How to Test a Delco 12V Generator

Written by louis gutierrez
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How to Test a Delco 12V Generator
Jump leads will help you test your starter. (closeup of jump leads image by Katrina Miller from

Testing a Delco 12-volt generator, also known as a starter motor, can be done as part of an automobile troubleshooting procedure. You most likely have a defective starter motor if you notice the following scenario: You try to turn on your car and all you hear is a metallic screeching noise; the car will not start; and the lights are bright. To make sure your motor is defective, you will need to follow a specific protocol.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Jump leads
  • Mechanic gloves
  • Car battery

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  1. 1

    Remove the starter motor from the car. Instructions on removing a starter motor can vary by make and model. You can buy manuals for your make and model at most auto parts stores. You can find a general guide in Resources.

  2. 2

    Place the starter motor on the ground. Put on mechanic gloves to protect your hands. It is important you do not touch the motor with your hands while testing. Leave the motor on the ground during the entire testing process.

  3. 3

    Connect the black jump lead to the negative terminal on the battery. Connect the other end of the jump lead to the screw on the body of the starter motor.

  4. 4

    Connect the red jump lead to the positive terminal of the battery and touch the other end to the terminal on the back of the solenoid. The solenoid is the area on the starter motor that has cables connected to it.

  5. 5

    Test the starter motor to see if it works. Once you touch the starter motor with the red jump lead, it will create some sparks and will turn on the starter motor. If the starter motor begins to spin, it is in working condition. If nothing happens, the starter motor is broken and needs to replaced. This test will only test the starter motor and not the external solenoid.

Tips and warnings

  • Large sparks can occur, so make sure nothing flammable is nearby.

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