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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 19 Apr 2019, 04:44 pm
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Default No start - clicking

Hey any thoughts are welcome!

Our 2006 PT Cruiser wouldn't start last week, so I took the battery out and charged it, put it back in and it ran fine for a week. Yesterday, same problem. I boosted it to get it back to the garage, turned it off, and then on again (under its own power); left it over night and now it won't start.

The battery is reading 12.5 to 16 volts if I just leave the meter on it (it appears to creep up). When trying to turn it on, it drops to 13.5 from 16 then back up when I take the key out. All of the internals work (Radio/lights) but it won't turn over. Just clicks.

I also had originally gone through and done a parasitic draw test to see if the battery had a slow drain and it was reading 40 mA.

Is this simply a bad battery? I had put a load tester on it and it checked out.
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Old 19 Apr 2019, 06:23 pm
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Default Re: No start - clicking

Bad battery should only be 12.5 volts or so
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Old 19 Apr 2019, 07:02 pm
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Default Re: No start - clicking

If the battery checks out, the next step is checking connections.

If the connections check out, the next step is replacing the starter.

The starter has a solenoid (basically a heavy duty relay). When you turn the key, it applies a relatively low current to an electromagnet in the solenoid. The electromagnet closes a set of heavy contacts allowing the substantially larger current to flow to the starter motor.

Clicking is often a sign of the contacts in the solenoid being burnt. The solenoid pulls in, but current can't flow to the starter motor through the burnt contacts.
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Old 19 Apr 2019, 07:16 pm
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Default Re: No start - clicking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuggajb View Post
Bad battery should only be 12.5 volts or so
Fair point, but does the car prevent itself from starting if there's TOO many volts?
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Old 19 Apr 2019, 07:40 pm
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Default Re: No start - clicking

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickinPA View Post
If the battery checks out, the next step is checking connections.

If the connections check out, the next step is replacing the starter.

The starter has a solenoid (basically a heavy duty relay). When you turn the key, it applies a relatively low current to an electromagnet in the solenoid. The electromagnet closes a set of heavy contacts allowing the substantially larger current to flow to the starter motor.

Clicking is often a sign of the contacts in the solenoid being burnt. The solenoid pulls in, but current can't flow to the starter motor through the burnt contacts.
I took a wire brush to the battery terminals and connectors before re tightening them, and I am getting 12 v at the starter, so the wire is fine.

If it were the starter, wouldn't boosting it not work? Sorry, not trying to argue, just to gain an understanding of what's occurring.
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Old 19 Apr 2019, 08:20 pm
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Default Re: No start - clicking

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAmbit View Post
I took a wire brush to the battery terminals and connectors before re tightening them, and I am getting 12 v at the starter, so the wire is fine.

If it were the starter, wouldn't boosting it not work? Sorry, not trying to argue, just to gain an understanding of what's occurring.
Assume you went from the + on the starter and ground thru a meter lead? Could be a bad ground wire from the battery. My 2002 PT left me stranded and turned out the battery ground was corroded inside the insulation. Replaced the battery harness (think it was like $85) and never had another issue.

Try taking the booster directly to the starter + and - and try it. If it starts that way I am betting its your battery harness.
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Old 19 Apr 2019, 09:20 pm
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Default Re: No start - clicking

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfm56doc View Post
Assume you went from the + on the starter and ground thru a meter lead? Could be a bad ground wire from the battery. My 2002 PT left me stranded and turned out the battery ground was corroded inside the insulation. Replaced the battery harness (think it was like $85) and never had another issue.

Try taking the booster directly to the starter + and - and try it. If it starts that way I am betting its your battery harness.
Correct, I went from + on the starter to ground peg and it read the same as the battery voltage.

I think my statement re: boosting is confusing. I have boosted it, and it worked fine, using the + battery terminal and the hood latch as ground (where it's marked).

When I remove the negative lead from the battery, it will spark when it's touching it, and I can measure amp draw through it when I put my amp meter in series with the ground wire.

Last edited by TheAmbit; 19 Apr 2019 at 09:23 pm.
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Old 19 Apr 2019, 09:37 pm
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Default Re: No start - clicking

Put your meter on another car battery and make sure it is reading right. A low battery in multimeter reads high and is often overlooked. You seeing 16v is why I wrote this.
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Old 19 Apr 2019, 09:56 pm
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Default Re: No start - clicking

16V is just a surface charge from the charger. You have to load it up first and then the surface voltage will go away.
Solenoid clicking can be caused by a lack of current or a defective starter. I would suggest to attempt to tighten up the battery terminals with a wrench if you have not already done so. This has solved the solenoid click before for me.
Second is to replace the starter.
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Old 19 Apr 2019, 09:58 pm
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Default Re: No start - clicking

First question is how are you doing the battery load test?

Depending on the condition of the battery can affect how the generator is charging the battery. How old is the battery?

If the battery is good and fully charged you should be reading 14 to 14.5 volts at 2500 rpm.
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Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 19 Apr 2019 at 10:00 pm.
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