[Healeys] Starter Button - Just Stopped Working

BJ8Healeys sbyers at ec.rr.com
Fri Jun 30 05:39:22 MDT 2017

Rohan, it's possible that a pushbutton switch can suddenly fail after disuse due to corrosion or contamination on the switch contacts.  Obviously, you have general power to the car.  If the wiring to the switch is secure, then I would check for power to the starter relay.   The starter button would provide power to the relay, which is simply a remote switch.  When the starter button is pushed, power to the relay causes the internal coil to close the relay contacts to route power from the battery directly to the starter.  If the relay isn't working, then the starter won't turn.   If the relay is working, you should hear the relay click when the starter button is pushed.

If the starter button and relay check out, then the problem is likely the starter itself.


Steve Byers


BJ8 Registry

AHCA Delegate at Large

Havelock, NC  



From: Healeys [mailto:healeys-bounces at autox.team.net] On Behalf Of Rohan Marr
Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:44 PM
To: Austin Healey List
Subject: [Healeys] Starter Button - Just Stopped Working


Hi Listers,


After lurking here for way too long I would ask for your help. I have a somewhat original (built 56 for 57) 100~6 Longbridge built (despite the lack of crease in the hood) Healey that I tend to start up in the garage every few months if I have not gone for a drive. This is a California car so I really don’t have the ordinary excuses not to drive like ice & snow. Car is garaged always and I have not started her in a few months, but last time she fired right up. 


Yesterday I went to the garage (I should add battery is on a tender and is good), hit the starter and silence … nothing … I mean NOTHING. I turned the key and heard the sweet sound of the SU fuel pump go tick, tick, tick … tick …… tick …… then stop (which is good). Lights go on … indicators work, horn works … 


Where should I start … can a switch just go bad in a few months just sitting after firing right up a few months ago? Fuses are good, leads are in, earth switch is on, etc. 


Should I just crawl under the dash and pull the starter and “start” there with the multimeter … or is there somewhere else I should investigate. 


I appreciate all your input and replies!





Rohan (aka Aussie)
’56 Longbridge BN4 “Hellouise"


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