Originally Posted by mthom5436
"Starter Relay" is that the same as "starter solenoid"?
The Starter Relay is mis-labeled (misnomer) as a 'Solenoid' on your starting system in most cases.
Ford starters use a remote relay for the high current,
The mechanical movement to move the starter drive into the ring gear is in the starter motor housing, so the gadget on the fender is technically a 'Relay', Just a really big one.
While GM starters have a Solenoid built into the side of the starter that both activates the high current switch AND throws out the starter drive gear into the ring gear.
It produces mechanical movement, so it's a 'Solenoid'...
Not a big deal, but since I rebuilt starters & alternators for about 10 years, I had to get the differences right in my head when talking to the engineers/parts suppliers...
You use the 'Wrong' term with them, the engineer geeks blow a gasket and get lost in the conversation... and/or you get the wrong part!
A relay is an electrical device that simply is a big switch for the higher current loads the starer will draw.
A 'Solenoid' will convert one type of mechanical or electrical energy into another form of force or motion.
Like an air solenoid moving a locking pin,
Or a starter solenoid moving the starter drive gear out to the flywheel.
The little gadget on your fender is technically a 'Relay',
It simply takes low current to switch 'ON' the higher current for the starter motor.
It's all esoteric, doesn't mean anything to the mechanic
, and you can say 'Solenoid' and still be 'Correct' in mechanics terms,
But it will cause confusion when dealing with electrical suppliers.
I have an electronics background, so I say 'Relay' since there isn't any mechanical work being done from the electrical input.
Same reason I say 'Engine' instead of 'Motor'.
The 'Motor' is hanging on the side of the 'Engine',
And electric starting motor turns the Internal Combustion Engine over so it will start.
Motors are self starting, usually air (pneumatic), Electrical or Hydraulic,
Engines are NOT self starting, they take external forces to get them going (Starter Motors)
There are other differences, and the two can be interchanged and everyone still knows what you are talking about,
But with an electrical background, I still refer to Motors & Engines differently.
Sorry for the confusion.
What you are looking for is power at the 'Blue' wire when the key is in the 'Start' position,
And the 'Blue' wire connected to the 'S' terminal.
If your small terminals aren't marked,
Then you can use a Jumper wire from the battery cable terminal to the small terminals.
The one that makes the 'Solenoid' activate is the 'S' terminal, and the 'Blue' wire should connect to it.
The other small terminal is the 'I' (Ignition) terminal,
An it powers up the ignition coil with a full 12 volts when cranking the engine for faster starts.
Connecting to it with power from the battery cable will do NOTHING since that's an open circuit when the wire isn't attached and the 'Solenoid' isn't activated.
You won't hurt a thing by testing with a 'Jumper' wire since it's an open circuit anyway.