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Question DetailsAsked on 11/9/2017

no start, no crank problem on 2010 mini cooper S. Not getting power to solenoid to start engine.

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1 Answer


If no power to solenoid, which lead - usually there is a high amperage lead direct from the battery (though sometimes that goes to the starter motor directly) and a smaller lead from the ignition switch.

If the battery lead, check for broken or corroded ends - it will have power there at all times on I think all cars. Big (usually red) lead coming straight from the battery, so cracked connection, broken wires at the connector, corroded battery connection would be normal causes - assuming of course you have power to lights and radio and such so the battery is not dead.

The small solenoid activation lead comes from (normally) a slide switch on the steering column, which turning the key to START position slides down to make contact with the main bus lead from the battery, providing power to the solenoid as long as the key is turned to the start position. One some cars changing that starting switch is a real bear 9in some cars it is in the upper part of the steering column right under the airbag so you have to remove the airbag to get at it), in others it is bolted low down on the steering column just above the brake pedal - but commonly a back and knuckle-buster getting it changed out.

If messing around at that switch be sure to disconnect the battery - shorting things out down there can cause a lot of damage to the wiring under there, because that is a fairly high amperage circuit.

One other thing - in many or maybe all cars there is a fusible link in the wire from the ignition to the starter solenoid - a short roundish piece in the wire commonly with a tab with lettering on it sticking out - that is designed to melt through and cut off the power to the solenoid if it draws way too much amperage because of a short or the solenoid being stuck in the cranking position.

One other possibility - IF you have power to the solenoid on the main power wire from the battery, AND on the ignition to starter wire which has power only with key in START position, but it won't crank, can be a stuck solenoid, or ground on the solenoid corroded so you are not "seeing" ground. May be dismounting the solenoid bolts one by one and cleaning them and the mating surface up will correct it in this case. Rarely the starter motor can also get crudded up enough that its ground (through its mounting plate and bolts) does not conduct enough power and needs to be cleaned up - only on pretty old vehicles usually for that case.

If solenoid is clicking into position but motor is not turning, then can be a sliding contact failed in the solenoid (if it has one to provide main power to the starter motor), or a burnt out or jammed starter motor.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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