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Strange.
A week of "no crank" followed by a good start after I cleaned all of the wiring from the jumper block (believing the starter soledoid wire connection at the block was the issue) I went out to start yesterday morning after clearing off 10 fresh inches of snow (car is under a cover). Battery was a bit weak and she tried to crank, then nothing. Thinking the battery was the issue, I left it on a charger for 3-4 hours and upon my return, no crank. Lights work, but no crank at all.
Is there something in the car's charging and starting system that prevents cranking if the battery is not 100%?
Want to diagnose everything before I even contemplate a starter removal.


I will try again this morning and then if nothing, disconnect the battery for an hour and try again. The security system is off (key off position).
Thanks.
 

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Try boosting at the battery terminal (pos) and engine ground (neg) and see if she starts.

If she does then check the battery cables and posts for internal corrosion.

Battery cable terminals and battery posts can build up an insulating layer of lead oxide between them which can reduce the effective contact area enough to prevent starting but still feed 12 v.

Finally, a load test of the battery will always reveal a failing battery long before it fails completely. Many people fail to recognize the symptoms without a load test.

Right after start up our cars perform and display a load test on the ammeter. Right after start up the ammeter displays battery residual voltage. If the needle dips to below 9 v immediately after startup and before it flicks to 14+ v then you need a new battery.
 

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On more analog cars, this kind of problem points to a faulty ign. switch. I don't know if this'll work or not on a 164 but the basic test for a bad ign. switch/no start condition is to rotate the switch to the on position, then to the start position. If the dash lights dim your switch is passing current. If they don't the switch is bad. Works on old cars, but maybe not on high-flalutin' 164's . . .
 

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If the battery is fully charged, I think that maybe a similar test would be to turn the headlight switch to the on position, then turn the key to the run position. The headlights should then be on. When the key is then turned to the start position, they should go out (a designed-in feature of the 164, to provide full voltage to the starter), and at the same time, the starter should start to engage. If the lights don't go out, the start position in the ignition is most likely not working, or there is possibly a break in the wiring leading from that key position in the switch.

If, however, if the lights do go out, but the start doesn't engage, there is most likely a break somewhere in the starter motor circuit, the starter solenoid is bad, or the starter motor itself is kaput. My experience with Alfa (Bosch) solenoids is that they can hang up or stick after many starts, the shaft wearing and developing a ridge which catches on the housing.

The above assumes that the battery is fully charged. If the battery is low on charge, and the starter switch does work in the start position, the lights will go out, but the starter solenoid may only click or rattle, but not engage the starter motor itself, and probably the ignition electronics as well.

And, of course, you cannot roll start a car w/alternator when the battery is low.
 
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