Starter will engage


Asked by Jun 06, 2012 at 04:25 PM about the 1988 Mazda RX-7

Question type: General

MY 88 RX-7 will start.  You put the key in, turn it, all dash instrument light come on, continue to turn to start and there is nothing.  We have put in new battery, positive cable, starter.  Checked all the electrical sensors, everything seems to be good.  I first thought it had something to do with the security system.  As it is desiged to disable the starter.  I had that checked and it seems to be okay.  Any suggestions would be helpful.  Thanks

11 Answers


I ment to say RX-7 will not start.


Make sure all fuses are looked over. My guess leans more to the security system. I've seen this before on a newer car with the same sec. system and the guy who had the problem had to take it back to a dealer to disable it.


Have you checked the main fuse... the one that will disconnect ALL power if it blows out? After 24 yrs it may have corrosion on it that while it allows enough power for smaller things , like lights and gauges, there may be too much resistance for a higher amp circuit. And if by security system you mean an aftermarket add-on, then I agree. That should be suspect also. If you are meaning the factory key security/disable system, then probably not.


Also check to make sure all the engine and body grounds are good. Remember please that most of those cables use a dry, press on connection. After years of exposure, corrosion can and will build up inside the connector, between it and the actual cable where you can't see it or get to it easily. Short of that, you may just need a new ignition switch! :D Have you tried bypassing the key by jumping the wires there?

Best Answer

3 things a car needs to start. Compression, Fuel, Spark. take a spark plug wire off of a spark plug and use a spark tester to see if its getting spark. if yes then check to see if the carb has fuel going into it. if yes then check the compression with a compression tester. if any of those 3 aren't working correctly then you'll at least have a place to start.


You may want to reread the question, Paul. He's saying the starter is not engaging... at all and you need that for a start up too.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Start with the checking the 10 amp fuse feeding power to the starter cut-out relay (fusebox: middle of the box on the left side). If it's not the fuses causing the problem then I always try to work my way through problems like this by starting at the end unit, in this case the starter. Check power to the starter solenoid coming from the battery first, then check the power to the solenoid coming from the ignition switch by using a voltmeter while a friend turns the key to the start position. If there's no power there check whether the starter cut-out relay (near the trailing coilpack) that's controlled by the theft deterrent unit works and gives power to the starter solenoid. You can try and bypass the relay using a jumper wire if it's faulty. Hope this helps.

Ours compression starts no problem. Battery fine, new cables, starter and alternator are both good as well. Checked to see if any codes come up in computer and there were none. Now what? Ignition? Clutch sensor?


Trace your way back from the starter using your voltmeter and someone to operate the ignition key. At some point you'll find the offending part by the simple fact that there's no power going beyond there...

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. It was a bad ground cable. Thanks Richard for suggesting checking that.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

'Glad to help. And glad it was that simple.

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