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TR2/3/3A Starter Solenoid


Jedi Trainee
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How can one bench test a starter solenoid to see if it works, without wiring it into the car?


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You could wire up a Head light using the solenoid as the switch then ground the solenoid case and apply power to the contact that the starter switch connects to. The headlight is a slightly higher load than just using a meter to test the starter contacts.
Of course you could use a starter motor but would need to secure the motor.



Or test with no load using a multimeter. Set the multimeter for continuity or resistance (Ohms). Check for continuity between the two big threaded terminals. You should find infinite resistance (open) with no power supplied. Now connect a battery charger to your solenoid, black/ground cable to the solenoid mounting foot, red/hot lead to the solenoid's spade terminal. You should hear a click when the battery charger is connected and the solenoid is likely to jump a bit. With the solenoid powered by the battery charger, use the multimeter again. You should find continuity (very low resistance) between the two threaded solenoid terminals.

Testing with a load like the headlight suggested above is better but the multimeter is an adequate test just to confirm the contacts are moving and closing.


Jedi Trainee
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Thanks guys!
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