it sounds like either the selenoid or the switch is bad.AnswerIs the solonoid mounted to the starter? If it is mounted to the fender, near battery, I presume you have a Ford truck. Check for voltage at small gauge wire while cranking, this wire goes to ignition switch> If you have no juice, check switch on steering column, if you have juice, make sure all wires are clean and tight at sol. Apply voltage to small gauge wire conn. at sol,(wire disconnected), if the starter doesn't engage, you likely have a solonoid issue. AnswerTake it to the autoelectrician and get him to wire a relay onto the solenoid to give it a bit more juice. This is often a cheap fix. AnswerSounds similar to a problem I had with a '97 Neon. After going off the road and landing in about 12 inches of water starter began to give problems. It would go with a boost but once the ign was turned off it was dead. A friend showed me how to short the solenoid and after 10 or 12 times the problem fixed itself. With a STEEL (not chromed) screwdriver against the post of the solenoid and booster cables off the pos terminal of the battery have someone crank the engine. Only drawback is this requires 4 hands.
Again, it seems like you suddenly had this problem. everything above can be the problem. But "don't put the cart in front of the horse". It can just be fuse,or a fuseable link. There are about 3 fuses, and 1 fuseable link that can cause this. DO THE EASY THINGS FIRST. Also make sure your key itself is OK, and that the chip inside the key is good before going to the above answers.
If it is the solenoid just take a small jumper wire and jump out the two small terminals on the front of the solenoid and the starter should try to start the engine. If nothing happens then it is bad. Or you could take a volt meter and go from ground to the starter side of the solenoid and get some one to take the key and try to start it ,if you get 12volts and the starter doesn't try to engage then your starter is bad ,if you don't get 12volts then your solenoid is bad.
If the starter is engaging and the starter is able to turn the engine normally, there is nothing wrong with the solenoid. Instead, I'd look at fuel, ignition and compression.
You should locate and test the solenoid. Most have three connections. There is a large cable from the battery to the solenoid, from the solenoid to the starter and from the start switch to the solenoid. The power terminals to the battery and the starter are large and have large cables. The starter switch connection is much smaller. Turning the key to 'start' provides a low current voltage to the solenoid causing the solenoid relay to close and power from the battery cable to connect through to the starter. If that voltage is present then the solenoid or the wiring between the solenoid and battery or solenoid and starter is suspect. If that voltage is missing then the starter switch or solenoid feed line may have failed.
Start by cleaning the battery cables. Dead battery. Dirty/loose battery connections. Not fully in park or neutral. Blown fuse. Bad neutral safety switch. Bad starter. Bad starter relay. Bad starter solenoid.
Probably a bad starter solenoid.
Turn the key to start and if nothing happens could be a bad starter.
The problem lies in the starter solenoid/relay system and sounds like the relay is faulty or a wire is disconnected. Follow the positive cable (usually red) from the battery - the other end should be connected to the solenoid/starter.
That's the most likely reason, yes a bad solenoid. I like to go in order to diagnose a problem so to get to that decision I'd start by : Kick the engine over or hit the starter button and turn the engine over. If it does not turn over, either the starter or starter gears are bad, transmission is stuck, or the engine is stuck. If the starter solenoid clicks, but the starter does not turn, check the charge of the battery. If the battery is fully charged, use some heavy jumper cables and connect the positive jumper cable directly to the starter cable. That's the big, thick, cable going from the starter solenoid to the starter. When you make the connection, there will be a big spark and the starter should turn. If it does, the solenoid is bad. If nothing happens, the starter cable is broken or the starter is bad. Try connecting directly to the starter motor, if possible. If the starter turns, but the engine does not, the starter gears or starter clutch is bad. If the starter does not turn, either the starter is bad or the engine is stuck.
Good power all the way to the starter, 12 volts at solenoid/start circuit wire when key engaged, but no click or starter engage
Starter solenoid sticking. Replace the solenoid if it is external. If it is internal, then just replace thee starter. It will cost a little more but you will have a new starter and solenoid.
The starter relay or solenoid is probably the problem.
mabe the starter solenoid