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Old 03-31-2011, 11:32 PM   #1
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Solenoid clicks, dead battery or seized engine?

Alright, I decided to flush my cooling system today and I'm concerned. I used one of those Prestone flush kits to backflush it, and that seemed to work well, but I think I misundestood something. I thought I still needed to get the engine up to operating temp and allow the thermostat to open to flush out the engine. So, I revved the engine to 2500 RPM until the engine reached 210 degrees. I had the radiator cap off and clearly the thermo opened because steam came spewing out. I shut it down and waited for the engine to cool and then drained the radiator.

A few hours later, after installing all new hoses and thermostat, and refilling the cooling system, I went to start it and all I get is a solenoid click. A few tries at this and then there wasn't even enough juice for that. Normally, I'd think that I probably had the hood open long enough (3 hours) with that courtesy under hood light on that probably just drained the battery... it is old... and no one else is home right now to provide a jump. But... I'm freaking out a little bit wondering if I've somehow seized the engine when I took it up to 210 degrees and then shut it down. Is that possible?

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Old 03-31-2011, 11:56 PM   #2
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The engine is fine. It's probably the battery. Put the battery on a trickle charger or go have it tested.

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Old 03-31-2011, 11:59 PM   #3
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The engine is fine. It's probably the battery.
Ya, I think so. I just got back from putting a wrench on the crankshaft pulley and it turns, so I'm way less freaked out about an engine problem. The darn solenoid still clicks though, man I wish there was someone here to provide a jump! If that doesn't work, anybody got any other ideas? Is there any wires I could have knocked loose messing around in the area of the radiator or heater hoses?
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:54 AM   #4
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Battery... Whew! Learned my lesson about that stinkin' little underhood courtesy lamp... Just never thought it would drain a battery ever.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:30 AM   #5
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fyi: a lot of times that clicking will come from a battery not being connected properly. a loose terminal or dirty/corroded terminal can do the same thing.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:45 AM   #6
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Take your battery cable clamps off, wire brush or steel wool clean the posts and inside the clamps, and re-install tightly. BEFORE you try to start the engine again, turn your headlights on and run around to look at them. If they are dim, your battery is dead or dying. IF they are BRIGHT, your battery has plenty of power. Now shut them off, try starting the engine again. If you get the click click click... you may have a problem with the starter or the cable down to the starter. A jump from another vehicle 'may' give you enough power to overcome a bad cable and get it going. Majority of the time problems like this end up being cables...the last thing most mechanics will check! Good luck...and post what you find for a problem!
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:34 AM   #7
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fyi: a lot of times that clicking will come from a battery not being connected properly. a loose terminal or dirty/corroded terminal can do the same thing.
Ya, I thought of that since I was rooting around pretty hard in there when removing hoses... wondered if maybe I jarred a terminal loose. First thing I did was clean them... still clicked. That's when I started freaking out wondering what else I cold have done to it.

My roommate got home last night and we jumped it... started right up. Heading out today to get a new battery... it was on the list anyway.

Thanks all.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:19 PM   #8
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the clicking is the solenoid. this is before the starter. the power has to get from the battery through the solenoid before the starter can be a consideration. if the solenoid is clicking, then its not making a complete circuit and in all likely hood, a jumpstart will do nothing, since the power from the jump has to pass through the solenoid also. its not a question of how much power but the power having a strong connection. an easier way to test then running around your vehicle is to have your dome light on, if it dims when you turn the key, then its the battery, if not, then its the connection. same principle as the headlights but less hassle.

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Originally Posted by NHrubicon View Post
Take your battery cable clamps off, wire brush or steel wool clean the posts and inside the clamps, and re-install tightly. BEFORE you try to start the engine again, turn your headlights on and run around to look at them. If they are dim, your battery is dead or dying. IF they are BRIGHT, your battery has plenty of power. Now shut them off, try starting the engine again. If you get the click click click... you may have a problem with the starter or the cable down to the starter. A jump from another vehicle 'may' give you enough power to overcome a bad cable and get it going. Majority of the time problems like this end up being cables...the last thing most mechanics will check! Good luck...and post what you find for a problem!

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