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Amedee
Amedee, ASE Master Tech
Category: Car
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Experience:  ASE Master Tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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93 mazda: replaced starter..the clutch switch, it is working

Customer Question

93 mazda rx7, starter will not start. replaced starter will still not start. checked the clutch switch, it is working. could the alarm system be stopping it from starting and how do I defeat it and start car. do not have code for radio and alarm. Battery discharged and started all of this
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Hello!

Does the engine have an after market alarm system? Are there any anti theft lights or security lights on or flashing on the dash with the key on?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No aftermarket alarm and no blinking lights. The alarm indicator on the radio is dark whether the radio is on or off. Unless you have a better idea the only option I can think of is to test the center key module in the middle of the steering column. Don't know how to take all that apart, have not found a service or repair manual I can download. No real hurry just need the best advice I can get. Thanks for you help and look forward to your reply.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Hello!

Lets just start with the basics.
First thing to do is check the battery. A fully charged battery must have enough cranking capacity to provide the starter motor and ignition system with enough power to start the engine over a broad range of ambient temperatures. Even if its charged, it could still be bad causing a no crank condition! I would rec to get it load tested at a shop or at a battery store. A battery load test will verify the actual cranking capability of the battery. This is the best test. Or u can take a voltmeter and put it on the battery and crank the engine over. (Be sure the battery has a full charge on it.) If the volts drop below 9.6, the battery is bad and needs to be replaced! Just be sure all cable connections are clean and tight. Not only at the battery, but on the starter, engine and frame! Positive side as well as the negative side.

If all checks out, make sure that you have battery voltage on both terminals of the starter when cranking. Just be sure all fuses small regular and large size fuses are good under the hood, as well as inside the vehicle
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I already had the battery tested at auto zone. The test showed a good battery and I asked them to check the charging system. When they asked me to start the car it would not start and we had to push the car in second gear to get it started. I came home and ordered the new starter. When that did not work I looked on the internet and found this service. Did you get any other information from the other expert you got in touch with?
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Hello!

YES I did!

LEt me ask you this... does the check engine light come on with the key in the on position?

Do all of the lights interior and exterior lights come on? For example the dome light... dash lights (key on) and headlights?

If so, then lets check power down to the starter on both terminals with the key in the crank position. If there is no power on either of the terminals with the key in the "crank" position, then let me know and I can pull you a wiring diagram and we can figure out whats going on.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have a charger on the battery and it shows 14.6 volts. I put my fluke meter on the solenoid and a ground and read 14.6 volts on the lead coming from the battery and a ground on the transmission. I then put the positive on the winding, turned on the key to start and got no voltage. I then moved the positive to the solenoid lead ( to engage the starter) and got zero voltage when I turned the ignition switch to start and nothing when released. Headlights, dash lights, check engine light, abs light everything on the dash lights like normal. Thanks for your help
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Ok... Let me get you a wiring diagram... give me a minute.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.

Ok... go to the starter cut relay and see if there is two powers going into this relay with the key in the crank position. At least two of the four wires should have battery voltage with the key in the crank position. Here is a wiring diagram.

 

 

graphic

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have a charger on the battery and it shows 14.6 volts. I put my fluke meter on the solenoid and a ground and read 14.6 volts on the lead coming from the battery and a ground on the transmission. I then put the positive on the winding, turned on the key to start and got no voltage. I then moved the positive to the solenoid lead ( to engage the starter) and got zero voltage when I turned the ignition switch to start and nothing when released. Headlights, dash lights, check engine light, abs light everything on the dash lights like normal. Thanks for your help



Can you tell me where to look for the out or cut relay? I looked on the left side of the drivers compartment and found one marked door lock relay. Anywhere close to that?
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Hello!

There are three fuse/relay panels. The main fuse panel and the underhood fuse/relay panel are located on the lefthand side of the engine compartment. The underdash fuse panel is located behind the lefthand side kick panel. I will try and find you a picture of the starter cut relay.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Here is the starter cut relay. Look on the lower left hand side of the diagram.

graphic

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
All right, feel like we are getting somewhere. Found the relay and one wire (black with green or yellow line) is hot with ignition on and does not change when turned to start and another black wire with blue line that goes to 14 volts when put in start position.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Ok good!

So there are two wires that are hot with the key in the crank position?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
yes, one stays hot all the time and the larger wire goes from zero to 14 volts when the key is put in the start position. The smaller wire has 14 volts on it all the time.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Ok... is the relay engaging when you try to start the engine? Does it click when you turn the key to the crank position?
There should be a ground on the light green with red stripe wire. Is there?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The relay does not seem to be doing anything. Could not feel anything when ignition turned on or when put in start position.I don't have a light green stripe wire, I do have a small gage red with green stripe but do not know what it does. I have a second small gage wire which is black with white or light green stripe which shows 14 volts when the ignition switch is turned on and does not change when put in the start position.
I have two larger wires, 10 or 12 gage
1) is black with blue stripe- only shows voltage when key put in start position
2) blue with white stripe- reads as a ground, when you put the key in start position reads 14 volts between the no. 1 and no. 2 wires.
This is all with the plug removed from the relay, stuck the probes into the plug where the wires come out of the harnesss.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Plug the relay back in and try back probing the wires.

Besides the two wires that powers up the relay with the key in the crnak position, there should be two more wires. One of the wires grounds the relay to active it and the other goes to the clutch pedal position switch and then to the stater to power it up.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
all the wires show 14 volts when you put it in the crank position. The blue with the white stripegoes to 0 when ignition is in on position and to 14 volts when in crank
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
all the wires show 14 volts when you put it in the crank position. The blue with the white stripegoes to 0 when ignition is in on position and to 14 volts when in crank. This is using black on meter attached to a known good ground and the red to each wire.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Ok.. tell me the color of the other two wires (that do not have power on them if the relay is unplugged with the key in the crank position).
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
unplugged from relay with ignition in start position
blue with white stripe 0 volts
red with green stripe 0 volts
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Ok... the blue with white stripe wire goes to the starter to power it up. If you put your foot on the clutch pedal and push it all the way down and power up the blue with white stripe wire, the engine should crank over.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I just went and plugged in the relay and pushed the clutch to the floor turned the ignition key and no starter. You can hear relays under the hood clicking when you first turn the ignition to the on position but all that happens when you hit start is the light in the radio dims.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
I am sorry... I meant to say if you power up this blue wire with white stripe and turn the key to the crank position with the clutch pedal pressed down all the way, the engine should start. However, you are going to need ot power this wire up. You could run a jumper wire from one of the wires that goes into the relay that is hot with the key in the crank position.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Okay, you want me to unplug the cable to the starter cut relay, use the black with the blue stripe ( which goes to 14 volts ) to jumper to the blue with the white stripe to see if the relay is just not feeding through. Is that correct?
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
You got it! It should crank over as soon as you push the clutch pedal down and when you turn the key to the crank position (if this wire has power only when you turn the key to the crank position).
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I unplugged the wire and put the jumper in after making sure which wire showed voltage when the ignition turned to crank. Put in the jumper and pressed the clutch to the floor and got nothing. I then put a jumper in the interlock switch and tried again, still no start. I then left the jumper in the interlock, took out jumper from the starter cut relay and tried again no luck. I checked fuses under the hood by the battery and all fuses still look good but no luck. This is driving me crazy but I appreciate your patience.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I unplugged the wire and put the jumper in after making sure which wire showed voltage when the ignition turned to crank. Put in the jumper and pressed the clutch to the floor and got nothing. I then put a jumper in the interlock switch and tried again, still no start. I then left the jumper in the interlock, took out jumper from the starter cut relay and tried again no luck. I checked fuses under the hood by the battery and all fuses still look good but no luck. This is driving me crazy but I appreciate your patience. Can you think of anything else? When I had the starter out and on the bench I could put my battery charger positive on the post from the battery and when I also touched the solenoid center post it would extend and spin and sounded good. Somehow we are not energinizing the solenoid, at least that is what it seems to me
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
I would agree!

Plug the relay back in and check for power on the blue with white wire with the key in the "CRANK" position
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Had to do some other things but am ready to work on car again. I am fine with accepting your answer for your help so far and working with you to continue to solve problem. I am going to arc the starter solenoid to make it work just to make sure. Then I think it has to be the passive alarm system has stopped the starter from working or the ignition switch is not working. We did get voltage to the starter relay but not down to actuate the solenoid. That makes me think it might be the passive alarm. Need to find out how reset the alarm and reset the radio code. I think they both work together. Like I said we can do the rest as a seperate question. You have spent alot of time. Thanks clyde
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.

Hello Clyde!

 

I am available when ever you are ready to start checking things again.

 

THe next test we should perform is to Plug the relay back in and check for power on the blue with white wire with the key in the "CRANK" position.

 

Let me know!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I just checked and the blue with white wire gets power when key is moved to start position. I also checked the black/blue wire and it switches on when key moved to start. While I was doing this test with a light on voltage probe instead of a meter I noticed that the relay clicked when I touched the small wire with red/green stripe and I could feel it.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.

Ok.. good!

 

THis means the relay is working!

 

The blue with white stripe wire goes to the clutch pedal switch. Next step is to go to this switch and see if it is getting power with the key in the crank position.

 

In theory, if this wire coming off of the relay is getting power with the key in the crank position, short of being a bad starter, its got to be a bad clutch pedal position switch.

 

But lets just check it before replacing it.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
There are two wires in the connector. I tested both and neither show any power.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Hello!

Sorry for the delay!

Did you check for both on both wires with the key in the crank position?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I checked both of them in the crank position. I am now using a tester that is like an ice-pick with a light in it, you ground one end and put the other on the terminal and the light comes on. Much easier than the digital meter with small alligator clips. I tested the light on the wires coming from the relay to make sure it was working after testing the wires going to the clutch switch.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Ok.. good!

WHat are the color wires at the clutch switch?
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
There should be a blue and white wire as well as a black with red.

If you power up this blue and white wire and push the clutch pedal in and turn the key to the crank position, the engine should start.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
two small gage wires, one is blue with an orange stripe the other is all black
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Are you sure you are on the right one? It does not sound right.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It is the only switch I see that is activated when you push the clutch down. It has a plunger that goes in when the clutch is released and that comes down when you push the clutch in. It is attached to the same support that the clutch swings on.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Does it look like this?

graphic
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
yes that is it
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Is there a connector that attacjes to it? Maybe as far as 6 inches away from it?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
there is a white connector on the end of the two wires that plugs into the end of the switch. It has a piece of tape on it that says LO1A. The wires run back about 3" and go into a taped bundle of wires that go to the brake light switch on the pedal.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Ok.. so if you are at the clutch pedal, if you power one of these wires up, the engine should crank over. If not, try pushing the clutch pedal in and cranking it over.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I put a jumper in the plug to bypass the switch earlier and it would not start. You want me to put 12 volts into those wires one at a time and try to crank the starter, right? Do you want me to plug the connector into the switch? My daughter looked up some stuff on the internet and it said this car has a passive alarm system, it stops the power to the starter. It supposedly works with the door locks and a wire runs from the door locks to cpu no.2 behind the left kick panel. The wire is described as DK/green/black. Have you seen anything like that? I am concerned that the 12 volts I apply might go back and burn up the cpu. Tell me what you think.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
IF you are on the correct connector and correct switch, this should not hurt anything.

YES.. it is possible that it is just a anti theft issue. THat is what I am trying to figure out by having you run all of these tests. But it is getting kind of hard.

When you apply 12 volts to these wires one at a time, just do it for a split second... nothing longer. YES.. leave the clutch switch disconnected.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Okay apply the twelve volts while holding the key in start position or apply the 12 volts and turn the key to start?
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Either one... just as long as the key is in the crank position at the same time 12 volts is applied to one of the wires.

Also, be sure the transmission is in neutral or the clutch pedal is pushed down when you do this.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I will put it in neutral, I don't want it to start since it is still up on jack stands. It will take me a few minutes to run a wire from the battery to the plug.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
No problem.. let me know...

Also, look for a secuirty light on the dash when the key is on.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No starter, I hooked the wire back to the solenoid before anything else. I took a wire from battery positive, held the key switch in start position, and touched the end of the wire to one of the wires on the connector. The blue with orange strip did not spark or anything, the black wire sparked but did not hear solenoid or starter do anything. I did not see any security light or anything on the dash or the radio.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Ok.. did you say that you can crank the engine over is you apply 12 volts directly to the starter motor?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I was going to take a screwdriver and jump from the 12 volts coming from the battery to the solenoid to the solenoid S terminal. Where the black with red stripe wire goes to the solenoid. I looked again in the whole car for a security light and in the center console there is a security light. directly behind it is a hot exhaust light that lights up when you turn the key to on position. I can't remember ever seeing that light come on in 10 years but it comes on now when you turn the key on.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Ok....

Unplug the CPU and see if the Light Green/Red wire loses its ground and allows the engine to crank. If so, there may be a fault in the CPU or with one of the CPU inputs.
If the Light Green/Red wire is still grounded with the CPU unplugged, the wire is shorted to ground.

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) functions as an anti-theft control unit. The Light Green/Red wire is grounded by the CPU to prevent the engine from cranking during an anti-theft event.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The light Green/Red wire being one in the plug that goes to the switch on the clutch right
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
No... it goes to the relay.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Right, the one that made the relay click when I grounded it through the test light. I will put everything together, unplug the cpu, try the starter and be right back.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
ok
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The cpu has 3 plugs going into it. I unplugged each one pushed the clutch in and tried to start, no luck. I then unplugged all of them and again no start. I checked all the fuses inside and outside and they all look good. I thought we really had something for a minutte.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
At the starter cut relay, check to see if the Light Green/Red wire is grounded by the theft computer. There should be no ground for the starter to operate.
Remove the Light Green/Red wire from the starter cut relay connector. Check to see if the engine will crank. At the theft computer (CPU) remove the Light Green/Red wire and check to see if the engine will crank. Check the switch input to the theft computer and the door switches.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It is going to take a while to do all that and I work at night and have to go to bed soon. I have been up since 10pm last night. The light green/red wire runs back to one of the connectors on the cpu, right? Where do I find the switch input to the theft computer? I think I read that there is a switch under the hook, one at each door lock, and one onthe rear hatch. How do I get back in touch with you tomorrow after I do all this through your web site. I have been leaving my computer on and on this same page to have a window I can type you a message on.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
IT is real simple... Every post I make to you, you get an email sent to you with a link that will bring you back to this page.

You can always accept my answer now and we can still continue our conversation. You can even accept multiple answers. Bonus are appreciated.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
How do I give you a bonus?
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
After you hit the accept button. It will bring you to a page where you can leave me a bonus. After you are done, just hit my questions on the top of the page and it will bring you back to this question.
Amedee, ASE Master Tech
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 21812
Experience: ASE Master Tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
Amedee and 2 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I got lost but have changed my history setting so I can find the instructions tomorrow.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Excellent!

I will be here!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hello Amedee, I just took the wires loose on the cpu, starter cut out relay etc and tested each time I took one out. No luck
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.

Hello!

 

Ok.. is the starter cut relay being energized when you try and crank it over?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I never heard it click, I had my head under the steering wheel while I turned the key and was right beside it
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Ok.. lets go back to the blue with white stripe wire at the starter cut relay and check to see if it is powered up or if it is grounded when you try to crank the engine over.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Do you want me to put the green/red wires back on the cpu. I found 3 and removed all of them and have them taped off.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
NO... leave them dissconnected.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The blue/white turns on with the ignition in start position, so does the black/blue
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.

Sorry for the delay!

 

WHat do you mean turns on? DOes it have power to it or ground?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
when you put the tester on the exposed wire the testor light does not light up. If you leave the tester where it is on the wire and turn the ignition switch to start the tester light comes on
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.

Sorry for the delayed responses.... I am at work.

 

Are you using a normal test light?

 

Is the alligator side of the test light (clip) attached to battery negative?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I think it is normal, looks like an ice pick, where the handle is it is clear and a lamp of some kind inside and a black wire goes about 3ft to an alligator clip or battery clip. I have the clip end attached to a bolt that comes through the firewall. When there is 6 or 12 volts on a wire you pierce with the ice pick end the light comes on
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.

Ok.. good!

 

So when you touch the blue with white wire on the starter cut relay and the black with blue with the tip of the test light it will light up with the key in the crank position...correct?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
That is correct
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.

Ok.. well, it sounds like the whole circuit is working to me. The power is coming into the starter cut relay down going through it and coming out on the blue with white wire. This wire goes down to the starter solenoid to energize it. THe only thing in between is the clutch switch. (look at the wiring diagram I sent).

 

Really, all you need to do it get power from that blue with white wire coming out of the relay to the starter and if the starter is good, it will start to crank.

 

I would have another look at the clutch switch and follow the wires to see where they come and go.

 

I am going to be off line for about an hour. I will check back in with you then.

Amedee, ASE Master Tech
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 21812
Experience: ASE Master Tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
Amedee and 2 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The blue/white wire is larger than the wires that are at the clutch switch. The blue/white looks like wire size no. 12 or 14 and the clutch switch wires are like phone wire size 22 I am going to trace them and see how the blue white wire goes. The wire at the solenoid is a black/red wire so there must be something in between them. Talk to you in about an hour
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Okay Amadee, my daughter has been searching the net in her spare time and she is very smart on a computer. She found a site she has sent me in an e-mail that tells you how to use the diagnostic module in the car to find out what is wrong. I don't know yet if it tells you about the alarm of engine sensors. I am going to check that before I go to bed. I also talked to my parts guy and he told me about a mechanic here in Richmond that works on rx7s. I talked to the mechanic and he said to bring him the car and he can probably tell me what is wrong in about an hour. I don't know if he is really that good or he just wants my car in his shop. Not ready for that yet. I ran a wire from the solenoid back to the starter cut-out so I can go directly to the wire and use it to start the car. I am going to check out the diagnostic stuff before I do that and will be back in touch tomorrow. I am going to accept your answer so you can get paid and will let you know tomorrow what I have decided to do. Thanks for your effort and patience.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.

Hello!

 

I made a pit stop and am able to get access to the internet. THat sounds very interesting about the diagnostics. I can send you some of this information too about the diagnostics if you need. But checking the wiring is the best way to diagnose it in my opinion. But either way should work.

 

I will be standing by... let me know what you find!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Amedee, just so you know I got the RX-7 that had the starter problem fixed. It turns out that the car has two switches on the clutch pedal arm. The upper one is for the cruise control and the lower one (on the floor) is for the starter circuit. The one on the floor is actuated by the clutch lever hitting a plastic button that pushes in and closes a micro-switch. The plastic piece had broken and did not reach the micro-switch when the pedal was pushed down. I had been testing the upper switch not knowing about the bottom switch on the floor. It is in a bracket welded to the firewall and kind of hidden. My RX-7 is now running. I appreciate all your help, we did try everything, I just gave you bad information, did not know the location of the second switch. Thanks for all the help and I will use your service again if I need to. Thanks.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.

Hello!

 

EXCELLENT!

 

I am glad to hear its fixed!

 

Thank you for letting me know the results.

 

Gob bless and have a great day!

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