DaMadBoy

Smart Car Won't Start In Cold Weather

10 posts in this topic

Hello everyone.

 

I have had some trouble with my car starting recently. This has only happened twice in cold weather so far.

 

When I put my key in the ignition and turn it to start the engine, the fuel pump activates but the starter motor does nothing at all.

 

I have tested my battery, which does need replacing as it's voltage is at 11.6v after letting it sit for 24 hours in the cold and testing with no key in the ignition.That is what my FIXD app says at least. In fact I didn't even unlock the car to test the voltage, I just used my Bluetooth ODB device.

 

Obviously I fully intend to replace the battery but although the low voltage does show a sluggish start, it does normally start.

 

I did try a little trick I read about online where you switch the ignition off, lock the doors, then unlock, out your foot on the brake, then start and that seemed to work.

 

So I thought I'd come and ask for advice here as this is the second time this has happened. Is my starter motor on its way out?

 

I have a 2006 450 Pure 0.7l. Thanks in advance for any advice.

 

Also I thought I thought I would show off my car and give you guys and gals a laugh. 😂

 

IMG_20200902_160954.jpg

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A common problem we see over here is the trigger wire on the starter gets corroded.  It could be a starter on the way out but  try this first.  If you can get to yours pull the wire off clean the terminal with some fine sandpaper add a little dielectric grease and make sure the connector is tight when you reinstall.

 

Nigel

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Posted (edited) · Report post

6 minutes ago, Nigel said:

A common problem we see over here is the trigger wire on the starter gets corroded.  It could be a starter on the way out but  try this first.  If you can get to yours pull the wire off clean the terminal with some fine sandpaper add a little dielectric grease and make sure the connector is tight when you reinstall.

 

Nigel

 

Thank you. I will have a look when I get a chance. Unfortunately I don't have any sandpaper or dielectric grease so I may have to ask my mechanic about that while he's doing some other work to my car.

Edited by DaMadBoy

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A drop of oil or regular grease will work.  You are just trying to keep the air from the metal and causing corrosion.

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Have you tried using a second car to give you a boost?  If it starts with a boost, then I'd suggest a battery replacement is in your future.

 

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1 hour ago, Leadwing said:

Have you tried using a second car to give you a boost?  If it starts with a boost, then I'd suggest a battery replacement is in your future.

 

 

The car starts, usually, really well. Although in the cold it does start really sluggishly. I left the car parked for 4 days and it turned over so slowly I was worried it wouldn't start so a new battery is definitely needed and I will be replacing it very soon.

 

I've had the car almost 2 years and based on the condition I bought it in, I suspect the battery hasn't been changed in years. When I serviced my car I also did the pollen filter and that looked liked it hadn't been changed in years.

 

The starter motor is what I'm mainly focused on right now though. My car started perfectly this morning but yesterday it wasn't having any of it and took 3 attempts before trying my little trick I stated in my original post.

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Hmmm.....cold in the motherland.....seems strange....compared to this icebox we call home here in Canada or is that Canucklestan...lol.    Batteries do not like cold, and sometime if weak won't do their job perfectly. Have you ever thought about a power pack, battery jumper.....can be used for all sorts of things now a days, charging all sorts. Not just for jumping car batteries.  But I would buy a new battery personally and see, if it still keeps doing it then I'd be going after the starter. But first do what Nigel suggests and check the main power braided cable running from solinoid to starter motor as they do corrode badly. Sometimes to the failing point, especially if forced to work hard and it heats up trying to get the engine started.  Changing the starter isn't for the faint hearted.....imho....but I would search a new one out that could be returned before you take your car to your mechanic unless you can spare the car for the time it takes to get a starter...?  Over here a starter isn't that much in the big scheme of things. Just over the 100 pound range....in Canadian Dollars.

IF your alternator is old also, get him to peek at it also, that is while he has the sub frame either lowered or engine etc tilted to get at the starter.   2 birds with one stone as they say. Labor charges at what they are now a days  are sometimes more than the part being replaced.  Just my way of looking at things sometimes.

Good luck, it could just be a loose trigger signal that needs to be tightened up and cleaned up.....fingers crossed.

 

When it gets really cold, we have battery blankets here to heat the battery and also a sump heater to get things warmed up before thinking about trying to start it....it's in the minus mid twenties at night here lately...with the wind chill......augh!!!!!

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On 08/02/2021 at 11:47 PM, Willys said:

Hmmm.....cold in the motherland.....seems strange....compared to this icebox we call home here in Canada or is that Canucklestan...lol.    Batteries do not like cold, and sometime if weak won't do their job perfectly. Have you ever thought about a power pack, battery jumper.....can be used for all sorts of things now a days, charging all sorts. Not just for jumping car batteries.  But I would buy a new battery personally and see, if it still keeps doing it then I'd be going after the starter. But first do what Nigel suggests and check the main power braided cable running from solinoid to starter motor as they do corrode badly. Sometimes to the failing point, especially if forced to work hard and it heats up trying to get the engine started.  Changing the starter isn't for the faint hearted.....imho....but I would search a new one out that could be returned before you take your car to your mechanic unless you can spare the car for the time it takes to get a starter...?  Over here a starter isn't that much in the big scheme of things. Just over the 100 pound range....in Canadian Dollars.

IF your alternator is old also, get him to peek at it also, that is while he has the sub frame either lowered or engine etc tilted to get at the starter.   2 birds with one stone as they say. Labor charges at what they are now a days  are sometimes more than the part being replaced.  Just my way of looking at things sometimes.

Good luck, it could just be a loose trigger signal that needs to be tightened up and cleaned up.....fingers crossed.

 

When it gets really cold, we have battery blankets here to heat the battery and also a sump heater to get things warmed up before thinking about trying to start it....it's in the minus mid twenties at night here lately...with the wind chill......augh!!!!!

 

Thankfully it is nowhere near that cold in England. I plan to change the battery regardless as last year I had no issues starting during winter but this year is very sluggish. So that is definitely going to be replaced.

 

I have also considered getting a jump starter to keep in my car in case of emergencies. I keep oil, spare bulbs, a small tool kit, tyre repair kit, windscreen repair kit and a few other things as part of my emergency breakdown kit in case of emergencies. Due to lockdowns though I am very restricted in spending. I've just had my front tyres replaced and wheel alignment done and I am currently out of money.

 

The battery is next on my list as well as my rear brake shoes and wiper assembly. My battery takes priority as the other two aren't urgent. My jump starter will have to wait until after the other stuff is done as they take priority over this "luxury".

 

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Just thought I'd give a bit of an update. I took my car to my mechanic to check it over but when I did it started first time everytime.

 

My car has been performing a lot better recently, however, after a few hours doing deliveries the issue crops up again.

 

Thankfully not as frequently as before and my car seems to start if I keep my headlights off and unplug my phone charger so I'm thinking my batterys low voltage may be causing the issues.

 

What is everyone else's thoughts? I'd rather not replace the starter unless I absolutely have to.

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OK, lets try again...without re-reading the entire thread....yep I'm lazy this morning....sorry.....have you checked what the voltage is at the battery before starting exactly in the morning, then after the car has started at the battery terminals. This will tell us what your alternator is doing....is it charging a full 14.6 volts when battery requires it or not? It should be. We over here have serious issues with our alts going bad due to road grime etc salt and gravel from the winter months plugging up our alts and thus dying an early death. I personally wash mine out whenever possible with hot water and then spray entire alt with WD-40 to help disperse water afterwards. It seems to help.  Touch wood. 

A simple multimeter will tell you what your alt is doing. IF it isn't charging correctly first try refreshing all connections to check for corrosion at them. Yes this will not be a nice job as the positive connection at the back of the alt is hard to get a wrench on. Also disconnect the battery terminals so you don't short out the wrench when doing this procedure. Also check any and all negative grounding pins, points for your car....engine bay and near battery. Yes I go on about these all the time but so many people never check them and find they have one or two that aren't doing their job and this effects the electrical system of their cars. IF that isn't the culprit then I'd be checking any and all known rub through areas of the wiring harness for a possible slow drain....? You'll have to research here or other sites to figure out where others have had such issues....sorry.
IMHO....something isn't allowing your battery to get charged back up fully or you have a short....then after that you could get into the computers to see if they are faulty as in bad solder joints....I don't know?

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