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►No start when outside temp is below zero

 
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Old 21 Feb 2014, 10:48 am
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Gaylord, MI
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Default ►No start when outside temp is below zero

When the outside temp is below zero my 2004 Cruiser fails to start. (48,000 miles)

When trying to start I can hear the engine try to start but any further attempts only clicking sounds are heard. I'm guessing the sound is the starter solinoid.

The battery was replaced 9 times since 2007.

Should the solinoid, the starter, or both be replaced?
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Old 21 Feb 2014, 11:05 am
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 27,743
Default Re: ►No start when outside temp is below zero

Why was the battery replaced so many times AND why wouldn't you think the battery needs replacing again this time? The symptoms seem to point at the battery. What are the CCA (Cold Crank Amps) of the battery your using? Might have to step up to a higher level.
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Old 21 Feb 2014, 05:52 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Gaylord, MI
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Default Re: ►No start when outside temp is below zero

The batteries were replaced because they failed. The last time it failed to start hearing a clicking sound, it was taken to my mechanic, he put it inside where it was a little warmer and it started successfully. I then took the car to Auto Zone and had the battery tested. The instrument said the battery checked ok and the cranking amp were correct. The current battery, installed Dec 2013 is the largest physical size battery (MT26R) Interstate makes that will fit. Auto Zone has a similar battery but I haven't tried that yet. When the outside temperature is below zero (the cruiser is parked in a carport.) the car will not crank,even with a good battery. The car was checked thoroughly by an automotive electrical shop where my #7 battery was installed on 12-10-2012. The Interstate dealer replaced the battery under warranty with #8 on 10-29-2013. The dealer replaced it again with #9 on 12-09-13 but told me the Interstate sales rep would not replace #8. so he change to a different manufacturer.
The alternator tested is delivering full amps.
I would measure the battery current drain when the car is off to check for leakage but I cannot find the drain in milliamps with the car off.
The cruiser was new in August 2004 and with only 48,000 miles most of my driving is local but the battery should still fully charge within a couple of miles.
Sorry to ramble but I hope it helps.
With a good fully charged battery why does the starter solinoid only make a clicking sound when the outside temperature is below zero?
The car is located in Northern Michigan and this is the worst and coldest winter in many years.
Thanks,
Don
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Old 21 Feb 2014, 05:59 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Oregon Mountains USA
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Default Re: ►No start when outside temp is below zero

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boondockers View Post
The alternator tested is delivering full amps.

With a good fully charged battery why does the starter solinoid only make a clicking sound when the outside temperature is below zero?
The car is located in Northern Michigan and this is the worst and coldest winter in many years.
Thanks,
Don
Have you replaced the battery cables and terminals lately? Are all the ground locations clean and not corroded? Checked the ground straps to the engine? Just a thought...
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Old 21 Feb 2014, 10:39 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Default Re: ►No start when outside temp is below zero

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Originally Posted by cdynaco View Post
Have you replaced the battery cables and terminals lately? Are all the ground locations clean and not corroded? Checked the ground straps to the engine? Just a thought...
this is more likely the issue......your negative to ground might be loose at one point, either to the batt terminal or at the engine block.
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Old 21 Feb 2014, 11:33 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Default Re: ►No start when outside temp is below zero

Who leaves the house when it's 0* ?
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Old 21 Feb 2014, 11:55 pm
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Default Re: ►No start when outside temp is below zero

Coyote; When the power goes out and your bathroom is 2 below zero.
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Old 22 Feb 2014, 12:00 am
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Default Re: ►No start when outside temp is below zero

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Originally Posted by pt06 View Post
Coyote; When the power goes out and your bathroom is 2 below zero.
That's one Throne I wouldn't want to be King of!!!
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Old 22 Feb 2014, 09:47 am
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Gaylord, MI
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Default Re: ►No start when outside temp is below zero

Good suggestion CDYNACO, I will have my repair shop check the cables and ground cable and for corroded connections. Remember though the only time the solinoid clicks is when the outside temp is below zero. All other times there is no clicking sounds and the car starts normally.
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Old 22 Feb 2014, 11:58 am
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Default Re: ►No start when outside temp is below zero

Quote:
Originally Posted by pt06 View Post
Coyote; When the power goes out and your bathroom is 2 below zero.
I hate it when that happens!

9 batteries in 6 years is a huge red flag that something is wrong. cdynaco's advice is sound, check all the cable and ground connections to make sure that they are clean and tight. If you don't find the problem there you might have it checked for a slow draw on the battery (ie; short or security system malfunction) although I would hope that your mechanic would have checked for that after the second or third battery needed replaced.

Good luck.
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