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LastDeadLast
12-02-2006, 09:48 PM
OK, I've got a strange starting problem. Battery is about a year old, alternator is 2 days old (replacing one that was supposedly bad). My car doesn't seem to want to start when it's cold (when it's been sitting overnight). The starter turns but then dies, eventually going to just a click of the solenoid. I've had the battery checked at autozone and they say it's good, but I just had the car on a charger for 2 hours and it still doesn't have enough juice to turn the starter over (I've got a high-torque starter). If I jump the car, the engine starts normally. Once running the lights are bright. I've check the tightness of all my power connections from the alternator to the starter.

To me, despite what Autozone says, I think the battery is trash. What do you guys think?

12-02-2006, 10:02 PM
You checked all the connections are good right?
Not that they are tight, that they are all good. The reason I ask is that I had the bettery moved to the trunk and had a voltage drop that was only fixed when a faulty through bulkhead fitting was replaced.

Merlin63Tr4
12-02-2006, 10:05 PM
Sounds like the battery is toast. Did they check it under load or did they do just a voltage check ? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif

LastDeadLast
12-02-2006, 10:15 PM
Alan,

Yes, I checked all the connections. However, I'll do it again, maybe I missed something.

Merlin,

I watched them test the battery and they did load test it.

The battery reads 12.8 volts just sitting there. I'm going to put my meter on it and try to crank it just to see what happens.

YankeeTR
12-02-2006, 10:22 PM
The last shop I worked at used a load tester for their battery checks. Then the mfg. sent us a new electronic tester. The new tester would find bad batteries that load tested OK. It was tough for our old school service manager to swallow but he parked the load tester and eventually used the newer style exclusively.

My guess is a bad battery.

Merlin63Tr4
12-02-2006, 10:31 PM
As a quick test why don't you temporarily install the battery from the vehicle you a jump starting from in the Tr and see what happens. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hammer.gif

LastDeadLast
12-02-2006, 10:43 PM
Well, I put my meter on the car and cranked it.

Before Crank: 12.65v
During Crank (barely turned the motor): 3.65v
After Crank: 12.6v

If I put a charger on it, it immediately says "charged!!"

Looks like a got me a bad battery!

I'll replace it in the morning... maybe I can get a little seat time in tomorrow.

Andrew Mace
12-02-2006, 10:47 PM
I'll echo what Alan said: check all the major connections...and CLEAN them thoroughly. That includes the battery terminals and the other ends of each of the two battery cables, as well as any other main connections on the solenoid, starter and engine-to-ground.

LastDeadLast
12-02-2006, 10:56 PM
Andy,.. I checked and rechecked my connections... and grounds. There is no corrosion anywhere and I re-tightened everything. Based on the test above, I'm not sure what else the problem could be.

NickMorgan
12-03-2006, 08:05 AM
I have a friend who had a similar problem with a Triumph Vitesse. He fitted a 2.5 litre engine and also fuel injected it, but had terrible starting problems. He eventually traced it to the main cable from he battery to the starter that had started to break down internally. These faults are very often corroded connections, although then I would have thought that the starter would continue to turn slowly for longer.

YankeeTR
12-03-2006, 10:40 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I have a friend who had a similar problem with a Triumph Vitesse. He fitted a 2.5 litre engine and also fuel injected it, but had terrible starting problems. He eventually traced it to the main cable from he battery to the starter that had started to break down internally. These faults are very often corroded connections, although then I would have thought that the starter would continue to turn slowly for longer.

[/ QUOTE ]
Nick makes a good point...I've seen battery cables look good only to be corroded internally...

LastDeadLast
12-03-2006, 11:23 AM
Well, I took the battery back to Autozone and they load tested it again. The manager said it was good, however he still gave me a new one (interesting, they usually put up a fight).

I installed it and the car fired right up. Not sure if it's fixed now, but the old battery supposedly had a full charge too and yet it couldn't turn the motor over once.

Geo Hahn
12-03-2006, 11:27 AM
I usually buy the cheap batteries from WalMart... actually I think they were pretty well rated in a review awhile back.

Anyway, I have never found that batteries costing twice as much last twice as long.

martx-5
12-03-2006, 11:47 AM
[ QUOTE ]


Anyway, I have never found that batteries costing twice as much last twice as long.

[/ QUOTE ]

Depends on the TYPE of battery. The AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery in my '92 Miata is the original that came with the car and is still going strong. I'll be putting in an AGM in the TR3 when the resto is done and I go to fire it up. They work very well for a car that isn't driven often. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thirsty.gif

DougF
12-03-2006, 12:55 PM
Sometimes the plates inside the battery can loosen. They can work one minute and quit the next.
The majority of the batteries on the market are made by Exide. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand there are less than a handful of major battery manufacturers in the U.S.. There are some small regional mfrs. out there, but when you get down to it, we really don't have a lot to choose from.

YankeeTR
12-03-2006, 01:56 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Well, I took the battery back to Autozone and they load tested it again. The manager said it was good, however he still gave me a new one (interesting, they usually put up a fight).

I installed it and the car fired right up. Not sure if it's fixed now, but the old battery supposedly had a full charge too and yet it couldn't turn the motor over once.

[/ QUOTE ]
I THINK you've found the problem...

YankeeTR
12-03-2006, 02:05 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Sometimes the plates inside the battery can loosen. They can work one minute and quit the next.
The majority of the batteries on the market are made by Exide. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand there are less than a handful of major battery manufacturers in the U.S.. There are some small regional mfrs. out there, but when you get down to it, we really don't have a lot to choose from.

[/ QUOTE ]
The major players are Delphi, Exide, Fiamm, GS Yausu, Johnson Controls and Shin-Kobe.

For years Johnson Controls made the Sears Diehard...don't know if they still do...They also made the Motorcraft brand.

Geo Hahn
12-03-2006, 04:00 PM
FWIW, my Walmart batteries are from Johnson Controls, they are 'Hecho en Mexico'.

As for Autozone... I use one of their batteries in our VW camper and I have found them very easy to work with on an exchange (this when I was 3000 miles from home).