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Discussion Starter #1
Went to leave the restaurant, no crank (or even solenoid click).
Headlights, acc etc works, gages don't.
Found AM2 fuse blown, swap in extra, gages work, still no crank.

Got under, find single yellow wire on solenoid with plug pulling out of solenoid body, looks like soldered joint may have shorted on the case, push it back in, still no crank.
Called state farm, getting a tow home for $13.

Reasonable course of action would be to start with the solenoid if i can find one separately, starter if i can't.
Sound like a good plan?
 

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Went to leave the restaurant, no crank (or even solenoid click).
Headlights, acc etc works, gages don't.
Found AM2 fuse blown, swap in extra, gages work, still no crank.

Got under, find single yellow wire on solenoid with plug pulling out of solenoid body, looks like soldered joint may have shorted on the case, push it back in, still no crank.
Called state farm, getting a tow home for $13.

Reasonable course of action would be to start with the solenoid if i can find one separately, starter if i can't.
Sound like a good plan?
No.

Blindly replacing parts hoping to stumble on the root cause of the failure isn't the correct approach.

What do you know at this point? That the AM2 fuse was blown, and that there was some defect in the wiring to the solenoid. There may be no problems at all with the starter or solenoid.

Background info would be useful:
1. Is this the original starter?
2. Knowing the odometer reading would help determine the likely state of wear on solenoid contacts.
3. Has the vehicle been driven through deep water or mud recently?

Pull the starter, disassemble the solenoid, and take a look at the contacts and see if there is any contamination or corrosion that is causing the solenoid plunger to bind. Check condition of starter brushes & commutator.

Solenoid contacts can be easily and inexpensively replaced, as can the starter motor brushes.

Generally the OEM Denso starter motor is good for well over 150K miles, but the solenoid contacts (especially if they get contaminated with mud or oil) may fail well before this, depending on how many starts-per-day, etc.

If the solenoid contacts are bad and the motor commutator is burned or deeply eroded, or you just don't feel comfortable replacing the worn components, get a remanufactured Denso starter assembly REMANUFACTURED BY DENSO. See Densoproducts.com.

Do NOT go with a cheap "auto parts store" generic rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No.

Blindly replacing parts hoping to stumble on the root cause of the failure isn't the correct approach.

What do you know at this point? That the AM2 fuse was blown, and that there was some defect in the wiring to the solenoid. There may be no problems at all with the starter or solenoid.

Background info would be useful:
1. Is this the original starter?
2. Knowing the odometer reading would help determine the likely state of wear on solenoid contacts.
3. Has the vehicle been driven through deep water or mud recently?

Pull the starter, disassemble the solenoid, and take a look at the contacts and see if there is any contamination or corrosion that is causing the solenoid plunger to bind. Check condition of starter brushes & commutator.

Solenoid contacts can be easily and inexpensively replaced, as can the starter motor brushes.

Generally the OEM Denso starter motor is good for well over 150K miles, but the solenoid contacts (especially if they get contaminated with mud or oil) may fail well before this, depending on how many starts-per-day, etc.

If the solenoid contacts are bad and the motor commutator is burned or deeply eroded, or you just don't feel comfortable replacing the worn components, get a remanufactured Denso starter assembly REMANUFACTURED BY DENSO. See Densoproducts.com.

Do NOT go with a cheap "auto parts store" generic rebuild.
I wouldn't quite say blindly, the plug itself was pulling out of the solenoid, the connector was still firmly attached.
The wire inside the solenoid housing was contacting the case and i will assume (for now) that is what blew the AM2 fuse.

Original starter to my knowledge.
2011, 74k miles, was a freshwater "flood" car, been driving it every day for 1.5 years since without issue. Had some heavy rain this week but not done any offroading or fording recently.

First order of business will be pulling the starter for inspection, I've got no problem tearing it down and replacing components, just wanted to know if anyone had any ideas other than the starter/solenoid that i should check first.
 

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How about sticking a meter or test light onto the solenoid switch wire and verify that works like it should


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Discussion Starter #5
How about sticking a meter or test light onto the solenoid switch wire and verify that works like it should
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That yellow single wire is the switch wire, correct? I'll be digging into it this weekend, I'll start with the meter.
 

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That yellow single wire is the switch wire, correct? I'll be digging into it this weekend, I'll start with the meter.
The solenoid itself is a high-current switch (or relay).

The yellow wire powers the solenoid coil, which moves the plunger and closes the high-current solenoid contacts, which then provide power to the starter motor.

Are you saying that the stationary side of the connector, normally attached to the solenoid housing, somehow separated from the solenoid?
 

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Post #1

Got under, find single yellow wire on solenoid with plug pulling out of solenoid body, looks like soldered joint may have shorted on the case,


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The solenoid itself is a high-current switch (or relay).

The yellow wire powers the solenoid coil, which moves the plunger and closes the high-current solenoid contacts, which then provide power to the starter motor.

Are you saying that the stationary side of the connector, normally attached to the solenoid housing, somehow separated from the solenoid?
Yes, the black connector attached to the solenoid had pulled out but not broken the solder joint inside, so it was still connected. Watched a few videos, here's a screenshot (not my pic) showing the plug I'm referring to, along with the breathers/drains that were missing as of yesterday...
 

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Post #1

Got under, find single yellow wire on solenoid with plug pulling out of solenoid body, looks like soldered joint may have shorted on the case,
Yes, actually I can read.

In the world of electrical connectors, generally there are "plugs" and "receptacles", just like in your home AC outlets & the widgets that plug into them.

The "plug" is that portion of the connector that's attached to the cable or wiring harness, the "receptacle" is the fixed portion of the connector that's attached to the panel (or in this case to the solenoid housing). Gender (which half of the connector has male or female contacts) doesn't matter.

The OP's statement that the "plug" was pulling out of the solenoid was slightly unclear ... did he mean that the connector pair was slightly de-mated, with the plug pulling out of the receptacle, or that receptacle was pulling out of the solenoid? Both conditions are possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Ok, so it's not the original starter, it's a Chinese reman.
The receptical pulled out of the case and shorted the coil wire inside, which would explain the blown AM2 fuse.

Metered the starter signal wire and it gives a good 12V+ when the key is turned.

Went ahead and ordered a starter from Denso on Amazon.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Success!
Swapped in the Denso unit (from the bottom/side, in halves) and it fired right up. Chinese junk starter must not have had the plug epoxied in, or however it's supposed to be retained. Denso plug is solid.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
@;
"...in halves."
???
Easiest way to get the starter in and out is to remove the motor from the assembly (2 long screws and a terminal nut).
Nothing will fall out.
Solenoid/gear assembly go in from the bottom, next to the diff. Once that's in the work window the motor goes back on and the whole thing bolts up.

Beats removing more things and yanking on hard brake lines/fittings.
 
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