Author Topic: car has trouble starting... sometimes...  (Read 16180 times)

fullpampers

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car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« on: October 07, 2015, 01:03:28 PM »
I figured I'd ask here because i suspect most of you do their own car maintenance, I'll try to find a car forum too if no one has any idea (if anyone has any good car forums suggestions I'm open).

**I do not know a whole lot about cars, I'm learning as I go

So i have a 2003 Hyundai accent 1.6

Randomly the car has trouble starting, but it always starts. I don't use the car a whole lot. Like once every 1-2 weeks, some times a little more, but not a lot.

When I start it after it has sat a while, I don't remember it ever having any trouble starting. If I go run an errand, when I come back (the car has been stopped, 20-30 minutes); sometimes the car won't start right away. The motor cranks sluggishly and after a couple of tries, it usually starts.

The battery is 2 years old, when tested I get a little under 12 volts (11.6-11.8) when the car is stopped, and over 12 Volts (like 12.6-12.7 volts) when the car is working. So I'm guessing the battery and alternator are okay.

I haven't had the time to check electrolyte levels in the battery yet (not sure if this can be related)

Yesterday I had a lot of errands to run, so I took my multi-meter with me. I made 5 stops before I had the problem. I tested the battery at each stops and it was getting charged. When starting the car, i tried to turn the key so the electronics would light up, wait a couple of seconds, then start the car, to see if it would change anything.

On my 5th stop, I had the problem. The car cranked sluggishly, I got out of the car after 1 try, tested the battery, and got 11.8 Volts. I went back, tried a couple of times (one of which i filmed, you can listen to what the car does here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4DFSwUfNqk).

On the times it did it more, I noticed the cd player starting back at track one, And if I remember correctly the short term odometer reset. Not sure about the clock, I can't remember.

Does anyone have any idea what to look for? If the battery is okay, can it be the wiring (i cleaned the leads on the battery), or a starter problem?

I'm rushing to finish everything I have to do on the house before winter, I won't be able to really check the car until maybe two weeks. I figured I'd use that time to see if anyone has any ideas what to look for to solve this.

Thanks for any help!
J-S

HipGnosis

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2015, 01:26:34 PM »
Son, I'm afraid to tell you that you've got trouble...

Battery Voltage and State of Charge:

12.66v . . . 100%
12.45v . . .   75%
12.24v . . .   50%
12.06v . . .   25%
11.89v . . .     0%

The good news is that it goes up when the engine is running.

But you don't know if your alternator isn't alternating enough or the battery just isn't taking a charge.  (I've seen one instance where a bad starter was draining the battery more than the battery could recover from the alternator)

Depending where you live, auto parts stores may do a free test of battery and charging - they need to be tested separately - and, of course, they're going to say you need something they sell...

fullpampers

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2015, 02:05:49 PM »
crap I thought I was in the clear!

The battery is still under warranty, gotta dig up the receipt. I'll call the place I bought it this week (Canadian Tire), they can probably test it. If the battery is still good, I'll check the alternator.

Thank you!

Spork

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2015, 03:45:10 PM »
I would also expect something in the range of 14 volts when the car is running.  It's those extra volts that charge the battery.

Uturn

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2015, 03:52:36 PM »
If you're not seeing around 14v when the engine is running, I would suspect the alternator.  However, I have seen bad batteries present as bad alternator. 

Around here, any auto parts place can test both the battery and alternator for free.  If it is a bad battery, consider getting a battery tender or some other trickle charger.  Batteries don't like to be ignored for long periods of time.  The battery tender will keep it alive and happy.   

Syonyk

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2015, 10:11:01 AM »
Yep.  Battery, alternator, or both, and if you're not sure, get both tested, because one being bad will absolutely kill the other in a very short timeframe.

If you're only seeing 12.7v after the car has been running for a while, your alternator is probably bad.  You should see north of 14v with a fully charged battery and the engine running (perhaps not at idle, but certainly at speed, and if you turn off all the electrics, you should see 13.5+ at idle).  I like to see 14.5-14.7v after a bit of a highway run.  Slightly lower is OK, too much more lower is no good.

I'd take the battery and alternator into a shop to be tested.  It sounds like something in your alternator's voltage regulation is bad, and the easy approach is to just replace the alternator.  If you can find a starter/alternator/generator repair shop staffed by very old, quite cranky men, they can probably replace whatever failed in the rectifier for not much money, but those shops are really hard to find anymore, and they're not exactly friendly places in my experience.

If you do buy a new alternator, have the shop test it before you take it home.  I've had friends install alternators only to find the brand new one was bad.

And if you aren't driving the car much, a little solar battery tender isn't a bad idea.

fullpampers

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2015, 06:31:51 AM »
Thank you all for the help.

I cleaned the battery leads again (wire brush on a dremel) and got 11.8V for the battery and 13.35V while the car has started. I revved it up a bit, and the voltage didn't go up. I still have to clean the lead on the alternator side, but didn't have any time

If I can I'll try to go get this tested tomorrow or next week. I hope it's just the battery, but it's been like this all summer, so maybe the alternator took a hit... The belt looks good, but might need changing. Could this explain the 13.35V instead of 14.xV? Does the battery's initial charge affect the output voltage of the alternator, or the voltage output of the alternator should be the same no matter the condition of the battery?

With the test, do they tell you if the alternator is bad or just the battery?

Thanks!
J-S

Spork

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2015, 06:57:12 AM »
I wasn't sure if you included this in "cleaning the leads"...  but when you clean them, you should coat them with dielectric grease.  This will keep them from getting corrosion/oxidation on them again.  (And if you don't have dielectric grease, you can get by with just grease or petroleum jelly.)

Syonyk

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2015, 11:12:12 AM »
The belt either is good or bad.  There's no middle ground, unless it's just very loose and not turning the alternator (which is obvious from poking at it).

11.8v is nearly fully drained.  Put the battery on a standalone charger and see how it behaves after that.  I wouldn't be happy with 13.5v running on one of my cars, but if I was starting with 11.8v, it might not indicate a problem.

fullpampers

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2015, 11:18:24 AM »
I have lithium spray grease, I put some when I changed the battery two years ago. Now i just put some wd-40 because i had the can in my hand. I'll spray some grease on them after I buy a charger and charge the battery.


Kroaler

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2015, 03:21:26 PM »
My wife sister had the same car.  Tiny little battery, and for some reason it always corroded the terminals. Just a little bit of corrosion and it had trouble starting. I guess the battery is not very big to start with since its an econo box.

dess1313

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2015, 09:23:34 PM »
how long of trips are you doing?  running your car 5 minutes to work every day will harm your battery as you don't have enough time to recharge.  If you did a bunch of 5 minute trips all the time it could explain part of what you're seeing.  then put it away for 2 weeks after doing tiny runs and it will have more problems.  A good 20 or 30 minutes of driving will charge it properly usually

Is this cold weather winters for you?  if you did a bunch of that in the winter you could have run it down and frozen the battery.  look for bulges on the sides or top of it.  if you've frozen it its pretty much toast

BlueMR2

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2015, 05:36:35 AM »
I cleaned the battery leads again (wire brush on a dremel) and got 11.8V for the battery and 13.35V while the car has started. I revved it up a bit, and the voltage didn't go up. I still have to clean the lead on the alternator side, but didn't have any time

If I can I'll try to go get this tested tomorrow or next week. I hope it's just the battery, but it's been like this all summer, so maybe the alternator took a hit... The belt looks good, but might need changing. Could this explain the 13.35V instead of 14.xV? Does the battery's initial charge affect the output voltage of the alternator, or the voltage output of the alternator should be the same no matter the condition of the battery?

First, if you have a digital meter, put new batteries in it to make sure you're getting good readings.  My digital meters all start to read low as the batteries in them age (so I generally prefer calibrated analog meters).

As others have said, you should see slightly more than 12.6v on a fully charged lead acid battery (for other battery types consult the battery manual as gel, dry, and Li batteries all have different resting charged voltages!).  Normal charging voltage is 14v, but you'll see variations based on temperature.On a cold day I've seen as much as 14.7v.  If it exceeds 15v, you have a problem with the voltage regulator.  In really hot days, especially with heat building up around the alternator from the engine, you may only see 13.3v even with a functioning alternator.

fullpampers

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2015, 02:35:33 PM »
So I just had the battery tested at the store and it tested out good...

I bought a charger and charged the battery overnight, but was still getting low reading, so since BlueMR2 suggested a weak battery in my digital tester, I dug out a analog multi-analyser that i grabbed at my dads and forgot I had. I seem to be getting normal voltage from the battery and alternator. I'll have to buy a 9v battery for my digital tester to confirm it was giving me low readings.

I was reading the repair manual for the car, and from what they say. If the car has trouble starting and the lights dim (and the battery is not at fault) it could be the starter motor. Does that make sense? I'll try and find some time next week to check that out.

The multi-analyser's manual has a "starter check" chapter. So I'll give it a shot.

The store can do an electrical checkup of the car for 30$ Is it worth doing if I know the battery and alternator are good?

thanks again!
J-S


dess1313

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2015, 06:57:35 PM »
It could definitely be a starter, but i'm not sure what the correct testing is for totally diagnosing it

I had starter problems that were random and hard to find.  Once in a blue moon it just wouldn't start or click.  Keep trying after 10 about 10 minutes it would suddenly start and be perfect for months.  One day it did it again, i got it going went to the garage, it wouldn't do it for them.  A few weeks later it just wouldn't start.  This time it did the no start at the garage as well.  I had been noticing weak starts in winter, but nothing i could put a finger on to point at for a garage to fix. 

When it won't start......

1. Do you hear any clicks?
no clicks means your starter isnt usually turning at all

2. Do you always hear a engine turning over?
thats good, but still doesn't eliminate the starter

3. If you do hear the engine turning over every time, is it fast slow or barely going?  compare it to when you do hear it start normally
Barely turning over, sluggish means it could be starter

4. If you don't hear the engine turning over but you may hear clicking
clicking but no turn over means you could have a dead spot in your starter.  when it moves off it it will start fine.  If its on the dead spot it won't do a thing until the starter moves a bit

5. if the battery is always low, and the alternator isn't charging it properly it could confuse the whole issue.  if the battery is good, and the alternator charges properly i would highly suspect your starter

worms

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2015, 01:00:04 AM »
You may have already passed this stage, but don't ignore an earth problem.  Next time it is slow to start, try putting a jump lead from the earth terminal on the battery (negative on all the cars I've ever had) to a suitable earth point on the car.

We are all good at cleaning battery terminals and alternator leads but the earth lead can corrode at its attachment to the car and be forgotten about.

fullpampers

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2015, 01:31:22 PM »
It could definitely be a starter, but i'm not sure what the correct testing is for totally diagnosing it

I had starter problems that were random and hard to find.  Once in a blue moon it just wouldn't start or click.  Keep trying after 10 about 10 minutes it would suddenly start and be perfect for months.  One day it did it again, i got it going went to the garage, it wouldn't do it for them.  A few weeks later it just wouldn't start.  This time it did the no start at the garage as well.  I had been noticing weak starts in winter, but nothing i could put a finger on to point at for a garage to fix. 

When it won't start......

1. Do you hear any clicks?
no clicks means your starter isnt usually turning at all

2. Do you always hear a engine turning over?
thats good, but still doesn't eliminate the starter

3. If you do hear the engine turning over every time, is it fast slow or barely going?  compare it to when you do hear it start normally
Barely turning over, sluggish means it could be starter

4. If you don't hear the engine turning over but you may hear clicking
clicking but no turn over means you could have a dead spot in your starter.  when it moves off it it will start fine.  If its on the dead spot it won't do a thing until the starter moves a bit

5. if the battery is always low, and the alternator isn't charging it properly it could confuse the whole issue.  if the battery is good, and the alternator charges properly i would highly suspect your starter

You can hear the sound it makes on the youtube link I posted up top. basically the car is trying to start, the engine is turning over but slowly to slower and then stops. But after a couple of tries it starts like nothing happened...

You may have already passed this stage, but don't ignore an earth problem.  Next time it is slow to start, try putting a jump lead from the earth terminal on the battery (negative on all the cars I've ever had) to a suitable earth point on the car.

We are all good at cleaning battery terminals and alternator leads but the earth lead can corrode at its attachment to the car and be forgotten about.

Yeah I haven't investigated that yet, but it's on the list. when I get a chance, I'll clean every lead, ground and cable connector I can get my hands on. I'll test the cable for resistance to see  if I change any of them.

From everything I am reading everywhere, it might be the starter, but probably isn't... It's just in the repair manual that I saw that if it's turning over, not starting and that the lights dim, it might be the starter.

So correct me if I'm going the wrong way about this, but my plan was that when I get a day off, I'll clean all the connections I can find, test my starter motor to see if I'm getting the right voltage at the starter/solenoid, check the fuses and relays to see if anything is funky in there. And if it's still doing it, I'll consider bringing it in...

The problem with bringing it in, is i know it's not going to do it when the mechanic tries it... It's so random and that's what irritates me the most...

Is a bad contact point/connection on the starter switch (key) something I could consider?

Thanks!
J-S

dess1313

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2015, 02:05:48 PM »
found the video.  couldn't listen to it before.  to be honest, your problems sound a lot like mine.  it would turn over but was not strong.  winter sucked, it always had to be plugged in.  replacing the starter worked for me but i had alternator and battery tested before going that route.  mine never performed it for the mechanic either the first time. take some more video clips of it not starting right if you can.   It was not something i could do on my own either.  i think i had a dead spot and my starter after 18 years it was just weak.  the car sounded totally different after having the starter replaced.  the 1st time they tested everything but the starter because that would require taking it apart, but wouldn't just replace the starter because they couldn't finger the exact problem.   the 2nd time i took it in i couldn't start it until about 15 minutes later enough turn overs got me off the dead spot.  that time they finally listened to me and it did its no go at the car place.

mysteriousem

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2015, 03:11:08 AM »
This may be stupid, but I had identical symptoms once, and it turned out to be an O2 sensor.  It didn't get diagnosed until the car finally quit and wouldn't start at all.  :P 

fullpampers

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2015, 08:01:28 AM »
This may be stupid, but I had identical symptoms once, and it turned out to be an O2 sensor.  It didn't get diagnosed until the car finally quit and wouldn't start at all.  :P

Maybe it's not that stupid! I had a p0111 (http://www.engine-codes.com/codes.php?code=p0111_hyundai) code this summer that went away when I changed my (filthy) air filter. I didn't change my O2 sensor since the check engine eventually went away... I dont remember the car having trouble starting before this...

The sensor on the exhaust is new from last summer. For what it costs, and the trouble it takes to do it, I'll change the O2 sensor and hope it's that.

So I'll clean the connections, check fuses/cables, check voltages at the starter/solenoid, and change the O2 sensor.

Thanks!
J-S

Kroaler

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2015, 09:39:20 AM »
If you have a voltage meter , you can actually test the O2 sensor.    The internet has tons of guides on how to do it.  That way your not just tossing parts at it.

Also my other friend had a problem similar to yours on his 92 honda accord,  he had a manual transmission so he roll started it for 2 years before we finally found the problem.  It was a poor connection at the starter, took the wire off, cleaned it and re seated it and its started fine ever since.   

I had a long list typed up, but I found this link instead :

http://easyautodiagnostics.com/misc-index/starter-motor-on-car-tests-1
Tells you where to put your meter to test the starter and the wires and the ground.

Probably be better for you lol
« Last Edit: October 20, 2015, 09:54:19 AM by Kroaler »

fullpampers

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2015, 11:08:41 AM »
If you have a voltage meter , you can actually test the O2 sensor.    The internet has tons of guides on how to do it.  That way your not just tossing parts at it.

Also my other friend had a problem similar to yours on his 92 honda accord,  he had a manual transmission so he roll started it for 2 years before we finally found the problem.  It was a poor connection at the starter, took the wire off, cleaned it and re seated it and its started fine ever since.   

I had a long list typed up, but I found this link instead :

http://easyautodiagnostics.com/misc-index/starter-motor-on-car-tests-1
Tells you where to put your meter to test the starter and the wires and the ground.

Probably be better for you lol

Thanks!

I just checked how to test the O2 sensor. I'll give it a shot before buying one. I think either tomorrow or Tuesday I'll have a little time to get greasy and check things out on the car.

J-S

Syonyk

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2015, 11:26:16 AM »
This may be stupid, but I had identical symptoms once, and it turned out to be an O2 sensor.  It didn't get diagnosed until the car finally quit and wouldn't start at all.  :P

o.O  An O2 sensor shouldn't cause a no-start condition.  What kind of car?

If you have a voltage meter , you can actually test the O2 sensor.    The internet has tons of guides on how to do it.  That way your not just tossing parts at it.

On the older single wire ones, sure, but not on the newer wideband ones.

Though if you have a single wire O2 sensor and haven't personally had it replaced, replace it.  They get lazy long, long before they stop working enough to throw a code, and I've usually gained 2-4 mpg on older cars just by replacing a 100k+ mile O2 sensor.

Kroaler

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2015, 09:52:47 AM »
I didn't think about wideband O2 sensors.   Usually I think of turbo cars and tuners as having wide band.  I don't know for sure but I imagine a hyundai accent has the cheapest most basic form of o2 sensor money can buy lol. 

But again I agree with the other post, I don't see how an o2 sensor could cause a no start condition.  If anything, it would just get stuck in fuel enrichment mode, or whatever the cold operating specs are and you'd have terrible mpg, but it should still start.

Syonyk

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2015, 06:50:50 PM »
Anything modern has a wideband O2 sensor. :(  You can't meet emissions without it.

fullpampers

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2015, 02:42:48 PM »
So the car has not had any problems with starting since the charging/connection cleaning. Not sure if the problem is fixed, or it just hasn't happened yet. I'll keep an eye on this.

I changed the battery in my multi-meter, but I'm still getting 11,8 volts... When i have time I'll go back to the store to get the battery tested again, but I'll remember to remove the surface charge this time (forgot last time).

I cleaned the leads on the starter a couple of days ago. There was a little oxidation, but not that much.

The O2 sensor is 70$! i might change it eventually, but since it's not the problem, I'll leave it be for now.

On a side note, my wiper motor went bad this week and keeps blowing fuses. i tested without the motor plugged and the fuses did not blow. So I'm off to the scrap yard this monday to hopefully find a wiper motor, I'll scourge fro some other parts while I'm there.

And to what frequency should I put the battery on the charger? I don't use the car a whole lot. Is once a month good?

This has been a valuable learning experience!
Thanks for your help!
J-S

BlueMR2

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2015, 09:52:05 AM »
The O2 sensor is 70$! i might change it eventually, but since it's not the problem, I'll leave it be for now.

And to what frequency should I put the battery on the charger? I don't use the car a whole lot. Is once a month good?

That's a really cheap O2 sensor, must not be wideband after all.  Widebands are normally multiple hundreds of dollars.

eyePod

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2015, 10:50:19 AM »
I had a similar issue. Turned out my belt was shot and wasn't charging the battery well even though the alternator was fine.

Le Poisson

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2015, 11:04:52 AM »
And to what frequency should I put the battery on the charger? I don't use the car a whole lot. Is once a month good?

This has been a valuable learning experience!
Thanks for your help!
J-S

While you're at Crappy Tire look for a 2.5w solar charger that sits on your dash. Often they plug into the cigarette lighter to charge the battery. If your cigarette lighter doesn't work with the car off, you may need to wire it directly to the battery or a charge controller.

Going this way, the sun will keep the battery topped up and you won't need to worry about a start charge.

Syonyk

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2015, 08:37:58 PM »
^^ I've got a solar charger for my truck.  The brake controller & such are always on, so keeping the battery topped off is nice.  It pulls an insane amount of current to start.

Kroaler

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2015, 09:26:35 PM »
Plug in solar battery tenders, I never knew such things existed. Ive been enlightened lol.   I might have to go hunt for one just for fun.

Syonyk

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2015, 12:00:37 PM »
Harbor Freight has one for about $15.

fullpampers

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2015, 06:08:48 PM »
hmm, never thought of that. I'll look into the solar battery thingy.

Other that that, everything seems to be going okay for now, didn't have trouble starting yet. the wiper motor is changed, and i got a couple of fasteners, bolts, and plastic parts that were missing or broken while I was at the scrap yard.

Feels like I have a brand new 12 year old rust-mobile!

next summer, I'll try and do the tie-rods, balljoints and a little body work, see how long I can make this thing last.

Thanks!
J-S

Uturn

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2015, 06:44:03 PM »
Feels like I have a brand new 12 year old rust-mobile!

next summer, I'll try and do the tie-rods, balljoints and a little body work, see how long I can make this thing last.

Often the best way to learn.  When I was 15, I purposely bought a car with a bad motor.  Spent the summer rebuilding it just so that I could learn.  Had Dad buy beer for the mechanic down the street to help me out.  The BEST couple of cases of beer I ever bought.  It has saved me thousands over the years. 

Body work, do some web learning, then jump in.  I don't think even the worst body work mistakes can affect the safety of a car.

Tie-rods are pretty easy.  However, balljoints often require a special tool.  Sort of looks like a big ass bbq fork.  Auto parts store should let you borrow one. 

Like most things in life, you WILL screw some stuff up.  It's the cost of education.  You will strip some bolts because you don't know what tight is vs too tight.  You will cross thread some nuts because a lot in cars are fine thread and easy cross when in a hurry.  But eventually you can celebrate saving $1200 because you knew how to fix that $40 thingy that is in a $1200 spot. 

BlueMR2

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #34 on: October 29, 2015, 10:01:31 AM »
However, balljoints often require a special tool.  Sort of looks like a big ass bbq fork.  Auto parts store should let you borrow one. 

Called a "pickle fork" and they make several different sizes.  With the wrong size the job becomes very frustrating.  Make sure you get the right size...  :-)

fullpampers

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #35 on: October 29, 2015, 03:31:42 PM »
Feels like I have a brand new 12 year old rust-mobile!

next summer, I'll try and do the tie-rods, balljoints and a little body work, see how long I can make this thing last.

Often the best way to learn.  When I was 15, I purposely bought a car with a bad motor.  Spent the summer rebuilding it just so that I could learn.  Had Dad buy beer for the mechanic down the street to help me out.  The BEST couple of cases of beer I ever bought.  It has saved me thousands over the years. 

Body work, do some web learning, then jump in.  I don't think even the worst body work mistakes can affect the safety of a car.

Tie-rods are pretty easy.  However, balljoints often require a special tool.  Sort of looks like a big ass bbq fork.  Auto parts store should let you borrow one. 

Like most things in life, you WILL screw some stuff up.  It's the cost of education.  You will strip some bolts because you don't know what tight is vs too tight.  You will cross thread some nuts because a lot in cars are fine thread and easy cross when in a hurry.  But eventually you can celebrate saving $1200 because you knew how to fix that $40 thingy that is in a $1200 spot.

Up until now, I was able to borrow pretty much every specialty tool at Canadian Tire for free.

I'm getting pretty good at not breaking things while trying to fix them on the car. I have stripped my share of bolts on it already. I am really not a car person, but I enjoy working with my hands, and I am finding myself enjoying working on the car. and hopefully someday, someone will be buying ME beers!

Thanks!
J-S

Kroaler

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2015, 09:17:15 AM »
Car repair is a lost art.   And I keep hearing peeple say "I can't work on the new stuff, its too complicated" .      I like new stuff more, way easier to troubleshoot, IF you have an OBD reader and an App like torque pro where you can read the sensor values in real time.   

I imagine for someone without the OBD II reader, it is like a big magical black box of confusion when something doesn't work right lol.

FerrumB5

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2015, 09:41:36 AM »
Could also be a TPS (throttle positioning sensor). Or the wiring to it. Of course given your engine has it. If TPS reads abnormal values, it might not start the car. Just thinking out loud

Syonyk

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2015, 12:08:12 PM »
Car repair is a lost art.   And I keep hearing peeple say "I can't work on the new stuff, its too complicated" .      I like new stuff more, way easier to troubleshoot, IF you have an OBD reader and an App like torque pro where you can read the sensor values in real time.

Seriously.  The new stuff flat out tells you what's wrong.  I was working on a car for someone about a year ago - it wouldn't hold it's idle at all.  OBDII reader: "Idle air control fault."  Replace the idle air controller.  Perfect.

I've built more than one weird-ass assembly of LEDs, resistors, and plugs so I can read trouble codes off an older vehicle while driving.

An OBD-II dongle is cheap, and Torque or something is cheap as well.  $25, and the car will tell me what's wrong with it!  I'm OK with this tradeoff. :)

Though car repair is a lost art.  I literally know one person out here in the Seattle area who works on cars.  Everyone else just takes them in, because... I really don't know.  It's not like most stuff is that hard, though I think the HOAs and apartments tend to frown on working on cars.  I just ignore those rules and make sure I let my neighbors know if I'm making a dump run, and they're fine with me working on the truck.

It's a bit of a culture shock, though.  In Iowa, most of my friends worked on either cars or motorcycles.  We'd regularly caravan out to autocross events, or take ancient motorcycles on wonderful rides.  In New Mexico, I knew plenty of people who wrenched on their own motorcycles (and barely drove cars at all).  In the Seattle area?  Crickets.  Lots of video gamers, though.  Woo?

Le Poisson

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2015, 12:36:37 PM »
Car repair is a lost art.   And I keep hearing peeple say "I can't work on the new stuff, its too complicated" .      I like new stuff more, way easier to troubleshoot, IF you have an OBD reader and an App like torque pro where you can read the sensor values in real time.

Seriously.  The new stuff flat out tells you what's wrong.  I was working on a car for someone about a year ago - it wouldn't hold it's idle at all.  OBDII reader: "Idle air control fault."  Replace the idle air controller.  Perfect.

I've built more than one weird-ass assembly of LEDs, resistors, and plugs so I can read trouble codes off an older vehicle while driving.

An OBD-II dongle is cheap, and Torque or something is cheap as well.  $25, and the car will tell me what's wrong with it!  I'm OK with this tradeoff. :)

Though car repair is a lost art.  I literally know one person out here in the Seattle area who works on cars.  Everyone else just takes them in, because... I really don't know.  It's not like most stuff is that hard, though I think the HOAs and apartments tend to frown on working on cars.  I just ignore those rules and make sure I let my neighbors know if I'm making a dump run, and they're fine with me working on the truck.

It's a bit of a culture shock, though.  In Iowa, most of my friends worked on either cars or motorcycles.  We'd regularly caravan out to autocross events, or take ancient motorcycles on wonderful rides.  In New Mexico, I knew plenty of people who wrenched on their own motorcycles (and barely drove cars at all).  In the Seattle area?  Crickets.  Lots of video gamers, though.  Woo?

I've mentioned it on here before... Pre-mustachian me once had a 1999 Volvo C70 convertable, which I loved. It blew the turbo with such alarming regularity that I had no choice but to get rid of the car. Nothing feels as dumb as sitting in an intersection with a convertible spewing black smoke out the tail end and going noplace.

While I agree that an OBDII and diagnostic software can be a huge help with these things, there is no way I was going to keep that car and maintain the hassle and expense of rebuilding the turbo monthly. At the time I have a 150 km commute to work (75km each way) and by the time I got home at night I wasn't in a position to repair the car for the drive back in the next morning. That means a monthly bill of about $1200 to keep the car on the road.

While I did replace the ABS sensor in the car (shop quoted $1500, I got it for $200 and took 4 screws to fix) and do my own oil changes, there are still some things that circumstances dictate a shop do.

But yeah, I have a tonne of coworkers who can't change a tire and don't know how to open the hood of their cars. And I'm not talking about young kids with their first cars.

dess1313

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2015, 07:56:30 PM »
I am able to change my own oil, and swap out my own winter tires, as well as any flats i hopefully don't get.  Change a battery.   Change an air filter.  Past that its time for the shop.  That at least gets me by the most routine maintenance.  I know of lots who can't even change a tire too!

fullpampers

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2015, 03:52:21 PM »
So I just thought i'd wrap this up.

I thought I had fixed the problem but it started doing it again. I was in the process of taking out the starter to test it separately from the car and noticed a wire that had gotten by me on the first checkups. The push connector came off the wire when i pulled on it. So I cut the wire, changed the connector and gave it a try.

It's been about a month and the problem did not occur again.

So thanks for all the help!

J-S

HipGnosis

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #42 on: December 22, 2015, 12:06:12 PM »
I am able to change my own oil, and swap out my own winter tires, as well as any flats i hopefully don't get.  Change a battery.   Change an air filter.  Past that its time for the shop.  That at least gets me by the most routine maintenance.  I know of lots who can't even change a tire too!
You should be able to change your brake pads too.  And since you swap your summer/winter tires, you're half way there.

dess1313

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #43 on: December 24, 2015, 12:22:08 PM »
i had never looked at my brakes yet.  i have only a parking lot to use, so its a bit harder to do some things.  I'll consider them for the future maybe will have a garage in a few years will make it easier

Syonyk

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #44 on: December 24, 2015, 03:44:42 PM »
I've done a lot of brake pads in parking lots.  I used to pay for food doing things like that. :)  One's tolerance for doing brakes, spark plugs, oil changes, etc, onsite, in crappy conditions, improves significantly when that's paying for next week's grocery trip. :)

Drifterrider

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #45 on: February 01, 2016, 01:25:22 PM »
So I just thought i'd wrap this up.

I thought I had fixed the problem but it started doing it again. I was in the process of taking out the starter to test it separately from the car and noticed a wire that had gotten by me on the first checkups. The push connector came off the wire when i pulled on it. So I cut the wire, changed the connector and gave it a try.

It's been about a month and the problem did not occur again.

So thanks for all the help!

J-S

I have the same car with the same issue.  WHICH WIRE ON WHAT?????????????

fullpampers

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2016, 07:37:02 AM »
So I just thought i'd wrap this up.

I thought I had fixed the problem but it started doing it again. I was in the process of taking out the starter to test it separately from the car and noticed a wire that had gotten by me on the first checkups. The push connector came off the wire when i pulled on it. So I cut the wire, changed the connector and gave it a try.

It's been about a month and the problem did not occur again.

So thanks for all the help!

J-S

I have the same car with the same issue.  WHICH WIRE ON WHAT?????????????

For me it was a small wire at the back of the starter.

You can't see it from up top, and if you want to have room to work, you have to raise the car on ramps and crawl under.

On my starter I had the big power cable, and a smaller one the connects with a spade(?) connector on a little metal tab. I'm not even sure what it does (ground, relay, link to car computer, sensor of some sort,??)

my problem was the wire was barely holding on to the spade connector. I cleaned everything with wd-40 and fine sandpaper, cut the wire (don't cut too much mine was a tight fit), put a new connector on, reconnected the thing and sprayed a little lithium grease so it wouldn't rust as fast, and wrapped it in electrical tape (didn't have electrical shrink tube or I would've used that).

Hope this helps, if you have any questions don't hesitate. I'll try to answer to the best I can. I'm learning as I go on this and am by no means a mechanical reference...

I actually had some things I wanted to check out on the car since all the snow is melted here, and I though I'd have a look how the wire is holding up. If I get around to it, I'll snap a picture of the wire if that helps. But you honestly can't miss it.

good luck!

J-S


Drifterrider

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2016, 08:45:36 AM »
Thanks.  I've had the battery, starter and alternator load tested.  They all checked out well.  I thought it might be a dead spot on the starter but then I found this thread.  My dash clock doesn't normally work but it has come on three times (I've owned this car since October).  This tells me I have at least one loose wire. 

Where "here" is here for snow?

fullpampers

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #48 on: February 02, 2016, 09:00:43 AM »
Thanks.  I've had the battery, starter and alternator load tested.  They all checked out well.  I thought it might be a dead spot on the starter but then I found this thread.  My dash clock doesn't normally work but it has come on three times (I've owned this car since October).  This tells me I have at least one loose wire. 

Where "here" is here for snow?

Montreal, Canada.

Yesterday we had 10 degrees Celsius and the days before something like 6 degrees, I have days off tomorrow and the day after, if it's not raining I want to check the adjustments and bleed my brakes. they seem "loose" since a little bit.

Drifterrider

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #49 on: February 02, 2016, 12:06:44 PM »
I couldn't live up there in the winter.  I've seen pictures.  You guys measure annual snowfall in FEET (or meters). :)