Author Topic: car has trouble starting... sometimes...  (Read 16171 times)

Le Poisson

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #50 on: February 02, 2016, 12:17:59 PM »
I couldn't live up there in the winter.  I've seen pictures.  You guys measure annual snowfall in FEET (or meters). :)

That's nothing, in Quebec City, they measure it in buried tourists. Then their satanic snowman "Bonhomme" comes out and dances on their snowy graves.

sisto

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #51 on: February 02, 2016, 04:33:27 PM »
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?
This sounds like a bad ground or bad ignition.

Drifterrider

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #52 on: February 03, 2016, 10:57:17 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?
This sounds like a bad ground or bad ignition.

I had thought that too.  I'll have to put it up on ramps and take a peek under.

JAYSLOL

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #53 on: February 06, 2016, 08:31:01 PM »
That's weird, I've got a 2006 Hyundai and twice in the 3 years I've owned it it just wouldn't start and would crank over for a while.  I would let it sit and try again, nothing.  Then i jump it and it starts fine, which is weird because it always seemed to have enough juice in the battery to turn over for long periods.  Anyway, it doesn't come up often and i always carry a set of jumper cables with me so I'm not too worried.

Blueeyes7767

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #54 on: February 06, 2016, 10:24:50 PM »
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?
I had similar problems with my car not too long ago.  Had everything tested.  The "One Day" I do not have my tools in the car and not close to a parts store. . . The starter went out completely.  Starter had tested fine just a week or two prior. 


Making Cookies

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #55 on: February 08, 2016, 10:22:25 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.

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?

THIS! I don't get people's rejection of learning a few things to save them sometimes huge money. They say the new cars are so complicated but changing the oil is much the same, so is changing brake pads, replacing a radiator, water pump, starter...

I think of these guys frequently: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EzDRpkfaO4

Tough until things go wrong... ;)

Making Cookies

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #56 on: February 08, 2016, 10:25:50 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?

You might just have a bum clock. My Honda's digital clock has a documented cold solder joint problem. We lived with it for a decade only getting the time in the spring and fall. We started joking about it. Honey - I saw the clock today! Spring must be here...

I resoldered it and it worked for a long time. Has started doing the occasional thing again. Not sure I'm motivated to fix it again. Car is ~16 years old.

Making Cookies

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #57 on: February 08, 2016, 10:42:01 AM »
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).

The basic starter config is a heavy duty cable coming from the positive side of the battery directly. The little wire you mentioned comes from the key by way of any interlocks (neutral/park switch on automatics or the clutch pedal switch on the manual transmission cars).

If the battery is good, and if the starter spins happily but you have an occasional no-start situation then you need to put a test meter on the little wire connection (meter = red lead on the little spade wire connection, black lead on the chassis somewhere clean) and see if you are getting 12V+ when the ignition key is in the start position.

If you have 12V+ and no starter action then the starter solenoid (looks like the smaller horizonatal can attached to the big can of the starter) is probably bad or stuck. You can tap on it lightly with a hammer while the key is in the start position and see if it comes to life. My old Beetle had this problem on hot days.

You could have a bad commutator in the starter and depending on what position the starter stopped at when last used - the brushes may be trying to power that bad spot on the commutator. Take the starter apart and test each commutator (continuity test), see if you need new brushes or skip all that and buy a rebuilt starter. I prefer to use a local shop that specializes in rebuilding starters and alternators. Just take it off and take it to them. Or - buy one from a junkyard and rebuild it. Keep your original starter and rebuild it too after the car is running and you have a spare on the shelf in case you need it.

If you don't get juice at this terminal, then go backwards and test the power out of the safety interlocks and key switch. My VW Cabrio "eats" an ignition switch every few years and this is the behavior - no start but it usually fails randomly for a few weeks before it fails completely. Since it is a 5 speed manual transmission I can roll start the car to get home. Replacement is $15 and takes 30 minutes.

You can bypass the ignition switch and interlocks temporarily by using some spare wire connected from the 12V+ side of the battery and then just touch that spade terminal briefly and the car (if the starter is good) will crank over. What the fingers and toes, don't get run over, and don't let the wire get wrapped up in the moving parts of the engine or burn through by touching the exhaust. Some starters are made so you can do this with a screwdriver carrying power from the big red cable terminal on the starter to the solenoid. It always sparks at the same time the engine tries to start so try to be prepared and don't get run over or bump your head.

If financial times are tough, you can run that wire inside the car to a horn button (momentary button) and then back out to the starter and start the car. Turn the key on, press and hold the button until the car starts. Beware because the car will still rollover (crank over) without the key turned on but it won't start.

I love working on cars and talking about working on cars. By day I'm an engineer but by night I'm spinning wrenches.

Drifterrider

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #58 on: February 08, 2016, 11:33:09 AM »
You know you are a bad influence.  Now I'm going to have to print the page and spend my Friday trouble shooting.  I don't like doing that any longer (old knees, back, hips) but I really hate paying someone else to do what I can do.  And it is a very low car so even up on ramps space is at a premium (I am not anorexic).

Making Cookies

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Re: car has trouble starting... sometimes...
« Reply #59 on: February 08, 2016, 07:53:34 PM »
I'm right there with you. Sometimes laying on the cold driveway, the positions required to reach whatever, or reaching into tiny places can be a challenge. Not enjoying being upside down in the front seat working under the dash like I did as a teen. ;) Took my car in for a fuel pump to a country mechanic last week b/c the weather sapped my motivation to lay in the driveway in January and fix it myself. ;)

I'm sure I left out details on your starter b/c I was writing from work and in a rush. If I can clarify anything, please holler.