No cranking, all of a sudden

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by doofy, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. doofy

    doofy Guest

    Just took my 91 740 wagon to the store. Went in. Came back out.
    Starter will not work. Nothing happens when I turn the key. A few
    gauges jump when I turn the key, but nothing else. The door chime rings
    with the door open, so I guess the battery did not die all of a sudden.

    Could this be a fuse?

    I tried it in park. I tried it in neutral. I jiggled the shifter around.

    Any ideas?
    doofy, Jul 8, 2007
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  2. doofy

    Boris Mohar Guest

    Jiggle the battery terminals. The have to make a GOOD contact.


    Boris Mohar

    Got Knock? - see:
    Viatrack Printed Circuit Designs (among other things)

    void _-void-_ in the obvious place
    Boris Mohar, Jul 8, 2007
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  3. doofy

    doofy Guest

    That's possible. The radio will not come on. The power door locks
    work, though sludgy. I plugged a small air compressor into the
    cigarette light, and it worked, though sluggish.

    I put a tester across the terminals, and it seems to have full voltage.

    Why won't the radio come on? That's very low voltage.
    doofy, Jul 8, 2007
  4. Hi,
    My guess: starter died.

    Sorry for my English (this vocabulary you certainly don't learn at
    School... ;-) ), but in German it's called something like a burnt
    rotor lamella.
    Well, in this case the automatic is a disadvantage.

    With a manual tranny you can give the car a push, jump in, press the
    clutch pedal, turn and hold the key to ignition and release the clutch
    pedel for a (very) short time. Then the starter will work again, until
    he again comes to a stop at the defective area.
    btdt, very "funny" to do this exercise on a motor home on the way
    home... ;-)

    Roland Messerschmidt, Jul 8, 2007
  5. doofy

    doofy Guest

    Would that cause the radio not to work?

    Automatics are always a disadvantage, unless you're smooching and
    driving at the same time.

    I just went and cleaned the terminals. Nothing.
    doofy, Jul 8, 2007
  6. doofy

    Gary Heston Guest

    Could be. Find the main fuse and reseat it.
    Could be the battery; they can fail suddenly--could be the alternator
    or charging system failing to charge the battery. Or a bad connection.

    You need to test the battery under load; check the voltage across the
    terminals without a load first--you should see about 12.6V. If you
    see significantly less (11.5V or less) either it's not charged or it's

    Now, turn on the headlights and check the voltage--if it's dropped below
    11V, you most likely have a bad battery.

    If the battery voltage isn't dropping, test for differences between the
    positive terminal and the connector on the positive cable, or from the
    negative terminal to the chassis. If there's more than 0.5V, you may
    have a bad cable.

    Try borrowing a battery; or jump starting. Also, most parts places can
    test a battery for you (and usually will for free).

    Gary Heston, Jul 8, 2007
  7. doofy

    James Sweet Guest

    I suspect the ignition switch itself is bad, it could also be the battery
    cable or even the battery itself. The radio is not any more low voltage than
    anything else in the car, it's all 12V nominal. It's a low current load, but
    if the voltage is below a certain point it won't power up.
    James Sweet, Jul 9, 2007

  8. I had the same type of problem -- bad battery. Under no load it was
    11.5, under load of the key turning - 5.6 volts. Changed the battery (
    2 days left in replacement warranty) and all better.
    online drifter, Jul 9, 2007
  9. doofy

    doofy Guest

    Well, thanks everyone for your feedback. Under load, the battery was
    about 6-8 volts. Replaced it and it cranked right up. So, unless
    there's some other fault that killed the battery, I'm good to go.
    doofy, Jul 9, 2007
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