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RSRBOB
RSRBOB, Technician
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 1078
Experience:  Former Yamaha Factory Service Rep, Dlr Line Tech, Serv Mgr, G/M
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R engine starter makes no noise when I move key to start

Customer Question

R engine starter makes no noise when I move key to start position. Started fine every time in the last year but not today. Left engine starts and runs normally. Already shaped fuses under the round cover in the back with no effect.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Boat
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
was able to get starter to engage by jumping the starter relay though engine didn't start (should it?) but don't know really if issue is with key switch or with the starter relay
Expert:  RSRBOB replied 1 year ago.

Hi and thank you for your question.

I suggest checking the fuse first. There is one fuse for the starter circuit. The best way to check it is either just replace it with a new one or test it with a test light. You want to see power to both sides of it. I do not trust my eyes because I have seen fuses that looked fine with a visual inspection but were open or "blown" when tested electrically. If the fuse is ok, we will move on.

The next thing we need to see is if you are getting power to the starter relay from the key switch. The easiest way to test that is to use a test light, or volt meter, and probe the small wires going into the relay. When the key switch is turned to the start position, you should see power at the brown wire going into the starter relay. If you don't have power there when the key is turned to the start position, then we need to check the safety switch where the lanyard goes. It should have power going to it on the red/black wire and when the lanyard is installed should have power coming out of it on the brown wire going to the key switch. There are 2 brown wires on the key switch, one from the lanyard switch and the other goes to the starter relay. We want to see if we have power to the key switch then with the key turned to the start position we want to see power on the other brown wire.

Let me know how that works out for you and if you need any more help.

Thanks,

RSRBOB

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What is the best way to get sufficient access to the starter relay to check on the input leads? It's easy enough to remove the small access panel to see the heavy wires that lead to the starter but getting to the rest of the relay for possible replacement seems pretty involved. Thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh and I swapped the fuses and they are apparently ok.
Expert:  RSRBOB replied 1 year ago.

Very good.

There are a couple of very very remote possibilities that you can check before going into the electrical box. The first would be making sure the F-N-R lever is solidly in the N position. Perhaps the easiest way to check that is hold the key in the start position and shift from F to N and N to R and back to N. Its a long shot but easy. The next thing would be IF you are using an aftermarket lanyard. Sometimes they are more flexible than the stock lanyard forks and can cause similar problems to what you are experiencing. Try squeezing the fork together and tipping it slightly so it pulls the switch out farther and try to start the engine. If you have no luck with that, you will need to check into the electrical box to chase down the problem.

It is a bit more involved but not impossible. I will have to leave it up to you to decide based on your own confidence and experience if you feel like tackling it.

RSRBOB

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