The Exciter Wire

If your ignition and check lights come on but you get nothing when you turn the key over to start, its usually one of two things. Firstly it could be a flat battery, or more likely its a bad connection of the exciter wire on the starter .The exicter wire is just another name for the solenoid trigger wire for the starter motor and its attached by a common or garden female spade connector


To test if its the battery, turn the headlights on full and try to start the car, if the lights go dim or off, its the battery.(You could also use the hidden menu or Easter Egg on the dash to see if the volts drop to zero as you try to start the car)

There is really no way to test the exciter wire other than use a circuit tester from under the car to see if the connection is good and the wire goes live when the key is turned



The repair is simple, make this connection good again


To do this jack the car up on the passenger side and pull down the undertrays to the rear of the engine

You should then be able to reach the connector and pull it off

Clean the male spade connector on the soleniod using a sharp knife, emery cloth/paper or even a small file. clean both sides and the edges until you can see bright metal

Now replace the female spade and move it back and froth a few times to clean up its  contact surfaces.

To protect this connection in the future I add a little grease to stop corrosion


Job done, test, replace the trays, drop the car back on its wheels



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In this picture by  Stephen Maloney,  the connector has a black plastic cover and a protective sleeve over the (purple) wire, but I have seen them with just a bare connector and no sleeve