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try to start motor...and all i hear is click.....

5/2/13 @ 4:14 PM
User since 4/3/03
when fishing the other day, went to start mercury outboard and all i heard was a click in the motor when i turned the key. turn key to off and try again...CLICK!! after a few more times,,,,, it started again. do i need a new starter?

6/10/14 @ 6:45 AM
User since 7/29/01
I have a Mercury 50hp that just clicks when turning the key. I cleaned up all the connections and it did not help. I put jumpers on directly to the starter and it turned over ok. I would assume it is the solenoid then. I will have to check the Voltage in/out to be sure. I did forget and left the starter key on for a few days, can this damage the Solenoid?

Thanks for any help........

9/4/13 @ 3:49 PM
retired smokey
User since 7/26/09
try tightening you battery terminal nuts. I had the same problem and that took care of it

8/2/13 @ 11:11 PM
User since 2/12/09
I just went through this with my johnson150. After confirming the starter solenoid was good, I took the starter apart and found two small ground wires were loose inside the starter near the brushes. Tightened them up and now the starter turns the motor over faster than it ever has. It was a pretty simple project, I did it at the dock with common tools. Good luck.

7/29/13 @ 5:51 AM
MEMBER since 7/9/12
Could be the starter relay if your motor has one

7/28/13 @ 11:07 AM
User since 5/28/07
Similar issue a few years ago. Turned out, when I installed a new depth finder in the front of the boat i was rushing through and clipped a wire enough to expose it. The wire ran from the motor tilt in the front of the boat back. We had a lot of rain and it shorted out the system which included the starter. All I heard was a click and when I replaced the fuse it kept shorting out. Once I discovered where the short was it was easy but I had to load the boat without tilt. Needless to say, a 115 hp optimax is not a light motor to move up manually... Found the short while boat was on the trailer.

7/26/13 @ 4:37 PM
User since 1/17/07
You may have it fixed, but I had the same thing going on. I thought starter too ($340).... But it ended up being the solenoid that provides voltage to the starter ($40)! If you still have this issue, let me know and I will give you more info....

5/6/13 @ 11:41 PM
User since 4/10/07
Just had the same problem with my 2005 50 merc. Solution was that there are a couple of wire harnesses in my council that were corroded. Cut the harnesses off and direct wired them problem solved.

5/3/13 @ 5:10 PM
B Fish
User since 6/26/10
1. Like other have said start with the battery, good comments already.

2. Another thing it could be (I don't know your year or model) is the starter solenoid. If it click and finally goes it could be this. Just like cars in 70s and 80s this can be common. I mainly muskie fish so I do lots of starts per trip and I have had to replace several.

3. It could be the starter but I would try these two first as this is you cheapest route.

5/3/13 @ 4:53 PM
User since 12/19/06
I have a 1996 40hp 2-stroke, had same issue 2 years back. Removed the cowling, rapped the starter with a wrench and it knocked the starter loose to spin properly and it started. No idea the technicals here. I put up with this for 2-3 outings and replaced the starter.

I am not a mechanic, but I read on some post on this site about tapping/rapping the starter and it worked like a charm for me...until I decided to replace the starter because I just didn't trust it anymore.

5/3/13 @ 10:41 AM
User since 1/5/06
Clean all your battery posts and charge your battery. A fully charged battery should show 12.6 volts. It's not the starter bendix gear because you would hear the the starter motor spin. If all connections are clean and tight and battery is 12.6 volts and still a click then the starter could be it. Some times bad connections will do that and after trying several times the connection will heat up and make a better connection and start.

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