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Non start this morning!

Discussion in 'General car Chat' started by Lunchmoney, 9 February 2017.

  1. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney Road Burner

    Messages:
    495
    From:
    Bournemouth
    Car:
    '98 JDM Impreza STI
    Gah!
    Running late, rush out of the house.
    Rush back into the house to get lunch and car keys.
    Hit button for locking on car. Nothing.
    Try again. Nothing.

    Uh oh.....


    I can see the alarm light is out so I manually unlock the car and, with a certain trepidation, put the key in the ignition and turn.

    Nothing.

    At all.

    No dash lights, courtesy light, anything. Let alone a running engine.

    Balls.


    First thing, get a neighbour to bring their car over and hook up jump leads. Still nothing going on.

    Leave it for a few minutes and check again and we have dash lights. Still nothing else, just a ticking coming from the ignition. A relay, maybe?

    Bigger balls.



    Get a lift to work and call my garage.
    It's going in for service and MOT next week, but if I bring it (somehow) can they look at this problem? Sure.


    Just need to get it to the garage, which is 7 miles from home....

    First world problems...
     
  2. T9 man

    T9 man TC Pro Founder Moderator

    Messages:
    20,095
    From:
    London, UK
    Car:
    Saab 9-3SS T9
    It could well be that the battery is so dead that it will not accept a boost charge or jump start.
    Do you have a breakdown cover with any of the big boys or with your insurance provider?
     
    TCJBOLDIE likes this.
  3. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney Road Burner

    Messages:
    495
    From:
    Bournemouth
    Car:
    '98 JDM Impreza STI
    Don't think it includes home start. Something to look up.


    Dead battery was first thought and then I recall replacing it a few months ago due to a similar problem. It appears that it wasn't the battery last time and probably isn't this time :(

    Could be the alternator or ignition system, or something else I've not yet thought of :(
     
  4. T9 man

    T9 man TC Pro Founder Moderator

    Messages:
    20,095
    From:
    London, UK
    Car:
    Saab 9-3SS T9
    Well when a battery is replaced by a professional, the first thing to do after it has been fitted is to test that the alternator is putting the correct charge back into the battery. Double check the earth lead back on to the car body work/chassis is clean and sound. Then have the chap check for any excess drain on the battery that you are not aware of, a courtesy light staying on, an alarm that wants more than it's fair share of your battery contents. This is particularly a problem and always rears it's ugly head when the weather gets very cold and the battery is at it's most vulnerable.
     
    TCJBOLDIE, Yugguy and Lunchmoney like this.
  5. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney Road Burner

    Messages:
    495
    From:
    Bournemouth
    Car:
    '98 JDM Impreza STI
    Update.

    I took the battery out and charged it overnight.
    Plugged it all back in this morning and the engine fired up right away - so it was a dead battery. Good to eliminate things like fault starters etc.

    I dropped the car off at my garage on the way to work and give them a quick overview.
    They suspect the battery is fine as it took a charge and worked this morning.
    Likely culprit is a parasitic drain or alternator. They are going to investigate and let me know.

    Most annoyingly my car keeps going off the road when I have a lengthy trip planned, so now we have to use the wifelet's Hyundai I20 this weekend. Whilst it will save fuel costs we both agree my car is more comfortable (despite, or maybe because of, the stiffer suspension, but definitely because of the better seats) and is preferred for any journey over an hour.
     
  6. T9 man

    T9 man TC Pro Founder Moderator

    Messages:
    20,095
    From:
    London, UK
    Car:
    Saab 9-3SS T9
    Hi LM, firstly that is good news about the battery, BUT, there is a big difference between a battery accepting a charge overnight and holding on to that charge for a period of time. They can do a discharge test on the battery which will help to determine the strength of the cells and their condition. Fingers crossed for you sir that the fault "The correct one" is found quickly and more importantly that it does not empty the wallet. |B
     
    Lunchmoney likes this.
  7. TCJBOLDIE

    TCJBOLDIE Pro Tuner

    Messages:
    3,784
    From:
    Brisbane
    Car:
    JB Starion
    Has the car been checked for battery draining OR stray current discharge with everything turned off ?

    Every time I have had battery trouble has been in winter and have a jump starter in my auto trans 4X4 daily driver so am not left stranded miles from help.
     
    Last edited: 12 February 2017
  8. obi_waynne

    obi_waynne Administrator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    40,004
    From:
    Deal, Kent UK
    Car:
    A3 2.0 TDI
    How annoying, I hope you get to the bottom of this.
     
  9. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney Road Burner

    Messages:
    495
    From:
    Bournemouth
    Car:
    '98 JDM Impreza STI
    My garage have it and I would hope they look for all these things. I've not had any news yet.
     
  10. obi_waynne

    obi_waynne Administrator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    40,004
    From:
    Deal, Kent UK
    Car:
    A3 2.0 TDI
    Keep us posted buddy!
     
  11. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney Road Burner

    Messages:
    495
    From:
    Bournemouth
    Car:
    '98 JDM Impreza STI
    Update!
    My garage have had the car for a week and kept it indoors. Every morning they started it up and it fired first time, every time, bar one morning.
    At least I'm not going crazy.

    Their working theory now is the alarm system is draining the main battery.
    As I understand it the alarm (Clifford Concept 600) has it's own battery that charges off the car battery.
    They suspect a resistor is moist and this is short circuiting something and causing drain. I don't really understand electricals so I may not be explaining exactly what they said.

    They are going to keep it for a few days (probably another week at this rate as MOT test is booked for next friday) and keep searching and testing.
     
  12. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney Road Burner

    Messages:
    495
    From:
    Bournemouth
    Car:
    '98 JDM Impreza STI
    A cursory google search suggests this is a know problem as this alarm ages (it's 4-5 years old, can't recall exact date it was installed). The siren battery can't hold a charge and keeps draining the main battery.
    hmmm...
     
  13. T9 man

    T9 man TC Pro Founder Moderator

    Messages:
    20,095
    From:
    London, UK
    Car:
    Saab 9-3SS T9
    Very likely LM, the inbuilt battery in the Clifford is a self contained unit, the purpose of this is to sound an alarm should the rascal thieves stretch their hand up under the car with a pair of cutters and cut your battery lead; this then immobilises the alarm. The only way for the alarm battery to stay charged and ready, is to trickle charge off the main car battery. The quickest way to test for this is to unplug the loom from the rear of the alarm unit if it is that version. Some alarm units do not use looms with plug & socket connections and instead have long hard wired connections directly into the alarm unit. But, what all these alarms should have, is a key switch on the alarm itself or a hidden switch that disables the alarm battery for car services etc.
     
  14. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney Road Burner

    Messages:
    495
    From:
    Bournemouth
    Car:
    '98 JDM Impreza STI
    Got my car back this morning and I've gone through a half tank of fuel having a fun drive :)

    Sailed through MOT with just a little welding needed around the rear passenger side jack point and a new passenger side steering joint thingamajigger.


    But on the subject of the electrical drain... They couldn't find anything wrong with the car itself or the car's electrical systems and, by process of elimination, determined it is the alarm's siren battery. Unfortunately they cant work on car alarms :(

    I've spoken to Clifford and they do sell the siren blocks separately and the battery is self contained. The whole unit needs to be replaced - £89.99 direct from Clifford.
    I've also called the guy that installed the alarm when I bought the car (and now waiting for a call back) in the hope that he will be able to get one and replace the unit. Of course if he can't get one I can get it myself and just get him to install.

    The tale of woe that is my electrical problem is soon to be over. Hopefully. Then I can start on sourcing rear arches.
     
  15. T9 man

    T9 man TC Pro Founder Moderator

    Messages:
    20,095
    From:
    London, UK
    Car:
    Saab 9-3SS T9
    Marvellous news, nearly there now LM |B
     
  16. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney Road Burner

    Messages:
    495
    From:
    Bournemouth
    Car:
    '98 JDM Impreza STI
    Update!

    Had the auto electrician out this morning, the same chap who installed the Clifford alarm a few years back.

    He tests the alarm for some time and can find nothing wrong with it. So he goes to work on the rest of the electrical systems.

    First thing is to test the load on the battery - 380milli-amps (ma). Too high.

    Over the next hour we go over every electrical system in the car, turning them off one by one and retesting the battery draw. Eventually we see the draw drop to 38ma. A more acceptable and expected number.
    The culprit? It appears to be a malfunctioning powered radio antenna. There is a motor to raise and lower the antenna which has never worked in all the time I've owned the car. It makes a whirring noise, but doesn't do anything. I've never cared. However, this morning when he unplugged it the draw on the battery dropped.

    For reasons unknown (probably just age related, car is 19 years old now) the motor appeared to be drawing amps even when it appeared to be doing nothing.

    I've driven to work this morning and hopefully I'll drive home tonight. The real test will be in the morning. If the car starts we may have solved the mystery power drain!

    Of course, if it doesn't start.....
     
    obi_waynne likes this.
  17. T9 man

    T9 man TC Pro Founder Moderator

    Messages:
    20,095
    From:
    London, UK
    Car:
    Saab 9-3SS T9
    Well it looks like you are almost there LM, good luck sir |B
     
  18. Rudders666

    Rudders666 Torque Master

    Messages:
    842
    From:
    West Yorkshire
    Car:
    Ford Focus ST300+
    Always nice to find n fix a problem
     
  19. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney Road Burner

    Messages:
    495
    From:
    Bournemouth
    Car:
    '98 JDM Impreza STI
    And,...... Dead this morning
     
  20. Rudders666

    Rudders666 Torque Master

    Messages:
    842
    From:
    West Yorkshire
    Car:
    Ford Focus ST300+
    Ah balls
     
    T9 man likes this.
  21. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney Road Burner

    Messages:
    495
    From:
    Bournemouth
    Car:
    '98 JDM Impreza STI
    I plugged the battery into a mains charger and it wasn't as dead as it was the other morning, so there is less parasitic drain, but still far too much.

    I've call the auto-electrician again, just waiting for a call back to arrange a time to come out and investigate. Again :(
     
  22. T9 man

    T9 man TC Pro Founder Moderator

    Messages:
    20,095
    From:
    London, UK
    Car:
    Saab 9-3SS T9
  23. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney Road Burner

    Messages:
    495
    From:
    Bournemouth
    Car:
    '98 JDM Impreza STI
    The chap who installed the alarm and came out to try to fix is at a loss, so this morning I have dropped the car off at another auto-electrician who may be more successful.
     
  24. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney Road Burner

    Messages:
    495
    From:
    Bournemouth
    Car:
    '98 JDM Impreza STI
    Auto-electrician cant find anything wrong and suggests getting a new battery. When I mentioned it was only 3 months old, after replacing one that was about 9 months old, he suggested getting a different brand from somewhere else. Not the most helpful, but right now I'll try anything.
     
  25. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney Road Burner

    Messages:
    495
    From:
    Bournemouth
    Car:
    '98 JDM Impreza STI
    Car has started first time every time for the past week, now.

    I'm beginning to think it is just these guys [​IMG]

    For now the problem appears to have gone away, maybe it was just the cold. I have other things to worrying about so this goes to the bottom of the list for now.
     
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