HomeTips & GuidesBypass Starter Solenoid: Key Steps to Bypass Starter Solenoid

Bypass Starter Solenoid: Key Steps to Bypass Starter Solenoid

Would you like to learn how to bypass the starter solenoid? You’re in the right place. 

The car’s electronic component plays a significant role in ignition. But sometimes, it could misbehave, leaving you short of other options than bypassing it. 

It’s a short-term solution, but knowing the basics of the process can help you save a day. 

Join us as we explore all the key insights on starting a car without a starter solenoid. We’ll also cover how to deal with a bad starter solenoid. 

Table of Contents

What is a Starter Solenoid?

It’s an electromechanical component that acts as the relay/switch between the car’s starter motor and battery. 

The starter solenoid relays an electrical signal from the car battery to the starter motor. 

This action occurs when you turn the ignition key/press the push button

Central to this functionality is a solenoid plunger. A starter solenoid is so critical in ignition that the car won’t start if it fails. 

Thus, you’ll need to fix it immediately, although you can bypass it for a short-term quick fix. 

How To Know If Your Starter Solenoid Is Bad?

A starter solenoid. 

A starter solenoid. 

The tell-tale signs of a faulty solenoid are as follows: 

  • When there’s a clicking sound whenever you insert the ignition key, but the engine doesn’t start, something is wrong. Among the first areas to check is the condition of the starter solenoid. 
  • If you turn the ignition key and you get no sound, again, there’s an issue. It implies no power from the battery reaches the starter relay. 
  • Slow cranking is the other primary symptom of a failing starter. You can tell when this happens if your engine struggles to start. 
  • The starter could be the culprit whenever you notice a burning smell when starting the car. Probably, the solenoid is having excess current flow, leading to overheating. 
  • Lastly, when the starter motor doesn’t start the car, the problem could be the starter solenoid.

Why Might You Need To Bypass The Starter Solenoid?

Car starter with solenoid. 

Car starter with solenoid. 

We don’t advise you to take up the option to bypass the starter relay all the time. It should only be reserved for emergencies and conditions such as the following: 

  • If the starter solenoid fails and, as a result, you can’t start the car, then it’s sensible to bypass it. 
  • You can bypass it during routine tests on the starter motor to test if it’s in good working condition. 
  • Also, you may need to bypass it to enhance the efficient working of remote start systems. 

How To Bypass The Starter Solenoid?

Car Starter Components: Car Starting Process Illustration. 

Car Starter Components: Car Starting Process Illustration. 

There are two main ways to bypass the car’s starter solenoid, and both are easy to execute. 

How To Bypass The Starter Solenoid With Jumper Cables?

  • First, find out where the starter solenoid is situated. Usually, it features two cables on either end; one links up to the battery while the other connects to the starter. 
  • As a safety precaution, you must always disconnect the battery terminals. Otherwise, you risk getting an electrical shock. 
  • Next, connect the jumper wires from the battery to the starter motor. Link the positive battery terminal to the positive knob of the starter motor. Next, connect the negative terminal to the negative knob of the motor. You should have two jumper wires, red for positive and black for negative connections. 
  • Plug back the battery and start the engine. If the engine couldn’t start before bypassing the starter solenoid, then the solenoid is faulty. Replace it with a new one. 

How To Bypass The Starter Solenoid With A Screwdriver?

The procedure is similar to the one discussed above, but we use a screwdriver instead of jumper cables. 

  • First, locate where the car’s starter solenoid is located. Also, like above, make sure the ignition is switched off. This step is pretty important in preventing accidental starts that can lead to accidents. 
  • Track down the starter motor. Usually, it connects to the solenoid directly as it is the component responsible for the actual car starting. 
  • Hold the insulated screwdriver to the battery’s positive terminal and the other end to the starter terminal. 
  • With the insulated screwdriver in the above position, turn on the ignition key to prompt the engine to start. This arrangement should work if everything is perfectly set and the starter solenoid is the issue. But if it doesn’t, it’s time to consult a qualified mechanic. 

How To Overcome Common Issues During Starter Solenoid Bypass?

Cross Section of the starter gear: Solenoid and the motor. 

Cross Section of the starter gear: Solenoid and the motor. 

Think of a moment when you’re trying to implement the above methods, but none seems to work. 

What common issues will you likely face, and how do you fix them? Let’s see them in detail below. 

Vehicle Won’t Start

It’s arguably the most frustrating of the issues, as you ideally want the car to start when you bypass the starter solenoid. 

Start by diagnosing the probable reasons why the car won’t start. 

  • Wiring Problem: If there’s an issue with the wire, the vehicle won’t start because no electrical current reaches the starter motor. Check if you’re dealing with a loose connection and if there are cuts on the wire. Another critical part to check if it has the correct wiring is the pinion gear. 
  • Dead Battery: If the battery has insufficient charge to start the car, bypassing/replacing the faulty starter solenoid won’t help the cause. So, using a voltmeter, measure the voltage and see if it is above the 12.4V threshold. If it’s low, you must recharge it or use another battery with enough voltage. 

Sparking Issue

Another possible occurrence during the bypass process is sparking

You don’t have to worry about the issue; the high electrical current involved means sparks will likely occur. 

Nonetheless, if the problem is too profound, you need to check if there’s a short circuit. 

Whenever you notice excessive sparking, you should first delink the battery. Next, check out the wires to find out what could be causing the sparking. 

In addition, make sure the sparks don’t come into contact with fuel, as this will ignite a fire. So make sure you also cut the flow of fuel immediately. 


The perfect quick fix to a starter solenoid issue is bypassing it and connecting the battery directly to the motor. 

As illustrated above, executing this simple process is easy, as you need a metal screwdriver or jumper wires. 

But beware that these solutions can only serve you in the short run. The permanent solution is to replace the starter solenoid once you’re out of the woods. 

Hi I am Christa, sales manager of Cloom.

I have extensive expertise and experience in wiring harnesses and I believe I can help you.

And we have a very professional technical team who can clearly understand the customer’s needs and give professional suggestions and solutions after receiving the drawings.

If you also have wiring harness needs, please send me the drawing so that we can give you our quote and start our business.

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