Ignition Switch Issues

fleetingyouth

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So I thought I was having Cold morning start issues but now I'm starting to think it might be the Ignition switch or possibly the kill switch.

On several early cold mornings, I have had trouble starting the bike. It is a new battery and I tested the voltage before and during starting both fine. There is a clicking sound when pressing the ignition switch similar to if the battery was dead. the lights all work fine and there is no dimming or flickering on the dash like when the battery is dead.

Today it was 30 out took the bike for a ride started right up. Stopped at the store bike wouldn't start. Tried several times, let it sit for a min and it started right up. Is there a way I can test to see which switch it might be? Could it still be cold related? What should I be looking at?

Thanks
 

Klap

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I am guessing you are referring to the "starter button" when you reference the "ignition switch'?
Things to check:
1. Clean the battery terminals.
2. Clean out the starter button- the contacts can corrode
3. Check battery cables for corrosion around the terminals.
4 Clean the solenoid connections.

You did not give us the year, model, and number of miles on it, which would provide some clues as to the causes, but those are the most likely.

Good luck.
 

Red Rider

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So I thought I was having Cold morning start issues but now I'm starting to think it might be the Ignition switch or possibly the kill switch.

On several early cold mornings, I have had trouble starting the bike. It is a new battery and I tested the voltage before and during starting both fine. There is a clicking sound when pressing the ignition switch similar to if the battery was dead. the lights all work fine and there is no dimming or flickering on the dash like when the battery is dead.

Today it was 30 out took the bike for a ride started right up. Stopped at the store bike wouldn't start. Tried several times, let it sit for a min and it started right up. Is there a way I can test to see which switch it might be? Could it still be cold related? What should I be looking at?

Thanks

Check the easy stuff first and the area most recently “touched”.

With the symptoms you describe, my money is on the battery terminals. Disconnect the terminals. Clean them and the cable ends up with a wire brush. Re-attach and get em tight.
 

Wedders

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Probably not your problem but I thought I’d throw it out there.
I had a Triumph Tiger with that problem and it was well documented that it was a long standing starter motor issue. I took mine to an expert auto electrical company who said they could see nothing wrong, so I fitted a new one and voila no more starting issues.
 

dduelin

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Yes, clean and reattach the battery terminal connections and see if that helps. Or take the battery out and have it load tested at an auto parts or battery supply store. Cold temperatures place extra demand on the battery and an iffy battery, even new one, that works OK at 60-70 degrees can take a dump at 30 degrees and not start the bike. At the start of winter an iffy battery is just a replacement waiting to happen.
 

fleetingyouth

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Thanks, everyone.
It is a 2013 with 20k on it. Yes, I meant the starter switch.

Had trouble starting again this morning below 30 but when I went home it started right up and it was below 30.

I'm pretty sure there isn't anything wrong with the terminals or cables at the terminal Since I checked them when I replaced the battery this summer but I will pull it out and clean and tighten everything down.
I was thinking of opening the switch housing and spraying it with electrical cleaner.

Also, I didn't use the Kill switch after I started it this morning and had no problems after stopping multiple times on the way home. So I'm wondering if maybe it is the kill switch.
 

670cc

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Depending on your particular startup sequence, side stand, clutch (if yours is a manual transmission), and neutral switches could also be suspect.

However, if you hear clicking when you press the starter switch, all interlocks are probably satisfied. You may want to take a look at the starter relay connections. That relay sits to the right of the battery.
 

fleetingyouth

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Ok so the last couple of days I have not had an issue with the bike, Today went out started the bike right up first try, shut it off geared up went out and it wouldn't start at all again. Tried for 15mins.

previously after everyone's suggestions, I disconnected, cleaned the terminals, and reconnected the battery. I opened up the starter switch housing and sprayed in some electronic cleaner.

The bike has power and there is 2 distinct clicks when pressing the starter switch. I haven't been using the kill switch to try and rule that out.
If the battery was having load issues would I see a change in the voltage?

What are some other things I should look into?
 

davidc83

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test the load on the battery (if you have a volt meter-anything under 13 volts (I think) when not pressing the start button-bad...if 13 volts at that point, but when you press the start button, if it drops significantly, bad)....the battery probably dies and yes, they can die that quickly...last time I had to do a battery replacement, I rode the bike all day on a Friday, went out on Saturday morning and click click...replaced the battery (no need to check the load) and boom, started right up...
 

fleetingyouth

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Ok this is still an issue for me. I havent been riding much the last month cause we got a lot of snow but now its clear and I took it out the otherday.

Today I wouldnt start again. It seems to be on colder days it is most likely to not start however I have had it both start fine on cold days and not start on warmer days so it's not consistent. Its hard to diagnose cause on cold days I dont have a garage to work in and on warmer days it rarely has issues.

I took the battery to get tested again sunday it was fine, the bike started multiple times throughout the day with no issues. Temps high 30's. Today it wouldnt start at all, temps around low 20's. I also tried jumping it and it wouldnt start.

The battery voltage both times was fine it doesnt significantly drop when trying to start.

Any suggestions on what to look into next? Should be warmer this week so I'll try to trouble shoot.
 

fleetingyouth

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I went out a min ago to check. It is about 45 today and the bike wont start again.
Is there a way to check codes without running the bike? The light isnt coming on at the moment but I only remember checking the codes while the bike is running.

It is the inconsistent nature of the problem that is making this annoying for me.
I might just buy a nother battery even if the battery isnt the issue just to have a better battery than the one I have now.
 

bigbird

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If it's anything like my Goldwing, you crank the starter for more than 10s and if the bike doesn't start, the MIL will start flashing.
Just count the flashes. Long flashes are 10's, short flashes are 1's.
eg long, long, short, short, short would be code 23
 

DirtFlier

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"...How about an intermittent crankshaft position sensor issue?..."

My experience with a crank position sensor failing is that it still allows the starter to spin the engine but it doesn't have spark.
 

670cc

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"...How about an intermittent crankshaft position sensor issue?..."

My experience with a crank position sensor failing is that it still allows the starter to spin the engine but it doesn't have spark.
Since people sometimes use different terms for starting, cranking, ignition, etc, it hasn’t been totally clear to me whether the starter is spinning the engine or not. The term used is that it doesn’t “start“. There was mention of clicks heard, perhaps in lieu of the starter motor, so that might be an indication that the starter motor is not turning the crankshaft.
 

bigbird

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"...How about an intermittent crankshaft position sensor issue?..."

My experience with a crank position sensor failing is that it still allows the starter to spin the engine but it doesn't have spark.
Agreed.
When the OP says the engine won't start, I took that to mean the engine spins (turns over) from the starter, but will not have ignition.
On re-reading the OP's first post, he says there is clicking, but no mention of anything else.
So ignore my suggestion of the CKP sensor.
 

fleetingyouth

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Ok just went out to test the engine light. Windchill today is brutal.

It wouldn't start and the engine light didn't display any codes.

Sorry if my original description was confusing. I stuck my head in the frunk to listen for any sounds. I hear two clicks, the first strong second softer CLICK Click. Then there is two distinct geared motor whirling sounds one starts then they overlap.
Both the clicks and whirling come from the right side. I don't hear any other sound. Nothing that sounds like the starter or engine turning over.

To me it sounds exactly the same as if it was a dead battery except the electronics aren't acting like it is a dead battery. No dash or headlight dimming no reset of the dash controls nothing you would expect to see when the battery is dead.

Also, the battery is fully charged and the voltage doesn't drop when trying to start the bike.

Does this mean the relay is working but not closing the circuit to the starter properly? Could it be a bad relay and could that be intermittent or temperature related?

I pulled the relay didnt see any sign of corrosion on the terminals.
 

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Sorry if I’m stating the bleeding obvious, but you have checked all the connections such as to the starter motor etc?

I’ve just had another thought. If it happens at home in the garage could you try connecting the starter direct to the battery and see if it works. If not you may have a dodgy motor or a faulty earth/ground.

I had a similar problem with a works van and that turned out to be a faulty earth strap on the engine to the chassis.

I hate these problems that won’t show themselves.
 
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fleetingyouth

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I havent checked or tested the starter motor I know that makes sense to check at this point. As far as I know you cant get to the starter without pulling off the plastics correct? If there is an easy way to test or get to the starter I dont know it.
Right now with it being winter and my bike lives on the sidewalk in the city I can't really do any real work on it.

If the relay is fine I'll have to wait till warmer weather or I can get the bike to a garage to pull it apart.

I tried to test the relay with a volt meter to see if it was faulty but either It is faulty or my old meter is not giving me accurate readings cause it didnt make sense compared to the videos I watched.
 

davidc83

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With the ignition switch on, kill switch in off position, you press the starter button, does the engine crank over and doesnt start or nothing happens with the motor? Since you park the bike outside, near/on the sidewalk...the issue could be a defective side stand switch (sensor)...are you putting the kickstand up each time you try to start the bike? Is the kickstand down when it wont start? Is it up when it does start?
 
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