Handy Howie
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Nearly 3 hours into a 358 mile journey home from Inverness, we decided to stop at Falkirk to see the Falkirk Wheel.  Upon returning to my 1999 Land Rover Discovery 2 TD5, we found that our journey had come to a stop even though we had another 216 miles to go.  The Discovery refused to start, with not even a click from the starter motor on turning the ignition.  I checked the fuses and swapped some relays in the hope of an easy repair.  Unfortunately the fault remained and due to the car having an automatic gearbox, tow starting the engine was not a possibility.  I resorted to calling the RAC hoping that this would be a better experience than the previous time I had to call them when I had to wait 4 hours for an mechanic to arrive.  Fortunately only 25 minutes had passed when the mechanic turned up.

Between us we diagnosed the starter solenoid as being at fault.  I explained to the mechanic that I had replaced the large copper contacts a couple of years ago and so I knew that it was possible to take the cover off the solenoid and to manually push the plunger in to operate the starter.  He gave it a go and the engine started.  Keeping the engine running we were able to continue our journey without stopping.

The above photo shows where the fault lies.  You can just make out that the copper wires on the left solder joint of the solenoid coil have both snapped off.

Since the broken copper wires would no longer reach the solder pad, I cut a small length of solid copper wire to bridge the gap.  I scraped the enamel coating off the wires and soldered them together.

The broken wires now reconnected.

At this point I put the plunger back in and tested the starter motor using some jump leads to a car battery.  The repair worked.

The starter motor bolted back in place.