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2002 won't start without a jumper starter

 
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Old 20 Jan 2014, 12:14 pm
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Angry 2002 won't start without a jumper starter

I've had probs with this not starting, and finally fixed the negative and positive battery terminals that connect to the battery. (The positive cable was coming out of the connector and the negative cable was loose.) It started great for a while, after a year, now we have to use a jumper battery all the time to start it. I looked at both cable ends and they are clean and tight on the cable and the battery post. I cleaned the ground where it attaches to the side of the fender and still no change. I'm going to follow the cable where the other end goes (it has two wires for the negative cable) and see if that's the problem. It might be the positive side where I connect the jumper lead to. Maybe the positive side that isn't attached tot he battery is bad or corroded. Any ideas??? Also, the radio hasn't worked in years. Any ideas to do a quick check on it???
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Old 20 Jan 2014, 12:24 pm
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Default Re: 2002 won't start without a jumper starter

Has the battery itself or the charging system been checked out. Sounds like the system has been neglected for quite awhile to get the cables in that kind of condition so everything has to be checked out for corrosions and good connections including all the grounds. Following all the cables and replace if necessary.
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Old 20 Jan 2014, 04:19 pm
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Default Re: 2002 won't start without a jumper starter

I just checked everything that I could check. Continuity in cables are good. Cleaned and tightened again. Checked terminals on solenoid and they are all clean and tight. Battery has 12.5 volts. Thought I'd check the charging system, but if the battery has a full charge, it's probably working correctly. After checking everything out and not seeing anything, a thought came to my mind. The place where the battery sits (battery carrier) is a certain size. The battery that Interstate put in is quite a bit smaller than the carrier. I'm wondering if the battery doesn't have enough power by itself to get the car started, but with the jumper battery, it has plenty. I'm going to look to see if the battery they put in has enough cranking amps for the car. It's either that or the solenoid might be bad, either it's sticking and the extra power unsticks it where only one battery won't. Or, might be going bad and needs the extra power to start the car. Your thoughts???
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Old 20 Jan 2014, 07:24 pm
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Lightbulb Re: 2002 won't start without a jumper starter

Quote:
Originally Posted by union865 View Post
Battery has 12.5 volts.
Problems have even been reported with 12.4v...So,your battery may be in question;Not enough power to throw out the solenoid plunger.
Quote:
Originally Posted by union865 View Post
It's either that or the solenoid might be bad, either it's sticking and the extra power unsticks it where only one battery won't. Or, might be going bad and needs the extra power to start the car. Your thoughts???
Have you tried tapping on the solenoid casing?.....Depending on how old the solenoid is,the dielectric grease used to lubricate the plunger & internals,may not be as viscous as it needs to be,and tapping(or banging) may make it break free if repeated a few times.
But,that 12.5 volts is the first thing to check out;What is the date on the battery?(NOT neccessarily when you purchased it)
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Old 21 Jan 2014, 05:17 am
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Default Re: 2002 won't start without a jumper starter

Union; Get a meter that measures volts/ohms/amps. $20 at sears. And a pair of small jumper wires [#16 radio shack ?]. Mount meter leads on the battery terminal and have the meter visible from the drivers seat. 12.5 Volts is good. Try to start the car while watching the meter. The voltage should drop to ~10 volts and the engine should be cranking over.

A weak battery or poor connections of the [both] large battery wires would be my first guess. A bad starter also might cause this problem.
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Old 21 Jan 2014, 08:38 am
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Default Re: 2002 won't start without a jumper starter

Thanks for the info. I do have a very nice meter with leads for it. I checked with the local Chrysler dealership here and with a mechanic that has been there for 44 years. (his info) I gave him all of the information that I have given all of you, and he says he doubts it's the starter or the solenoid, because if it starts with the jumper battery, than most likely nothing is wrong with the wiring or the starting system. He feels it might be the alternator or the battery. I wish I had my load tester here just to see if it will handle the load. I can't try the meter test today because it's going to be -15 here, and I know the car won't start, or even crank over. I can't imagine it being the alternator, if it won't even crank over, but I will find out. Is using the meter and looking at it while I crank the motor going to give me readings for a load? Sounds like it is. Would this be used instead of using a load tester?
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Old 21 Jan 2014, 08:57 am
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Default Re: 2002 won't start without a jumper starter

I guess I didn't answer all of the questions posted to me. The battery is about 1 1/2 years old. It is a 650 cranking amp battery.

Also, any ideas on how to test a radio to see if it is bad? This one hasn't worked in many years. I haven't had the time to check it, but will soon. But the fuse is good.
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Old 21 Jan 2014, 01:17 pm
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Lightbulb Re: 2002 won't start without a jumper starter

Quote:
Originally Posted by union865 View Post
The battery is about 1 1/2 years old. It is a 650 cranking amp battery.
Still might need to have a load test done,even a 1.5 y/o battery could be weak.

Quote:
Originally Posted by union865 View Post
Also, any ideas on how to test a radio to see if it is bad? This one hasn't worked in many years. I haven't had the time to check it, but will soon. But the fuse is good.
This is a fairly common issue on Gen-1 PTs with the steering colum ground;Does the condition stay the same when you move the steering wheel adjustment up & down?.....Here's some photos that better illustrate the issue(and fix!) I have mentioned:

ST_CLM01.jpg

ST_CLM02.jpg

ST_CLM03.jpg
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Old 22 Jan 2014, 03:55 am
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Default Re: 2002 won't start without a jumper starter

Union; at 15 below your battery is not putting out 650 cranking amps. A larger battery will fit in some PT's. --- 58R --- 85 --- 86 backwards -- would be worth checking into. Also, a starter gets weak over time. Thin brushes, dirty commutator, burnt solenoid contacts etc. all lower the efficiency of the starter. A car that starts easily at 32 might not start at all at 15 below.
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Old 22 Jan 2014, 09:49 pm
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Default Re: 2002 won't start without a jumper starter

OK, here's what I found out, and fixed. I did a load test on the battery, and it had 330 cca's at a full charge. That's just not enough. So, a new battery and it now works fine. (I wish I would have known that a year ago.) If I would have had my load tester here, I would have done that sooner than I did this time and wouldn't have had to go through all of this question and answer session. Thanks to everyone who responded with fixes and things to check. Yer all some really great people, and that's why I luv the USA, because of people like you all. Thanks again and happy motoring.
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