Starter Issue

I’m kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place. Just went out and got on my 2000 Glide, turned on the switch, waited for the engine light to go out, hit the start and everything just died! Nothing, nada! Checked all the fuses and connections at the battery all seem to be alright. It’s as if somebody stole the ignition switch or battery, just totally dead! Ran fine this morning, road it to work! Any suggestions would be helpful.



Hi Randy,

Always start with the easy parts first, check with a test light at the main breaker (should be clearly marked in your fuse box under the seat). Check battery voltage at the red 10 gauge wire coming from the starter motor to the main breaker. Check battery voltage at the battery. Check all grounds. Use your service manual. It has a great troubleshooting section on this problem. I have seen batteries go bad (plates break inside). Cables both neg and pos break internally but look intact (turn switch on and wiggle both cables and see what happens). I have also had the tumbler inside the ignition switch break, again wiggle all wires first then check for voltage in and out. Take your time, use common sense and your wiring diagram. I’m sure you can find the cause. Always think simple first, also has anything been worked on or added on recently may be the place to start to fix the starter issue!Wrench Safe, FMH

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13 Responses to “Starter Issue”
  1. mike

    I have a 2014 cvo limited 110,i have installed love jugs,vance and hines oval pipes,high flow big sucker air filter,fuel pack3 and the bike is still going into limip mode at idol and i dont run the bike hard but it is still hot hot. My wifes a member but any help would be apricated

  2. ron

    i have a 2012 road king that won’t start. bike has been on a tender and the battery is charged but the i try to start it makes a clunking sound and nothing happens. it is not like a chatter you would expect to hear when the battery is low. could the starter be bad?

  3. james Beal
    james Beal

    Bought a used 2010 ultra from Harley dealer. Didn’t test ride as it was being repaired for brake issue. Rear brake is always hard to mash when first starting . have to pump. Sometimes when stopping it makes metal on metal noises and I’m guessing anti lock brakes are messed up. I can feel action on gear shift. Hd dealer blew me off even though it was directly after sale. Any clues? Please send advice to my email. Thx.

    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Metal to metal sound typically means that you no longer have brake pad material
      .If that is the case, you will need to replace pads and rotor.
      If your pedal is hard, you have an ABS module issue.
      usually the entire module will need to be replaced in order to correct. If left alone, the pedal will eventually feel hard as a rock and there will be no brake function at all.

  4. Steve

    I had a 2000 Dyna Convertible and had the same problem. Turns out the ignition switch has small contact points that are mounted in plastic and I added a brighter headlamp bulb and changed the turn signals to running lights also. The problem started by just being intermittent until it final went out. I found that the insulation on the ignition lead from the back of the ignition switch was melted back about 1/4″ and when I cut the switch apart I found that the contacts had melted into the plastic so that they quit making contact. That same switch was used starting in 1984 and continued for many years, so instead of buying a switch that would be the same I designed my own Key Fob operated 40amp rated ignition system. It was better because I got tired of reaching under my butt to find the hole for the key with my gloves on. I placed the complete technical article of how I did it along with the cost of the parts ($52) and several hundred people over the years have used it and gave me great feedback. I am just a rider like you, so not trying to sell anything. The link should still be there on the Harley Forum. Hope it is something simpler, but if not there is a better way instead of buying a replacement switch from Harley that hasn’t been upgraded.

    • Sandra D'Auteuil
      Sandra D'Auteuil

      Can you tell me exactly what the link is called and so is it on Harley website or the fix my hog site?

    • Christopher Gulley
      Christopher Gulley

      I have a 2007 harley davidson street glide flhx and I changed spark plugs after it started to loose speed and hick up and wouldn’t go very fast then it ran alright for like a week and started again then my starter went out I replaced the starter and when I try to crank it my battery post gets very red and hot do any one know what can cause this problem

  5. Scott lay
    Scott lay

    I have a 1980 flt my back brake keeps locking up on me any suggestions need help