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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 29 Dec 2013, 09:49 am
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Default Just clicking

My brother in law is the proud owner of a 2003 PT 2.0 Touring ed. manual. Earlier this week he was coming to visit us but the PT wouldn't start. He says the starter cranked the engine a bit then the starter realy started clicking. I told him I thought the battery was flat. He bought jumper cables and nothing changed. He knows as much about cars as the average user of this forum knows about space travel so he feels quite stranded... I am thinking about going to where the PT sits right now and try to sort things out. I thought I'd ask here first to see if you guys have any good ideas. It would take me an hour and a half to get to the car and then I have to get back home again It wouldn't feel good to get there and get bright ideas after I have returned home.
All the lights are said to shine bright and the pinging sound when the ignition is turned on works so it sounds to me as if there is actally power in the battery. If the car is left alone for a while the starter engages for a split second and then the relay starts clicking again. My guess is that the negative connections from the battery to the engine + engine to body might be corroded or else the positive wire on the starter might need to be cleaned. have you got any other ideas? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 29 Dec 2013, 10:21 am
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Default Re: Just clicking

You have the right ideas but I would still think it's the battery. When it was jump started, the connections from the good battery wasn't good and it wasn't making good contact. Make sure the car with the good battery is ON and the cables make a good connection.

Seeing that your brother-in-law's battery is low/dead, follow this drawing, with the "YOURS" battery being the brother-in-law.

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Old 29 Dec 2013, 10:35 am
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Default Re: Just clicking

Thanks for the quick reply Crewzin.While my brother-in-law ws trying to jump start the PT his wife was on the phone talking with me. I did my best trying to explain how to connect the cables and I believe they did it the right way. The thing that I think is strange is that they both say all lights and other electric funcitions seem to work okay. When a battery gives up my experience is that lights dim and other functions stop working. If they are correct they do have all the power they need except for the power that is needed for the starter. When they tried jump starting the PT they got help from a friend with a huge diesel powered Volvo SUV. I can't think of a better car to use since diesel cars normally have very powerful alternators. Still - I hope you are right. It would feel good if I could just go there and replace the battery and go home.
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Old 29 Dec 2013, 10:46 am
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Default Re: Just clicking

The starter takes almost all the power that the battery has to offer. The other accessories (lights etc.) will work fine even with a low battery (unless it's completely dead) and the give away is the clicking and the almost want to start when left for awhile. Sure signs of a weak battery. Could lead to finding a bad cell or corroded cables like you said but the jump should start it.
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Old 29 Dec 2013, 10:47 am
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Lightbulb Re: Just clicking

Obviously;as previously stated,the battery MUST be good & charged,and producing proper CCA's(cold cranking amps)....If that checks out OK then proceed from there.
Being a 2003 (10+ years old),there is also a strong possiblity that the positive cable to the starter is old,and has suffered a breakdown in resistance,or is just not making 100% good,clean contact to the starter(NOT the solenoid!).
There are 2 red cables coming from battery,1 for starter & 1 for PDC,check the main positive cable for good,clean connection first....Then using a mulitmeter,check the resistance breakdown;Replace if neccessary.
The next possibility is the actual starter solenoid is faulty,that would also cause it to just 'click'.
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Last edited by randyincctx; 29 Dec 2013 at 10:56 am.
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Old 29 Dec 2013, 01:34 pm
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Default Re: Just clicking

Quote:
Originally Posted by randyincctx View Post
the positive cable to the starter is old,and has suffered a breakdown in resistance,'.
My plan is to bring my multimeter there. I am not a real master of multimeters so I am not sure of how to measure the amps of the battery. I think there is a resistance setting on the multimeter. What should the readings be for a positive cable in working order?
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Old 29 Dec 2013, 03:37 pm
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Default Re: Just clicking

BTW....the last time I jumped the Cruiser to start the wiffie's Grand Marquis.....the PT had to be revved up a little to create enough juice to start hers.
Just sayin....
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Old 29 Dec 2013, 08:11 pm
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Lightbulb Re: Just clicking

Hopefully this will answer most of your questions,and save my fingers in the process: Voltage Drop Testing | Automotive Topics

One thing should be noted;There are those who have still had a problem,even with a voltage drop of 0.04 Volts.

One quick thing you might try is this....The other day my PT was having a starter issue,but it would only click once;Assuming it was the solenoid(located on top of the starter),and after getting some expert advice,I went outside with a 3' long piece of 1x2,my 21 oz finishing hammer,and while having my trusty assistant(my 82 y/o Dad)turn the key to 'start',I banged on the top of the solenoid,and on the 3rd bang,she turned over;I did have to repeat this 2x more,but since then she has turned over every time since then.
Now;This particular method may or may not help in your situation,but it sure can't hurt,and as I was told you don't need to be gentle when doing it,the starter solenoid has a pretty tough housing on it.lol
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Old 29 Dec 2013, 09:49 pm
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Default Re: Just clicking

if you have to tap on the starter it probably has bad or stuck brushes. tap on the end frame of the starter if you can. if you cant get to the end then tap on the solenoid.
I would not recommend hitting on the side of the starter motor. if your starter is a permenant magnet gear reduction starter you could break the magnets and lock the starter.
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Old 03 Jan 2014, 01:04 pm
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Default Re: Just clicking

I just came back from a rescue trip to the stranded PT. The battery seemed to be the one that had been in the car since new. Ten years in Swedish climate (like in southern Canada I would imagine) isn't bad. My multimeter showed 11.6 volts. We got a new baattery and I cleaned all connections of the battery wires. The one that goes into the sheetmatal behind the left hand side fender looked really sad. When it was time to start it it fired up instantly and is now officially back "onlane" Thank you all for your thoughts before I went to bring the PT back to life.
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