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Old 03-05-2008, 06:17 PM   #1
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WTF? Battery, starter, ignition switch, other?

March is shaping up to be as much of a bitch of a month as February was for me and my '95 Aero. Yesterday I get in to go to work, turn the key, get ignition lights, turn to start and nothing. Turn the key again, she fires right up. Go out last night in the pounding friggin' rain and same thing but this time I'm fucking with the terminals and shit for 45 minutes before it finally spins the starter and fires up. I get home, shut it off and it starts right up. This morning NOTHING! Now, once again, I have all lights, buzzers, chimes, etc. Headlights are ok, but turn the key to start and just multiple relays clicking away and things buzzing in the dash that I've never heard before and that's it. It's a 3 year old Optima battery and my Fluke says it's got just under 12 volts.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:28 PM   #2
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Is the 12 volts under load?

Relays clicking like that sometimes mean they arnt getting enough electricity to close the coil.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:30 PM   #3
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[QUOTE=dan-the-kid;410941]Is the 12 volts under load?

No, it's straight off the posts.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:35 PM   #4
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Whats the voltage off the display when the car is running? As long as its around 14V then your battery/charging system should be OK.

If your voltage is good then you would want to look into the ignition switch/wiring.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:36 PM   #5
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Last night, on the way home, it was 13.2. That's with lights, radio, etc.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:45 PM   #6
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That maybe a bit low, but some one will have to confirm on this.

If you have a spare battery to try, go for it. Or next time your car is left out for a while, hook it up to another car, as if you jump it. (This is just an idea, not sure how great of an idea with a good batt) If the car starts right up, then it maybe the battery. If not, the wiring/ign switch.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:55 PM   #7
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a battery issue is not going to be intermittent like that.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:59 PM   #8
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How old is the ignition switch itself?

Thats what my guess is.
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:10 PM   #9
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Oh, another good question (since I was dealing with a similar situation last night)...

Have you tested the voltage at the yellow wire the acuates the solenoid on the starter? I pretty much rules out relays, switches, etc by testing that and seeing 12v when the key was turned to the start position.
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mcrowley View Post
How old is the ignition switch itself?

Thats what my guess is.
Who knows? The car, as you know, has 315K miles on it and I didn't get any records- short of knowing it had a new TD04.
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:12 PM   #11
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Oh, another good question (since I was dealing with a similar situation last night)...

Have you tested the voltage at the yellow wire the acuates the solenoid on the starter? I pretty much rules out relays, switches, etc by testing that and seeing 12v when the key was turned to the start position.
I did not. That'll be on my list for tomorrow. I'll also pull the Ignition Switch from the '91 out back.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:55 PM   #12
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Ignition switch is my guess as well, especially with extra relays and noises when ignition is switched. 13.2V with the engine running, using headlights and accessories, is perfectly normal and OK. 12V also should leave your battery plenty of capacity to start the car several times, and a simple low battery would still allow the starter to turn, unless completely dead.

Typically the ignition switches act up more in higher ambient temperatures, but at 315k miles, pretty much anything is possible.

It could also be a lazy starter or poor connection on the solenoid wire, as JK notes.
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:26 AM   #13
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Ignition switch is my guess
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:57 AM   #14
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I'm going through the same thing with my daughters 89 9000. I hace checked the voltage at the starter already. I think I've got a dead spot on the armature or bad brushes in the starter. My problem is that all my cars are covered in snow untill the shit melts.
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:39 PM   #15
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It's looking very much like the starter. I changed out the ignition switch and still got nothing. Jumped it from another car and still nothing.
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:31 AM   #16
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Update! Got the starter out of the car, discover it's already a Bosch factory rebuilt and looks brand new. Jerry rigged it to the very same battery, and it spun right over- no hesitation at all. So, I start looking at bad or loose grounds. Sure enough, the damn ground on the tranny was loose as a goose. Tighten it up, put the starter back in, the car fires right up! Son of a bitch!
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:59 AM   #17
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Doh!

Isn't it fun spending all that time trying to find a problem when the obvious solution is right in front of you?

We've all been there...
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:15 AM   #18
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Doh!

Isn't it fun spending all that time trying to find a problem when the obvious solution is right in front of you?

We've all been there...
I KNEW it had to be something related to the tranny job. It was just too much of a coincidence.
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