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Old 04-30-2012, 10:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default CLICK-CLICK START: The real, no BS fix!

Many 3S owners have dealt with the click click start issue in our cars. If you haven't, you're lucky.

If you don't know what it is, in a nutshell when you go to start the car, all you get is a click. doing it enough times will eventually cause the car to start. What that basically is, is the starter solenoid not getting enough voltage to engage. It's very annoying, it's embarrassing. One half-ass (IMO) fix was to wire in a relay from the battery to the wires to the solenoid, feeding 12v directly to the solenoid. It does work, but it adds un-needed wiring and doesn't solve the root problem.

The root cause here is the ignition switch. The contacts in it get work out over time, and cause them to wear to the point where they no longer carry the required current to do the job.

What some of you may not know is how easy it is to actually replace the ignition switch, solving this issue once and for all, the RIGHT way. The cost of the 'temporary' fix is usually about $25. OEM ignition switches can be had for around $35, so the cost is not significant.

The biggest gripe I've read on these forums is how everyone says you have to pull the steering wheel to do the ignition switch, etc.. which is far from the truth.

I'll show you how!

You'll need:

Philips head screwdrivers: #2 and a #0
small regular screwdriver
10mm socket and extension, with rachet
Ignition switch: Part# MB629641 $32.88 from Cherry Hill Mitsu as of 4/30/2012
(to the best of my knowledge the part number is the same for all 3S)

The switch:


*disclaimer: this worked for me, I've done this on both of my cars to fix their click-click start issues. Please don't blame me if you break something or your car has other electrical problems like aftermarket alarms, etc..

Before you start: Take the key out of the ignition if it's in there. It will get in the way!

Step 1: remove the 'kick panel' under the steering wheel. lever out the mirror and rear wiper switches using your small screw driver. Unplug them and move them aside. Next, remove the two 10mm bolts hiding behind the switches. After that there are 2 more on the underside of the panel (they're right there). At this point the panel will come down, still attached to the hood release cable, which you can remove by removing the two Philips head screws. It doesn't really get in the way, so I left it.

Step 2: Remove the steering column cover. There are three screws on the underside, and then it should come right off, the column has a few snaps that hold it together so be mindful of those.

Here we can see the headlight switch, and the back of the ignition switch.


Step 3: Remove the headlight switch. Simply pull the two small screws, and let it hang.

This is what you should be looking at now:


Step 4: Here's the tricky part. At this point the only thing holding the switch in is a small screw on the back. If you have the new part in your hand, you'll see where it goes.

It's right on the other side of the bundle of wires:



The most difficult part is getting the screw out (it's not THAT challenging). It's best if you have a stubby screwdriver, but I didn't so I improvised. there's room to get a longer one in there to get the screw out like so:



That gives you a great view of where the screw actually is. at this point, simply remove the screw, the ignition switch will come right out.

Trace the wires going from it, and you'll find a plug (the wires coming off the switch are only 3-4" long). Unplug it, and plug your new one in. before inserting the new switch, make sure the black slotted piece is turned all the way counter-clockwise. It's not hard to turn, it just needs to be aligned so it goes in all the way. Tighten the screw. don't go all crazy on it and break it now.

Step 5: Remove any 'temporary' wiring from the other click-click start fix, and start the car just to make sure things work.

Step 6: Re-assemble everything how it came apart, and enjoy fixing it the RIGHT way and having less wiring in your engine bay!
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Last edited by jstarr427; 04-30-2012 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default

Big props for posting the right solution. It always grated at me to see everyone pointing to a kludge as a solution. Do it the right way and you have the greatest satisfaction.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: CLICK-CLICK START: The real, no BS fix!

I always had my doubts about the click click thing. This post makes MUCH more sense for a problem solution. Thanks for posting part numbers and that it can be repaired with a minimum of headaches.

-SP
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: CLICK-CLICK START: The real, no BS fix!

It might help if you could add arrows / circles to your pictures to point out where we should be looking.

Also for the doubters it would be great to add the appropriate electrical schematics from the manual showing why this works
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: CLICK-CLICK START: The real, no BS fix!

Great write-up. I havent had this issue, but looks like you've covered it nicely.


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Old 05-01-2012, 08:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: CLICK-CLICK START: The real, no BS fix!

after two decades of working on these cars, i will tell you for sure, there is more that one click, no start problem.

but, yes, this is somewhat common.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: CLICK-CLICK START: The real, no BS fix!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdahl View Post
after two decades of working on these cars, i will tell you for sure, there is more that one click, no start problem.

but, yes, this is somewhat common.
I'm sure there is... but this is the one I've run into and heard about the most.

Jim- I'll see if I can edit the pics to add some pointers.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: CLICK-CLICK START: The real, no BS fix!

Great write-up. Easy to understand and very informative. I've added the relay in a previous car. If I run into this problem again I'll address it this way first! Cheers.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: CLICK-CLICK START: The real, no BS fix!

I have replaced the whole assembly in my car and thats a little tougher because you have to drill out some bolts that have tamper proof heads which break off when you install them. It solved the problem but as soon as I put an autostart on the car and had to intercept the wiring, the voltage drop raised its ugly head and it started to do this again (especially after the battery has drained down a little or if the cars in the heat). The relay is a clunky solution, but it solves it completely even if you have a turbo timer or anything else in the system.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: CLICK-CLICK START: The real, no BS fix!

I haven't install it yet, but this is a nice option if you have a prime account:

Amazon.com: Beck Arnley 201-1994 Ignition Switch: Automotive Amazon.com: Beck Arnley 201-1994 Ignition Switch: Automotive
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