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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Car Completely Dies With Attempted Start

So I have had intermittent starting problems for the past year, and recently replaced my ignition switch. Since then, I have had no problems until now. When I try and start the car, everything goes dead, I mean everything. I have no power inside whatsoever when in the run or accessories positions, but the guages jump around a little bit. The battery voltage was at 12.3 volts, and over by the EEC would keep beeping at me. I know this is kind of a jumbled mess, but does anyone have ideas as to what it could be?

Thanks,

Stephen
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Cool, thanks for the help. I plan to look at the cables when I wake up tomorrow. I had to go to a wedding and it decided to not work of course the time I needed to leave. Oh well, I plan to fix it so that I can drive for a while, but it helped me decide that it is time for me to part with it. . . it has been nothing but problems lately and is rusting to death.

Stephen
 

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Look around the positive battery cable; like capn obvious said, the cables rot into a green powder.

You can check it by measuring the voltage on a fuse that is always on, while wiggling the large power wire at the battery.

The positive lead is most likely, but it could be either one.

Also check the lower end by the starter, since you've done tranny work and moved it.

If you bend it and see green powder coming out from under the insulation, I'd replace it.

Trying to start the car draws the most amps, and makes it open up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There has been no tranny work on my car since it was in my posession (over a few years now). Also, I cannot get at my starter since my car is parked against the curb and I do not have a jack (my dad took it with him out of town).

My battery cables seem to be fine; however, I do have a dead short somewhere. When I put the car in the run position, it is fine (over 12 V), but as soon as I put it in the start position, the voltage runs down to less than 2V on the DMM. Once down there, it will sit at 9V or so for a while (20sec or so) and all of a sudden it will recover to 12V instantly.

I disconnected the starter at the battery to see if it was a short on the way to the starter, but it still dropped the voltage way down when the key was in the start position. Also, I was hearing a high pitch noise inside the car (kinda by the gauges), but I only noticed it once. When it stopped making the noise, the power went straight up to 12 V from sitting at 9V or so. I am thinking that it has to be a signal to the solenoid shorting out, because it only happens when the key is in the Start Position.

Also, I have done the Big 3 upgrade, and my power wires from the alternator to the mega fuse and then from the fuse to the battery are all 1/0 AWG soldered on. Thanks for all the help guys, hopefully I will be able to figure it out with your help.

Thanks,

Stephen
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well something just confirmed what I thought: I put the car in drive to see how it would react when I tried to start it and the power levels were just fine. So it looks like the line from the Neutral Safety Switch (I think that is the same as the MPLS) is shorted.

Stephen
 

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That sounds normal. The starter shouldn't hit with the car in drive.

Volts does not = Amps... Just because the battery has 12 volts doesn't mean it can actually put out any real power

Did you try another battery?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I agree that the starter shouldn't hit in drive, I was just confirming that it was in those lines that the possible short was. I will try another battery here in a few min. I agree that Volts != Amps, but the battery seems to be alright (9mo old Optima).

Thanks,

Stephen
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Put a known good battery with the same result. I think that the next step is replacing the neutral safety switch (mlps). I should note that when it did die the last time, the volts were around 4-5V and if I would push the brakes, the CCRM box would start to "Click". With that, the RPMs would also bounce to around 500RPM (reading) while the car was still not running.

Stephen
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Well it turns out that the car no longer dies while in park/neutral with the starter not connected (wouldn't be nice if this would be consistent?), so I am thinking that it has to be within the starter. I would have thought, however, that if that were the case then I would have blown a fuse to the starter. This is because I hooked a 60Amp fuse to the starter to see if it were even pulling current through the line before it completely died; however, the fuse remained in tact while the power went to no where. I will replace the MLPS and we'll see what happens from there.

Thanks,
Stephen


Edit: Put the new MLPS switch in and the problem is the same. We tried shorting out the starter while in the run position, and the problem persists. . . So the short is in the starter (although I would've expected it to blow the fuse as stated above, but maybe there is some circuit protection involved). Anyhow, I don't feel bad about the new MLPS because my car needed a new one anyhow, but I have over 168000 on the original starter and it has been acting up recently, so I really wouldn't feel bad about replacing that if it were the case. Does it seem that a new starter could be a solution?

Thanks again for all the help guys,

Stephen
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I figured it out, it was the cable from the battery to the starter. Interesting thing was that it was not reading a short to ground on the DMM; however, when bypassed, it worked just fine. I guess I have a long night ahead of me running that new cable. . .

Thanks for all the help guys!

Stephen
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Ha, I tried them and tested for shorting, but nothing seemed off, and the DMM read it as good resistance and no short to ground, lol. Thanks again, man!

Stephen
 

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Ha, I tried them and tested for shorting, but nothing seemed off, and the DMM read it as good resistance and no short to ground, lol. Thanks again, man!

Stephen
There is a lot of difference in the current in the ohmmeter and the starter; the wire was opening when the big current pulse hit.

The way to measure battery cables is to measure the voltage between the battery and starter ends of the plus cable (the ground wire almost never rusts); more than a couple of volts at most, and I call it bad, assuming a normal engine.

Starting current on mine runs about 60-100A, there's a little over a volt from end to end.

Intermittent sensors will do this too; wiggling a wire might make it show up, but...

I'm glad you found it!
 
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