Not starting

Leads, coils, plugs, starters, starting probs etc.

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Not starting

Postby LittleRob » Wed 12.07.2017, 19:33

I've not used the Elan for a while, and have got out of the habit of periodically running it. However, it is plugged in via a battery optimiser thingy.

Today when I try to start it, on turning the ignition key I get a rapid ticking/cracking sound, but nothing that sounds like ignition.

The batteries do seem to be OK. Any ideas?

Rob
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Re: Not starting

Postby Rambo » Wed 12.07.2017, 21:08

Batteries ? As far as I know there is only one :roll:

Does the fuel pump whirr for a few seconds when you start the ignition ?

Sounds like too low a voltage in the battery to me.

My initial suggestion would be to remove the battery, charge to full voltage overnight and then see if engine fires up. Because you haven't used your car for weeks/months it sounds like you have a goosed battery
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Re: Not starting

Postby Rambo » Wed 12.07.2017, 21:14

If it starts up after an overnight charge the battery may still be ok. Best anyway to take it to a motor factor to get it checked out properly

It could still we'll be the fuel pump ( do you get a 3 second whirr on turning the ignition?) or possibly even the starter motor

My money's on the battery :wink:
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Re: Not starting

Postby Dave Eds » Wed 12.07.2017, 21:33

Sounds like starter motor if it still happens when you've charged the battery. 4th gear rock?

Rob, I'm around tomorrow afternoon if you need it jump started, push started, or just want to try it with my spare fully charged battery. As long as I get to Burton End from yours by 7.30pm, I'm happy to help.
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Re: Not starting

Postby Steve A » Wed 12.07.2017, 21:44

:agree: fuel pump noise then starter motor turns the engine
"If everything is under control, you are going too slow."
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Re: Not starting

Postby John_W » Wed 12.07.2017, 21:57

My guess is the battery also, but if all electrical systems show full power (headlights etc) it might be a stuck starter motor. Dunno how you get to it on an Elan to thump it, so you might try rocking it free with the car in gear (ignition off).
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Re: Not starting

Postby rip » Thu 13.07.2017, 08:51

Another possibility is a bad earth.
1 sign of this is if the oil pressure gauge shows maximum when the key is turned.
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Re: Not starting

Postby LittleRob » Thu 13.07.2017, 10:27

Thanks for the replies guys. As I say, its been on a battery optimiser, and I did try jump leads from the other car. That said, the jump leads are pretty poor. I've another pair that are better. I'll get those out and try again.

In the pat (before the optimiser) when the battery was dead it would be obviously poor.e.g. The dash lights would dim when trying to start. Its certainly not as bad as that.

I'll get back to you when had another go.

Rob
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Re: Not starting

Postby Rambo » Thu 13.07.2017, 14:18

Your battery can still be goosed if on a conditioner (mine was recently and it turned out to be caused by parasitic battery drain from a knackered alternator :? )

Check simple things first. Take the battery out, charge it fully, take it to a motor factor for a free test. If all is ok, whip it back into the battery compartment. Listen for the 2-3 seconds whirr from the fuel pump before starting. If you don't hear the fuel pump you will then need to investigate the fuel pump side of things

Of course it could still be a starter motor or earthing problem but my money is still on low battery voltage hence the rapid ticking/cracking when you attempt to fire up
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Re: Not starting

Postby LittleRob » Wed 19.07.2017, 15:07

Took a little while, but I finally managed to remember to get the 2nd set of (mega) jump-leads out of the other car. I was then able to start the Elan via a jump.

It ran OK, and I took her for a spin ~ 20-30 mins. Got back, switched off, switched on - dead as a dodo.

So, I guess that the battery is toast (its been on an optimiser so should have been kept in good condition, but its probably 10 years old (That's a guess, I think we've had the car ~ 22/23 years)

Any recommendations for a replacement?

Rob
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Re: Not starting

Postby Rambo » Wed 19.07.2017, 16:30

Carbatteries on line https://carbatteries-online.co.uk/?s=s4 ... er=s=s4004

I bought one (Bosch S4004) from them back in Dec. 2016 for £63 inc. VAT, fitting and next day delivery. Fits and works a treat. Fantastic service

Looks like they've gone up a lot in 7 months :?
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Re: Not starting

Postby lotusflasherman » Wed 19.07.2017, 23:39

LittleRob wrote:its been on an optimiser so should have been kept in good condition, but its probably 10 years old (That's a guess, I think we've had the car ~ 22/23 years) Rob


I think you're expecting a lot from any optimiser. They are only 'intelligent chargers' that know to stop charging when the volts are OK and start again when volts drop. (Other chargers just keep charging and will quickly evaporate the electrolyte). Optimisers are OK for several weeks but not for very long term - best way is to use the battery in a car.

A car battery is a lead acid starting battery, not designed for deep discharge but able to deliver high current for a short period, completely different to traction or UPS batteries,(Uninterruptible Power Supply, not the delivery company) :lol: Those are designed to provide a lower current over a much longer period. One of the problems with static lead acid batteries is the electrolyte is dilute sulphuric acid and when trickle charged suffers 'stratification' where the heavier acid molecules formed when charging sink to the bottom and water molecules collect at the top. Doesn't do the battery much good but won't happen when the car is being used as it 'jiggles around' and slops about under braking, acceleration and cornering.

I've got an SE on SORN and the battery from that goes into my daily drive for a few months and the one that's out sits on a CTEK ... You've just reminded me it's about time I swapped them over..
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Re: Not starting

Postby Rambo » Thu 20.07.2017, 08:57

You're also expecting a lot from the battery. I find about 6-7 years is about usual. Anything else is a benefit

Once you have bought you're new battery and started her up, check that the alternator is putting the correct charge back into the battery just in case. I think it should be about 13.5 - 14.5 V but I'm sure Phil will correct me if I'm wrong :wink:
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Re: Not starting

Postby Saltire » Thu 20.07.2017, 09:10

LittleRob wrote:Took a little while, but I finally managed to remember to get the 2nd set of (mega) jump-leads out of the other car. I was then able to start the Elan via a jump.

It ran OK, and I took her for a spin ~ 20-30 mins. Got back, switched off, switched on - dead as a dodo.

So, I guess that the battery is toast (its been on an optimiser so should have been kept in good condition, but its probably 10 years old (That's a guess, I think we've had the car ~ 22/23 years)

Any recommendations for a replacement?

Rob


Bosch or Yuasa for my money. Have had good results with each, and I think they may even be effectively the same battery with different labels.

:agree: that 6-7 years is a good life for a battery, and even if they haven't got to that stage,it's amazing how much difference a new battery makes to starting capability. My Boxster RS60 used to start fine, but took a lot of cranking. My local mechanic suggested we try a new battery ("just for fun") and it started immediately. That was in early 2014, and the car was registered in 2008.
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Re: Not starting

Postby LittleRob » Sat 05.08.2017, 13:08

Thanks for all the help guys. I've finally got round to changing the battery and she started and runs beautifully.

Whilst I feel bad about not using the car enough, I do find that after a prolonged break, I've forgotten just how fast she is and how well she corners ;-)

Rob
PS And just as I parked back in the garage the first rolls of thunder happened, so I think I timed that well!
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