Q&A / Tech

Mailbag: Diagnosing Starter Issues

 Got questions?

We’ve got the answers—Mondays when the Summit Racing tech department tackles your automotive-related conundrums. This week, we’re troubleshooting a starter and bringing a dormant vehicle back to life.

From: Ron Brandelli • Oak Harbor, WA
Q: The starter on my 1936 Ford street rod breaks every year. The copper stud completely burns out at the inner solenoid contact. This has happened several times, and I don’t understand why. I’ve owned the car for five years, but it was fully restored in the 1980s. Can you help?

A: A missing or bad ground is a sure-fire way to burn out your starter’s copper stud. First off, make sure there is no paint on the starter or block. It could be causing a poor connection. Then make sure you have a good ground from the block to the frame or from the battery to the block. Once there’s a solid connection, you should no longer burn through starters. If you need more help chasing down your electrical gremlins, check out our post on How to Diagnose Electrical Ground Issues.


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