Electric problem, failure to start.

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Denny, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. Denny

    Denny Read Only Funster

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    Can anyone tell me what's gone wrong please !
    Since my motorhome had sat unused for a while and had a flat battery, I had to start it with a heavy duty battery charger set on the start boost position. I took it for a run some 60 miles and stayed at my daughters overnight without electric hook up. The next morning it did not have enough charge to start up, so I used the boost start again to get home.
    Since then it has been on fast charge for 3 days and trickle charge for a further 24 hours. The fast charge should automatically drop down to trickle according to the charger spec. I reconnected the negative terminal and tried unsuccessfully to start it. Instead of the usual dull click of a flat battery the dashboard lights flashed and continually clicked in a noisy and alarming way.
    I checked that the negative terminal was connected properly, which it was, and tried again. The same flashing and clicking ensued so I disconnected the negative terminal in case any further damage was caused.
    Can anybody tell me what may have happened and what I do next please.
    Denny.
     
  2. Shubberdog

    Shubberdog Deleted User

    If your battery has been left in a discharged condition for some time, it is unlikely that it will ever recover.:cry: The first thing I would do is replace the battery and then try again and see what happens.
     
  3. Tiderus

    Tiderus Read Only Funster

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    If replacing the battery does'nt do the trick, try removing the battery lead and putting an ammeter between the battery and lead. If it registers a reasonable discharge remove one fuse at a time to determine which circuit is causing the trouble. Then follow this through to get to the root of the problem. It may be the lighter socket as in my case, or similar connections? Check if its OK to remove the battery lead first because of radio codes, ECU, etc. (Only an amature but it worked for me).
     
  4. Denny

    Denny Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for your advise, however I wonder if the CHARGER has caused some electrical damage as the rapid flashing and noisy clicking which takes place trying to start the engine seems to suggest something is seriously wrong !
    Can a charger upset electric circuits or worse ?
    I don't have an ammeter or understand what it is.
     
  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Suggests a dirty connection to me. Make sure both ( well 4 surfaces ) terminals have bright shiny surfaces and coat them with vaseline when assembling and try again. The terminals can get a seriously hard non conductive coating that needs scraping off.
     
  6. Bruce Burge

    Bruce Burge Read Only Funster

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    Electric problem

    Battery no good now otherwise will have held its charge by now,try new battery if still the same,diconnect ,find ecu unit unplug multi plug leave for about an hour and try again sounds like ecu is confused hence all the flashing lights and clicking check hand book if you have one may tell you what to do reguarding flat battery same problem as late range rovers have. Good luck
     
  7. gazznsam

    gazznsam Read Only Funster

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    if the lights are flashing when you have the key turned to start, then that's normal, they will be flashing in sequence with the clicking from the starter solenoid,

    whats happening is the battery is too flat to start the vehicle, so when you turn the key, the solenoid on the starter engages, and in doing so draws power from the battey, flattening it even more, hence the lights go out, then the power is all used up, and the solenoid releases, lights come back on, power in the battery recovers a bit, and solenoid engages again, and so on,

    Sounds like your starter battery is dead, whats the terminal voltage? could well be a cell has shorted,
     
  8. Losos

    Losos Read Only Funster

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    I agree with Sluberdog above, battery is dead, and will not easily be brought back to life.

    You don't need an ammeter, what you could usefuly get is a cheap multimeter turn the dial to volts and just put the two leads across the battery then get someone to turn the ignition and you will see the voltage reading go up and down and this is what is causing all the lights etc. to flicker, again as mentioned by Gazznsam above.

    I think even Homebase sell these multimeters and they only cost about £10 and are so useful not only for the MH but also around the home, not a precision instrument but good enough for the job. I have several but the cheapo one I've had for 20 years and I tend to use more than the others.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  9. Kon tiki

    Kon tiki Read Only Funster

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    I had the engine battery go flat in Portugal on my motorhome when it was 4 months old I had a similar thing with all sorts of strange noises & flashing warning lights. Took it to a Renault garage & they checked it out & pronouced it dead (I assume that is what they meant by the gestures & noise they made) so It was replaced under warranty. Batteries like anything else can fail sometimes unexpectedly so don't rely on fact it isn't that old that it can't go wrong. If you take it to a place where they supply batteries then they can give it a stress test to see what the condition of it is I have usually found that they will do this for free hoping you will buy a new battery from them. :thumb:
     
  10. Denny

    Denny Read Only Funster

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    Yep, all those who said it was a dead battery, top marks ! Had it tested and it was pronounced ' as dead as a dodo ' replacement cost £120 from National Tyres plus the good news that my tyre walls are showing signs of ware. Tiny thin lines here and there apparently because I have had it standing still too long. They say I could get a couple of thousand miles out of them but to keep checking them.
    Anyway now for my next question. My diesel filler cap on my 2004 Fiat Ducato, Dethleffs Globetrotter Advantage has seized up and just will not lock anymore. Just falls out of the pipe ! Can I get a replacement ? "NO" is the answer so far !
    It used to be part no. 1333085080, but that only exists without a barrel, someone suggested smashing the old one to transfer the barrel, but that's the one that seized up !
    Then I was told about part no. 5907613, but that only fits models up to 2003.
    Then there was a glimmer of hope with part no. 5907582, but they stopped making that in 2008.
    Has anyone else had this problem, and is there an accessory disel locking cap for my 2004 Fiat Ducato ?
    Thanks for all your help so far.
    Denny.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
  11. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    There was a lot on ebay when my 2003 one's lock failed. About a tenner. I thought they were all the same until about 2006 but I may be wrong.
     
  12. sinbad1

    sinbad1 Deleted User

  13. Denny

    Denny Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Hildweller & Sinbad, but none of the caps on ebay are the right year.
    I need a diesel filler cap for a 2004 Fiat Ducato, Dethleffs Globetrotter Advantage.
    It used to be part no. 1333085080, but that only exists without a barrel, someone suggested smashing the old one to transfer the barrel, but that's the one that seized up !
    Then I was told about part no. 5907613, but that only fits models up to 2003.
    Then there was a glimmer of hope with part no. 5907582, but they stopped making that in 2008.
    Has anyone else had this problem, and is there an accessory diesel locking cap for my 2004 Fiat Ducato ?
    Denny.
     
  14. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    If the filla neck is still in the original place as per a Fiat Ducato, yes Hallfords or the like should fix you up with an aftermarket cap
    if its been moved or modified by the Converter,there is little hope, have you tried fully soaking the offending cap / barrel in diesel to free it off
    Geo
     
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