Starter vs relay


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
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AlanZ
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:36 pm
Location: Wichita, KS
Motorcycle: 2003 1800 Wing

Starter vs relay

Post by AlanZ »



I have a 2003 Honda Goldwing and use the reverse feature somewhat regular. One morning the bike wouldn’t start. I charged the battery and had it load tested at a local battery shop. It proved in excellent condition.

I had the bike taken to the local stealership in Wichita KS and the mechanic said it was the starter relay and he wanted $800. I asked if he jumped past the starter relay to rule out the starter and he said he didn’t remove the back left saddle bag yet to gain access to the relay. I asked - how do you know it’s the relay. He said he Googled it and that was the chief remedy. I said ... I’ll trailer my bike home - thanks for nothing! Lol. $800 for a guy throwing parts at a bike.

So I’m stuck with a self diagnostic. I have the saddle off enough to gain access to the relays to the right of the battery. The relay that connects to the battery and has a lead going to the starter appears to be engaging when the bike is in neutral, kick stand down, power to on, and the start switch is engaged. The relay pops or activated. I have taken a screw driver and crossed the terminals. I can hear the starter striking but it does not turn the engine over.

Before I pull the starter off and have it tested ... are there any other tricks that I can look at that may be keeping the starter from turning the motor?


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virgilmobile
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Re: Starter vs relay

Post by virgilmobile »

I'm not a guru on the 1800 but get to basics.Test light on the starter wire..right on the wire feeding the starter..push button...Is there power?
No..back up to the solenoid..each terminal.. test again.
Yes..Hydrolocked engine preventing it from turning? Or bad starter...
Techdude2000
Posts: 341
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:11 pm
Location: Lexington, KY
Motorcycle: 2004 GL1800

Re: Starter vs relay

Post by Techdude2000 »

Check the voltage on the Reverse Fuse “A” while you are holding the starter button switch in. If you see full battery power, then your starter has bit the dust or the cable on it has come loose. Further diagnosis will require the gas tank out to reach the starter. That fuse is a direct sample of the power going to the starter, it’s part of the reverse circuit that monitors the voltage to keep from cooking the starter while backing up. If you don’t get battery power on the fuse with the button held in, there’s something else in the starter interlock system keeping it from starting. Let me know what you find on the fuse and we can go from there.
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tamathumper
Posts: 584
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:02 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC
Motorcycle: 2003 GL1800A

Re: Starter vs relay

Post by tamathumper »

On the P-cars we had multiple relays of the same type and we could swap them around temporarily to troubleshoot issues like this. Is it the same on the GL1800?
'03 GL1800A - Warning: fopen() [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: Sense of humor not found on line 2
Techdude2000
Posts: 341
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:11 pm
Location: Lexington, KY
Motorcycle: 2004 GL1800

Re: Starter vs relay

Post by Techdude2000 »

tamathumper wrote: Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:36 am On the P-cars we had multiple relays of the same type and we could swap them around temporarily to troubleshoot issues like this. Is it the same on the GL1800?
The relays under the seat have some multiples for swapping, but there’s only two starter relays and they both have to work for it to start. Probing for the correct voltages on their control circuits is the easiest way to narrow down an issue with them. This test above will confirm whether or not they are working and sending power to the starter. If no power shows up on Reverse Fuse “A”, then we check for power at Reverse Fuse “B”. This tells me whether or not starter relay “A” is working or not. If we get power at fuse B, but none at fuse A, this means relay A is working, but relay B is not. Clear as mud! :shock: There’s basically two grounds that have to be present or you get no start. The absence of one of them will kill the A relay and the absence of the other one will kill the B relay.
AlanZ
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:36 pm
Location: Wichita, KS
Motorcycle: 2003 1800 Wing

Re: Starter vs relay

Post by AlanZ »

Looks like you guys gave me some things to test later today. Many thanks for your responses.

Quick question - 2003 1800 ... if the need proves the need to remove the starter. Does the fuel tank need to be removed? If so, what’s the procedure?
Techdude2000
Posts: 341
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:11 pm
Location: Lexington, KY
Motorcycle: 2004 GL1800

Re: Starter vs relay

Post by Techdude2000 »

AlanZ wrote: Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:10 am Looks like you guys gave me some things to test later today. Many thanks for your responses.

Quick question - 2003 1800 ... if the need proves the need to remove the starter. Does the fuel tank need to be removed? If so, what’s the procedure?
Yes, if the reverse A fuse shows full battery power with the starter button switch held in, then you will need to pull the seat, the shelter, and the gas tank to reach it. I also pull the battery and it’s box out to give me the most room to rotate the gas tank as it’s lifted up from the front and then out of the frame. You will need to siphon out any gas thats more than 1/3 of the tank just to make it lighter and harder to spill. It would be wise to grab a copy of the service manual if you don’t have it. There’s the fuel lines and the fuel pump/gauge wires on the top of the tank that have to be disconnected as well.


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