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Old 09-26-2007, 01:35 AM   #1
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Default Slow cranking, flashing ECC, but voltage is fine

Car has been starting hard for the last few weeks. Sometimes it will crank over slow; sometimes it will crank once, pause for a split second, then start cranking again slowly. Never cranks very long, because once the engine turns over it fires right up.

Today I tested the battery after sitting overnight and it read 12.5v. Unhooked the negative cable and tried to test for parasitic drain, but couldn't get the multimeter to read right (dammit Bob! ). Hooked up the battery again and started the car; tested 14.1v supplied to the battery and 14.4v at the alternator output. Seems totally normal. Then I noticed that the ECC display was flashing for a minute or two. Every time I've started the car today the vents don't blow, then the ECC starts flashing and the A/C starts blowing after about 30 secs. And it still cranks slow. Really weird.

I figure it has to be some sort of wiring/ground issue... I just don't know where to start
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:47 AM   #2
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You've had a battery issue before right? Corrosion?

Sounds like you have voltage and no amps. Also look at your battery for puffy sides. AZ is known for killing batteries quick.

Call MVB..
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:50 AM   #3
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Can you measure what the voltage is while cranking?
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Old 09-26-2007, 12:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon
Can you measure what the voltage is while cranking?
I'll do that today.

So what would cause the ECC to flash in conjunction with the slow cranking?
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Old 09-26-2007, 02:27 PM   #5
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Sounds like you have voltage and no amps.
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Old 09-26-2007, 02:36 PM   #6
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So will checking the voltage while cranking indicate a low amperage condition? Or do I need to put the multimeter on an amperage setting?
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:34 PM   #7
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Just did the test...

Battery was at 12.45v after sitting for 3 hours. When the starter was engaged it cranked just as slowly as before and the voltage dropped down to ~5v momentarily. After about the second or third crank the engine fired and voltage at the battery jumped back up to 13.8v.

What does this tell you guys?
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:36 PM   #8
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I found this website that discusses the causes of engine cranking problems. I found this blurb to be interesting:

Quote:
If the engine won't crank or cranks slowly when you attempt to start or jump start the engine (and the battery is fully charged), you can focus your attention on the starter circuit. A quick way to diagnose cranking problems is to switch on the headlights and watch what happens when you attempt to start the engine. If the headlights go out, a poor battery cable connection may be strangling the flow of amps. All battery cable connections should be checked and cleaned along with the engine-to-chassis ground straps.
I have to wonder if my problem is a battery cable or ground. I also wonder if the starter itself is giving problems. Have any ideas? I'm not so sure it'* the battery itself causing the issues.
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBoost37
You've had a battery issue before right? Corrosion?

look at your battery for puffy sides. AZ is known for killing batteries quick.

Call MVB..
Ben..I'm quoting this again in hopes you will honestly respond to it this time.

If not..I'll be forced to call MVB and send him on a Ben Buttkicking mission for me.

You had an issue in the past right?
Your cables are probably bad right?
When your starter engages it drains a good chunk of power. Any items will show up as weakpoints.

Think of volts and amps as horsepower and torque respectively. You can have horsepower..but that isn't what gets a heavy car or starter to begin moving. Torque or Amps is the force that gets things moving. Without a good battery, connection at the battery and good cables you are going to experience issues.

A battery will typically show that it is near the end of it'* life if you look at the sides. When they are no longer straight and begin to get puffy..it'* from heat. This is probably the easiest way to spot a battery that needs to be replaced.
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Old 09-27-2007, 11:58 AM   #10
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Alright you ninny...

I have never had a battery issue. I had an alternator issue a few months ago, but that is not the culprit here (as far as I know). My terminals and cables are not corroded, and the sides of the battery look straight to me. It has some sort of indicator "eye" on the top that is supposed to be green when the battery is good, clear when it needs service, and red when it'* junk. It'* currently green.

I have no reason to assume my cables are bad, other than the fact that the website I quoted in my previous post might suggest replacing the cables. Also, the ECC didn't begin having troubles until I disconnected and reconnected the negative cable. So maybe the cables need to be replaced after all.

What else should I test to see if I can isolate the bad component? I want to be a little more sure about the problem before I buy parts for it.
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