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"Nervous (hesitation) Start!"

 
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  • 3 Post By Fk5
  • 1 Post By PGBCruiser
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 26 Jul 2016, 10:35 am
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Default "Nervous (hesitation) Start!"

Hey folks,
Monday evening after the 2002 PT sat in the garage (Florida, no AC) for about 48 hours, I turned the key and immediately thought my battery was dead (that's the nervous part). Before I realized I wasn't hearing the tell tale clicking sound of a car that won't start, it sounded like it was turning over twice, then started. This was all on one turn of the key.
I'm a bit spoiled as the car ALWAYS starts on the first turn of the key.
I shut it down, waited a minute - same result. This time I let the car run for 15 minutes, then turned it off. Tried it again and it started like normal - no problems.
I thought perhaps the sauna-like heat of the garage affected the battery.
This morning I turned the key and got the same hesitation before starting.

I'll be taking it to my local Goodyear service guys this weekend (good people/I trust them); but I was hoping to get some feedback so that I'm armed with a little knowledge when I go in. I appreciate any thoughts (Mileage approx. 115K, all maintenance up to date).
Thanks, Peter !!!
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Old 26 Jul 2016, 11:22 am
Fk5 Fk5 is offline
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Default Re: "Nervous (hesitation) Start!"

Had the same issues when my battery was on its last legs. Usually, it is cold that kills the battery. I doubt the garage could be any hotter than the engine compartment with the engine running. I got a new battery and no issues.

Another potential cause would be fuel pressure bleeding down. The system needs to be primed to start. Sometimes the rail, pump or injectors will bleed down and it will take time to build enough pressure to start.

Either of those issues could explain it restarting quickly when first shut down, but not after a fairly long wait. My money is on the battery.
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Old 26 Jul 2016, 01:30 pm
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Default Re: "Nervous (hesitation) Start!"

Thanks Fk5, not sure what I should be hoping for, maybe the battery is the easiest problem to fix?
I'm no mechanic; but is it likely that letting the car run for a while allows the alternator to give the battery a bit of life?
I'm guessing I can get both checked at little to no cost... the battery was last replaced in October, 2013 (I save my receipts).
While the garage is not as warm as the engine bay, I did have a sports equipment bag on a shelf in the garage - the plastic zipper melted and I had to cut the bag open to get the contents! It gets crazy hot in there, I keep all of my car cleaning supplies in a container inside the house until October or November.
I'll get the battery/alternator checked out and update when I have news...
Thanks again!
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Old 26 Jul 2016, 01:51 pm
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Default Re: "Nervous (hesitation) Start!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fk5 View Post
Had the same issues when my battery was on its last legs. Usually, it is cold that kills the battery. I doubt the garage could be any hotter than the engine compartment with the engine running. I got a new battery and no issues.

Another potential cause would be fuel pressure bleeding down. The system needs to be primed to start. Sometimes the rail, pump or injectors will bleed down and it will take time to build enough pressure to start.

Either of those issues could explain it restarting quickly when first shut down, but not after a fairly long wait. My money is on the battery.
Fk5 is correct in saying that cold weather will affect a battery. Living in MD, PGBCruiser probably doesn't see the HOT temp we see down south. Hot weather will have the same effect on a battery. If there is a weak cell or some issue with the battery, extreme cold or hot can cause failure. This time of year, when the temp reaches close to 100, is our busy season for batteries in Texas.
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Old 26 Jul 2016, 02:05 pm
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Default Re: "Nervous (hesitation) Start!"

VsandFords, I am in Florida (and spent my first 40 plus years in NY/NJ) so I definitely know the effects of extreme temps - although I'm guessing Texas gets much hotter than Orlando.
I recall "de-icing" my door locks in NJ just to get into a car that wouldn't start due to the cold weather... although I would move back in a minute to get out of this heat .
I won't know for sure until I get it checked; but it is encouraging to hear battery rather than fuel pump or injectors!
Thanks!
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Old 26 Jul 2016, 03:11 pm
Fk5 Fk5 is offline
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Default Re: "Nervous (hesitation) Start!"

You guys picked the wrong day to talk about the heat. DC was supposedly ranked as hardest hit right now. Currently 96 with a "realfeel" of 106, whatever that is. Been over 100 the last few days.

Battery is pretty easy. You can do it yourself. Walmart has them for less than $50, Kmart for less than $70, IIRC. Often when the go bad the first sign is failure to hold a charge over time. There were times mine seemed stone dead, but I could wait an hour and try again and it would catch and start. That was how I drove it to pick up the new battery. Just have a load test done. I didn't bother since I believe my battery was from 2008.
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Old 26 Jul 2016, 03:17 pm
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Default Re: "Nervous (hesitation) Start!"

I would suggest taking the PT Cruiser to a auto parts store where they can do a battery load test. This will tell you if the battery is good and also tell you if the battery charging system is working properly. If you do take it to have the battery load test done make sure they key in the proper amperage that the battery is suppose to hold in the battery load tester. Sometimes they hire new employees and don't train them properly on how to use the battery load tester. Some also just tell them to key in 400 amps for a 4 cylinder and this is inaccurate. You should be able to see on top of the battery what the amperage is.
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Old 26 Jul 2016, 09:31 pm
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Default Re: "Nervous (hesitation) Start!"

Success! It was the battery. Went to my local Goodyear guys (Action Gator in FL). They checked the battery (gave me the printout), also checked the alternator, starter, etc. Everything other than the battery checked out great.
For those who know what these numbers mean:
Voltage: 12.75 V
Measured: 223 CCA
Rated: 650 CCA
Temperature: 122 F
Avg. battery life in this area: 24 Months ( I was at 31 Months)

Walmart would have been a longer drive to a less desirable area in which to be stuck - and they won't install on a PT.
I paid $99 for an AC Delco battery (versus $115 at Advance Auto Parts) and they used the price of the tests as the install charge: $20.

I may have paid more than some might; but I was in and out quickly, and these guys have helped me out big time over the years.

As for the heat, I spoke with my mom up in Southern NY this weekend, she said it's been brutal up there. We're kind of used to it in FL; but I feel for those who are getting baked right now.

Thanks to all for the input; and for helping me walk into the shop armed with some knowledge. You guys are great!
Peter
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Old 26 Jul 2016, 10:27 pm
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Default Re: "Nervous (hesitation) Start!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by PGBCruiser View Post
Success! It was the battery. Went to my local Goodyear guys (Action Gator in FL). They checked the battery (gave me the printout), also checked the alternator, starter, etc. Everything other than the battery checked out great.
For those who know what these numbers mean:
Voltage: 12.75 V
Measured: 223 CCA
Rated: 650 CCA
Temperature: 122 F
Avg. battery life in this area: 24 Months ( I was at 31 Months)

Walmart would have been a longer drive to a less desirable area in which to be stuck - and they won't install on a PT.
I paid $99 for an AC Delco battery (versus $115 at Advance Auto Parts) and they used the price of the tests as the install charge: $20.

I may have paid more than some might; but I was in and out quickly, and these guys have helped me out big time over the years.

As for the heat, I spoke with my mom up in Southern NY this weekend, she said it's been brutal up there. We're kind of used to it in FL; but I feel for those who are getting baked right now.

Thanks to all for the input; and for helping me walk into the shop armed with some knowledge. You guys are great!
Peter
I've bought my last 2 batteries from Batteries And Starters | Apopka | Millikan BatteryAnd Electric, you should check them out.
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