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New member here, Cruiser won't start

 
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Old 06 Jul 2015, 05:39 pm
LindaCruiser's Avatar
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Default New member here, Cruiser won't start

I will be posting for my housemate who is 82 years old because he usually knows a whole lot more with his 1929 Model A and his 1955 T-Bird.

He bought a 2003 PT Cruiser today. Paid $500 because it is not running. He had to pay a towing company $120 to get it to our home. The first thing he noticed is that there was a huge amount of corrosion on the battery terminal and cable. He put baking soda on it and then rinsed it off, still nothing. Only a clicking noise when the key is turned.

Then he decided to bring out one of his batteries that he knew was good from his Model A and hook it up. Interesting. now we get the ding-ding for the door opening, the idiot lights coming on and yet we get a rrrrrrr noise when turning over the key. It tries to start but no good.

Could this be due to him keep trying to start it and it got flooded? Gas guage is showing half full.

The seller has no history. Was just sitting around for a few years but actually they drove it only two weeks ago. We got the title, but wondering if we should try to get it going without throwing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars into this vehicle. Miles are 195,600.

Thanks!
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Old 06 Jul 2015, 06:11 pm
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Default Re: New member here, Cruiser won't start

Linda, Welcome to the forum.

Even though the corrosion was washed off with the baking soda, the cable is still not making correct (good) contact, enough to get the 12 volts from the battery to the starter. The cable should be taken off and completely cleaned around the inside of the clamp and the post so the contact will be good. Then, if the battery has enough voltage, the PT will start.
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Old 06 Jul 2015, 08:37 pm
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Default Re: New member here, Cruiser won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaCruiser View Post
I will be posting for my housemate who is 82 years old because he usually knows a whole lot more with his 1929 Model A and his 1955 T-Bird.

He bought a 2003 PT Cruiser today. Paid $500 because it is not running. He had to pay a towing company $120 to get it to our home. The first thing he noticed is that there was a huge amount of corrosion on the battery terminal and cable. He put baking soda on it and then rinsed it off, still nothing. Only a clicking noise when the key is turned.

Then he decided to bring out one of his batteries that he knew was good from his Model A and hook it up. Interesting. now we get the ding-ding for the door opening, the idiot lights coming on and yet we get a rrrrrrr noise when turning over the key. It tries to start but no good.

Could this be due to him keep trying to start it and it got flooded? Gas guage is showing half full.

The seller has no history. Was just sitting around for a few years but actually they drove it only two weeks ago. We got the title, but wondering if we should try to get it going without throwing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars into this vehicle. Miles are 195,600.

Thanks!
Is the motor cranking when he is trying to start it?
Has he checked to see if he is getting spark?
If the PT Cruiser is getting spark try spraying some starter fluid in the throttle body and see if starts to run.
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Old 07 Jul 2015, 04:25 pm
LindaCruiser's Avatar
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Question Re: New member here, Cruiser won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by CREWZIN View Post
Linda, Welcome to the forum.

Even though the corrosion was washed off with the baking soda, the cable is still not making correct (good) contact, enough to get the 12 volts from the battery to the starter. The cable should be taken off and completely cleaned around the inside of the clamp and the post so the contact will be good. Then, if the battery has enough voltage, the PT will start.
I finally made it back here to find my original post There must be an easier way to follow this thread? I had to do a search for LindaCruiser and found it here.

Thank you for your response. Let's call the old guy Bill. Bill did take off the cable and cleaned it and the inside of the clamp and the post, but still will not start.

Update. Bill thought it was out of gas because he ran a hose two feet down into the gas tank and it was dry, but he went out and bought some gas and of course a special funnel that allows it to go down into the gas tank. Still, not starting. The gas tank shows half full. So we will have rule out lack of gas.
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Old 07 Jul 2015, 04:32 pm
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Question Re: New member here, Cruiser won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
Is the motor cranking when he is trying to start it?
Has he checked to see if he is getting spark?
If the PT Cruiser is getting spark try spraying some starter fluid in the throttle body and see if starts to run.
Thank you for responding! Bill used a timing light (I think) to check for spark and it's not getting any spark to the plugs. He tried using starting fluid and still no help.

Keep in mind, I know nothing about auto mechanics, but Bill does. He knows the terminology. He's out there right now reading a Haynes manual. He actually wants to pay for a mobile mechanic to come out to figure out if there's an electrical problem. I do not want him pouring hundreds of dollars into this thing even though it's pretty on the outside, it's a very sick car.

What would you say if we are not getting any spark? Change the plugs and wires? I say sell it to a wrecking yard for $500 with a clean title. They will take that in a minute. But we want to try a little bit more to see the underlying cause.

I bought an OBD2 scanner and it won't read nothing. Called the Manufactuer of this device and they say it won't read nothing from the computer unless it's a running vehicle.

I used it on my little Geo Metro and sure glad it shows a green check mark, lol. The scanner works, but it won't work on the Cruiser.
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Old 07 Jul 2015, 04:38 pm
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Default Re: New member here, Cruiser won't start

Linda, if you added your email address to the profile so the forum knows where you are, when you post, look for the box below the one you actually write in and look for "thread subscription". There's a pull-down menu and look for the option of "instant email notification" and that way an email will be sent to your home computer or wherever your email goes to and it will let you know that someone has posted an answer to your original posting.

Back to your problem. Check the voltage of the batter before starting. If it's at least 11.? that's enough to start the car. If lower, a charge or new battery is in order. That clicking sound you here is the starter trying to turn over the engine but not enough voltage is getting through. The lights and radio and other accessories might work but you need all the voltage you can get to turn over the engine. Sometimes you have enough but because of bad cables or corrosion, the voltage isn't making it to the starter.
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Old 07 Jul 2015, 04:53 pm
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Default Re: New member here, Cruiser won't start

I've seen insulated battery cables that looked fine after cleaning, but the wire inside and underneath the insulation was so corroded and damaged that very little current would flow through what was left of the copper in the cable, at least not enough to turn a starter. You can't see this type of damage either.

By the way, unless Bill's Model A has been converted to use 12 volts, doesn't it use a 6 volt battery? Definitely not enough voltage to power a modern 12 volt car system and starter.

Also Linda, I read the codes on my Actron scanner with the car not running. Usually you have to plug in the scanner, it get's power from the car's system through the OBD plug, then set it up with the make and year of your car, then turn on the key to retrieve any stored codes. Follow any instructions the unit has with it. If there's no power getting to the computer and the OBDII plug, then you won't be able to set it up, or read anything either. That's probably why you're not getting anywhere with the scanner.
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Old 07 Jul 2015, 05:17 pm
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Default Re: New member here, Cruiser won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by CREWZIN View Post
Linda, if you added your email address to the profile so the forum knows where you are, when you post, look for the box below the one you actually write in and look for "thread subscription". There's a pull-down menu and look for the option of "instant email notification" and that way an email will be sent to your home computer or wherever your email goes to and it will let you know that someone has posted an answer to your original posting.

Back to your problem. Check the voltage of the batter before starting. If it's at least 11.? that's enough to start the car. If lower, a charge or new battery is in order. That clicking sound you here is the starter trying to turn over the engine but not enough voltage is getting through. The lights and radio and other accessories might work but you need all the voltage you can get to turn over the engine. Sometimes you have enough but because of bad cables or corrosion, the voltage isn't making it to the starter.
I have my email address in my profile. Maybe someone can help me out here. I don't care if it's displayed. It's linda_jean@zoho.com Maybe a Mod can enter that for me? I signed up and had to put that in there. I want instant email notifications. Sorry if I am on the "naive" side.

The battery was replaced by a very good battery from another car. That battery works very well in his 1929 Model A and new.

Update: Bill says that he took out one spark plug and said, "I have never seen a wide gap like this in my life" so he's out to go get a new set of spark plugs. He said it appears these plugs were never ever changed.

I will keep you up to date.

And coming back to this site, well, I guess I can do it like I did before and do a search for LindaCruiser. I have my email displayed and on my profile it shows "everything". hmm?
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Old 07 Jul 2015, 05:43 pm
LindaCruiser's Avatar
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Default Re: New member here, Cruiser won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by manfred View Post
I've seen insulated battery cables that looked fine after cleaning, but the wire inside and underneath the insulation was so corroded and damaged that very little current would flow through what was left of the copper in the cable, at least not enough to turn a starter. You can't see this type of damage either.

By the way, unless Bill's Model A has been converted to use 12 volts, doesn't it use a 6 volt battery? Definitely not enough voltage to power a modern 12 volt car system and starter.

Also Linda, I read the codes on my Actron scanner with the car not running. Usually you have to plug in the scanner, it get's power from the car's system through the OBD plug, then set it up with the make and year of your car, then turn on the key to retrieve any stored codes. Follow any instructions the unit has with it. If there's no power getting to the computer and the OBDII plug, then you won't be able to set it up, or read anything either. That's probably why you're not getting anywhere with the scanner.
Thank you Manfred for your response. Bill always sups up his classic cars and converts them to 12-volts. He sold a 37 Chevy Coupe for $15,000. All of his cars are 12-volts.

I returned my older OBD2 scanner today and they tried it out on two vehicles. One of which was my running Geo Metro. It did NOT read. He let me exchange it for a brand new one. Brought it home, and used it on my Geo and it shows a green check mark, yay! I tried it on the Cruiser and nope, it would not read. I called the manufacturer and they said it has to be a running vehicle to read.

Bill took out one spark plug and said he never saw a gap as big as that in all his living days, so he's out getting a new set of spark plugs. Let's hope that helps it to start.

I called another shop and they said they doubt that's the problem. Oh well, we gotta start with the least expensive thing first!
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Old 07 Jul 2015, 06:11 pm
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Default Re: New member here, Cruiser won't start

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