View Full Version : Won't start all of the sudden.

11-08-2005, 10:06 PM
My SUBARU FAILED ME! For the first time ever!

I'm so sad.

So I went to start it, and it cranked twice, and then the cranking went down in pitch. Uh Oh. Turn off all electrical (lights, heater, stereo), try again....crank, crank, crank, click, click, click. Well, that's weird. This is a brand new battery!

So I get my girlfriend to come over (leaving from school, in the student lot) and jump it.


Click, click, click, the starter goes.


I think the battery is a piece of shit.

I don't think its the starter, because I've NEVER had a problem with it not starting before besides a dead battery (older battery, started easily with a jump).

So i'm going to swap the old battery in (its still at school) tomorrow.
Any ideas, suggestions?

Other notes:
It was about 40* F
It usually starts like a charm in cold weather, maybe a few more cranks than normal.


11-08-2005, 10:12 PM
5MT swap then push start it :-D

11-08-2005, 10:16 PM
starter solenoid? thats what the clicking would be

11-08-2005, 10:56 PM
I didn't try push starting it, mostly because I didn't really have room or people.

Yeah, I've got a 5MT.

That clicking isn't normal? I thought that's what it did when the battery didn't have enough juice to crank the engine.

11-09-2005, 07:28 AM
The usual sign of a bad starter solenoid is if it DOES NOT click. If it's clicking then it should be working.

You can also have someone else start the car and use a volt meter to make sure the starter is getting juice. Try hitting the starter with a hammer or wrench or something while someone else cranks her over too. That works sometimes if it's the starter that's starting to go.

11-09-2005, 07:49 AM
thanks matt :)

I'm gonna switch the battery over today after school.

11-09-2005, 09:59 AM
If that doesnt work, push start it and get it home

11-09-2005, 10:08 AM
Did you test the battery? The alternator might not be charging it while you were driving.

11-09-2005, 10:44 AM
You should still be able to jump start it though, even if the battery is bad.


Bad battery= Car will run once started but when you shut it off it won't restart.

Bad alternator= Car starts but then starts to lose power AS YOU DRIVE. Your lights will dim and eventually you'll stall.

Bad starter= You have good battery voltage, the starter solenoid is working but starter won't crank.

Bad starter solenoid= When you turn the key you won't here the clicking.

11-09-2005, 10:52 AM
When I was having starter problems, usually nothing was happening when i turned the key, the owner of Rallitek (Sean) told me that the starters are not that great at all so dont be suprised if its the starter.

11-09-2005, 04:34 PM
Well, I put the old battery back in, and it started up like always.

I dunno about that new battery, I'll trickle charge it tonight and see how it starts up tomorrow.

Yeah, its funny, cause if it were the battery, why wouldn't it jump start? I had the cables all correct, obviously, I've jumped other people's cars before. Maybe my girlfriend's car is just retarted. It is a GM, after all :P

When I reinstall the new battery, I'll use it, and if it goes again, I'll keep the old one in the trunk, tied down.

I'm going to test for electrical drains, but I really can't see how that is the case, as nothing has changed electrically.... :?

11-09-2005, 04:48 PM
Did you test the "new" battery before you began trickle charging it?
While it was still in the car?

11-09-2005, 04:58 PM
it was about 25 degrees, windy, and I was outside school, wanting to get home.

I also had nothing to test it with.

But I can test it before I start charging with a voltometer.

11-09-2005, 05:20 PM
If you have a multi meter check the battery when car is off. should be 12v or so and when running should be 14.4 abouts. You checked all your cables from alternator and for corrosion?

11-09-2005, 05:26 PM
also mkae sure to load-test the bty.

easiest way is to have someone else start the car for you while you hold the leads on the terminals and look for a voltage drop when the car cranks.

11-09-2005, 06:04 PM
If I could find my multimeter, that'd be nice :roll:

Yeah, I'll do this stuff, thanks guys.

11-09-2005, 07:13 PM
or just take it to advance if you can con your gf to get a ride BFE and they'll test it.

what kinda battery is it?

please don't say never-start (walmart's ever-start) or advance economy, they suck too. silver and titanium, cool. great batteries, economy? teh coxuskors.

11-09-2005, 07:41 PM
You need a new starter i just picked my car up today and it had the same symptoms. It started great up until the other day it did the same thing it sounds like your car did.

11-09-2005, 07:44 PM

11-09-2005, 09:53 PM
people, heres a tidbit to think on...

when its cold outside...less than freezing...the battery needs more juice to get going...

its called cold cranking amps...

for a 4 cylinder the battery doesnt need to much. but a walmart-grade battery wont do.

...im suprised nobody said anything...come on people, this is basic stuff. i should slap your daddies for not teaching it to you.

...and i would always try wailing on the starter with a big hammer before i just went out and started buying things... blindly replacing parts never pans out.

11-09-2005, 10:16 PM
if a battery wont start the car at 40F (4C), hell even 25F(-3C) then its gotta be pretty damn cheap. Cheap as in a bunch of AAA batteries taped together :shock:

My stock subaru battery will start my car at -30 celcius (about -22F for you yanks) no problem

11-09-2005, 11:20 PM
It's (the new one that didn't start) a Titanium Advance auto brand. Supposed to be a good battery.

The one that's been 'ol reliable is actually an Ever-start :smt043

I will check for leaks, but in the last 50 or so miles I've driven since I replaced the old one back in, it hasn't had a problem starting, and its colder today than it was yesterday.

Keep in mind, this car has started with that Ever-start at -20 degree temps without any hiccups.

I wouldn't just blindly repair the starter, however, does anyone know of any resistance tests, or anything like that, that I can use to test the starter?

When we go into advance, I'll get it tested, but its a 35 mile trip (one way) so I don't get in there very often.

11-12-2005, 07:16 PM
wow I there are 6 within 35 miles of my house. lot DIY'ers in KS :wink:

12-10-2005, 12:03 PM
well, the old battery eventually went dead on me too...so I popped the new one back in, and its been fine for about 3 weeks.

I disconnected the subwoofer completely when I reinstalled teh new battery, thinking maybe there was an electrical drain. I'm wondering if maybe the amp turn on switch wasn't working correctly, and the sub was always on??

12-20-2005, 09:20 AM
Sounds like a weak battery, where the cranking is slow and low-toned, and goes on to just going click-click-click-click-click but the starter does not crank. Usually starts right up if I just jump it with another car, or more recently, I bought a jump box. The battery (Interstate) is new from Feb 05, and the alternator (re-man) is from Jan 04. I don’t know if this has anything to do with it, but I had accidentally drained the battery twice over the summer.

A little over a week ago, I brought the car to my mechanic (~30-minute trip) and everything tested OK. Battery tested 12.x volts and alternator 14.x volts. He also has me start the car while him computer/diagnostic equipment was hooked up, and it showed OK too. Of course, this is while things have been warmed up a little, with the battery at ~40*F. It was 20*F this morning.

Things are usually OK for a little while (4 -7 days) after I charge the battery, or after a longish drive of 20 minutes or so. This does not happen frequently as I live a little over 3 miles (and 10 minutes) from work.

This morning was rough. It was cranking sluggishly, and I was hoping that the damn thing would just catch but it didn’t. It just kinda stopped cranking and then nothing happened. NOTHING AT ALL except for the ding-ding-ding that usually happens when I insert the key into the ignition.

Sorry, I know I'm not doing the best job with describing the problem.

Any thoughts??

12-20-2005, 10:21 AM
What cold crank amp is your battery rated at?
Do you have an aftermarket alarm system fitted? Sound amplifiers?

12-20-2005, 11:59 AM
bty is rated at 550 CCA.

after-mkt alarm (but never had a problem before this season) and just a headunit for stereo eqpt upgrade.

12-20-2005, 01:26 PM
I had a problem with an aftermarket alarm on my wagon - if I left the car in passive mode, after a week the battery was drained. The system did drain a lot, because it was working alongside the factory immobilizer too.

With your case, it could be an issue of the alternator not charging the battery properly... or the battery is slightly defective and does not hold a charge.

What about insulating the battery to keep it warmer over night, that might help. A foil-type blanket or section might do enough.

550CA is plenty...so if must be a "hold charge" issue or "recharge" then.

12-20-2005, 01:42 PM
if you flatten a battery a few times that isn't a deep cycle (aka kill it), it won't hold a full charge... my guess is it's probably your battery

12-20-2005, 03:30 PM
if you flatten a battery a few times that isn't a deep cycle (aka kill it), it won't hold a full charge... my guess is it's probably your battery
that's what i've heard, and it's what i'm thinking/hoping a new bty will solve the problem.

EDIT: ahhh... lookie what i found.

14.12. Lead-acid batteries have memories.
Lead-acid batteries do not have the "memory effect" mistakenly identified with first generation Ni-Cad batteries; however, continuous undercharging will lower the capacity of the battery over time due to the accumulation of permanent lead-sulfate or "sulfation". Deep discharges below twenty percent State-of-Charge (approximately 12.0 volts) can damage batteries and will shorten their service lives.

http://www.uuhome.de/william.darden/car ... m#concrete (http://www.uuhome.de/william.darden/carfaq14.htm#concrete)

12-20-2005, 04:36 PM
just another thought.

If it IS because the bty is absolutely DEAD, wouldn't the car still start with a jump. I put a volt meter to it this morning and it was at 12V.

12-20-2005, 06:38 PM
the car would start with a jumpstart... even if the battery is dead... it should be able to get enough charge from the other vehicles system to start the car... once it's running, the alternator does all the work...

personally, i'd say if you can swing it, pickup and optima red top... they are awesome batteries and if you happen to leave your lights on and kill the battery, it should still recharge and hold to it's full potential. that's why alot of stereo people use them.

12-20-2005, 07:06 PM
I went in and got the battery and alternator tested...both fine.

:? I've been running the everstart, and its been okay...I guess I'll put the advance titanium battery back in for the summer...

12-20-2005, 09:02 PM
the car would start with a jumpstart... even if the battery is dead... it should be able to get enough charge from the other vehicles system to start the car... once it's running, the alternator does all the work...

personally, i'd say if you can swing it, pickup and optima red top... they are awesome batteries and if you happen to leave your lights on and kill the battery, it should still recharge and hold to it's full potential. that's why alot of stereo people use them.

got it started after work today. connected it to my fiancee's car for 2 or 3 minutes and then cranked the bugger. took a little longer than usual, but it finally caught.

12-20-2005, 09:48 PM
yea... sounds like your battery isn't holding a charge...

12-21-2005, 09:39 PM
so everything tested OK again today. first thing this morning, he tested that bty and it back 8.xV. he charged it and left to sit outside (with the hood open, 20-something *F and cloudy all day) and checked it 3 times throughout the day.

when i went to pick up the car at 6pm, it still tested 12.xV. alternator still at 14.xV, and starter drawing 60V (or was it 70V), but anyway it was well within specs.

04-06-2009, 10:23 AM
shit shit shit... I looked at this thread too when i got this cheap ass everstart not hardly 2 months yet and I go to try to start my car up yesterday 9sunday) and nothing at all... click click click.. and the funny part was the battery post reads 12.6V and so does it on the grounds of my car and battery connections... HOWEVER

when you go to crank the voltage goes down to about 5V or so then it takes about 6 seconds to come slowly back up to 12V

You can really tell something is not right because if I try to play a cd in my Alpine (stock speakers) the unit shuts right off...

man I should of went with my first pick the optima battery... I will pick up a red top or yellow if the prices are not nuts local at auto zone...

and yesterday it was 56F out... I did not get to load test because I needed a 2nd person but I will be trying it in a few... I expect it to go lower then 5 on a crank...

It's odd you turn on the hazards after cranking and the clicking sound of the relay gets louder and louder then the signals start to flash....


04-06-2009, 10:44 AM
Yeah no reason to buy a battery with no warranty when you can get one with a 7-year warranty at Autozone for $80.

04-06-2009, 11:27 AM
I found a good price for a red top online about $167 shipped to my zip.