch solenoid or something similar. Most parts are hit and miss, but genuine Busch hasn't failed me yet. Mind, it costs more too

 

So I replaced the solenoid, and it fired up happily straight away! Maybe I just got a slightly dodgy one - it's another Intermotor one (model number is 68000).

 

Would've been happy to pay the extra for a Bosch, but I couldn't find a similarly-styled one unfortunately - it's sort of square in shape, bolts to the inner O/S wing...I've been able to find more cylindrical shaped ones, but not a match for mine unfortunately - unless you perhaps know of the model number for one?

 

Thanks for all the comments anyway, much appreciated!







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