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 Jason Your Own Question
Jason, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 15635
Experience:  Degree in Marine Technology. Gas and diesel marine mechanic.
Type Your Boat Question Here...
Jason is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Yamaha outboard starter motor problems.

Customer Question

I have a Yamaha 4 stroke 150 outboard motor. The battery is fully charged, the throttle is in neutral, the safety lanyard is in place. I hear a click when the key is turned on, the click comes from inside the plastic cover below and to the left of the starter/selanoid. All wires are tight and no corrosion is seen. Is this a bad starter assembly or something else?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Jason replied 5 years ago.

Does the click you hear happen when the key is turned to the "RUN" position or the "START" position?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Run position
Expert:  Jason replied 5 years ago.

Is this a newer EFI F150, or an older carbed one?

Also, any clicking at all in the start position?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
To clarify the key clicks in the position that normally would crank the engine over. The motor is 2005 F150 TXRD
Expert:  Jason replied 5 years ago.

If it clicks in the actual start position (it will also click in the run position) The clicking the the run position is your main relas. The clicks in the start position are the starter solenoid.

The starter solenoid is clicking. The next thing you need to do is grab a volt meter and meaure your power into and out of the solenoid. You will need a helper. First measure for your 12V on the input side of the solenoid. You stated the battery was good, charged, and had good connections so you should have your 12V in no problems.

Then go to the output side of the starter with the voltmeter. Have a helper turn the key to start. If you get 11+ volts or better out of the solenoid, the starter is bad. If you are getting way less than 12 volts out of the solenoid, then the starter solenoid is bad.

It is normal to get a little bit of voltage loss across the solenoid. If you get 12V in and then 11V out that is fine. But if you get your 12V in and only 4 or 5V out then that is obviously bad. The actual number your looking for is 9.5V or better out of the solenoid and to the starter. 9.5V would be the bare minimum acceptable voltage. Anything less indicates a bad starter solenoid.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The starter solenoid is not where the click is coming from. I had a helper yesterday and the click I could hear and feel was inside of the plastic cover under and to the left of the starter. I pulled the cover off and confirmed the click by sound and touch coming from a square resin in cased relay or something. I understand your answer above. However I would like to know what this other relay is and could it be the problem before I spend 500.00 on a new starter?

Expert:  Jason replied 5 years ago.

Have a look at this picture below, this is the inside of your junction box. Everything is labeled with numbers (a little small I know) but tell me which number is clicking on you.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Number 2
Expert:  Jason replied 5 years ago.

Are you absolutely sure about that? That is the tilt and trim relay, and should only click when you hit your trim up and down buttons. That's whats clicking when you turn the key to start?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

It sure felt and sounded like that was what was clicking. I touched it when the key was turned on and felt it. But I suppose vibrations travel in that small area. I am sure that it came from that area and not the starter or solenoid. I feel like an idiot.

Expert:  Jason replied 5 years ago.

Don't worry about how you feel. These things are complicated. If they were easy I wouldn't get 100 bucks an hour in the field to fix them.

Give me a story on this engine. Whats the story behind it? Have you owned it for years with no troubles and all of a sudden it just stopped working yesterday? Did you pull this engine off the oceans bottom? Is it a junkyard engine? Just buy it and have no clue?

When was the last time it started?

Also, when you turn the key to run, to the dash gauges come alive, and the needle move?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes this is a new engine bought on a new boat in 2005 has been trouble free the entire time. Still clean with no corrosion. I ran the engine up two days ago to bring it out of winter lock down. It started right up first try. I ran it with the hose for about 15 minutes to make sure the water pump was working and went through forward and reverse than shut it off. Yesterday I was ready to take it out and it would not do anything but click. So I spent the whole day trying to figure it out. Checked all connections and fusses as well. When the key is turned on all gauges work and a sound like a pump can be heard for a few seconds. I guess fuel pump. And just a click when the key is turned the next step to start.

Expert:  Jason replied 5 years ago.

If it is not the starter solenoid thats clicking. The next thing you want to try is replacing the main power relay. In that same picture I gave you, it is #6. It is just to the left of the tilt trim relay. The main power relays do go bad. I always reccomend to the guys that run offshore to carry a spare. Start with that first. And then post back if it still gives you troubles.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
That is a fuse that can pulled out and replaced?
Expert:  Jason replied 5 years ago.

No that is the main power relay. This is the same picture I gave you before, except that I changed how I cropped it and blew it up a bit better so it is easier to see. Click below.


It just pulls right out.

Jason and other Boat Specialists are ready to help you

Related Boat Questions