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How To Test A Winch Solenoid

The winch solenoid is one of the major parts of the winch system and is vital for the proper functioning of the motor. So, it is crucial for you to test it from time to time.

Regular tests and diagnosis will keep the system in top-notch condition and save your winch motor from any unexpected damage as well; saving you a lot of money.

And that is why today, you will learn how to test a winch solenoid. The answer is yes, by taking the ohm reading of the stud lugs. In this article, we will dive deeper into the steps.

But let’s first know the things you will need to be able to conduct the test properly and efficiently.

  • A multimeter with a good ohm setting to be able to see the Ohm on the screen properly
  • Voltmeter to touch the small and the large studs and monitor the responses to identify if the solenoid is working
  • A screw to take off the cover of the solenoid to see if all the connections are in an accurate state

Testing Your Winch Solenoid in 5 Steps

Testing Your Winch Solenoid in 5 Steps

As the winch solenoid is one of the most important parts for the protection of winch motor, it is vital to check and test the solenoid from time to time. Remember, any dysfunction of the motor will cost you way more.

The two lug studs on the winch side maintain the continuity. They act as a wire by continuously having energy in the 12-volt range. And the smaller lug studs hold the power of 12 volts each. Touching any of them can be dangerous while activated.

A winch that works will make a clunk sound when the power is provided. Do the following steps with extreme care to test the solenoid. It will be a piece of cake if you are careful and aware of what you are getting into!

Step 1: Check The Connections Between The Winch And The Battery

First, you must inspect the winch solenoid connections to the battery. And, if there seems to be corrosion on the terminals of the cable, use a wire brush to clean them. But you must replace the cables if they look worn out thin.

Step 2: Remove The Cover of The Solenoid

The next step is to remove the cover of the solenoid by unscrewing it. Before doing that, you must disconnect the battery from the red-colored or the positive winch cable to avoid any accident.

After removing the cover, check and review the connections inside the solenoid to ensure they are secure and in proper condition. Upon turning the winch, if you can get some kind of clicking sound, there is a chance that there might be a wire that is loose.

Step 3: Test The Two Large Studs

On the solenoid, there are two studs larger in size located over at the winch side. You have to connect a voltmeter to those studs with the winch turned off. If the solenoid is working and in proper condition, there should be 12 volts on the screen. If it is less than 12 volts, the solenoid might need to be replaced.

Step 4: Test The Small Studs

On the control side, there are two smaller studs. Turn off the winch, and touch a voltmeter to them to test them in the same manner. In this case, if you can see 12 on the voltmeter screen, that means the solenoid needs to be replaced.

Step 5: Retake Ohm Reading after Turning The Winch on

Turn the winch on and test the large studs again with the help of a voltmeter. There shouldn’t be any Ohm reading at all if the solenoid is working correctly.

Take another reading of the smaller studs over at the control side using the voltmeter, keeping the winch turned on. This time, if there isn’t any ohm reading, that conveys that the solenoid is not working properly.

Because when the winch is turned on and activated, the small studs should get energized—if the solenoid works.

These are basically all the things that you need to do if you want to test the winch solenoid. Follow all these carefully to know if you would need to replace the solenoid with a new one or not.

When Does A Solenoid Malfunction?

One of the biggest reasons why the solenoid gives out is rusted wire. When there is rust on the wire, the solenoid cannot work properly since it becomes a lot more difficult to carry electric current.

Again, the charge is carried by the battery's solenoid to initiate the wincing process. But the solenoid is bound to damage if the charge is not in a proper flow or lesser than 12 volts. That is why it should be checked on a regular basis to not cause any unexpected damage.

If the solenoid malfunctions, it is mandatory to take the necessary steps, be it replacing the solenoid and getting a working one; or wiring the winch without the solenoid for the time being.

Test the solenoid from time to time to ensure it is working efficiently. Otherwise, the winch motor might get overheated and burnt.

Final words

There should now be no confusion regarding how to test a winch solenoid. It is a really easy job if you are careful enough to follow the steps with patience.

However, make sure you are following all the safety measures to protect yourself from any danger in the process.

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