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Old 15th February 2013, 12:39   #46
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Default Re: "My Car Won't Start" | What To Do

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From what you have reported till now, a few thoughts and to-do's come to mind:

1. Is the battery draining out due to a short/something that continues to run in the car when you pull out the key? Use a multimeter to check for current drain from the battery, and how much. 200-300mA is fine, 500mA is acceptable, But anything more is likely to make a fully charged battery flat in a few hours.

2. Since you hear a click but the starter motor does not turn (especially when hot), it could be that the carbon brushes on the starter motor have worn down, and you need a stater motor service to get it back to normal again. It's 10 years old after all.

3. Check charging current and voltage at the battery terminals with a multimeter, with the engine running.
Thanks SST. In fact, here's the results of points 1 and 3
1. Multimeter recorded 0 mA (when multimeter dial set to 20 mA). Readings were not stable when multimeter set at 200 mA.
Conclusion - even if there is a leak in the electrical circuit , it is minimal.

3. Voltage at battery terminals
a) resting voltage : 12.4 V (engine not fired up at-all 12 hours prior to measurement).
b) With engine running : 14.65 V

On point 2) I have called up MGF Hyundai and asked them to get the self overhauled - expect to have this done tomorrow -and will update.

Now I am leaning toward the view, it could be a Self issue. The reason is on several occasions last year the car would not start easily after having been turned off at the traffic lights. It would usually need several tries of turning the ignition on - before coming to life.
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Old 15th February 2013, 19:15   #47
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Default Re: "My Car Won't Start" | What To Do

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On point 2) I have called up MGF Hyundai and asked them to get the self overhauled - expect to have this done tomorrow -and will update.
IMO, all Hyundai (and any other manufacturer's) ASCs are downright incompetent when it comes to simple things like servicing a self starter. Their policy as well as training is to replace rather than repair. Hence, a commutator that's slightly worn out will mean the whole armature is changed. Carbon brushes are not replaced, the whole plate is chucked out and a new one put in. In extremis, you are advised to replace the whole starter motor.

I therefore much prefer visiting my FNG (Friendly Neighborhood Garage (FNG) - Imtiaz & Ayub (New Delhi)) for such jobs. The bill is far more reasonable, and the resultant outcome is as good as it gets.

The final choice, however, lies with you.
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Old 15th February 2013, 20:08   #48
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Default Re: "My Car Won't Start" | What To Do

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IMO, all Hyundai (and any other manufacturer's) ASCs are downright incompetent when it comes to simple things like servicing a self starter. Their policy as well as training is to replace rather than repair. Hence, a commutator that's slightly worn out will mean the whole armature is changed. Carbon brushes are not replaced, the whole plate is chucked out and a new one put in. In extremis, you are advised to replace the whole starter motor.

I therefore much prefer visiting my FNG (Friendly Neighborhood Garage (FNG) - Imtiaz & Ayub (New Delhi)) for such jobs. The bill is far more reasonable, and the resultant outcome is as good as it gets.

The final choice, however, lies with you.
SST - thanks to your post, contacted Ayub - whose workshop is a stone's throw away from my place (CR Park). I have decided to skip Hyundai in favour of this person. I second your opinion about getting the right guy for the job - but unfortunately owing to a busy work schedule never had the time to search out a person who is an expert.
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Old 25th February 2013, 13:56   #49
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Default Re: "My Car Won't Start" | What To Do

Had a similar issue with my 2004 WagonR Lxi last night. At first, the headlights dimmed completely, the speedo console lights went off and the needles jumped up and down a couple of times. The engine kept running all the time, but suddenly it died after driving for another 10 mins (3-4 kms). It won't crank at all after that. Thankfully it was with in a 100 yards of my place, so just pushed the car to a safe parking spot and left it there.

Suspected the battery (replaced last in July 2010 - Amaron sealed) and called the Exide Batmobile guys in the morning. They came very promptly (+1 to Exide) and diagnosed that the alternator isn't giving out the right current - it was 11.9 something as compared to 14 plus. They jump started the car and asked me to get the battery charged and then take it to a service center.

Need advice - should I take the car to a Maruti SS or a visit to the neighborhood electrician is good enough? It doesn't look like the battery is an issue here (at least that's what the Exide guy said).
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Old 25th February 2013, 15:16   #50
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Default Re: "My Car Won't Start" | What To Do

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Need advice - should I take the car to a Maruti SS or a visit to the neighborhood electrician is good enough? It doesn't look like the battery is an issue here (at least that's what the Exide guy said).
Nkapoor777- my advise would be as follows:
a) Send your old battery for charging - the neighbourhood battery sellers do this for a small fee (in Delhi this is about Rs 150/-)
b) Ask the guy to provide a stand-by battery,
i) Start the car with the battery
ii) With the car running, disconnect the battery terminals.
c) Drive cautiously to the auto-electrician - and tell him you have an alternator problem (seems this has been confirmed by the Exide guy)

d) Let him diagnose the true cause of the alternator not providing the right Voltage - here are some possible causes
i) worn out belt hence not spinning at the right rpm
ii) AC/DC rectifier maybe faulty - diodes may need replacement
iii) abnormal sound inside - usually indicative of either bearing failure or rotor failure
iv) Any other problem such as failure of voltage regulator, brushes, coil winding, stator, or terminals leading to poor power generation

With a small fix , your alternator maybe able to give you many more miles of troublefree service - so visiting the main dealer without first understanding the real issue, may be expensive and time-consuming affair.
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Old 25th February 2013, 15:36   #51
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Default Re: "My Car Won't Start" | What To Do

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Nkapoor777- my advise would be as follows:
a) Send your old battery for charging - the neighbourhood battery sellers do this for a small fee (in Delhi this is about Rs 150/-)
b) Ask the guy to provide a stand-by battery,
i) Start the car with the battery
ii) With the car running, disconnect the battery terminals.
c) Drive cautiously to the auto-electrician - and tell him you have an alternator problem (seems this has been confirmed by the Exide guy)

d) Let him diagnose the true cause of the alternator not providing the right Voltage - here are some possible causes
i) worn out belt hence not spinning at the right rpm
ii) AC/DC rectifier maybe faulty - diodes may need replacement
iii) abnormal sound inside - usually indicative of either bearing failure or rotor failure
iv) Any other problem such as failure of voltage regulator, brushes, coil winding, stator, or terminals leading to poor power generation

With a small fix , your alternator maybe able to give you many more miles of troublefree service - so visiting the main dealer without first understanding the real issue, may be expensive and time-consuming affair.
Thanks joybhowmik for the reply. I plan to give the battery for charging later today and take it from there. Now that you mention, I remember that the Exide guy also told me to get the fan belt checked. I also found a little extra play (seemed loose) there. This could be the culprit in this case. Though the belt was replaced in 2010 at 60k kms service. My Waggy has run a little over 75k kms now with regular service at 5000 kms or 12 months whichever is earlier.
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Old 25th March 2013, 17:35   #52
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Default Re: "My Car Won't Start" | What To Do

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Originally Posted by nkapoor777 View Post
Had a similar issue with my 2004 WagonR Lxi last night. At first, the headlights dimmed completely, the speedo console lights went off and the needles jumped up and down a couple of times. The engine kept running all the time, but suddenly it died after driving for another 10 mins (3-4 kms). It won't crank at all after that. Thankfully it was with in a 100 yards of my place, so just pushed the car to a safe parking spot and left it there.

Suspected the battery (replaced last in July 2010 - Amaron sealed) and called the Exide Batmobile guys in the morning. They came very promptly (+1 to Exide) and diagnosed that the alternator isn't giving out the right current - it was 11.9 something as compared to 14 plus. They jump started the car and asked me to get the battery charged and then take it to a service center.

Need advice - should I take the car to a Maruti SS or a visit to the neighborhood electrician is good enough? It doesn't look like the battery is an issue here (at least that's what the Exide guy said).
Got the issue sorted at a local garage. It was indeed the alternator which was giving trouble. According to the garage owner, the resistor and cut-out was replaced and he claims the two cost close to 2.5k for MGP. Is that true? I intend to go to an MGP dealer and check the prices but till such time any intel will be appreciated. Battery was bench charged and the Waggy is back to life (this was the first time in 9 years that the car has given me any trouble apart from punctures). Hats off to the good old slugger!
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Old 3rd May 2013, 00:56   #53
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Default Re: "My Car Won't Start" | What To Do

The article is really awesome. I sincerely appreciate the time you have taken to create the slide shows and pictorial explanation. I am going to take a print out of it and put it in my book right away! Thank you again.
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Old 6th May 2013, 12:08   #54
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Default Re: "My Car Won't Start" | What To Do

Just happened with my Chevrolet Beat. Started the car, reversed. Then saw someone backing up too, so I switched off my car and waited for the other guy to pass. Then I turned the key to ignition and I hear a "phut" sound. Lights out in the dash, car won't crank.

I leave it for a while and turn key back to ignition, all dash lights work OK. Crank. Dead. Dash lights start flickering, windows (which I had rolled down) won't roll up.

I'm 100% sure I didn't leave any lights on. The car is almost 3 years old. Only 15K km. I take the car out to office atleast twice to thrice a month (42km round trip) just to keep everything in condition. However, it looks like that hasn't helped.

I'm waiting for breakdown service from Chevrolet. He is still nowhere in sight an hour after calling him.
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Old 6th May 2013, 12:17   #55
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Default Re: "My Car Won't Start" | What To Do

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Just happened with my Chevrolet Beat. Started the car, reversed. Then saw someone backing up too, so I switched off my car and waited for the other guy to pass. Then I turned the key to ignition and I hear a "phut" sound. Lights out in the dash, car won't crank.

I leave it for a while and turn key back to ignition, all dash lights work OK. Crank. Dead. Dash lights start flickering, windows (which I had rolled down) won't roll up.
1. Check the cables connected to your battery terminals for tightness.
2. Check the fuses and relays (esp. the main supply relay) for loose contact.
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Old 6th May 2013, 14:25   #56
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Default Re: "My Car Won't Start" | What To Do

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1. Check the cables connected to your battery terminals for tightness.
2. Check the fuses and relays (esp. the main supply relay) for loose contact.
Thank you for the quick response SST! The terminal cables were tight and no corrosion. I tapped and pressed on all fuses gently. Nothing helped. I was however, able to roll up my windows with the weak battery somehow just before the mechanic arrived. How I wish I could have done that earlier so I could get on with my day.

The mech from the breakdown number arrived in a Tavera so I expected him to carry a whole range of testing equipment. Turns out all that he had was a jumper cable with not even a single clamp on either ends of the cable. We had to call our watchman to hold the cable on his car and he put the other ends on my car and I turned the ignition.

The car came alive immediately. However, 10 minutes after running, we turned off the engine and back on, and the battery had not charged a bit.

The "mechanic" suspects a dead battery and is 'eager' to go get one for me and replace it here itself. However, I asked him to come back on Saturday so I could get it to the service center for a thorough checkup. I'm suspecting the alternator isn't working and charging the battery. The 'mechanic' says if the alternator is dead the car wouldn't continue running. I'm thinking "What??", but I say "OK". I asked him to test with a multi meter. He didn't have one. The only thing he had was the joke of a pair of jumper cables.
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Old 6th May 2013, 14:40   #57
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Default Re: "My Car Won't Start" | What To Do

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Thank you for the quick response SST! The terminal cables were tight and no corrosion. I tapped and pressed on all fuses gently. Nothing helped. I was however, able to roll up my windows with the weak battery somehow just before the mechanic arrived. How I wish I could have done that earlier so I could get on with my day.

The mech from the breakdown number arrived in a Tavera so I expected him to carry a whole range of testing equipment. Turns out all that he had was a jumper cable with not even a single clamp on either ends of the cable. We had to call our watchman to hold the cable on his car and he put the other ends on my car and I turned the ignition.

The car came alive immediately. However, 10 minutes after running, we turned off the engine and back on, and the battery had not charged a bit.

The "mechanic" suspects a dead battery and is 'eager' to go get one for me and replace it here itself. However, I asked him to come back on Saturday so I could get it to the service center for a thorough checkup. I'm suspecting the alternator isn't working and charging the battery. The 'mechanic' says if the alternator is dead the car wouldn't continue running. I'm thinking "What??", but I say "OK". I asked him to test with a multi meter. He didn't have one. The only thing he had was the joke of a pair of jumper cables.
You maybe right! I would suggest you to remove the battery, take it to a local shop and get it recharged completely. Check the charge on it with a multimeter before you take delivery. If you give it to them in the morning, you should get it back by evening. Put the battery back on and start the car. Run it for a while. Operate all electricals. Now shut the car off and try cranking it again. I hope the car starts again. If it does not, you are right. Now take it to the shop again and check the charge again and explain the situation to him. Maybe he would suggest you the way forward (most probably to change the battery). If so ask him for a spare battery to check on the car again. If this spare battery holds charge, your alternator is doing its job. Make a point to check the alternator condition. He could also be the right person to check the alternator.

Good luck!
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Old 8th May 2013, 12:46   #58
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Default Re: "My Car Won't Start" | What To Do

my car battery also had an issue.

There was a tak tak sound from the engine area while trying to start the car, after a few tries, the car was starting. At first instance it was totally unresponsive.

Today cleaned the battery terminals and voila the car is starting at first attempt itself.
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Old 8th May 2013, 14:35   #59
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Default Re: "My Car Won't Start" | What To Do

Hi SS,

Nice thread. I will post my recent experience. My 800 MPFI 5 Speed did not start last friday (just cranking but no firing). I put it down to fuel pump or FP relay since I couldn't hear the pump on noise for that 3 secs when the key was turned on, and since there was no petrol being pumped in the line. The relays seemed to work since I interchanged the Main relay and Fp relay and could hear the click click. The mistake I made here was I didn't look at the ECM light on the dash. So I was wondering if the FP had failed. I checked it 2 days later and I found the ECM light was not coming on when the ign was switched on. This got me worried. But when I interchanged relays again I found the Engine warning light came on with the FP relay but car didn't start even though it cranked. So I figured the main relay was bad. FP was OK. I checked the FP coupler with a volt meter and found that when I turned the Ign key on 12 volts was there for 3 secs. This is the 3 secs we here the fuel pump come on when we turn the key on first time. So today I bought a relay from Vitesse and plugged it in. Car starts since main relay is working and FP relay in pumping fuel. I read the workshop manual however the relays were shown in a different order in the drawing and I got a bit confused, specially when I shorted the coupler wires to check if the FP was working, but found the AC compressor click. I didn't want to give the car ot a local mech/electrican and couldn't drive it to my guy. But in the end it got solved. Now intend to change the other old relay and keep a good old Relay as spare.

Last edited by deutscheafrikar : 8th May 2013 at 14:39.
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Old 8th May 2013, 22:33   #60
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Default Re: "My Car Won't Start" | What To Do

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...I shorted the coupler wires to check if the FP was working, but found the AC compressor click. I didn't want to give the car ot a local mech/electrican and couldn't drive it to my guy. But in the end it got solved. Now intend to change the other old relay and keep a good old Relay as spare.
So this was an issue with the FP relay per se, or was it a loose contact / sulphation at the relay terminals? Did you bench-test the FP relay?
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