Ask the Editors: Identify This Scratching Sound

By -

My solenoid thinks it’s a rap DJ.

Dear ATVC: I have a 2003 Polaris magnum 330 4×4 that was sitting for about a year or so. I tried to start it, it just made a scratching noise and a clicking noise from the solenoid, I bought a new battery hoping it would help but it did nothing, still made the noises, I removed carburetor and cleaned it, I bought a new starter and starter gear, all connections are clean and tight, battery is new and charged, I tried to start it and it did the same thing, I put a screwdriver on the solenoid connecting the two bolts on it, it sparked but didn’t turn over the engine so I’m assuming it’s a bad solenoid?

I tried connecting cables from the battery to the starter and that started to turn the engine over so I’m guessing it’s the solenoid, is there anything I could check? Thanks. Nicholas.jw

Sounds from a solenoid aren’t all that uncommon- the most likely of these coming in the form of a buzzing or chattering and of course, a click when the ignition is activated.

Scratching is a bit more difficult to identify. Undervoltage (too little) can cause the solenoid to fail to open completely, which often manifests in the form of a hum thanks to vibration.

Fortunately, as you seem to have realized, there are ways of checking out the status of your solenoid without requiring a stethoscope.

Grab a voltmeter and connect the red lead to the solenoid wire coil (you should see where the positive lead of the battery connects to the solenoid) while keeping the black lead on the negative terminal of your quad’s battery. Once you’ve completed this circuit, you should get a reading of 12 volts. If you get no reading or a number wildly different, it is indeed time to pick up a new solenoid.

Got questions for us? Ask them here!

Comments ()