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Old 6th April 2014, 21:13   #1
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Default Santro stranded - Now what?

Had a freak incident while returning to Delhi on NH58 couple of hours back.
Was driving my Santro and had just completed a overtaking manoeuvre, when suddenly the accelerator stopped responding
* I checked if gear had moved into neutral accidentally. It was still in fifth gear.
* Also noticed that steering too had become hard.

Signaled left indicator and moved the car off the road to the side. Thankfully, there was no traffic following me and since most of slow/heavy moving traffic keeps to the wrong side (right side of road), I was overtaking from the left. Hence, it was easier for me to move to road side.

* Tried re-starting the car. The starter would kick in, but car would not start as if starved of fuel.
* Checked below the car if there were any leaks. None.
* Checked the battery connection. Positive terminal connection of the battery was found to be loose. Looks like the likely culprit?
Battery clamp bolt was fully tightened, but still clamp was sliding freely over the positive terminal. With no repair shops around, stuck a twig in the gap. Looks tight enough to help me reach home. Tried re-starting the car. Car started in first crank. Reached home without any further incidents.

Brief history about the car -
2004 Xing XS model with 70K on the odo. First owner with detailed service history and decently maintained. Battery replaced 4 months back.
This is the first time that I have suffered a breakdown with this car.

What could have happened?
Loose battery connection meant no current to fuel pump and hence engine starved of fuel died down?

Thoughts please.

Thanks.
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Old 6th April 2014, 22:18   #2
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

Quote:
Originally Posted by vaasu View Post
Had a freak incident while returning to Delhi on NH58 couple of hours back.
Was driving my Santro and had just completed a overtaking manoeuvre, when suddenly the accelerator stopped responding
Had an EXACTLY similar incident on my earlier 2000 Santro a few years back. This had happened in the city at slower speeds though. Took a moment for me to realise that the engine had stalled. Faced difficulty steering the car to the left. It seems the battery terminals erode off due to oxidation which makes the clamp lose. In my case, I also had a blown ignition fuse. Luckily I had a piece of wire. I took a strand from it to bridge the blown fuse and drove home.
That was the only breakdown apart from flat tyres that I have had on the Santro.
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Old 6th April 2014, 22:33   #3
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Default re: Santro stranded - Now what?

I had similar experience with a 2005 Santro Xing XP. The starter would crank the engine but would not start. Wait for ten minutes, then it will. This happened several times and several trips to the garage did not help at all. Finally one HASS solved the issue by cleaning the fuel tank as there was a lot of muck inside.
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Old 6th April 2014, 22:36   #4
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Default re: Santro stranded - Now what?

My Honda Accord in US had a similar problem. The car would stall suddenly. The issue was found out to be loose key due to years of use.
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Old 7th April 2014, 07:08   #5
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Default re: Santro stranded - Now what?

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Originally Posted by vaasu View Post
... What could have happened?
Loose battery connection meant no current to fuel pump and hence engine starved of fuel died down? ...
But then the starter wouldn't be spinning in the first place. May be check the wire leads to (& out of) fuse box & also see any wires that get to move along when the battery terminal clamp is shaken.
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Old 7th April 2014, 08:48   #6
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Default re: Santro stranded - Now what?

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Originally Posted by Rennjit View Post
But then the starter wouldn't be spinning in the first place. May be check the wire leads to (& out of) fuse box & also see any wires that get to move along when the battery terminal clamp is shaken.
Actually the battery terminal being lose is a perfect setup for a disaster, it would break the circuit if u go over a little harsh roads and the car would stall. But when you stop, it would get back to its original position. Happened to my Swift twice, once over a flyover since it has those rumbling patches in between. Car stalled, but when I restarted it, it restarted just fine.

Second time, it happened on the sea link, but refused to start again, luckily for me, I knew what it was. Went and fixed a twig outside and we were all fine.

Get a metallic stopper kinds fixed between the battery terminal and the leads, u should be fine.
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Old 7th April 2014, 10:57   #7
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Default re: Santro stranded - Now what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by humyum View Post
Get a metallic stopper kinds fixed between the battery terminal and the leads, u should be fine.
Yes, I fixed a piece of Aluminium to give the battery clamp a tight fit last night.
Hopefully, there are no other surprises
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Old 8th April 2014, 19:57   #8
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Default Re: Santro stranded - Now what?

Have you fitted accessories to the car recently or in the past? Sometimes the guys that fit auto locking or stereos, speakers etc etc tend to cut wires and not seal them properly. If those wires come in contact with the body then there is a short circuit.

Same thing happened to my car once. The guys that fit the auto locks did not seal one of the wires properly and when it came in contact with the body my car would blow a fuse. Then the starter motor would crank but not start.

If your car is a fuel injected model then try and listen if the fuel pump works as soon as you turn on the key. You should hear a hissing sound of the fuel pump pulling the fuel just before you crank the engine. If that sound is not there then it could be an electrical problem.

Since your car is almost 10 yrs old, even if you have not fitted any accessories recently then it could still be loose or exposed wiring somewhere (Due to age), so do get the electrical checked as well as mechanical.
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Old 9th April 2014, 09:25   #9
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Default Re: Santro stranded - Now what?

I recently replaced the negative terminal wire of my Alto800 for around 100 Rs. That works out to be a cheap (and safer) option. Replacing the negative terminal wire is easier, because there are only 2 wires attached - one to the car body and one to the engine block. I think the postive terminal has a lot more wires attached.
(My case was slightly different though - the service center had swapped this part from an old car, hence had the 'loose contact' issue. Ever heard of the service center advising you about replacing the alternator/starter motor when there is starting trouble? This might as well be because of loose contact by 'deliberate' parts swapping with an old car.)

Last edited by jinojohnt : 9th April 2014 at 09:32.
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Old 9th April 2014, 16:48   #10
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Default Re: Santro stranded - Now what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post
Have you fitted accessories to the car recently or in the past? Sometimes the guys that fit auto locking or stereos, speakers etc etc tend to cut wires and not seal them properly. If those wires come in contact with the body then there is a short circuit.

Same thing happened to my car once. The guys that fit the auto locks did not seal one of the wires properly and when it came in contact with the body my car would blow a fuse. Then the starter motor would crank but not start.
Nope no new accessories fitted in the last 5 years. I do inspect the under bonnet area regularly and there are no loose wires.
However, as I mentioned the battery was replaced 4 months back. When I last inspected the under bonnet area around a week back, the clamp was not loose. Bad road conditions on NH58 could have contributed towards clamp coming loose.


Quote:
Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post
If your car is a fuel injected model then try and listen if the fuel pump works as soon as you turn on the key. You should hear a hissing sound of the fuel pump pulling the fuel just before you crank the engine. If that sound is not there then it could be an electrical problem.

Since your car is almost 10 yrs old, even if you have not fitted any accessories recently then it could still be loose or exposed wiring somewhere (Due to age), so do get the electrical checked as well as mechanical.
Yes, the car is fuel injected and I do always ensure that I hear the fuel pump hissing sound before I crank the engine.
Mechanically the car is in decent condition. In the last 5K kms, drive shafts, suspension, front brake discs, all rubber belts including timing belt have been replaced.
But, yes 10 year old car could still have some surprises.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinojohnt View Post
Ever heard of the service center advising you about replacing the alternator/starter motor when there is starting trouble? This might as well be because of loose contact by 'deliberate' parts swapping with an old car.)
I have never had any starting issues with this car as yet. Touchwood
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Old 16th April 2014, 20:30   #11
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Default Re: Santro stranded - Now what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vaasu View Post
What could have happened?
Loose battery connection meant no current to fuel pump and hence engine starved of fuel died down?

Thoughts please.

Thanks.
Check my post on another thread ("My Car Won't Start" | What To Do). It might be a possible cause.
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Old 17th April 2014, 19:09   #12
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Default Re: Santro stranded - Now what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biraj View Post
Check my post on another thread ("My Car Won't Start" | What To Do). It might be a possible cause.
Thanks for the link.
However, in my case the fuel was filled from my usual fuel station couple of days back before this incident and I had driven close to 200 kms after the top up without any issues.
I had also replaced my fuel pump motor couple of months back. So, ruled this out as well.
Only issue now is that disconnecting the battery has led to ECM being reset. So, ECM will take some time to learn according to my driving style. Also, my family using it currently only for less than 5 km/day is not helping either...
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