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Won’t “Turn Over” - STARTER Help

by Bill C. -

SYMPTOM: Starter won’t turn the motor over. Solenoid may or may not be heard “clicking” with key into the start position.


  • Battery is charged.

  • Battery cables and connections are good.

  • Starter and solenoid are good

PROBLEM: Worn out ignition/starter switch.


The simple & inexpensive installation of an add-on “starter relay” will keep you going if you have a worn starter switch (contacts) and can also make your existing, good switch last longer.

Installing a relay moves the semi-heavy current required for the solenoid actuation away from the switch, to the relay instead.

Basically, this procedure installs a fog light (30 amp) relay in line with the starter switch-to-solenoid wire and provides good “juice” directly from the battery. On my 70-something bugs, I installed it under the back seat, driver side, right where the solenoid wire has a male-to-female inline connection.


·       Fog Light Relay – 12 Volt, 30 AMP Autozone sells a Pilot brand that works

·       2 or 3 feet of red 10 – 12 gauge wire

·       6 – 12” of black medium ground wire

·       3 or 4 each, ¼” Female Spade connectors

·         Wire Strippers

·         Wire Cutters

·         Crimping Tool

  1. Locate the rather heavy (about 10 gauge) red wire (w/a black stripe) that runs from the starter solenoid. A good place to start is under the rear seat on the driver side. This wire will probably have a connection, enclosed in clear plastic. If you find this connector, pull it apart. 

  2. Once this wire is opened at the connector, cut the male connector off and install a ¼” female spade connector in its place. If the other end does NOT already have a female connector on it, install one on it too. You should now have female connectors on the 2 (pieces) of the solenoid wire.

  3. Connect the wire (from step 2) that is still connected to the solenoid, to one of the “switch” contact tabs on the fog light relay. The relay should have a pin layout painted on one of its sides.

  4. Connect the (other) side of the wire, that leads towards the front of the car, to one of the “coil” tabs on the relay.

  5. Fabricate a ground wire from the black wire stock, by stripping the end and crimping a ¼” female spade connector.

  6. Using a screw, ground one end of the black wire to chassis ground, nearby. Connect the other end, with the female spade connector, to the remaining “coil” tab on the relay.

  7. Fabricate a “battery power” wire from the red, 10-ga wire stock. Strip both ends and install a female spade connector onto one end.

  8. Connect the female connector end of the “battery power” wire (step 7) to the remaining “switch” contact tab of the relay.

  9. Connect the other end of the battery power wire to the positive (+) side of the battery.

  10. Insulate and/or locate the relay to ensure the wires do not short out. The wire connections are diagramed below:

    You are done! It is really easier than it sounds. I recently mis-diagnosed my “clicking solenoid” problem as a bad starter solenoid and replaced the whole thing with a known, good starter… to no avail. This fixed it immediately!