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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
aight guys. today i tried starting the engine after my battery died. i jumped the car but it still wont start. when i try to start it makes a cranking noise first off then a vigorous clicking noise. when its clicking the lights flicker. any help?
 

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My name is Aaron
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this happened to a friend of mine while she was driving, i tried to jump her car and no dice, but all the electronics worked. i would first take the alternator off and have it tested, my guess points to what her problem was.

if that doesn't seem like the culprit, i would have it taken to advance and have them test both the battery and the alternator since it may be a bad battery or just an old one. pm me and let me know how it works out for you
 

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Player to be named later
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Check the fuses in the engine compartment. Pay attention to the one marked SNSR or something like that. It powers all the sensors. If the sensors don't return a signal, the computer won't provide a spark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
alrighty. so i put my key on the "on" position while my battery charger is running. i get this clicking noise from the fuse box and the "check engine" light flasshes on and off with the clicking. any1 know what this could be? (car still dont start)
 

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Teach
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You might have a code in the ecu. Pull the codes to see if any exist (flashing CEL might be a sign of this), and see if the ECU is getting the power it needs. It might be wise to get a new battery as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm sorry but I'm a noon. Can u explain ecu? And get a shop to pull the codes or what? And maybe get a new batt. I'm going for a full sound system so Imma need a battery bank in back anyway. But why replace it when it giving my 12 smtn Volts?
 

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Teach
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I'm sorry but I'm a noon. Can u explain ecu? And get a shop to pull the codes or what? And maybe get a new batt. I'm going for a full sound system so Imma need a battery bank in back anyway. But why replace it when it giving my 12 smtn Volts?
ECU= Engine Control Unit, or better known as the powertrain computer. If the CEL is flashing, there could be a problem. If you have access to a scan tool, under the dash by the hood release is a plug that is used to hook up a scan tool (most of us have access to one).

First off, a battery should have more than 12 volts to start the car. Most batteries fully charged have 13.4 volts. When you put a load on that battery, the voltage drops. If it drops below 11 volts under a load, it will not start the car. A good battery under load should have 12.7 volts.

If you are going to going to have a sound system over 1000 watts, a second battery is suggested, but you can't just slap one in there without additional equipment designed to keep that battery charged without killing the alternator.

Change the battery first. If it starts with a new battery, take it to a parts store to have the alternator tested while it is on the car. It should be putting out anywhere from 13.2 to 14.5 volts. Anything below 12.2 is no good.

I'm sorry but I'm a noon. Can u explain ecu? And get a shop to pull the codes or what? And maybe get a new batt. I'm going for a full sound system so Imma need a battery bank in back anyway. But why replace it when it giving my 12 smtn Volts?
ECU= Engine Control Unit, or better known as the powertrain computer. If the CEL is flashing, there could be a problem. If you have access to a scan tool, under the dash by the hood release is a plug that is used to hook up a scan tool (most of us have access to one).

First off, a battery should have more than 12 volts to start the car. Most batteries fully charged have 13.4 volts. When you put a load on that battery, the voltage drops. If it drops below 11 volts under a load, it will not start the car. A good battery under load should have 12.7 volts.

If you are going to going to have a sound system over 1000 watts, a second battery is suggested, but you can't just slap one in there without additional equipment designed to keep that battery charged without killing the alternator.

Change the battery first. If it starts with a new battery, take it to a parts store to have the alternator tested while it is on the car. It should be putting out anywhere from 13.2 to 14.5 volts. Anything below 12.2 is no good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah lol. I've narrowed it down to about 3 things
Batt or alt (pretty sure batt is fine but might get it checked anyway)
Top rad tube someone told me the ground wire from there will be corroded
Starter (solenoid)
 

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The line at the back of the engine (thing that's humming in the vid) is the cruise control module.
Did you check the battery right after you tried starting and the whole thing died? Dead battery might show a voltage but not be able to provide current enough to start...

So you said you tried jumping it and it didn't work? That's off another running car or what?? If it's hooked up properly to jump (and the other car is running and providing constant power), but you get the same non-start issue, it's more than battery/alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay. I'll try jumping again. I tried charging. I jumped it a while ago and it did start but that was b4 winter so idk. I'll check this weekend or smtn
 

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So the jump was successful... when you unhook the cables, does it stay running? If so, the alternator is still providing adequate voltage. Drive it around for an hour or 2, turn it off, wait an hour and try restarting. if it doesn't start, chances are the battery is dead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well then I got2 fix my brakes. Damn lol. Nah I think imma just get my battery checked. Yeah it stayed on though and running
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
im back with the same problem! had it fixed for a while and now its not starting again. got it running about a week ago, drove it around for an hour and it stayed on, but now i tried today and its a no go. same clicking noise. new battery was put in about 6 months ago,and i have been keeping it charged.

im trying to sell this car and i need it running asap

got new tires and new brakes on it.
i also have the interior all cleaned up, the sound system and everything out but im still getting this problem
 

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im back with the same problem! had it fixed for a while and now its not starting again. got it running about a week ago, drove it around for an hour and it stayed on, but now i tried today and its a no go. same clicking noise. new battery was put in about 6 months ago,and i have been keeping it charged.

im trying to sell this car and i need it running asap

got new tires and new brakes on it.
i also have the interior all cleaned up, the sound system and everything out but im still getting this problem
If a new battery fixed it, more than likely your alternator is going. It might not be bad enough that it's a constant problem but if your battery is dead again, that's your culprit.

I had a very similar problem in a Dodge once. At 35mph and below the alternator would be fine, car would run. I had it tested at AutoZone and they told me nothing was wrong with it. But once I got up to highway speed, the thing just wasn't working right, and the car would stall. It sucked as I discovered it on a 400 mile road trip :(

Anyway, if you didn't replace the alternator before, sounds like its time to fix it now.

That, or - when was the last time you changed your spark plugs? The spark plug wires? The fuel filter? I've had any one of those also prevent a car from starting - especially when it's cold or wet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks.

so im going to get the battery checked
then should i get the alt checked or swap the spark plugs/wires
then check the starter?
 

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My money is on yer starter. If you put a fully charged battery in it and the lights dims when you try to crank it, and all you get is an rrrrr-rrrrrr-rrrrr-- click-click-click, and then the same thing happens when you jump start it, it's prolly in the starter circuit. Before you spend any money, make sure the grounds are good. There's a big one (I think you may have mentioned it as a possibility above in your description) that bolts up top, thru the transmission's bell housing into the starter. It's a PITA to get a look at-- remove the entire air intake assembly and get a good light. You can find it by following the big black wire loom that runs from the front up over the bell housing toward the firewall (and starter). The ground is up top, near the back. Looking from the drivers side, it'd be at about 1 oclock, Partially hidden by the shift linkage stuff if you have a manual trans. If the ground is bad, that'll pretend to be a bad starter. Also make sure up top, on the battery, that those ground wires are all in good shape & not all crusty or loose. When you have the battery out clean up the connectors & give em all a tug.
If the grounding is all good, the most common culprit will be the starter solenoid. Too bad it's hard to reach, sometimes, just giving it a good whack will make it intermittently work again-- cause then you'd be pretty darn sure that was the problem. I had an old VW Rabbit that I could put a pipe down on the starter and whang like he## on it a few times & it'd start. Drove it like that til I could afford a new starter, prolly almost a year... good luck!
 

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What stereo are were you running? I remember you saying before about having some crazy setup. I know you said you took it out, but it was in prior to the problem occurring right? Stereo was being used with this current battery?

My guess is that if you did have a very intense stereo is that was straining the battery and causing it to die. Alternator couldn't handle it.

So from the video (may or may not be accurate to the current problem) So old problem explained:
  • 12.33V on battery standing. That is not good. A standing battery should be 12.4V - 12.8V
  • Humming device is the cruise control. My guess is this is used to increase the idle at startup to warm the engine. (you know when you first crank a new / late model car it has higher idle for about 30secs)
  • Have dash lights, goes dead when trying to crank. Battery doesn't have enough amperage to power the starter, dropping the voltage, killing the lights. (The dash lights can operate on very little power, they will be the last thing to stop working when power is weak.)

Put a volt meter on the battery while cranking. If the voltage drops below 10V, then most likely the battery is dead. Other issue could be a short, but that would most likely cause smoke, fire, spark, pop, etc...

If it is the battery again, good news it most likely it was the stereo and after a new battery, it most likely won't be a problem again since the stereo has been removed.

Why is volt reading 12.33V bad? Why is the lights working until trying to crank? And after not working?

When changing any battery, right after the charge, you will have a surface charge. It will cause the volt reading on a meter to be higher than what the battery is really (when in use by high amperage demand) starting is highest amperage demand on a stock car.

Hence why the battery cable goes there (starter) first, then to the alternator from the starter connection. So that the starter can have a deticated wire to the battery. Only a single cable comes from the battery to prevent corrosions. Multiple cables at a single point, especially at the battery promote corrosion. Also alternator to starter vs alternator to battery is less wire meaning cheaper to build.

So a battery with a surface charge can provide a higher voltage to "low amperage" devices. Volt meter and dinky 161/194 wedge bulbs (dash lights) are low amperage draws. They are not large enough amperage draw to removed the surface charge. How to remove the surface charge is to put a load on the battery. Obviously the dash lights are not a load. The headlights are a load, usually the second highest load in a stock car after the starter. The headlights should be able to be ran for several minutes at full charge and the battery should not drop below 12.4 V.

12.3V - So the battery was just fully charged. 12.3V reading indicates the battery is only about 57-58%. If the battery was just charged and it's not 96-100% full? Something is wrong with the battery.
What is going on determined from video. Battery has a bad cell. The battery won't actually charge past 10V (reality). The surface charge brings it to 12.3V. Dash lights can be ran perfectly fine without issues on the surface charge. (not significant enough load to remove the surface charge.) Surface charge is removed instantly when the starter is activated. Battery drops to 10V or lower. Surface charge has been removed. Battery is no longer 12V and the dash lights will no longer work.
 
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