Asleep at the wheel
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Re: Key switch gremlin??
Personally, I'd try the switch first if you can get it out, or get to the back of it, easily.
First, check that the wires are properly attached to the switch. If they look corroded, or if only one strand of wire is holding everything together, that's likely to be your culprit.
If the wires are properly attached, take a multimeter and put it on the diode test setting so you can hear the beep, or, if it doesn't have one, put it on the resistor test setting. You'll probably see three pins on the back of the switch. In the "off" setting, you should see an open circuit (i.e., very high impedence/high ohm value, to the point were most DMM's probably won't show a number) regardless of which combination of pins you try to read. In the "on" setting, you'll see an open circuit on the pin for the starter, but a closed circuit (i.e., close to 0 ohms) for the rest of the equipment that's tied to the "on" position. Turning to start will probably give you an closed circuit on both pins.
If the switch works reliably, then you know the problem is either the wiring on the starter end, or the starter itself. Check the wiring on the starter to ensure that it isn't corroded, and that you have good contact with the starter, and that the starter is properly grounded.
If the starter's wiring looks OK, then the problem is probably with the starter itself, and its time to have it rebuilt. I had mine rebuilt recently for just over $100, just to give you an idea of what that might cost.
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