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Starter turning over with engine off

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by yum, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. I pulled up for fuel yesterday on my gorgeous 1989 Honda Spada 250. Turned the engine off to open the fuel tank and the starter was still turning over.....? Hit the kill switch and took the keys out and its still turning over.... Went to open the seat to disconnect the battery and it stopped (whole event lasted around 2 minutes).

    Aside from getting a psychiatric evaluation or exorcism for the ghost in the machine, has any one got any ideas where to start to diagnose this. Any pointers as to where to start looking for the short, or loose wire would be super appreciated.

    I'm seriously not making this up and have 2 witnesses to verify it and am completely baffled....
  2. #2 JJFAST, Apr 8, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2014
    Test the starter switch close/open first, then check the starter solenoid after that.
    I've heard of solenoids (big relay that also drives the starter motor onto the cog) locking on before. You might need a new one, but check the switching circuit first.

    It's like they mechanically lock, and keep the battery circuit which is direct once closed, closed.
    Clean it up around the solenoid for starters.

    Check the low current feed circuit which starts the solenoid as well for basic on/off operation at the solenoid on wire.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. I would add to JJFasts post that with the kill switch off it is more than likely to be the solenoid jamming mechanically. The kill switch will open the low current circuit that energizes the solenoid but there is no such switch on the high current side of the solenoid. This means if it jams mechanically it will continue to power the starter motor.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. #4 JJFAST, Apr 8, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2014
    Yes, check out the starter solenoid. It has to be what cyvfr says, I was thinking the same thing in different words.

    If you haven't burnt your hand pulling battery wires off from a jammed starter solenoid, you aren't living. I remember seeing the battery wire start glowing red hot from that once, trial by fire, grab the hot wire and pull. ;)

    I remember someone saying to give it a few taps with the hammer around the lever thingy for emergency.
  5. Just clutch start it until you fix it, you don't want power going straight to the starter the whole time that you are riding. I'd replace the battery too after an event like that. I remember clutch starting an older guy's borrowed from his son's Triumph 900 at the servo, you have to jump down on the pegs when you let the clutch out in 2nd. (someone in a car told me that when he saw me not jump down properly) ... then back in with the clutch and rev it.
  6. I recommend exorcism... :p
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. JJFAST has an important point. Starter is a very high current draw. If the battery is old this may be it's last gasp - you may find that you'll get a few starts out of it then it expires. Of course that'll only happen when you are a long way from home.

    -Make sure your priest is well insulated.
  8. Also could be water in the electrics, I know after washing the aprilia, sometimes the starter I'll get stuck on, was it raining at the time this happened?
  9. Probably the same poltergeist that goes up and down in the lift at work. Pretty creepy when the door opens and there's no one there....
  10. fcukin italian junk ;-)

    i was thinking something similar though.... could it be a short? either in the wiring (doubtful) but it sounds like you dont use the kill switch often so the whole thing could be full of water, then if the starter button gets stick in it might keep powering the starter.... we had the start button get jammed on the vtr for a while (probably the same switch gear) but regularly use the kill switch so that would stop it, if you dont regularly use yours it could have been shorted with water for a while and you only notice when the button gets stuck in??? just an idea... id connect it, see if the button is physically stuck in, then pull it apart and give it a good spray with WD40.
  11. Has it been fixed yet? Did you fry any random fuses?