No, that charge lamp shouldn't have that type of an effect where you completely lose the ability to turn the engine over with the starter.
Jack's book is the best- review the section on the Primary Circuit. It appears there is something wrong there. There are two circuits that connect to the starter. The first is the big red cable that goes from the battery positive terminal to the starter.
- Are you SURE that the battery positive cable has a good CLEAN connection?
- Are you SURE that the battery negative cable has a good CLEAN connection?
- Are you SURE that there's nothing wrong with the battery? I had 95 wagon that had this problem years ago. Long story of weeks of troubleshooting, and it turned out to be an intermittent open INSIDE the battery! New battery fixed it.
So I would swap in a different battery and CLEAN those terminals. Easy thing to do. Eliminates THAT path.
Next, is the ignition wire to the solenoid Jimmy mentioned. The starter solenoid has to get power from the ignition switch to the solenoid to engage the starter. It should be a yellow wire on 96's and red on Sonett's.
- Check that wire! Disconnect it at the starter and check for 12V at the starter end of it when you turn the switch.
- Connect your voltmeter to it, turn the ignition to start and jiggle it around. Jiggle the switch. Do it 10 times.
- If it is solid 12V then connect it back to the starter and then go to the next step.
It could be the starter or solenoid itself.
- When this happens, hopefully, it kind of stays in this non-operating condition for a few minutes.
- If so, knock the starter with a hammer and try to turn it over again.
- Knock the solenoid with a hammer and try to turn it over again.
- If it gets it back working, then you have a starter problem. Change it or the solenoid. eBay has replacement solenoids it you need one.
The next steps are move involved.
- Get a wire with some alligator clips. Removed the yellow wire on the solenoid. Run the new wire from starter solenoid terminal up to the battery. Touch it to the positive terminal and see if the starter turns. Do it 10 times. No turn- problem with the starter/solenoid OR the big positive cable up to the battery. It turns- points to yellow ignition wire problem.
- If you're brave, you can bypass the solenoid with a screwdriver. I've done it many times during troublshooting. But it can be a little scary because if you happen to go from the big red cable terminal to chassis...well, you can weld and then melt the screwdriver and maybe burn yourself. So maybe not try that one.
Ok. Hope this is helpful. Good luck and let us know what you find.
eric in vermont
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