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Mazda Starter Motor Troubleshooting

Why doesn’t your starter turn the engine when the battery is new? If a battery is installed the wrong way could it damage your starter? When a car does not start the starter is immediately suspect, but there is more to a starting problem than just a faulty starter motor. The starting circuit is fairly complex, involving the ignition switch, clutch safety switch, battery, solenoid and starter, any of which could create a starting issue. If you face a starting problem but don’t have the knowledge to identify the cause, ask an Expert.

Read below some typical starter related questions from users and how Experts have answered them.

Why does the starter not turn on a manual transmission Mazda 3 when all other electrical features work?

No sound at all when the key is turned could indicate a problem with the clutch safety switch which connects the key and the starter. Make sure that the switch is free to operate and not obstructed by a bunched up floor mat. The switch is located on the clutch pedal lever under the dash. If the switch can operate freely, but the starter does not turn, the switch will need to be tested. Test the switch by bypassing it using a jumper wire inserted directly into the harness. Now start the car without having to push the clutch in. If the starter turns, the switch is faulty and needs to be replaced. If it does not, it could be that the starter itself is bad. Check if voltage reaches the starter when the key is turned. If it does, it all signs point to a bad starter. As a last resort tap the starter housing lightly with a small hammer. Sometimes the starter might be locked and this may help release it. If that does not work it is safe to assume that the starter will need to be replaced.  

Why does a Mazda Protégé starter motor not turn when the battery has 12.4 volts?

Even if the starter makes a clicking sound when the key is turned, the problem could still be the battery. The battery might have 12 volts but not enough amps to crank the starter. The click indicates that the starter solenoid is activated but the battery lacks the power to turn the starter motor. If the battery tests good then the starter motor is probably defective.

After replacing the battery on a Mazda 3 why does the starter motor not turn?

Case Details: The battery was initially hooked up the wrong way around.

If the battery was incorrectly installed it would have blown the fuses. Start by checking all fuses and replace all blown fuses. Especially check the main 150 amp fuse, the ignition key fuse and starter fuse, all located in the fuse box at the rear of the engine compartment. If the motor still does not turn then check the positive battery cable connecting the battery to the starter as the link might have burned out when the battery was hooked up incorrectly.

After replacing the starter, why does a Mazda CX-9, with a fully charged battery, just click when the key is turned but the engine does not crank?

The click indicates that the starter solenoid is being activated but the battery does not have enough in it to turn the engine. This could be because of a bad connection. Connect the voltmeter to the battery posts and engage the starter. Battery voltage should remain above 9.5 volts if the battery is good. Also check the battery connection. If one of the connectors is coated with a chalky white powder it is a poor conductor which affects the flow of voltage. Wire brush the battery post and replace the cable which should resolve the problem. 

How to troubleshoot a Mazda 6 which makes a clunking sound when the key is turned but the engine does not crank?

Try to turn the engine manually by attaching a ratchet or breaker bar to the crank pulley. If it turns easily the positive battery cable may be bad. If the engine cannot be turned it has probably seized and will need to be investigated further.

From the preceding article it is clear that diagnosing a starting problem is not quite as simple as it sounds. While many users attribute the problem to a bad starter, that is not always the case as there are many other factors in the starting circuit. If you need an answer to a starter related problem, ask an Expert and you will receive a customized answer.

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