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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Car won't start issue.

I was certain I read about this somewhere but can not find it. I got hit by a surprise down poor while at work. After my shift I found my car would not start. I didn't have anything to test with at work but I could now that I'm home. I ended up push starting it and it drove fine 20 minute drive many lights.

I dont have experience with a dead battery or starter issue on a British car but on most others them the clicking is much faster when trying to start if its a dead battery. Since this is the first time it happened I'm left to believe it was cause by the rain but that is only a guess. When trying to push start it, it clicked once a half second or so and the starter light did flicker. the engine did not try to turn.

I plan on trying it later tonight and I'll get the voltage from the battery while off. Should I check anything else while I'm at it?


Oh and with a top on its near impossible to jump start on flat land alone... First time I need to ask for help.
 

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hello
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On a stock car this should not have been a problem. It is a british car, and if it did not work in the rain they would not be able to sell it in the uk. At most you should park the car with the nose down to minimize the problem of having water accumulated in the trunk.

You seem to have a few mods listed on your car. Not sure if they play a role or not and if some cable was exposed.

Did you see any wet spots from water running into the car? Any cable that is visibly unprotected?

It is easy to check your battery with a multi-meter. You can check it when you get home from a drive and then again the next morning to see whether it holds a charge. Give that a shot just in case it is slowly dying.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
After sitting in my garage for 6 hours or so it is doing the same thing, I can only conclude its the battery and a coincidence .

12.26 volts at the moment. ( ill check in the morning )

The trunk area did not show any signs of leaking, and there are no exposed wires that I know of.
 

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Elise newb
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After sitting in my garage for 6 hours or so it is doing the same thing, I can only conclude its the battery and a coincidence .
It isn't a "british car", that power plant is all Japanese. So, what exactly is it doing? Describe in detail.

12.26 volts at the moment. ( ill check in the morning )
That is very low. Static charge should be over 13V. Has this battery been flattened before? How old is it?

The trunk area did not show any signs of leaking, and there are no exposed wires that I know of.
Of course, because I would expect that if you knew of any exposed wires, you would have fixed them immediately?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Of course, because I would expect that if you knew of any exposed wires, you would have fixed them immediately?
Why are you commenting on this, I was politely answering the question about "Did you see any wet spots from water running into the car? Any cable that is visibly unprotected?"

Has this battery been flattened before? How old is it?
Not sure I just bought it 3 or so months ago. And the previews owner only had it for 2 months.

So, what exactly is it doing?
If you had a car with a bad battery in it and tried to crank it over, the car will click repeatedly. Maybe not in all cases but most. Normally, from my experience, it's around 4 or 5 clicks a second. I'm experiencing the same thing but much slower as described above. I own an mr2 spyder and most of the parts seem the same but the two cars are not built the same in any way. I may have used the "British" loosely here but my meaning is that I don't have any experience with ( is lotus a better word?) cars. In my experience when cars have a bad battery they click much faster. I'm sure someone here has had a bad battery in their elige before? So I'm curious if this is what it sounds like. The rain must have been a coincidence as later on in the garage dry as a bone it had the same issue(unless something was shorted out). I dont know how else to explain it but I'm more the happy to test anything.

Also, I'm of the opinion that voltage is low (you seem to agree) and that tells me the battery is not holding a charging or not charging correctly. Normally when the alternator is to blame you notice it at idle and when using lots or little power. On the drive home everything seemed in good order. This could be the factory battery (Would it have an identifiable mark?) so that is 7 years old.

I plan to get a battery tomorrow and see if that helps as its an easy enough test.
 

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hello
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Automotive battery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is likely the battery. According to Wikipedia your voltage is on the low side, assuming you have a standard battery. You will know better tomorrow.

Lots of threads on replacement battery suggestions. Try to get one that won't leak during fast cornering.

I found the INNOVA 3721 Battery and Charging System Monitor device useful for quickly checking the battery. Around $10 from amazon
 

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** The Enforcer **
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The battery voltage doesn't tell you much. The battery voltage under load is more telling. You can have 15 volts at the battery (no load) and still not crank the engine over. That's why checking the voltage with a multimeter is fairly useless.

San
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)

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Get a Battery Minder Plus. Put it on the battery overnight. See if the charge increases (voltimeter). If not, just spend the $100 and replace the battery for peace of mine.
 

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I really like Battery Tender standard.

Once car is running, you can roughly check alternator output by putting voltmeter on terminals.

With engine at fast idle, you should see ~ 14.2 volts. Or more; not less.

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You can also check battery terminal connections. Put meter on posts, them move leads to clamps.

A poor connection will show < voltage at clamps.

Note that some of these cars have a secondary cable connection a bit further down the line IIRC.
 

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On a stock car this should not have been a problem. It is a british car, and if it did not work in the rain they would not be able to sell it in the uk.
Oh. I guess you didn't own any 50s thru 80s British cars.

You would've thought they were built and sold in a desert.
 

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The battery voltage doesn't tell you much. The battery voltage under load is more telling. You can have 15 volts at the battery (no load) and still not crank the engine over. That's why checking the voltage with a multimeter is fairly useless.

San
^This.

The voltage could be 12 or above but the cold cranking amps could be way below what is needed to start the car. Get the battery tested.

I'm willing to bet it's your battery as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Ok finally had some time, please advice where you can I don't pretend to know everything, if my line of thinking is bad just let me know.

1) Battery tested good at auto zone (30 min. test). They said it was dead on arrival. they charged it and it held a good charge.

2) While the car was running I removed the negative terminal to test the alternator, car ran fine with no drop in current (AC going strong).

I figured I do some monitoring as the day progresses. based on this info

100% charged & healthy battery will measure 12.66V.
75% charged will measure 12.45V
50% charged will measure 12.24V
25% charged will measure 12.06V
Below 12V a battery is considered discharged
Monitoring info:

5:30 12.94
6:00 12.72
6:30 12.69
7:00 12.67

recharged for 30 minutes.
13.00 immediately after charge, dropped to 12.86 shortly after. I wanted to do this to see if the drain was any different with my amp removed. Looks the same to me.
7:30 12.86
8:00 12.74
8:30 12.72
9:00 12.69
9:30 12.67
10:00 12.65
10:30 12.64
11:00 12.63
11:30 12.63
...
9:30am 12.50

Going to guess some drain is normal and It should fluctuate some.

Ok started up this AM, no idea here.
 

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When you jump start, do not put the negative terminal directly to the battery on the "dead" car. Instead, put it on a metal part of the engine. If you put it directly on the terminal, then the dead battery will suck up all the electricity of the donor car, leaving no juice to the starter motor.
 

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Elise newb
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When you jump start, do not put the negative terminal directly to the battery on the "dead" car. Instead, put it on a metal part of the engine. If you put it directly on the terminal, then the dead battery will suck up all the electricity of the donor car, leaving no juice to the starter motor.
This is correct but for the wrong reason.

The fully discharged battery cannot charge up fast enough to make a noticeable difference in the current available to the starter. If it could, then you would have to open circuit the battery, since electrically speaking, the negative terminal is the same as chassis ground every where.

The reason to hook the negative lead up to the engine, if possible, is to reduce the path length of the wiring from the starter to the ground on the live car. This will maximize the voltage since you won't have as much loss. That said, with the relatively short runs and large gauge of the battery cables in the Elise you should not worry about it and just hook the negative lead up to the battery if that is the most convenient.
 
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