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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would really appreciate some feedback, I have been searching the forum and reading threads for a few days now and can't find a situation quite like mine.

About a month ago, had an overheat situation idling in a drive thru line. Found out the engine cooling fans were not coming on. I replaced the fan assembly and no further issues.
Then driving about 2 weeks ago, the ground cable on the back of the alternator broke off from the connector. I got the service battery charging system warning, car started disabling everything but I made it home. I fixed the connection and drove the car a few times afterwards with no problems. I have been watching the battery voltage ever since and alternator recharges the battery to around 14 volts after cranking. So I thought everything was fine.

Got in the car last weekend after it sat for a week, still have the DIC on battery voltage. I watch it after cranking and battery recharges back to 14 volts. After driving for about 5 minutes the car dies. Electronics are still working, AC is still on and radio. I coast into a parking lot and stop the car. Try to restart and starter turned over slightly but no crank. I attempt to jump the car with cables but it will not crank. Now I just get the one click like the starter is bad. I pulled the battery and took it to a part store, they tested it and said it was fine.

I got the car towed home. I removed air intake, jacked the car up and started checking all ground I can find, looking for any loose connections and found nothing. Ground on back of alternator still good. After reading here, I decided to replace the crankshaft position sensor and starter while I was there. Been having the hard crank issue when hot for a while, maybe a new starter will help.
After replacing the starter and sensor, car still will not start and I get the one click on the starter but no crank. All accessories come on and are working.
Not sure what to try next. The way it died on me, I don't know what it can be.
Any suggestions?
 

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I'm thinking possible melted harness. This is based on your recent rash of electrical issues.
Dark garage, hood up, and have someone try to start the car while you look for spark. Better to have an extinguisher and not need it, than to need one and not have it.
 

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Have you tried to turn it over with a wrench?

(If it won’t turn over with a wrench, you could have a stuck injector)


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Replace the battery, just because it has voltage doesn't mean it's putting out the amps to turn it over. Also check the positive terminal (retighten it) in the middle of the fuse panel in the trunk compartment.
 

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I would try using a jumper cable and go straight to starter terminal (safely) and see if the starter cranks the engine. Maybe have someone by the battery while you hold your end on the starter (red cable). They just touch and hold until you see if starter cranks motor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm thinking possible melted harness. This is based on your recent rash of electrical issues.
Dark garage, hood up, and have someone try to start the car while you look for spark. Better to have an extinguisher and not need it, than to need one and not have it.
I tried that last night in the dark garage, didn't see any spark.
Have you tried to turn it over with a wrench?

(If it won’t turn over with a wrench, you could have a stuck injector)
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I have no idea how to do that. I will see if I can figure out how.
Try a push-start if it's a manual.
Its an auto.
Replace the battery, just because it has voltage doesn't mean it's putting out the amps to turn it over. Also check the positive terminal (retighten it) in the middle of the fuse panel in the trunk compartment.
Got a new battery today and still doesn't turn over. Just one hard click from the starter.
I did notice that all instrumentation lights go out for a second, like when the starter clicks, and then comes back on. Can that be a sign of something?
 

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I tried that last night in the dark garage, didn't see any spark.

I have no idea how to do that. I will see if I can figure out how.

Its an auto.

Got a new battery today and still doesn't turn over. Just one hard click from the starter.
I did notice that all instrumentation lights go out for a second, like when the starter clicks, and then comes back on. Can that be a sign of something?
There is a fuseable link on the driver's side frame rail. I would check that to see if it melted. Also see if you are getting voltage to the wire that engages the starter wire. Not talking about the main wire. But check that too. Other than that, fuses and relays. Good luck.
 

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Got a new battery today and still doesn't turn over. Just one hard click from the starter.
I did notice that all instrumentation lights go out for a second, like when the starter clicks, and then comes back on. Can that be a sign of something?
From your description, the problem is something related to your Starter. You have a known-good battery. You turn the key and you get a click and the lights go out. That's because the Starter is being energized and it's stalled, not turning for some reason. It looks like a dead short (or near enough) to the battery. Something's jammed up, if the starter motor you put in was new and good. Or the wiring that goes to the starter is damaged and shorting out someplace maybe.

There's a big-ass bolt that holds the harmonic damper on to the end of the crankshaft, at the front of the motor. You need to get a wrench on that nut either from above or below, and then rotate clockwise to see if the motor will spin. To be honest, if it's not something busted with the starter motor, or a problem with the starter's wiring, the next most likely scenario based on your description is a seized motor. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
From your description, the problem is something related to your Starter. You have a known-good battery. You turn the key and you get a click and the lights go out. That's because the Starter is being energized and it's stalled, not turning for some reason. It looks like a dead short (or near enough) to the battery. Something's jammed up, if the starter motor you put in was new and good. Or the wiring that goes to the starter is damaged and shorting out someplace maybe.

There's a big-ass bolt that holds the harmonic damper on to the end of the crankshaft, at the front of the motor. You need to get a wrench on that nut either from above or below, and then rotate clockwise to see if the motor will spin. To be honest, if it's not something busted with the starter motor, or a problem with the starter's wiring, the next most likely scenario based on your description is a seized motor. :(
I can't find any issue with the wiring to the starter, everything is still wrapped in the reflective temp tape. Can it be damaged underneath that?
I got a 24mm on the lower pulley and could not get it to budge.
Also, you can pull the accessory belts off to see if will turn over. I have seen AC compressors freeze up and not allow the engine to rotate.
I took off the AC compressor belt to see if I could turn the engine over, still did not move.
II guess I'm done. Next is to find a shop to take it to. I have no one local.
 

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Try pulling the plugs first and rotating the assembly. It'll be a lot easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After talking to a few people, I decided to look around the car a little more. I'm being told its a bad ground somewhere.

I started at the battery, checked the ground cable and positive cable to make sure nothing was loose.
Then I took the two cables off of the positive post under the hood, cleaned around the post (only a little dust there) and put the two connectors back on and tightened.
Tried to start the car and the starter didn't have the one loud click. I could hear it softly.
So I went back to the positive terminal, took the two back off and traced them best I could from up top to make sure there was no breaks in the lines. I can see no issues with the lines.
I re-install them and go back to the car to try and crank again. I get the one loud click from the starter again but no crank.
I try it maybe two more times and then I lose all power. No lights on dash, no radio, no lights, nothing. Car went to completely dead. Battery is brand new with good connection.

What would cause it to go from attempting to crank to dead? The two cables from the post under the hood, one appears to go to the ECM(?) under the hood and the other to the starter? Would one of those cause me to lose everything like this?
 

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Do you own a voltmeter? Go to the battery and measure the voltage. Then go to the front of the car and measure the voltage. They should be the same, and I bet they're well below 12V because your battery is dead. Suggests maybe something that should be shutting off isn't, and that's draining the battery. All the things you described, that I commented on, assumed a charged battery. Many if not all of what you describe could also be attributed to a dead battery.

The voltage you get from a battery depends on the load you put on the battery. Higher loads cause the voltage to drop further than lighter loads. But all loads cause the voltage to drop a bit. If the battery is mostly depleted, the load from the lights may not be enough to "pull down" the battery voltage to the point stuff stops working. So it looks like things are normal. But when you go to crank, the starter motor puts a huge load on the battery and in a depleted state, the voltage could drop quite low.

Check your battery voltage with a meter. If you don't own one, now's the perfect excuse to buy one! :)

Once your battery is recharged (assuming I'm right), you can measure the voltage at the battery with the meter while cranking the car, and then compare that to the voltage at the front of the car while cranking. If there's a big difference, you've got a wiring problem that could be a bad ground. If the difference is only a volt or two, your wiring is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Do you own a voltmeter? Go to the battery and measure the voltage. Then go to the front of the car and measure the voltage. They should be the same, and I bet they're well below 12V because your battery is dead. Suggests maybe something that should be shutting off isn't, and that's draining the battery. All the things you described, that I commented on, assumed a charged battery. Many if not all of what you describe could also be attributed to a dead battery.

The voltage you get from a battery depends on the load you put on the battery. Higher loads cause the voltage to drop further than lighter loads. But all loads cause the voltage to drop a bit. If the battery is mostly depleted, the load from the lights may not be enough to "pull down" the battery voltage to the point stuff stops working. So it looks like things are normal. But when you go to crank, the starter motor puts a huge load on the battery and in a depleted state, the voltage could drop quite low.

Check your battery voltage with a meter. If you don't own one, now's the perfect excuse to buy one! :)

Once your battery is recharged (assuming I'm right), you can measure the voltage at the battery with the meter while cranking the car, and then compare that to the voltage at the front of the car while cranking. If there's a big difference, you've got a wiring problem that could be a bad ground. If the difference is only a volt or two, your wiring is fine.
Ordered a voltmeter, will get it Monday.
I put my trickle charger on the battery and sure enough it is dead. Its a brand new battery!
I charged the battery and sat in the car for about 10min with everything turned off, doors locked and no fob.
Something is running in the radio area and never turned off. The ambient lighting in the inner door open handles never turned off. I had a CD in the radio, I ejected it and it sounded like the CD player stopped spinning but the radio or something kept running.
Here's what is not adding up,
1. If this was my original issue, why did the car crank, run/drive for around 5min, and then die.
2. You should be able to run accessories for an extended period of time before the battery dies, how can this kill a new battery or turn off a car while driving after the alternator has recharged the battery.
This is really confusing.
 
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