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2007 Corsa only starts by flashing main beam!

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  • [Corsa D 2006-2014] 2007 Corsa only starts by flashing main beam!

    Anyone got any suggestions? When I turn the key the dash lights come on but nothing else happens. To check the battery I turned on dipped lights which came on. To load the battery I flashed the main beam at which point it fired into life! The key was not touched from the usual driving position. The battery is brand new, I replaced the old one thinking that might have been the problem. My local garage had never heard of this which is an intermittent problem. Not sure where to start as whenever I get the chance to investigate it works like a dream. Any help appreciated. Bob

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum.
    One possibility is the battery, even though its new, might actually be almost flat.(a good indication of this is if the car starts normally when using jump leads from another car )Maybe the car is not charging properly, or some electrical fault is causing it to drain overnight.There are tests you can do yourself but a thorough check requires more professional kit. If you go back to the supplier they may test the battery and your car for free.
    Eliminate this possibility first.

    If the battery has been tested and you are sure its at full charge do the headlights /instruments lights still dim when you try to start the car? This could indicate the starter is faulty,taking a heavy load but not turning.

    Another possibility,which may not cause dimming, is the starter solenoid is not activating either because it is partially jammed or its wiring is faulty. You can normally hear it click when you try to start the car,although the click is normally drowned out by the starter motor when its working normally.

    I would check the heavy duty wiring connections are good and clean.Not just at the battery, which are presumably good if the battery has been replaced but at the other ends of the cables. Disconnect the battery first.Check the earth/ground cable where it connects to the car body and engine block.Unbolt the cable and make sure both surfaces are clean. And do the same for the live connection which normally have a heavy duty connection directly or indirectly to the starter solenoid/starter.. But be sure to disconnect the battery first or you might get some mega sparks!

    There are probably other possible causes,such as a faulty ignition switch so dont go to too much expense without an expert second opinion.
    A competent mechanic should be able to identify the source of the problem fairly quickly with a voltmeter and maybe temporary use of jumpleads.
    Last edited by Bugman; 29-10-2016, 07:22 AM.

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    • #3
      I've been puzzling over this but to be honest it's a new one to me. For the headlight flash to activate the starter independent of the ignition switch suggests something to do with the body control module. Since it's intermittent I'd suspect there's an earth somewhere that's a bit dodgy and signal is being sent where it shouldn't. I think you're going to need an auto-sparks. Check all the fuses, sounds daft but sometimes a cracked fuse will do weird things. They can look good but a hairline fracture can be hard to spot.

      The nearest I've had was an Omega some year ago that had been in a shunt and they'd welded it with the battery connected (which everyone will tell you isn't a problem) - it screwed the control module so the signals went haywire. When you pressed the brake pedal the wipers went on, when you turned the indicator the foglights came one - you never knew what it was going to do next. The problem was solved by the engine going bang.
      1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

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      • #4
        Further to my suggestions,and Taurus's I admit what little knowledge I have predates control modules ,inhibitors, ecu's etc and their particular gremlins. The last starter solenoid I worked on was made in 1931 ! It was activated by pulling on a bowden cable! I had assumed the headlight flash was just a coincidence. I'd still have the battery checked before going any further.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the suggestions. Battery checked and that is fine. Played up on Friday but I was away so my wife did the light flashing trick to start it which worked fine. It's behaved for me with same key (just in case immobiliser : key was the issue) I think I will give to an auto-spark to look at but if "no fault found" that may not solve it. Time will tell

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          • #6
            Thanks. If you identify the cause could you please update the thread as it may help others.

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            • #7
              Will do! It has since behaved

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