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the wife's car

Where Is The Starter Relay?

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2001 4 cyl automatic - 175k miles - A month ago the car refused to turn over while sitting in the driveway, I replaced the starter and the car has been cranking fine daily since then. Yesterday, I went to crank the car and it wouldn't turn over. I ran a jumper wire from the starter trigger to the battery and it fired right up, so I know that the starter is ok. I checked the ignition switch (per the haynes manual) and it seems to be functioning fine.

The haynes manual also says to check the starter relay, but it doesn't say where it is. I might be missing it somewhere, but I don't see a specific diagram of either fuse panel. I checked the box under the hood, but didn't see a relay specifically labeled starter. Could one of you give me some better direction on where that relay is?

I also read that I should try cranking it in neutral instead of park because it might be the transmission position sensor. I need to go out and try that and see what happens.

Worst case, I'm just going to wire in a new dash switch to the starter, but I'd rather not do that if I don't have to.

Thanks

-Scott

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I checked my Haynes manual (1993 - 2001) and it says,

"Check the starter interupt relay. The starter interrupt relay is located in the fuse box inside the engine compartment. Refer to chapter 12 for relay testing procedures"

on the inside of the fuse cover shows a "st. cut rly" I take that to mean starter cut relay in the upper left corner. I have a 1997 4 Cyl automatic

Hope this helps

fuses.JPG

post-29978-0-08728800-1324251593_thumb.j

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You should be able to hear it click near the fuse box when trying to start though the relay could still click even when bad. It could be the neutral safety switch or even shifter linkage needing adjusted, You can look into this in your manual ( or in the workshop manual ) .

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Thanks for the replies so far. Seeing that image made me think, "how did I miss that." I went out and the arrangement in the under hood fuse/relay panel is different. Here is a picture of it (not sure why there is a line drawn through it?):

DSC_0095.JPG

Could it be the circuit relay or TNS relay?

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Mechanics and junkyards make those kinds of marks to denote they've already looked at a part. Hard to tell why they would mark it like that but you can ignore it. There are many variations of fuse boxes from year to year so don't fret if yours looks different. Wish I knew more about the 98-02's to tell you more.

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Agreed , though this is a 95 look in this area . I believe there is another set of relays close to the mount on that side , sorry I don't have a better pic..

img-328607-1-SB31.jpg

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The relays that are free-standing on the pre '98 models (they're encased in rubber boots, and next to the fuse box) are for the headlights and high beams. The newer gens appear to have these inside the fuse box.

As for the starter, there isn't a discrete starter relay AFAIK (I could be wrong, but I've never seen it nor come across it, and I've stripped a couple of this family of cars down to the bare frame). The switch goes to the starter solenoid, which acts as the relay. Vehicles that have a factory alarm, as djdevon3 mentioned, will have a starter cut relay, which disables the starter if the alarm went off.

I would focus on the power and ground wires to the starter, and the relay if you have a factory alarm. You can probably just swap that relay with your horn and see if it works.

As a side note, anything with parentheses around it in the fusebox means it's optional equipment, and may not be present on your particular car.

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The car does have the factory keyless entry, not sure if it is a true alarm or not. Since the car will crank if I jump a wire from the starter trigger to the battery and the ignition switch seems to test ok, It has to be something in between.

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The headlight relays are usually near the headlights. Passenger side for I4 and driver side on V6 models. The relay near the wiper motor is probably the wiper motor relay. They like to keep the relays near the components they are acting as a relay for except when they are in the fusebox.

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After a brief break for being sick and a christmas trip to Virginia, I am back at it on the 626. I wired in a simple starter switch between the battery and the starter and ziptied the switch under the dash. Problem solved, or so I thought.

I lowered the car back down to the ground and cranked it with my new switch. It fired right up, but then I realized that it was actually in a forward gear instead of park, even though the shift lever is in park. Moving the lever doesn't get any response from the transmission. Now it makes since that the reason that it wouldn't crank is that the car is actually in gear, not park or neutral.

I guess this weekend I will be checking the shift cable and the transmission position sensor. Any one have any pointers?

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Could try removing the transaxle range switch. The car is supposedly to be in neutral when it's installed. Perhaps it was installed when the car was in park?

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It sounds like your shift cable has come loose. They can "pop" off. It will make sense when you look at how it is made.

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It sounds like your shift cable has come loose. They can "pop" off. It will make sense when you look at how it is made.

I am hoping this is the problem, as it would be a pretty simple fix. The trans range sensor hasn't been touched, so it could be at fault too. So much for watching football all weekend, now I will be in the garage.

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Not wanting to wait for shipping on buying the part linked above, I took some ideas found on this site and let the cheap DIY side of me take over. The plastic loop on the shift cable was still intact, but the rubber bushing that connected it to the lever on the transmission had fallen apart and was unuseable. I was worried that it might not change gears well if there wasn't anything taking up the space between the stud and the loop, so I started looking for a piece of rubber hose that would slide over the stud on the metal lever to take up the space between it and the loop on the cable. After going through all the drawers in my tool box, I found a vacuum cap that was the right inner diameter to slide onto the stud and the outside diameter just fit inside the cable loop.

To make sure the cable didn't come off again, I took an idea found in a thread here and drilled a hole at the end of the stud for a 1/16" cotter pin. (I took the lever off the transmission to make all of this easier, it was attached by a single 10mm bolt) Here is a picture of the lever with the hole drilled for the pin, you can also see the vacuum cap and flat washer in the photo:

img-329244-1-626shiftlever.jpg

I cut off a 1/4" long section of the vacuum cap and slid it on the stud with a bit of silicone spray. I reattached the lever to the transmission and (After verifying that the transmission and the gear shift lever inside the car were both in park) I slid the cable loop over the stud and vacuum cap rubber with a little more silicone spray. The fit was perfect. I then put the washer on the outside of the loop and pushed the cotter pin through the hole to lock it all in place.

I had to buy a pack of cotter pins at Lowes, but already had the vac cap and washer. Total cost of this repair: 63 cents. Other than the time it took to trouble shoot, this repair was almost free. Too bad they can't all be like that.

Thanks to everyone for chiming in here, it would have taken me a lot longer to diagnose the issue without this site.

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I just confirmed my starter was shot (probably the solenoid, not motor) by placing an alligator lead jmpr to the honking big 12v wire terminal on it and connecting to my meter. Put other lead to gnd to makes sure 12v at input to starter. Then I took the lead I had put to gnd and used another jumper with a pin inserted into the female control cable  that goes to the flat blade connector terminal on starter and other end of that jumper to other meter lead. If the 12v direct wire from battery to starter has no op1ens  you will see 12v on the meter. When you turn key to start, if the ignition and the transaxle switch closes properly, 12v is routed from battery to the female control line connector and you will see about 0v on the meter as the control line is now at 12v and the starter input has the battery 12v on it, so 2 12v leads on the meter l gives a delta of zero, meaning the starter is feed proper control signal and proper power input.

See jpg mark up schematic below, its alot clearer. This is true for 2001 626 ATX, others I do'nt know. Also can't understand why the schematic shows an input from cruise control going into control line of the starter...anyone know. Don't mean to hi jack the thread.

Quick test although a pain to get leads on from topside even after taking out complete air intake system. Bottom may be easier if you can get under. This is a good quick test to see if the ignition and transaxle switch work, I did it this way because I could not find the stinkin' transaxle switch. You can take the air intake tube, filter box and air intake tube to throttle body as one complete unit by loosening three nuts 2 bolts and loosen the hose strap at throttle body.

Thanks for the other info too, I liked your transmission line quick fix, thats DIY engineering and thinking with available parts in your garage, bravo!

Starter switch check.jpg

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