The solenoid is one of the most important components of an automotive ignition system. Strangely though, it is also one of the most ignored and forgotten components. This is especially the case in posh models like Porsche which feature reliable solenoids that hardly ever fail. It is easy to understand why the solenoid is vital ignition component. It redirects power from the car battery to the starter solenoid. This triggers the starter to spin over the car engine. That is not all though. Just as it makes it easy for you to start the car, it also makes it easy for you to switch it off. It completes the ignition circuit when switched on and cuts it off when switched off. It is therefore safe to conclude that the roaring of your car engine starts with the solenoid. But like other components, the solenoid can also break down. Fortunately for you, it won’t malfunction without first giving any of the following signs.
Vehicle Refuses To Start
This is by far the most common sign of a faulty solenoid. It is often accompanied by a clicking sound. The worst thing about it is no matter how many times you try to ignite, the car won’t just start. Chances are, there is the problem with the circuit. Note that electronic keys do not come with the manual ignition switch. When powered though, the ignition switch should transmit a signal to the starter relay as soon as the key is turned on or the starter button is pressed. To fix the problem, have a mechanic inspect the relay as it is usually the main culprit.
Starter Stays On After Engine Starts
The circuit is supposed to automatically close when you ignite the engine and release the ignition key or when you stop pressing the starter button. This is how all modern Porsche models are designed. The circuit closes and immediately discontinue power flowing to the starter motor. This means there is a problem where or when the starter still stays on after the engine has been ignited. It is likely that the main contacts in the starter relay have welded or have stuck together in a closed position. This forces the starter relay to remain stuck on one position. Failure to address the problem immediately will result in a badly damaged relay as well as the transmission flywheel.
Car Starting Intermittently
The starter relay is designed to send power to the starter every time it is engaged. The relay can get damaged though because of quite a number of reasons such as dirt, excess heat and accumulated debris. Such challenges can cause sporadic operation of the starter. To know if this is the case, start the car once and observe if the starter activates instantly. If you have to try several times, then there is either too much debris that makes it hard for the relay to complete the circuit. Bad wire connection as a result of too much heat under the hood or dirt accumulation can also cause this problem.
Clicking Sound Coming From The Starter
This happens a lot when the battery is low on amps. It can also be a sign that the starter relay has problems sending a full signal. Note that the relay is an all or nothing component. It either sends currents in full or nothing at all. The best you can do here is to have a mechanic inspect the issue further and fix it.