What would make the starter engage when the key out of the ignition
The starter tries to engage without the key being in the ignition. My husband was told the ignition was not working and needed to be replaced. he put a toggle switch on it. I have taken the toggle switch off and it still wants to start without the key
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Re: What would make the starter engage when the key out...
Your problem seems to be a faulty solenoid. The solenoid is a little monster that lives on top of the starter motor, and its job is twofold. Firstly, it supplies full battery power to the starter motor, and secondly it drives a gear on the starter to engage with the engine flywheel.
Now, your problem. The first guess could be the ignition switch, but fitting a toggle seems like a fairy tale answer. Check the starter solenoid to see if there is a frayed wire on the thin wire that connects to the starter, or possibly a frayed wire on the battery cable that is shorting to the small connector. Otherwise, I have seen the terminal of this small wire actually become loose and turn in the direction of the battery cable, which is also connected to the solenoid. A short here will cause the problem you are describing.
Finally, the solenoid could have a short circuit inside the body, which means replace the solenoid.
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Replace the ignition assembly on the steering column. The return spring is in that module. Be sure to put your original lock cylinder back into the new assembly so you can use the same key. If you get a used one with the key cylinder in it, make sure you get the key that matches the lock. If not, switching the original lock back in is a real pain. With the correct key, you just rotate the key to the start/ignition position, push a nail/probe into the hole on top of the assembly and the lock cylinder should be able to pull out.
Maybe you have a short in the ignition switch. Put the battery back on, and everything connected EXCEPT the small red wire to the starter relay. Key off, of course. Now connect the red wire to the relay: if this causes the starter to engage, you probably need a new ignition switch.
Sounds like you have the starter wires hooked up wrong and to continuous power. If starter shuts off with the key now, but wont engage the motor, you may need shims so that the starter drive lines up with the motors fly wheel
You are describing a couple different issues, First off you should never see smoke come from your ignition. You say you replaced it but if you did and this was after it "smoked" then you may have had more damage than just the ignition. The click you are hearing sounds like the starter trying to engage, but the armature is stuck. Try a light couple of taps with a hammer directly on the starter. If the car starts... then you need to replace the starter. Keep in mind you may have to have someone hold the key in the "start" position while you tap it. Make sure the emergency brake is on and the wheels are chaulked.
Hello I have simular problem the ignition on is stuck in that position with the key turned off and out of the ignition switch.It feels like the key switch is spinning freely in the ignition. Do I need an ignition switch?
it could be the safety neutral switch (ignition switch located at the base of the steering column)..try putting it in neutral,reverse,drive then turn the key.could be a fuseable link blown thats connected to the battery cable,could be a starter solenoid,try jumping the solenoid with a screwdriver to see if the starter engages,if not then hit the starter with a hammer,either the bendix cover is rusted out(really typical with 1986-1991)and causing the starter to gum up with rust or oil or dirt so the bendix sticks down,the starter will not spin unless the bendix is up.,or the brushes are worn out and thats what hitting it with a hammer will do,loosen the brushes up enough to start working a little and then you will know if the starter really needs to be replaced.