Problem starting car - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 03, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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I have a 1996 camaro and I was leaving school today and had to wait for some friends. I got into my car and sat there for about 5 minutes (definitely no more than 10) with the battery on and I was listening to some music. They came over and I turned the battery off and got out of my car and talked for a little while, then got back into the car and went to start it. Normally it fires over nearly instantly, but lately it has been taking 2 or 3 seconds to to start running. I had just assumed that it was the cold weather taking its toll on the battery. It's normally about 50-60 out in the mornings, but in the afternoon its around 70-80. I was trying to start my car after it had been about 70 degrees for the last few hours. The starter cranked about 3 or times fully, then made 1 or 2 weak cranks after that, then died but it must have been just enough because about a half a second after the starter dies the engine slowly choked its way to life. You know how sometimes when you start lawnmowers it gives a few weak turns and then comes to life? Well it was pretty much the same thing. I don't know if it's the battery or alternator or what, but I need to get this fixed because I don't wanna get stranded somewhere. What does the left gauge in the dash measure? Volts or amps? When the car is running that gauge always reads just before redline. I don't think the battery would be bad because it started up great all during the summer and I drive it almost everyday so it's not like the battery has been sitting there draining for the last 5 months or something. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

-Mike
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 03, 04:26 AM
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Sounds like you have a bad cell in your battery. Go to you local parts house and have them do a load test on your battery.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 03, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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did one myself, dropped to 9.6 volts

-Mike
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 03, 03:07 AM
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Problem solved [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 03, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
 
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really? i thought 9.6 was acceptable

-Mike
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 03, 09:20 AM
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If yor reading 9.6 you have a bad cell. Replace the battery [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 03, 01:18 PM
 
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9.6 IS acceptable when load testing at 70*F.
it should climb quickly back to 12.5 after the test.
you should be able to perform the test twice with similar results. i usually wait a minute between tests.

it does sound like you have a weak battery tho'.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 03, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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i did the load test when it was about 60 degrees outside. it did climb back up fast and it was able to perform it a second time with the same reading of 9.6ish.

-Mike
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 03, 07:57 PM
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Turn on your headlights for about 15 minutes, engine off, then do the test.
Also check your battery terminals and cables, especially the positive terminal, it often corrodes.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 03, 04:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Debonair23:
did one myself, dropped to 9.6 volts
Sorry! I was under the impresion that it remained at 9.6 after the test [img]graemlins/clonk.gif[/img] . Clean all your connections. But then again, after 3 days I would guess you have fixed the problem [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 03, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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cleaned off the terminals even though i didnt see any signs of corrosion. battery died after about 13 minutes. there must be a drain somewhere in the system, but I have no clue where.

-Mike
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 03, 01:56 PM
 
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If you suspect a drain then test, but before you do make sure you have code to radio.

Disconnect positive battery terminal, connect test light beteen terminal and battery post, if light is dim, drain is normal, if it is bright there is a drain, with test light still connected remove fuses until light is dim. The circuit that that fuse supplies has a short in it. Don't leave the door open while testing, or block door switches with something.

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 03, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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nope, guess there isnt a drain. i took out all of the fuses and it stayed dim the whole time. by the way, this test light is cool! never seen one before now, i went over to autozone to pick one up real fast and its a neat idea, wish i knew about it earlier. but anyways, i have nno idea what else it could be. there isnt a drain and the battery is decent, maybe the starter or something?

[ 12-09-2003, 08:28 PM: Message edited by: Debonair23 ]

-Mike
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 03, 12:18 AM
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As suggested by others before, disconnect all fuses, should be two for the ECM, and two for the radio. If test light is still dim, remove the large red lead on the alternator.

One question nobody has asked, How old is the battery? If its OE (original equipment, aka '96), then time for replacement of battery.

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 03, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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already said i removed all the fuses... didnt solve it. battery is about 4 years old and its a 5 year battery. tests still show its fine so i dont think its the battery and i don't want to spend 60 bucks on something that probably isnt broke

-Mike
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