Starter remains engaged after turning ignition off

My 1923 Model T Ford starter remains engaged after turning the engine off.

Some clarification is needed. Do you mean even if the ignition is off and you depress the starter switch the starter engages? If so, that’s normal Ordinarily with the T Model the starter will engage with or without the ignition being on if the starter switch is pressed…

Regards, Tom

Hey Tom,

Thanks so much for responding to my question. When I turn the ignition switch on and press the starter button the starter engages. It remains engaged even with the ignition switch turned off and not pressing the starter switch. This car happens to have a kill switch and that is how I had to disengaged the starter. I read that this may be due to a bad starter solenoid. I have purchased one and will install it and see if that is the problem. I will let you know how I make out.

Thanks again!

Rich Agar

Rich, sounds like you have it diagnosed.

Tell me this. Model Ts didn’t come with a solenoid. Lots of guys have added them, including myself. The stock Model T starter switch was activated by pressing a “button” that stuck up through a hole in the floor with your foot. Which do you have?

Let me know how things turn out.


Hey Tom,

My model T has the button on the floor also. I am assuming the prior owner installed the solenoid. Once I get the new solenoid installed I will let you know if the problem was fixed.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

Best Regards,


I should have asked earlier. Some guys use the Model T starter switch to energize the solenoid and this is O.K…

Repop switches are notorious for being of poor quality regardless of what vendor sells them. If you are using the Model T switch to energize the solenoid and the new solenoid doesn’t solve the problem take the Model T starter switch out of the circuit.

Solenoids can go bad too but usually they just don’t work.

Another thought just occurred. A 12V solenoid won’t work on 6V but a 6V solenoid will work on 12V, but too aggressively I should think. Is your T still 6V or has it been converted to 12V?

I don’t suppose you are anywhere in the northern KY/Cincinnati area are you?


Hey Tom,

Thanks again for the information. As you can probably tell I am relatively new at this, but I really enjoy working on the car. The system has not been converted and is a 6 volt. I am located in Southport, NC.

Best regards,