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[Datsun 1200 encyclopedia]

Starter Troubleshooting

From Datsun 1200 Club

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Category: Engine Electrical System

Sometimes the engine will start and sometimes not.

specific symptom: A clicking sound

Engine does not turn (no cranking).

Also see: Starter Testing

Top Causes

  1. battery cable connections need cleaning
  2. starter solenoid getting bad
  3. ignition switch going out

The First usually gets very bad within a few days and won't start at all.


Troubleshoot like this to avoid buying un-needed parts:

  1. Clean the battery terminals and cable ends. Fasten securely
  2. If that doesn't resolve the problem, test the ignition switch by bypassing it:
    1. Put car in neutral and block the wheels
    2. Using a remote start cable, connect the starter "S" terminal to the battery +. Press the remote start button to test.
      • It it cranks consistently this way, but not when using the key, it is probably the ignition switch. New ones are about $20. It could also be the wiring to the switch.
      • If the same problem occurs, it is the solenoid. Datsun starters use welded connectors in the solenoid, so it's not easy to rebuild them. Just buy a new solenoid, or throw a good used starter on there.
      NOTE: If you don't have a remote start cable, you can use a screwdriver momentarily jammed between the starter "S" terminal and large terminal (battery +). Just be very careful, it you short the + to the metal of the engine or starter it can melt the screwdriver.

Of course there are other potential causes. See need answers if anyone has had this problem

Best to test first, before buying new parts.

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