My Truck: Burnt Out Starter Solenoid

I recently purchased a 1990 Ford F-250 for cheap, and as expected, it’s been an ongoing project. On a recent Saturday I was in a Walmart parking lot picking up a toolbox locker from Craigslist, and when I went to leave, my battery wasn’t strong enough to start the engine, and the starter wouldn’t stop trying to start it. First I thought it was the jury-rigged push-button start that was stuck, but that wasn’t it. The only other option was that the starter solenoid had gotten stuck in the on position. I was able to get a jump start from somebody, but had to figure out how to turn off the stuck solenoid.


Before I disconnected the battery, the solenoid started to smoke. The easiest thing to do for the moment would be to disconnect one of the positive cables connect to the solenoid and touch it to the other to make it start. When I went to loosen the nut holding on the cable, the entire terminal just came out of the solenoid because it had overheated. This was actually helpful because there were several wires that needed to stay connected together for all the other systems on the truck.


A few days and $25 later I had a new solenoid ready to install, which was pretty fast and easy, despite my hands freezing in the winter cold. This truck is never going to stop being an adventure.

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