How To Test A Solenoid With A Screwdriver: The Ultimate Guide

There’re many ways to test a solenoid, but do you know how to test a solenoid with a screwdriver? You should know it because sometimes all you have is a screwdriver, and solenoid’s problem happens often.

To test a solenoid with a screwdriver, you’ll need to place the head of the screwdriver on the large bolt, battery cable on the front of the solenoid, and the small terminal that the starter wire is attached to on the front of the solenoid. Make sure the vehicle is out of gear and blocked sufficiently before performing this test.

The starter solenoid is a very important component of your vehicle, and it must work effectively. If the solenoid doesn’t work well, your car won’t perform optimally, and that’s why it’s essential to test it and get it fixed.

Testing a solenoid with a screwdriver

I’ve already mentioned how you can do it, but it’s important to know the process in detail. You’ll be required to have a metal screwdriver which should be long enough in size.

You can perform this test in 2 methods.

Method 1

First of all, make sure the vehicle is out of gear and blocked because it’s important to be done.

Now, place the screwdriver on the large bolt and then place the battery cable on the front of the solenoid. Then, place the small terminal that the starter wire is attached to on the front terminal of the solenoid.

Now, if your starter is clicking when jumped in this manner, it means that the solenoid is bad and needs to be replaced. But if the starter cranks the engine when the solenoid is jumped, it means you need to turn the motor off and start inspecting the wiring and cleaning all the connections.

Method 2

The second method is quite similar to the first method-

Connect the two terminals posts of the solenoid with a screwdriver. If you find your starter doesn’t rotate, it means the problem is in the starter. If the starter functions well, then the problem is in the solenoid switch and is often caused by the ablation of the starter solenoid contacts.

So these are the two methods of how you can test a solenoid using a screwdriver. Now you should know the common problems with starter solenoids.

Common starter solenoid problems

Following are the 6 solenoid problems that you should know-

  • The elastic force of the return spring becomes weak after repeated use, which results in the drive gear of the one-way clutch can’t be restored timely but can be driven and reversely dragged by the flywheel ring gear.
  • When your starter starts, it makes a periodic noise from the solenoid, but it doesn’t rotate.
  • The function fails occasionally or works only in cooling the engine and fails in warming it up.
  • When starting the engine, the starter solenoid doesn’t reset, and when releasing the start button, it remains in operation and only stops when the power is off.
  • The engine requires multiple attempts to start, and sometimes the engine doesn’t even crank.
  • The vehicle produces the grinding noise because the starter drive gear doesn’t engage properly.

These are the 6 common solenoid problems. Make sure you diagnose the starter problem before the condition of the solenoid gets worse.

Conclusion

So this was all about how you test a solenoid with a screwdriver. Your solenoid is one of the vital components of your vehicle, and it is supposed to be working properly. If your solenoid often malfunctions, it means that it needs to be replaced and investing in a new solenoid is worth it.

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