How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Alex Your Own Question

Alex
Alex, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 1142
Experience:  ASE Certified Technician
15182921
Type Your Mazda Question Here...
Alex is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Mazda protege5: chassis..wont start..i turn the key (clutch..dim

Customer Question

02 mazda protege5: replaced the battery terminals, put a better ground wire from the negative side of the battery to the chassis (checked and cleaned all other grounds as well), replaced the starter, but it still won't start. hear a single click when i turn the key (clutch depressed or not). lights do not dim when i turn the key, so its not the battery (had it tested as well). could the clutch switch have packed up? i don't think its the ignition, because i wouldn't even hear the click if i turn'd the key if it was that. car was running fine before this, would crank a little slow like the battery was dying (but still started), but attributed that to the cold weather. whats could be next?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mazda
Expert:  Alex replied 3 years ago.

Alex M :

Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'll be assisting you with your question.

Alex M :

You'll need a voltmeter to troubleshoot this problem, do you have access to a voltmeter?

Customer:

not right now i don't

Customer:

what did you want me to use it on?

Alex M :

You'll need to check battery voltage. You should have 12.6 volts on the battery with the engine off. If that is ok you'll need to check for 12 volts at the start while having an assistant try to start the engine.

Alex M :

If you do have 12 volts at the starter positive while trying to start, then the starter needs to be replaced

Customer:

when i had the battery tested the voltage read12.62volts. i replaced the starter...

Alex M :

Ok. Then, with the meter on DC voltage, you'll need to connect the positive voltmeter lead to the positive battery post, and the negative lead to the starter positive post.

Alex M :

Have an assistant try to start and take the voltage reading

Alex M :

If you get more than 0.5 volts the entire positive battery cable needs to be replaced

Customer:

are you talking at the starter or at the battery? (connect the voltmeter lead to the positive battery post?

Alex M :

Yes the positive voltmeter lead to the positive battery post, and the negative voltmeter lead to the positive starter post. You're going positive to positive here at the starter and battery. This is a voltage drop test on the starter circuit.

Customer:

what should it read, 12volts?

Alex M :

0.5 volts or less

Alex M :

if it reads 12 volts the positive cable needs to be replaced

Alex M :

or anything over 0.5 volts

Customer:

if it read.5

Alex M :

0.5 then the problem is not the positive cable

Customer:

what would it be?

Customer:

sorry not in my shop right now...

Alex M :

Well you have a new starter, good battery with a full charge, and no corrosion on either battery cable ends

Alex M :

If you have 12 volts available at the starter positive and it is still not starting it could be the starter ground

Customer:

yep...all thats correct, how do you check the starter ground?

Alex M :

You can do a voltage drop test on the starter ground

Alex M :

the same way as on the positive circuit

Customer:

??? electricity not my strong point... voltage drop on the starter ground the same way as on the positive circuit? how?

Alex M :

It's basically like a resistance test but better because it doesn't just show continuity

Alex M :

It gives you a reading, you want no more than 0.5 volts

Customer:

how do you do a voltage drop test?

Alex M :

just like on the positive circuit above, positive lead to starter ground terminal and negative lead to ground point on block

Customer:

then crank it?

Alex M :

Yes exactly

Alex M :

have someone crank it while you have the leads connected

Customer:

ok, what if it reads .5 and what if it reads more?

Alex M :

0.5 or less is good, anything over 0.5 volts replace the starter ground

Alex M :

remember when you're doing voltage drop tests both leads go neg. to neg. or pos. to pos. Not like a regular voltage check where pos goes to pos and neg to neg

Customer:

if i'm correct, the starter ground is the little male/female connector the sits right above the positive screw and the solenoid screw, correct?

Alex M :

yes

Alex M :

Before you do any voltage drop testing just make sure you have 12 volts and ground at the starter

Customer:

how do you change that? attach a new ground from the starter ground connector to the block?

Customer:

got you on the 12volts and ground thing...

Alex M :

One moment let me check the diagram

Alex M :

Yours just grounds to the block

Alex M :

you actually should have 12 volts on both terminals

Customer:

now you lost me... i should have 12 volts at the positive and the ground?

Alex M :

no you wont have a ground terminal on the starter

Alex M :

it grounds to the bell housing

Alex M :

A test light should light on both terminals while trying to start

Customer:

ok, then what is that male/female connector? thats not a ground?

Alex M :

no you should have 12v there too

Customer:

ok so 12 volts there, and at the positive terminal on the starter...during crank or just sitting?

Alex M :

during cranking

Alex M :

so your main suspect right now is the battery positive cable or loose contact on pos. cable, or a bad cell in the battery

Customer:

what if it doesn't read 12v?

Alex M :

The you do your voltage drop test

Customer:

you say bad battery cell, that wouldn't show up on the test?

Alex M :

It should if the test is accurate, but it's still a possibility

Alex M :

the "click" you're hearing means there's power getting to the starter but not enough

Alex M :

through a bad positive cable or bad battery or connection

Customer:

ok, let me run this down, let me know if i got it?

Customer:

ok i think i got it, i'll just follow this chat since we've seemed to go in order...test for 12v at both those terminals on the starter, then if it does read 12v,

Alex M :

Right but first make sure you have 12 volts on the battery

Alex M :

If it does read 12 volts the starter should be turning

Alex M :

so i have a feeling it isnt going to

Customer:

so you think its my battery

Alex M :

No, what i mean is, you wont have 12 volts at the starter because if you did the starter would be turning

Alex M :

So I think its either the battery or the positive cable end

Alex M :

or theres a loose connection at the starter or battery

Alex M :

i meant positive cable

Alex M :

not just cable end

Customer:

i agree, was just about say that. no lose connections, been in there play'n around, so nothings lose...

Customer:

the whole cable huh?

Alex M :

Yes the entire cable from the battery to the starter

Alex M :

thats why id like you to voltage drop test that cable

Alex M :

if that cable has more than 0.5 volts drop on it, it needs to be replaced

Customer:

cool...

Alex M :

So for the voltage drop test: Positive voltmeter lead to positive battery terminal > negative voltmeter lead to positive starter terminal (the one with the nut)>have assistant try to start > meter should read 0.5 or less if the cable is good. If the cable is bad, meter will read more than 0.5 volts

Customer:

yep

Alex M :

But before you can do any of this testing just make sure battery voltage is 12.6

Alex M :

Do you have anymore questions?

Customer:

no, just reading through the chat. i put a test light on the starter today and it lit up on both those terminals. the positive lit up, then i put it on the male/female connector, cranked it and that lit up to

Alex M :

Then the starter is bad

Alex M :

Of course you need to get a meter on it and make sure its getting all 12 volts

Alex M :

a test light can light with less than 12 volts

Customer:

no i'm sorry the little connector part didn't light up.

Alex M :

In that case you may have a problem with the ignition switch

Alex M :

does the click sound like its coming from the the starter area ?

Customer:

if its the ignition switch, why am i getting that click sound, doesn't that , mean i got power going through

Alex M :

yeah if the click sounds like its coming from under the hood

Customer:

sound like its on the passenger side behind the dash

Alex M :

Maybe the starter relay

Customer:

thats the click i hear? like right behind the airbag or glove box

Alex M :

Possibly but its hard to say without hearing it myself

Customer:

lol...yeah i know. so i'll check the battery voltage 1st, then do a voltage drop, then check the starter relay?

Alex M :

Yeah do you know where the relay box is? I can seem to find one in my manual

Customer:

is there a way to check is the starter relay is good?

Alex M :

Yeah swap it out with an another identical relay out of the relay box

Alex M :

also look at the contacts of the relay and their sockets

Alex M :

see if they look burnt

Customer:

no clue, i'll follow the sound and see where it comes from...if the look burnt then its the relay?

Alex M :

yeah and if the a relay contact looks burnt look at the socket that pin goes into. If its also burnt it needs to be repaired as well

Customer:

ok, one last time: 12v at the battery, voltage drop test, check out relay for burntness...

Alex M :

yes

Alex M :

also swap the relay with another one

Alex M :

you can use an identical one for another circuit on the car just to check

Customer:

cool, i'm gone you've been a big help...

Alex, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 1142
Experience: ASE Certified Technician
Alex and 3 other Mazda Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
< Last | Next >
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
  • used your service this weekend with "Trecers" help. thank you ,thank you, thank you. replaced an A/C fan motor. Local Auto Zone had part. $15.00 "tracer" fee and $40.00 for parts, I saved several hundreds of dollers at a shop. i will recommend you and use you in the future. David L. Richmond, TX
  • 9 dollars, 2 hours of my time, and I drove away. Your diagnosis was right on the mark. Thank you so much. Phil Marysville, CA
  • Lurch. Thank you very much. I had real doubts about this website but your promptness of response, quick followup and to the point answer with picture was incredible. Charles Walnut Creek, CA
  • As a single woman, I really appreciate an excellent and affordable opinion.
    Thank you Geordie, I will not hesitate to contact justanswer in the future!
    Sue Charleston, WV
  • Another great insight to what may be the problem. I will have my mechanic take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks again, Frank...you do indeed know your stuff. Jim Castleberry, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Drew

    Super Mazda Tech.

    Satisfied Customers:

    2176
    #1 rated Mazda technician. 17 yrs. experience as a shop owner. Mazda Certified with Ford, Linc. & Merc. experience. ASE L1 Advanced Certified Master Tech.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/supermazdatech/2010-8-24_54425_Self_Portrait.jpg Drew's Avatar

    Drew

    Super Mazda Tech.

    Satisfied Customers:

    2176
    #1 rated Mazda technician. 17 yrs. experience as a shop owner. Mazda Certified with Ford, Linc. & Merc. experience. ASE L1 Advanced Certified Master Tech.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MA/mazdamaster577/2012-6-7_13242_IM001017.64x64.JPG mazdamaster577's Avatar

    mazdamaster577

    Master Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    633
    mazda master/shop foreman for 15 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/joecamel90/2008-11-13_03615_head_shot.jpg George H.'s Avatar

    George H.

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    354
    15+Years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/mikeamechanic/2013-4-2_175558_photo.64x64.JPG Mike Kelly's Avatar

    Mike Kelly

    Mazda Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    269
    17 years experience as an auto mechanic, foreign and domestic. 5 years running my own repair business.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/maddogtech/2008-12-13_185836_ed1.JPG Mazda Ed's Avatar

    Mazda Ed

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    264
    ASE Certified Mazda Master Technician
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/muddyford/2012-6-13_1204_1.64x64.png Chris (aka- Moose)'s Avatar

    Chris (aka- Moose)

    Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    247
    16 years of experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/drivefast1971/2012-1-12_172422_0009051tQKh.64x64.jpg Ron Z.'s Avatar

    Ron Z.

    - Mazda Tech -

    Satisfied Customers:

    232
    18+yrs experience. State Inspector and Mazda Diagnostics
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Mazda Mechanic
Alex
Alex
Automotive Technician
83 Satisfied Customers
ASE Certified Technician