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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've searched quite a bit and found some good information on here, but some of it is a bit technical, with just some wiring diagrams and I could use a little help breaking it down to my level...

The problem (2006 Elise) -
Disable alarm, turn key, hear fuel pump prime, press start button, hear a "click" from engine bay, but no turnover.

Battery tested at autozone and checks out.
Pulled fuses F13 and R3 and tested with voltmeter, all good.
Pulled starter button and microswitch, tested microswitch with voltmeter and it was good.

About to pull the multi function relay below the ecu, and the starter if I can get to it. Not sure how to test the MFR, I see in some of the threads below the wiring diagrams, but I could use some help figuring this out.

Is there a way to test the ECU too? Is the immobilizer exige specific?

Any tips on getting the starter out?

Anything else I should check / test?

The threads I've found so far that have helped -
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f259/starter-button-not-working-120503/
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f157/delay-when-pressing-start-button-130297/
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f129/starter-solenoid-not-getting-power-118737/
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f129/testing-mfru-multi-function-relay-unit-67862/
Lotus Exige Start Button Failure and Diagnosis

Thanks in advance.

*UPDATE*
Pulled the starter and tested it at autozone, it's fine.
According to the procedure below for testing the battery it comes out to 12.6 volts, so it's good.
Tested voltage at battery terminals, also 12.6 volts.
Pulled and tested all fuses for continuity with voltmeter, all good.
Tested microswitch for continuity, seems good (also pressing the starter causes a "click" in the engine bay)

I am flumoxed.

*RESOLVED*
Starter appears to have been the issue. Despite the old starter being given a "passing" grade on the Autozone test bench, replacing the starter solved the problem. Thanks for the help everyone.
 

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Registered
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No idea what the problem is.

You could try bump starting it if your driveway or street has a bit of a hill.
 

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I will throw in some useless suggestions. Although they would be the normal procedures on most cars, the limited space around the alternator may limit your actual ability to perform them.
1. Measure the voltage at the battery terminals. Measure when the start button is not engaged, and when it is engaged.
a. If the voltage only sags about a volt, the problems is not likely the battery.
b. If the voltage sags by more than 2 volts, fully charge your battery and see if it starts. Replace the battery if it sags more than 2 volts when fully charged.
c. There should be no difference between the measured voltage at the Post of the battery, versus the terminal or wires, if there is, clean terminals (scrape with knife) was with baking soda, re-terminate connections.
2. Measure the voltage on the actual terminal (bolt) where the thick wire (the one which comes directly from the battery). Measure when the start button is not engaged, and when it is engaged.
a. If the voltage only sags about a volt, but the car does not turn over, replace the starter/solenoid.
b. If the voltage sags significantly, clean tighten terminal at the starter, if it still sags, examine for corrosion at the cable crimps and replace as needed.
3. There is a **risky** third test, make sure the car is in neutral, parking brake is set.
a. *danger* Repeat, make sure the car is in neutral and the parking brake is set. Disconnect the smaller wire from the starter, bridge a connection between the heavy wire/terminal to the place the smaller wire previously connected. If the car turns over, your starter is fine, check somewhere else for the problem. *warning* If your "bridging" wire touches any metal on the engine or frame it will start Arc welding and damaging things.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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that has always been a slightly undercharged battery in my experience. Can you jump it with another battery, or same result? Or have you decided your batt was good because of the autozone diagnostic? Try jumping it. Just for the hell of it?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I will throw in some useless suggestions. Although they would be the normal procedures on most cars, the limited space around the alternator may limit your actual ability to perform them.
1. Measure the voltage at the battery terminals. Measure when the start button is not engaged, and when it is engaged.
a. If the voltage only sags about a volt, the problems is not likely the battery.
b. If the voltage sags by more than 2 volts, fully charge your battery and see if it starts. Replace the battery if it sags more than 2 volts when fully charged.
c. There should be no difference between the measured voltage at the Post of the battery, versus the terminal or wires, if there is, clean terminals (scrape with knife) was with baking soda, re-terminate connections.
2. Measure the voltage on the actual terminal (bolt) where the thick wire (the one which comes directly from the battery). Measure when the start button is not engaged, and when it is engaged.
a. If the voltage only sags about a volt, but the car does not turn over, replace the starter/solenoid.
b. If the voltage sags significantly, clean tighten terminal at the starter, if it still sags, examine for corrosion at the cable crimps and replace as needed.
3. There is a **risky** third test, make sure the car is in neutral, parking brake is set.
a. *danger* Repeat, make sure the car is in neutral and the parking brake is set. Disconnect the smaller wire from the starter, bridge a connection between the heavy wire/terminal to the place the smaller wire previously connected. If the car turns over, your starter is fine, check somewhere else for the problem. *warning* If your "bridging" wire touches any metal on the engine or frame it will start Arc welding and damaging things.

Addertooth, thanks a bunch for the suggestions, I have a few followup questions for you (sorry for the total n00b questions, I hate electrical stuff)

To measure the voltage at the battery, should I use my voltmeters "battery test" function and set it to 12v ?

For testing the starter itself, is it possible to get to it without pulling off the clam?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
that has always been a slightly undercharged battery in my experience. Can you jump it with another battery, or same result? Or have you decided your batt was good because of the autozone diagnostic? Try jumping it. Just for the hell of it?
Yep, same here. But I bought a brand new battery from autozone and I am 99% sure the battery is not the problem. I have the battery hooked up to a trickle charger, it's got 100% charge.

What's weird was how the failure came to be - Everything was working fine, then I went to start it and got the "click" that I've come to associate with a dead battery. Waited about 2 minutes, tried again and it started fine. Left it running for a while and had no problems. It sat for about 2 weeks, then went to start it again and it wouldn't turn over, so I figured it was a bad battery and replaced it.

I did confirm that the old battery was indeed toast when I brought it in to Autozone, so I was pretty sure that was the problem, but now I'm scratching my head a bit and really hoping it's not the starter.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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dang. I'd still try jumping it, old school, two batteries...other car running...is it possible you have excessive phantom current draw in the car from your accessories? I have a little battery, pc-625, and i would never leave it off a tender. Ever. Regular battery i would tenderize at 3- 5 days max. Just me being picky. The alarm/immobilizer draws a ton of juice 24/7 if you do not have the immobilizer set to "active arming".
 

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You put your multimeter on Volts DC, and not battery test.
As a sub-note, I understand everyone's comments. The most frequent cause of the problem you describe, is a battery that needs a jump.
Also, I don't know how hard it is to reach the starter terminals. Thankfully, I have never needed to test or service my starter *knocks on wood*, but I hear it is difficult.
 

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I had the same thing happen to me on two different cars.

On my car, I had to change the battery and push alarm button a few times on and off. Car then started.

On my friends car, I had to remove the battery, take it home and charge it up and then put it back in and car started.

One time I had to push the inertia switch back in.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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And if you look at Sir Lotus' sig - you will see #2 - "alarm programming" link. In case you want to re-program your system for lower phantom current draw. (by switching the immobilizer from passive arming to "active arming".)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I had the same thing happen to me on two different cars.

On my car, I had to change the battery and push alarm button a few times on and off. Car then started.

On my friends car, I had to remove the battery, take it home and charge it up and then put it back in and car started.

One time I had to push the inertia switch back in.
Done both of those.

The I've been pressing on the inertia switch, but I was actually wondering, when it trips, is there physical feedback or a click when you press it down?

I've been pressing mine and it just smoothly depresses until it stops, no real feedback.
 

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re: Engine does not turn over

If You hear a 'click', but the engine does not turn over or does not tuen over fast enough to start, then there is connectivity to the starter. This simplifies the root cause to any combination of the following:

1. Battery is dead or too weak to activate solenoid or starter.
2. Wiring leading to starter/solenoid is faulty. There is a lot of current going through there,so it has to be OK.
3. Solenoid is not fully engaging i.e. hear it click but not far enough.
4. Starter is dying.
5. Solenoid is hot and needs more voltage to operate. (this is more common on V8's).

With modern copper wiring, #1 is the most likely...

If the engine does not turn-over at all and no clicking, look for:

1. Broken relays.
2. Broken wires.
3. Totally dead battery.
4. Dead solenoid.
5. Dead starter.

If engine turns over but does not start look for:

1. Is the fuel coming in i.e. fuel smell.
2. Is there spark? Simple, pull the spark test.
3. Is the spark happening at the right time?

One can measure voltage anywhere. If the wiring is good, the voltage will be the same everywhere. If it drops too much under crankink look for bad battery. If it droops from point to point, then look for bad wire. If it is absent, look for busted component. At 12V, very few wires fail partially, you either get 12v (or 13.x when charging, 12.5V with good battery and 11V when cranking) or 0v.


Anton


I had the same thing happen to me on two different cars.

On my car, I had to change the battery and push alarm button a few times on and off. Car then started.

On my friends car, I had to remove the battery, take it home and charge it up and then put it back in and car started.

One time I had to push the inertia switch back in.
 

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203 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I've tested the battery, the start button, the microswitch, and all related fuses. The problem is not any of those things.

Can anyone clue me in on a way to test the multi-function relay? It's mentioned in this sands museum post, but doesn't really go into enough detail about which pins need to be tested - Lotus Exige Start Button Failure and Diagnosis
 

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Dane in Maui
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The inertia switch should click.mine needed to be removed and sprayed with electric parts cleaner or my car wouldn't start. Easy job, then bought a new one .
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK, so I've pulled the starter and got it tested at Autozone. Starter is good.

So far here's what I know -

All fuses are good.
Start button microswitch is good.
Inertia switch has been pressed down, no clicks, so it is not tripped.
Starter has been removed and verified to be good.

What does that leave? The MFRU, possibly the inertia switch being cleaned as keycocker suggested, or perhaps a malfunction in the immobiliser? When attempting to start the car, I can get the blinking light to go out so I don't think it's the immobiliser.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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I've tested the battery, the start button, the microswitch, and all related fuses. The problem is not any of those things.

Can anyone clue me in on a way to test the multi-function relay? It's mentioned in this sands museum post, but doesn't really go into enough detail about which pins need to be tested - Lotus Exige Start Button Failure and Diagnosis
PM'd Sir Lotus?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I noticed one of the ground wires looks exposed, I think this is normal but want to confirm. Is this also perhaps not supposed to be touching anything but the ground point?

 

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No apparent harm in touching what is shown in the picture.
 
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