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Tan, MerCruiser Certified Technician
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 10965
Experience:  40 yrs. experience with complete engine repairs both inboard/outboard and MerCruiser Certified Technician.
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As soon as I switch the battery on, the starter/solenoid starts

Customer Question

As soon as I switch the battery on, the starter/solenoid starts "whirring"..when I switch off it stops...almost like a short or something...worked fine to start the day and then started doing this.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Tan replied 2 years ago.
Hello. My name is***** will be assisting you. This is a short in one of the start circuit components. Lets start at the starter. Disconnect the yellow/red wire from the start solenoid. Now turn the battery switch on. Does the starter engage or run? Now depending on the starter you have you could have the solenoid above the starter or on the starter or both. If there is a solenoid on the starter disconnect the yellow/red there and check if it still runs. Post back with findings.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am not near boat now...I will do that. The solenoid is above the starter. I did see yellow and red wire from the're saying to disconnect from starter first?
Expert:  Tan replied 2 years ago.
Correct then work your way backwards till the problem occurs. So if it stops when disconnected from the starter we know the starter is ok. Then go to the primary start solenoid it will be above the starter. Disconnect the small yellow/red wire does starter engage. If yes then that is the bad solenoid. If it doesn't engage then reconnect and go to the key switch. Disconnect the yellow/red does starter engage? If no then key switch is bad. So you will be eliminating 3 components key switch, primary start solenoid then finally start solenoid. Do you follow the procedure?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes...why would it do that all of the sudden? worked fine....then after 30 minutes on the water, boat stalled, turned battery off, then on again and thats when it started whirring w/o key being engaged. We had just replaced solenoid last week. thanks
Expert:  Tan replied 2 years ago.
It's hard to say on electrical components why they fail. It's usually a voltage issue. The whirring of the starter indicates a low voltage issue to the starter it self. Which could be the solenoid partially engaging. Now I'm not sure of which start system you have but I suspect it is the solenoid on the starter. That's basing that on the parts for you engine. In this diagram it shows your engine as having the solenoid on the starter and the primary solenoid. Those checks should lead you to the problem. If it doesn't just post back with findings and we can continue. Post back with findings and questions. Thank you.........Tan Further testing will require a volt meter.

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