Strange Starting/Electrical problems [Archive] - Forum


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09-10-2008, 10:32 AM
I have been having severe problems with my car starting, but am still unable to find the exact cause of this. About a week ago, I noticed my car starting to start funny. On the first crank it would sound very weak, but then it would fire right up. It seemed to be isolated at the time. Sometimes it would start without a problem, other times it would have the slow/weak first crank. This continued for a couple days until I go to leave work one day. I turn the key, and there was absolutely nothing. No noise or anything. I let go of the key, and the lights inside the car are dim, the dash lights are dim, etc. So that lead me to believe that I either have a bad battery or a bad alternator. The battery was replaced last year, and the alternator was replaced around 2 years ago. Both have really low miles on it. I kept trying to get it started but each time I turned the key, there was nothing. So the next time I held the key in for a long time (probably 10+ seconds) until I heard it slowly crank once. I kept holding it in, and the dashlights started coming back on, and the car continued to crank slowly, and then it caught and fired up. Once the car was running, it worked fine. The car still had full power, and all the accessories worked just fine. I had to start the car like this a few times, but eventually it would start up.

Then one time when I was leaving from class, I went to start it, and it did the same thing, but when I let go of the key when it failed to start, a very loud buzz came out of my speakers/subs (capacitor discharging?) when the radio wasn't even on or anything, and then my trunk decided to open itself up...

Today I had to start it about 4 times. The first time it was a slow crank, and the other three times it started up normal. So I am confused as to where the problem is actually coming from. Since I have full power to the accessories when the car is not running and I don't try to start it, I figure it's not the battery. The car runs fine once it's started which leads me to believe it's not the alternator. So I am guessing it is either a bad connection, bad ground, or a bad starter. Anyone have an idea of what this could be?

09-12-2008, 10:50 AM
bad ground - Sounds like something is arcing in a board -
So you have

Starter pulse wire
Stereo and Trunk release

What do all these things have in common that would make them 'work' when they were not told to 'turn on'...?

Fuse panel on the DR side #1
Relays/power in the Engine fuse box #2

I don't think the PCM or BMC have control over any of them, so that would be a start.

This would also require you to take a lead light to check for power - pulling fuses/relays and testing for connected pins.

Unless someone had the same problems at one time, then they could speed this up.
I have had the truck open on its own due to a short in the DR Front fuse box. But the Remote was not unlocking the doors as well.

Lab Rat
09-12-2008, 11:00 AM
I would clean the battery terminals first. Or maybe even replace the battery cables. They start to rot over the years and will interfere with the recharging from the alt. BTW, that condition can kill a battery and alternater much faster than normal. When my battery is very low (like it won't crank the car) it has done weird things, like open the trunk and lock the doors.

09-14-2008, 11:07 AM
So I got it looked at today. Turns out the battery had a bad cell. Luckily the battery was still under warranty too and got it replaced for 11 bucks.