Jump to content

Problem with the starter

Recommended Posts

It doesnt happen all the time but it seems to be getting alot worse and is happening 50% of time now --> I go to start by bike and nothing fires. The headlight dims but nothing else just dead silent :(

 

I dont know if it's a coincidence or helpful but it happens more on very hot summer days. The very first time this happened was when i was riding through my first winter and that day the temperature hit -5 degrees celcius.

 

Way I have been getting around this when it occurs is pulling off the right side panel and taking a screw driver laying it across the the two bolts (see photo) to jump the bike. 20180509_045301.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loose / corroded connection ..
Dirty / damaged starter switch

Dirty / damaged starter relay.

Loose, damaged safety switch/ wiring

You need a meter to do diagnosis , otherwise your just guessing.
As it starts when you bypass everything and send bat voltage direct to starter (shorting the starter relay like your doing) 
It leads one to look at why the starter relay is not doing that for you.
Trigger switch (start button) or wiring for that.
Safety interlock switch or wiring
Starter relay issues with on the trigger side, of the relay contacts 
 

When the no start happens, check the voltage at the starter side of the relay .. should have up to full bat voltage, and not much lower. If no or low voltage, the relay is triggering, but not enough power is getting across contacts..Suspect failed relay.

 

Check the starter relay trigger terminal ..is it getting full bat voltage when you press the starter button??
If the relay is not triggering at all (no "click", no voltage at all on starter side) then work backward in trigger wiring to the starter switch..Suspect a failed starter switch.open housing and try some contact cleaner in the switch, working it vigorously ..if that makes it work, the switch is dirty or damaged.. it can be disassembled and cleaned up...but it is a delicate task.
Or replace the switch housing
 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Slightly relevant is what year and model of DRZ400?  Early models the headlight stayed on but would dim from voltage drop as the starter engaged. Later models the start button turns the headlight off so regardless if the relay is sending current to the starter motor or not the headlight still turns off from the switch push.  You say the headlight dims but I don't know if that is from voltage drop or switch function.  As Erik says, you need a volt meter to do some testing to figure out if the problem is in the control wiring or the relay itself.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good guess but not always.  If the control circuit is not activating the relay the relay could be fine and the problem is elsewhere.  Cause needs to be nailed down.

And NEVER bridge POS and NEG terminals.  I know what you mean but the terminals on the relay are not pos and neg.  It is just a switch in the pos cable.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, sharkcontrol said:

If you have to bridge the positive and negative terminals with a screwdriver and the bike starts  that means the solenoid is faulty.

Its A possible reason, not THE reason. The Relay may be bad, or it may not be getting the trigger voltage from the starter button, that may be the starter button, a safety interlock switch or wiring, or just a open in the relay trigger wire between the starter button and the relay. 

IMG_E8514.JPG.e6d28a431eec5d15cd0ee7b376466483.JPG

 

Those wires were in the starter button circuit and run switch circuit... The bike started fine, was warming up and just stopped running.... and would not restart (crank but not start) 
Diag showed, no spark and the ECU was only getting .6 vdc...working backwards, the ignition fuse had full voltage  These two wires ( Starter button and run switch) had water get into the insulation at a joint, wick up the wire, corroding it.... the ignition one failed, but the starter one was very close and in testing was only transmitting about 11 vdc to the starter relay.....The ignition wire (run switch) failed after starting one last time, and in the driveway while warming up.....
Point is, folks chase their tails and waste time and money making assumptions when it comes to electrical diag.. Start at A work toward Z. No part is assumed good until tested THIS TIME, new parts are not good until tested THIS TIME. Skip no step and be methodical//As slow as that sounds, it actually saves time because you find the issue overall faster, the first time around 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for the late reply folks I have been over my head busy. So i did open the starter box (the one on the handle bar) and the wires and connections all look perfectly clean and strong connections. It definitely is related to when the bike gets heated up because I never have the problem first thing in the morning but if I've been riding it for 20 minutes turn it off and go to start again I get nothing

I am going to test a starter circuit and see if I have full Voltage throughout the whole circuit.

interesting today after it wouldn't start i jumped the positive and negative with the screwdriver and got her started up in neutral then when I went to put it into first gear to get going the bike died. The kickstand was up... never had that happen before it seems to be getting worse and harder to start the hotter the days get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had the same problem years ago. Starter solenoid was the issue. Took me forever to figure it out. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Noble yes i did not mean the positive and negative at all.The starter solenoid is in effect just a relay.I meant obviously bridging the two terminals on the starter solenoid.I hope no one has EVER tried to short out the battery by touching the negative and positive terminals together!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where abouts is the solenoid and is it an easy peice to replace? I know nothing about how to access the solenoid or how a solenoid operates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chubs604 said:

Where abouts is the solenoid and is it an easy peice to replace? I know nothing about how to access the solenoid or how a solenoid operates

ahh, yes you do 

Its the thing you have been shorting to get power to the starter 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chubs604 said:

Where abouts is the solenoid and is it an easy peice to replace? I know nothing about how to access the solenoid or how a solenoid operates

What Erik said. 

 

Its super easy. Just. Hardest part about doing the job is disconnecting the battery. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A solenoid (or relay) is an electrically operated magnetic switch.  Low current activates a coil causing an electromagnet to close high current contacts. Virtually all cars trucks and motorcycles use a solenoid to apply current to the starter motor. On cars it is usually called a solenoid and may also have a linear actuator to engage the starter gears. On motorcycles it is usually called a relay due to its smaller size and usually only operates electrical contacts.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ahh, yes you do 
Its the thing you have been shorting to get power to the starter 
 
Hahaha i know it very well then!
A solenoid (or relay) is an electrically operated magnetic switch.  Low current activates a coil causing an electromagnet to close high current contacts. Virtually all cars trucks and motorcycles use a solenoid to apply current to the starter motor. On cars it is usually called a solenoid and may also have a linear actuator to engage the starter gears. On motorcycles it is usually called a relay due to its smaller size and usually only operates electrical contacts.
Thanks for the explanation Noble!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would i be able to check if the issue is for sure the solenoid by checking the conductivety by touching my meter too either the bolts on the solenoid?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No.  You have the 2 large contacts (bolts as you call them) and 2 small gage wires. One wire is hot the other wire goes to ground.  Disconnect those 2 wires. Ground 1 wire. Does not make any difference which one and apply 12 volts dc+ to the other.  If the relay activates and the motor cranks the relay is good. If nothing happens at all the relay is bad.  If the relay snaps closed with a click you can hear, but the motor does not crank the high current contacts in the relay are bad.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No.  You have the 2 large contacts (bolts as you call them) and 2 small gage wires. One wire is hot the other wire goes to ground.  Disconnect those 2 wires. Ground 1 wire. Does not make any difference which one and apply 12 volts dc+ to the other.  If the relay activates and the motor cranks the relay is good. If nothing happens at all the relay is bad.  If the relay snaps closed with a click you can hear, but the motor does not crank the high current contacts in the relay are bad.
Awesome thanks Noble i will do that and get the verdict.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:


×