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Starting issues and self healing?


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So... I've had a squealing belt intermittently for a few months now, happens on starting the car and i believe from reading up that this is the AC belt needing tightening? However there's been a couple of occasions after driving about where the car has been laboured when starting again. It feels like a battery issue or maybe alternator, and I've been meaning to get it looked at. Last night, I left the car running on the drive for about 5 mins while I fixed a meter door on the house, took the keys out, let myself in the house to get changed, and went to go out again when the car refused to start at all. Like the battery was completely dead. However 3 hours later, I thought I'd try and start the car again and it fired up first time, albeit with the squealing belt again. The battery voltage is normal on the gauge.

 

Can anyone tell me what's wrong and how my car is managing, I guess, to almost 'recharge' itself when the engine isn't even running?

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If the battery is new and healthy some charge will creep back in. Test the alternator with a voltage reader to about 3k revs at the battery, a good alternator should show 13-14 volts. Then again at full load with all the electrics running. It could be a loose belt not spinning the alternator fast enough and you're using more voltage on the usual running (radio, satnav spark plugs and the sensors) than it's kicking out. 

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On 19/01/2018 at 21:09, zedz said:

From what I understand, the engine is tight when hot and will not start at that point.

 

If the engine starts three hours later, when the engine has cooled down and no longer tight, I would look at the oil pump and or possibly the water pump, to see if there is a problem there.

 

It may also be the cause of the squealing if some pulleys are going around and another one is tight from overheating,  water pump first.

 

 

Thatsa little confusing, do you mean the engine is actually tight..as in difficult to turn when it's hot, IE the starter will try but fail to turn the engine? 

Could be as said the alternator is not charging the battery, but then you're saying that you suspect the oil pump! have your low oil pressure then?

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Soooo... ECU codes didn't show anything concerning. The garage had the starter motor apart and refurbed as it wasn't in the best of conditions, and refitted the belt being extra vigilant over tightening correctly. The issues seem to have gone (touch wood), it sometimes has a drop in idle on starting but so far so good.

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On 25/01/2018 at 21:08, zedz said:

It wasn't me asking the question. nothing wrong with my z when it comes to the engine, I was replying to MrLee's post number 1

Sorry! quoted the wrong post, seems the OP is happy that it's fixed, although all rather confusing with details.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well it's not fixed. Today it struggled to turn over after being stood for a good 3 hours. Clock was at 1.05 (it was 7pm) and now my ESP off light won't turn off and the slippery wheels light is also on. Something is very very wrong here. It'll probably start fine tomorrow but I'm starting to lose my patience!

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I don't know if its any help, and abit long worded but the the moral of the stray is it could be your alterator maybe...

 

after 6 months of owning my z it started not starting, if i didn't start my car within 48 hours I'd have to jump start it, so i put it down to a dodgy battery, changed it.. it worked fine and I could leave it for a few days.

Then after a month or two the same thing would happen again.. took battery back and changed for another one, again after a month or two the same thing happend. I guessed there was a battery drain from my aftermarket CD player. After 6 months of making sure i started my car within 48 hours, one day my slip and tcs light came on, it went into a limp mode where it would rev at idle but wouldn't go past 1500 revs when trying to drive and would stall then not start, so i left it.

Next day went back and started fine no lights, as soon as i tried to drive it would light up not rev and stall about 20feet down the road.. after a day of fault finding I had an educated guess it was my alternator, changed the alternator for a second hand one off zman and now I can leave my car for a week at least, no problem. So I put the having to start within 48 hours down to my alternator slowly dying for over a year, my in car voltmeter was still saying 14v when driving that's why I didn't originally think it was my alternator to start with. 

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All your sensors measure voltage drop/electrical resistence, I agree with above that it's likely voltage from the alternator, either faulty alt, or loose belts not allowing it to perform at its best. 

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Its easy to test an alternator, first check the engine off voltage with a multimeter, the voltage should be around 12,00 to 12,8v if the battery is good if any lower then it's getting near replacement, then with the engine running the voltage should read 13.8 to 14, 8 depending on electrical load, anything lower or higher and you looking at a new alternator.

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