Starter solenoid testing

is there an easy way to test the integrity of a starter solenoid off the car …before installing it?


You can check by using an ohm meter but that will only tell if the contacts are passing voltage, not whether they are up to carrying the current required.

You could wire it up to a battery with a starter motor , and try it !

If you are testing the solenoid in isolation off the starter make sure you have a metal object inside the centre of the coil or it will quickly overheat

To see if it clicks, you can connect test leads from a battery to the body and the small terminal. Mine is positive ground, but polarity does not matter just for this test.

To see if it will carry enough current to run the starter and crank the engine, you can connect the negative battery cable to one large terminal and the starter cable to the other large terminal, then either push the rubber manual test button on the back, or touch the two test leads as described above. Be careful the large terminal connections don’t ever touch any other part of the car. (I am assuming this is an XK120 and you are connecting it positive ground)

There is always the slight chance with an old solenoid that the internal connections in the solenoid will weld themselves together and the engine won’t stop cranking. In which case be ready with your wrenches to disconnect one of the large cables.

or move to OFF the battery quick disconnect switch…which I trust you have.