Go Back   Team-BHP > Under the Hood > Technical Stuff


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11th April 2011, 15:10   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 163
Thanked: 87 Times
Default New generation cars : Pushing to start ineffective when battery is flat?

What I went through in the morning was rather amusing. So I thought I would share with you guys.

So today morning, me and my wife got ready for office, got into our car, plonked in the key.
As soon as the car was into ignition, I noticed something was not right, the Orange glow from the car odo was very pale, and Blinking "Airbags" Indicator light was causing the rest of the cluster fade!
I crank the car, and worst fear realized! Battery is flat. I immediately checked if I left anything "On" in the car, afterall Swift should warn me if I had left the Lights on ( ZXI model has a buzzer). Nope, everything was fine...
So I thought, must be a freak incident, I thought let me push start the car, and charge up the system.

So I gather a few workers and watchman from the Flat, and they help me push start in "Reverse", ( As they were pushing, I gave a little crank to the engine, to give some assistance to start it up). The car did start, but I noticed that alll the car did was to go into a coma!

Allow me to explain.
New Swift k-series comes with "Drive By Wire". So no direct connection between accelerator and engine. Now, battery was in such a horrible condition that, ECU would not start up. Now car was in some "Limp" mode, where engine would Idle. But without ECU, I have no accelerator and No Power Steering.
Without car coming out of "Idle" Rev, I cannot produce enough current to boot the ECU, and without the ECU I cannot bring the car out of IDLE. This was a classic catch-22. I turned off the car evetually coz, I was afraid that the radiator fans will not turn on, and I did not want to run the risk of overheating the car.

Thank god, brakes and clutch were not "Drive by Wire" :P
allajunaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th April 2011, 15:55   #2
Distinguished - BHPian
 
dhanushs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Bathery/BLR
Posts: 3,446
Thanked: 4,055 Times
Default Re: Why Push start fails with new generation Cars.

umm.. well.. if the battery is completely dead, my IKON wouldn't even start. But, I assume yours had enough charge to produce sparks?.

Idle speed is sufficient to charge the battery, and also, once the car is started, the ECU ought to spring up to life as the alternator starts working. Well, in any case, i think ignition is controlled by the ECU, and if its dead, the car wont start in the 1st place.

I assume, there is some other reason for this happening than the ECU going dead.

dhanushs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th April 2011, 15:59   #3
BHPian
 
sarmarishi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 424
Thanked: 80 Times
Default Re: Why Push start fails with new generation Cars.

For starters one should not be starting the newer cars by pushing like the old carburated ones. You should have gone and made a pair of jumper cables from the nearest electrical store. That would have solved all your problems. All it requires is the thickest copper cables that you can find and another car with a good battery!
sarmarishi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th April 2011, 16:21   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
xingamazon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Chennai
Posts: 1,399
Thanked: 110 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default Re: Why Push start fails with new generation Cars.

Are you saying then pushing will yield of no help at all in situation like this.
Few years back, we have started even my neighbours BMW once it started this way.

Additionally, what is the recommended way then in case of emergency?
xingamazon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th April 2011, 16:25   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
Ajaybiz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,354
Thanked: 140 Times
Default Re: Why Push start fails with new generation Cars.

Also it damages the transmission badly.
Ajaybiz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th April 2011, 16:32   #6
Distinguished - BHPian
 
condor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Speed-brkr City
Posts: 10,744
Thanked: 4,332 Times
Default Re: Why Push start fails with new generation Cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allajunaki View Post
Thank god, brakes and clutch were not "Drive by Wire" :P
If you have power brakes & power clutch, then these too will not work. The brakes may work for 2-3 pumps, but that's it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajaybiz View Post
Also it damages the transmission badly.
Pls explain ..
condor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11th April 2011, 16:52   #7
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,748
Thanked: 89,369 Times
Default Re: New generation cars : Pushing to start ineffective when battery is flat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by allajunaki View Post
Thank god, brakes and clutch were not "Drive by Wire"
And you think you have problems? Think of the guys driving Automatic transmissions

Of course, in an ideal world, we would all use jumper cables & have a donor car / battery. Sometimes, you just don't have access to either. The last two times that my batteries (from different cars) have died out unexpectedly, I have successfully push-started the car. 2nd gear forward works best.

However, as the thread starter rightly stated, if your battery is completely flat, chances are that a push-start won't work. The ECU, fuel pump etc. may just not get enough juice to get going.

Recommended Read : Free JumpStart Services (Free Jump starts & Battery help - Exide Batmobile, Mumbai (and other cities))

Last edited by GTO : 11th April 2011 at 16:54.
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th April 2011, 17:49   #8
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 163
Thanked: 87 Times
Default Re: New generation cars : Pushing to start ineffective when battery is flat?

First of all, Sorry GTO for posting this in the wrong thread

Secondly, yes, all of you are right.. There was some basic things working, Like fuel Pump, Sparks etc.. That indicates some level of functioning of ECU... But higher functions were OFF. Tacho was at '0', Fuel Indicator @ E, and Temp at 'C'. All the tell-tale lights were still ON, including ABS, Power Steering, Battery Discharge and OIL. (But engine malfunction indicator was OFF)
However the engine was idling (at a slightly higher RPM Than usual) and I could essentially coast the car with First Gear and Clutch to the nearest parking Bay.
So car was in a sort of "Coma". Essential functions functioned. But No Throttle response, and instrument console did not indicate anything that the Car was even ON.

There was some charge left in the battery, As told before, Odo in the console had a "Faint Orange Glow" instead of usual one.. and all tell tale indicators were ON, Automatic Climate Control Console's Orange light was also ON. So Yes, enough to light up the lights... ( And one or 2 starter cranks, and ACC's Computer conked off, My Pioneer turned off).

I did a combination of Push-start and Starter, to bring the car alive. So in effect I was giving starter a "nudge". I agree this is not the best thing for the transmission. But I had to try w/o jumper cable, coz I was not able to get the service center guys on the phone. ( And me and my wife were running late for office).

In The end I turned the Car OFF, in about 2 minutes, simply because
A. ECU was not responding to throttle, and battery shown no sign of coming back to life.
B. I was worried that Car was not producing enough to start the Radiator fan, so I might overheat the Engine.

And yes, 1 year and 3 months, my EXIDE was out (I guess I had a "Lemon" Battery). I have replaced it with Amaron Flo, zero maintenance battery.

Last edited by allajunaki : 11th April 2011 at 17:56.
allajunaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th April 2011, 00:47   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
mdsaab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,624
Thanked: 446 Times
Default Re: New generation cars : Pushing to start ineffective when battery is flat?

This incident takes me back a few weeks when our AT civic battery conked off while on mg road.
And as GTO mentioned with an AT you have no other choice but to use jump cables or replace the battery. There is a little bit about it on my re-united with my civica thread. Anyways as you are now on a fresh battery it's time to hit the road again.
Drive safe!
mdsaab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th April 2011, 16:46   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
Ajaybiz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,354
Thanked: 140 Times
Default Re: Why Push start fails with new generation Cars.

Imagine all and sudden releasing the clutch and forcing the engine to crank through gears, try the same and concentrate on noise produced by transmission specially from gear box, that khad khad is sure not a good indication.
Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
If you have power brakes & power clutch, then these too will not work. The brakes may work for 2-3 pumps, but that's it.

Pls explain ..

Last edited by GTO : 12th April 2011 at 19:11. Reason: strictly no SMS language please. Correcting
Ajaybiz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th April 2011, 17:02   #11
Awaiting Email Confirmation
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: ............
Posts: 3,260
Thanked: 4,212 Times
Default Re: New generation cars : Pushing to start ineffective when battery is flat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by allajunaki View Post
I gather a few workers and watchman from the Flat, and they help me push start in "Reverse", ( As they were pushing, I gave a little crank to the engine, to give some assistance to start it up). The car did start, but I noticed that alll the car did was to go into a coma!
My FIAT Linea owner's handbook doesn't advise jumpt starting the engine by pushing as it would damage the catalytic converter. I remember reading the same warning in case of my erstwhile MS Versa too.
New generation cars : Pushing to start ineffective when battery is flat?-dontjumpstart.jpg
J.Ravi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th April 2011, 17:35   #12
Distinguished - BHPian
 
dhanushs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Bathery/BLR
Posts: 3,446
Thanked: 4,055 Times
Default Re: New generation cars : Pushing to start ineffective when battery is flat?

True..

In case there is no ignition, unburnt fuel will pass through causing the damage.

However, there should be atleast 'some' minimum charge for the car to start. Unlike carburetor'd vehicles where spark is controlled directly from the alternator.
dhanushs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th April 2011, 17:46   #13
Team-BHP Support
 
ampere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 15,604
Thanked: 8,594 Times
Default Re: New generation cars : Pushing to start ineffective when battery is flat?

GTO, Is there anything special, that needs to be taken care for AT versions?
When should one start worrying about battery change?

In the cars that I have driven (one AT and one geared version). I have gone by the service advisors requests for change of battery. Any points to watch out for?
ampere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th April 2011, 19:14   #14
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,748
Thanked: 89,369 Times
Default Re: New generation cars : Pushing to start ineffective when battery is flat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajaybiz View Post
Imagine all and sudden releasing the clutch and forcing the engine to crank through gears, try the same and concentrate on noise produced by transmission specially from gear box, that khad khad is sure not a good indication.
Try starting in 2nd gear; you won't hear / feel anything from the transmission.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
GTO, Is there anything special, that needs to be taken care for AT versions?
When should one start worrying about battery change?
Well, your only option is a set of jumper cables or a new battery with ATs. Nothing else. Personally, I'd keep a close eye out for a weak battery in an AT once its 3+ years old. Any weak cranks and I'd get it checked. After all, a dead battery can leave you stranded.
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th April 2011, 19:52   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
nitrous's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: UAE/Lon/Madras
Posts: 6,966
Thanked: 282 Times
Default Re: New generation cars : Pushing to start ineffective when battery is flat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Try starting in 2nd gear; you won't hear / feel anything from the transmission.
+1
I've always used 2nd gear to push-start a car.
nitrous is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Swift VXI : Flat battery. Push start didn't work? amitk2kin Technical Stuff 29 28th May 2011 14:33
i10 Kappa refuses to start. Battery flat? jango Technical Stuff 39 21st May 2009 13:28
Pushing one's luck... doomsday Street Experiences 27 5th September 2007 08:52
pushing the carb zen. heavy_foot Technical Stuff 12 2nd November 2005 16:37


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 17:51.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks