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 .... Your Own Question

....
...., ....
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 4983
Experience:  ............
4419077
Type Your Motorcycle Question Here...
.... is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My Harley sportster will not start and there is a loud click

Customer Question

My Harley sportster will not start and there is a loud click on pressing the start button. Battery is up to full charge could it be the solenoid?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  .... replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Brian :

Good day and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to help you with your problem today. Do you have a multi meter?

Customer :

No, sorry i dont

Brian :

We will need one to determine your issue & test any components for failure, is there anyway that you could borrow or get one?

Customer :

Yes i could probably get my hands on one

Customer :

Am i write in thinking the starter and solenoid are joined together

Brian :

That would help considerably. Otherwise you play guessing games & maybe buy un-necessary parts.

Brian :

Yes on your 94 the solenoid is on the starter.

Customer :

It has been suggested that I bridge the terminals on the solenoid and if all is well the engine should turn over and probably start

Brian :

The likely issue is the battery itself. Although it has voltage, the plates & electrolyte/electrolytic gel have lost their ability to create the needed amperage to push that voltage. We need the meter to do a load test.

Brian :

I do not recommend jumping the solenoid.

Brian :

it can be a diagnostic a few steps from now if needed..

Customer :

I see so the solenoid could be ok but the problem lie with the battery so I need to test what amps the battery has?

Brian :

No, you check battery voltage with the start button depressed. If the voltage drops below 9.5 vdc, the battery is junk. If the voltage stays at 12, the start button, or more likely the starter relay is junk, that also holds true with a "click" & is the next diagnostic, a new starter relay. If the voltage drops but stays above 10-11 vdc, & there is a "click" check the battery cables & again, the starter relay. After that you go after the starter/solenoid/jackshaft.. but it all starts at the battery...

Customer :

Thanks Brian that sounds good, can I get back to you later in the week? Garrick

Brian :

just reply to the links in the emails that you get about this, or bookmark this page.. thanks Garrick

...., ....
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 4983
Experience: ............
.... and other Motorcycle Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
have tested battery with a metre there is a drop on trying to start but it does not drop belo 11.5.Tested lead continuity and that is ok.Where is the starter relay?
Expert:  .... replied 4 years ago.
That is good, the battery is ok, thanks for checking. I'd now check the negative battery cable at the frame mount. On your model they tended to get brittle & crack under the shrink tubing & you can't see it. You generally just replace that battery cable if it is cracked. I'm pretty sure your starter relay is behind your left side cover but I'll need to confirm that.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Both earth and positive cables have been replaced while it has been off the road. We tested the continuity of both new cables last night and they were both fine. Have spotted what could be the starter relay under the seat where all the wiring connections come together. It is a small plastic box attached to the frame at the top of it with a rivet and has a series of numbers on it, could this be what we are looking for?
Expert:  .... replied 4 years ago.
Yes that is your starter relay. Checking continuity on battery cables is not a good check. You would only need one strand in that cable to be good to show continuity, that one strand however will not allow power to flow correctly through the system.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Brian,

 

I have removed the starter relay. I there a way of checking it? as under the plastic cover it looks in tact, in fact it looks like new. With regard to the battery cables they are brand new, just had them made slightly longer than the originals to make them easier to fit.

Expert:  .... replied 4 years ago.
No you just try a new one.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I anticipated that and have ordered a new one, will get back to you when it has arrived and I have fitted it if that is ok?

 

Expert:  .... replied 4 years ago.
You shouldn't need to order one, your local auto parts store should have them on hand.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Too late now I have got one coming off ebay
Expert:  .... replied 4 years ago.
They're like $6 at Autozone... sorry to hear about that..
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have just checked out your location, what time is it and what is the weather like in Florida?

I am in the UK and $6 buys you nothing when it comes to Harley parts

Expert:  .... replied 4 years ago.
10:30 ish, AM & it's hot today.. yeah I guess $6 won't get you much there. That is a GM/Bosch part though & widely used on many different types of vehicles.. very, very common & not unique to HD in any way... well we'll see what happens when you get it.. let me know..
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
will do
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Just had new relay arrive and fitted it. I am afraid to say there is no change, still just a loud click on pressing the start button
Expert:  .... replied 4 years ago.
You have a battery or ground issue then. In a worst case scenario the starter jackshaft is stuck out, or the starter itself needs a rebuild, but those are fairly unlikely.. I'm still thinking it's a bad ground.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

 

What is the best way to check the ground issue. Do I try and move the existing ground cable or can I bypass it with another cable from the frame back to the battery?

Expert:  .... replied 4 years ago.
After re-reading these, it appears that you already replace the - battery cable, no?.. if so, you just need to make sure that is super tight & the frame is clean where it attach's, otherwise you are onto the starter itself either being hung up or needing rebuilt/replaced.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have already fitted new cables, but I will check the fitting on both and see if they will go any tighter. If they are ok can I short out across the solenoid as I suggested earlier to see if it will start that way?
Expert:  .... replied 4 years ago.
You can but you have isolated it to the starter, or solenoid that is on the starter at this point.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
If I do have to remove the starter is it a straight forward job and what is the order to remove parts
Expert:  .... replied 4 years ago.
You would be best served to pick up the HD factory service manual if you are not already familiar with that procedure. It's actually pretty involved for a novice mechanic & you might be better with professional help. You will need to analyze your skills. You will need to drain & remove the outer primary cover, which involves that foot control & clutch cable, then the starter from the other side.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

On starting to remove the starter motor i discovered a second connection under the main positive connection had come off. What does this smaller cable connect to and could it cause the problem described?

 

Expert:  .... replied 4 years ago.
That is your solenoid wire from the relay. It goes right there to the solenoid, there should be a shiny spade right there looking for a connector. Those rarely come off, if ever without being taken off. Have any "friends" looking to mess with you?... was your bike in an area where it could have been stolen?

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:

 
 
 
  • Harley Tech

    Motorcycle Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    1297
    35+ Years Experience on Harley/Honda Specialising in HD Tuning Super Tuner etc
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/harleytech/2008-09-21_185638_phpts91u2_c2pm.jpg Harley Tech's Avatar

    Harley Tech

    Motorcycle Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    1297
    35+ Years Experience on Harley/Honda Specialising in HD Tuning Super Tuner etc
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EX/extremeccs/2012-6-10_19914_steve11024x768.64x64.jpg Steve's Avatar

    Steve

    Motorcycle Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    6027
    30+ yrs. experience, MMI, HD technician, HD early, engine rebuild/performance, bike builder, kit bike program manager, CCI 2001-2004
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jpolicky/2009-4-3_43150_200009a.jpeg.jpg Jeff Policky's Avatar

    Jeff Policky

    Motorcycle Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    2381
    Yamaha Gold, Suzuki Gold, Honda Bronze, Polaris Bronze, BRP
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/Guest/2008-01-28_125643_phpbZSI1u_c2AM.jpg TIMOTO's Avatar

    TIMOTO

    Motorcycle Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    1101
    Honda registered technician, silver level award, former Kawasaki/Suzuki tech, 40+ years exp.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LoriExpertsMod/2010-04-15_002245_192503.jpg Andre Pilon's Avatar

    Andre Pilon

    Motorcycle Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    1027
    Over 25 years experience, ICS, MMI, Owned shop for 12 years, worked tech-support for Harley Davidson
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/GlennAII/2008-5-26_12926_YUMMY_2.jpg Glenn Adams II's Avatar

    Glenn Adams II

    Motorcycle/ATV Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    393
    6 years Motorcycle/ATV/Water Craft; 4 years auto; 18 years carpenter
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AS/asphaltcycles/2012-7-31_151258_311842101502880177646218277720n.64x64.jpg asphaltcycles's Avatar

    asphaltcycles

    Motorcycle Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    383
    I operate a motorcycle dealership and CCS Ducati Race team.
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Motorcycle Mechanic
....
....
Motorcycle Mechanic
4983 Satisfied Customers
............