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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My '06 Elise wouldn't start this morning. The lights and stereo all work, but when you push the start button, it clicks as if the battery is dead. It's been plugged into the tender all week.

I put a new smaller Odyssey batttery this spring, but have been pretty religious about keeping it plugged into the tender when I don't drive for even more than a day. The indicator lights on the tender have been working, and suggests it's sufficiently charged. I also tried to jump it this morning, though I may not have had great contact to the leads with the cables, but I moved them around a couple times and the car behaved the same way when I tried to start it.

I kind of needed to drive it today, cause my daily driver is sitting at work, with a stripped spark plug threads in one of the cylinders on the head (tough week). But this is why I can't simply run out to the autoparts store to see if a brand new battery would work.

Is there anything else this could be that I am don't know? A common elise "bug"? Is there something between the battery and ignition I should be checking? It's pretty low on fuel, but not THAT low - in case this is helpful information.

Any ideas this morning would be helpful, Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Alright, after reading about the inertia switch, it made some sense. I think my wife's bike fell on the front bumper in the garage the other day (ARRGGHH - but didn't leave a mark). I checked the switch, and pushed it in - it seemed to click in.

I also pushed the car back and forth a little bit.

Car is still not starting.

When it "clicking" when trying to start it, the shift light/immobilizer light flashes, as well as the other lights in the car.
 

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Ensure the cable clamps are tight and the posts and clamps are clean.

A voltmeter from post to post compared to clamp to clamp would show a difference if the connection is poor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the brainstorming gents.

I will double check the terminals. However, it's the "screw in" type and not the posts, so I think that's not likely. I will tighten them down. I don't have a voltmeter here at the house.

And yes, the immobilizer is disabled. Pressing unlock again to disable it and the light goes off. I haven't cycled through locking and unlocking. I'm not in a position to turn down ideas.

I have to call into a meeting, but I'll check these things after.
 

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When it "clicking" when trying to start it, the shift light/immobilizer light flashes, as well as the other lights in the car.
My vote is the battery is toast. A battery can have sufficient voltage to run lights and radio but not enough amps to turn the motor over. Sounds like the clicking is the starter solenoid working. Once the starter motor is engaged (by the solenoid) the current draw dims the lights and takes power away from the solenoid causing it to click back to the off position. Once off the voltage comes back, lights come back, and the solenoid will click back to the start position and then repeat until you release the start button.

Depending on the battery tender, leaving it on a battery continuously can actually sulfate the battery and kill it (ask me how I know).

Jumper cables are notoriously bad for being able to provide enough current flow to start a car. Most of the ones I have used over the last 20 years are good for providing the dead battery with a charge by leaving them connected for several minutes before tying to start the car, but would not start a car if attempting to right after hooking the cables up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I haven't checked the voltage at the battery, so I cannot matter-of-factly say that it is not toast. However, the indicator on the tender has several outputs via the LED lights, and it was solid green meaning fully charged. My old dead stock battery, the tender would just flash red meaning voltage too low (for this particular tender) to charge.

Push start? HA. I have a single wide driveway and my garage is kind of behind my house. With the configuration of the neighbors fence, a lotus is about the only car I would be able to maneuver into the garage - would be near-impossible getting it to the road to then push start.

Got the wife's car at lunch, so I made it to work. Hopefully a helicoil fixes the MINI and drive it while this weekend I can track down the issue on the Lotus.
 

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If you've tried everything tonight, I have an idea. Leave the battery leads disconnected overnight so the ECU reboots. It's part of the starter circuit. I once had a problem like yours, though the circumstances were different.
 

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IIRC, there are secondary cable connections, on early cars at least, not far from the battery.

Of course, on a normal car, it'd be easy to check voltage at the starter.
 

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The first thing to check is the battery voltage after it has rested overnight without a maintainer or charger on it. Voltage should read about 12.6v. Take the reading and report back.
Michael
 
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