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  • [Non Corsa] Starting Problem [Astra H]

    Hi,

    3 months ago I had a starting issue. When I turned the key I could hear the starter motor, but it would only get to about 200rpm. After holding the key there for a while it creeped up to about 400rpm and with some revving the engine burst into life and I've had no issues until now.

    The same happened today, I tried swapping 2 relays around in the UEC as per advise from a friend with an Astra- but nothing changed. I tried my spare key as well. In the end I had to do the same thing, turn the key and wait for the rev's to creep up and accelerate.

    It started up fine when I had to move it a second a go, but I know turning the key for too long can damage the starter motor. I do have to hold it there for about 30 seconds for it to creep up.

    I'm thinking as it was cold then and cold now it could be a battery issue, but it has been very cold inbetween then and to go 3 months without an issue leaves me a bit puzzled.

    All help appreciated as always!

    Thanks

  • #2
    Always start with having the battery checked. Slow cranking could be the battery voltage dropping under load. Or it could be a poor connection, earth. Or you've got a dying starter.

    I had one recently that was struggling to turn over - sod's law said that having check everything else when the starter was bench tested it was running slow. A new starter sorted it. But begin by checking the battery first of all.
    1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

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    • #3
      Okay, thanks as always, Taurus.

      I haven't got a multimeter, so hopefully Halfords autocentre will see me tomorrow. The local one has been good when I've needed to use them.

      What could be the reason for it taking 3 months to do it again? I've been using the heaters/aircon consistently. When I had my computer checked for codes a while back I did get asked if I have trouble starting, he tried clearing it but it wouldn't go away, then I had it read by my local garage when it happened last time and they said no codes were stored.

      I'll take it one step at a time, first the battery, tomorrow!

      Comment


      • #4
        1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

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        • #5
          Ordered a multimeter for the new year, thanks for that information!

          Halfords checked both alternator and battery. Both healthy, battery is at 85% charge and outputting 12.6v or 12.8v I believe he showed me. I described the problem, he thinks it is deeper lying and requires a diagnostic, I done a pedal test and no codes are stored.

          The car has started within a second for the last 15 starts now, just like normal.

          Comment


          • #6
            Next step is to remove and clean the connections, including the earths, reassemble using copper assembly compound.
            1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Taurus View Post
              Next step is to remove and clean the connections, including the earths, reassemble using copper assembly compound.

              Comment


              • #8
                Intermittent problems are always a pain to sort out. There are a number of things this could be, but I'd start with cleaning the connections before spending any money. Make sure the battery terminals are clean, also the earth point on the bodyshell, damp can cause resistance to build up and it's not always consistent. Check and clean the connections on the starter motor/solenoid as well - tricky to get at though unles you've got ramps or axle stands.

                If after cleaning all the connections you still get slow cranking then one test is to put the headlights on and get someone to crank the engine for you. You stand at the front and watch the headlights - if they dim a lot on cranking then the battery voltage is collapsing, which points to a weak battery. If they don't dim at all then current isn't being drawn by the starter so that's a weak starter or a bad connection. They usually dim slightly but a healthy battery will light headlights and crank the engine.

                I've come across all sorts of things - so don't jump to conclusions. One long term intermittent starting problem was a cracked terminal inside the battery casing - no way of spotting it easily. When it refuses to crank properly give the cables a waggle then try again - it'll help narrow down the possibilities.

                Re. the relays and codes - you'd need to know a bit more about what relays they were referring to and which codes they were getting. In general remember that a lot of dealerships tell their guys to generate extra work to boost sales targets so be wary of assuming they're giving you the full facts. Sad - but I know too many guys in the trade who are fed up of having to rip customers off or they face disciplinary procedures. A good backstreet workshop is always your best bet.

                Also - re. relays - I'm not sure I actually follow what you said, so maybe clarify which relays you swapped and what happened please.

                A five year old battery may be losing some capacity, but I've had Vauxhall batteries last over twice as long before they fail, so I wouldn't pay for a new one unless you know the battery is at fault. You could pick up a good spare one from a scrappies for a tenner - at least if you swapped that one in you'd get a better idea if it's the battery. (Or say where you are and see if anyone has a known good battery on the bench you could try.)
                1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Taurus View Post
                  Intermittent problems are always a pain to sort out. There are a number of things this could be, but I'd start with cleaning the connections before spending any money. Make sure the battery terminals are clean, also the earth point on the bodyshell, damp can cause resistance to build up and it's not always consistent. Check and clean the connections on the starter motor/solenoid as well - tricky to get at though unles you've got ramps or axle stands.

                  If after cleaning all the connections you still get slow cranking then one test is to put the headlights on and get someone to crank the engine for you. You stand at the front and watch the headlights - if they dim a lot on cranking then the battery voltage is collapsing, which points to a weak battery. If they don't dim at all then current isn't being drawn by the starter so that's a weak starter or a bad connection. They usually dim slightly but a healthy battery will light headlights and crank the engine.

                  I've come across all sorts of things - so don't jump to conclusions. One long term intermittent starting problem was a cracked terminal inside the battery casing - no way of spotting it easily. When it refuses to crank properly give the cables a waggle then try again - it'll help narrow down the possibilities.

                  Re. the relays and codes - you'd need to know a bit more about what relays they were referring to and which codes they were getting. In general remember that a lot of dealerships tell their guys to generate extra work to boost sales targets so be wary of assuming they're giving you the full facts. Sad - but I know too many guys in the trade who are fed up of having to rip customers off or they face disciplinary procedures. A good backstreet workshop is always your best bet.

                  Also - re. relays - I'm not sure I actually follow what you said, so maybe clarify which relays you swapped and what happened please.

                  A five year old battery may be losing some capacity, but I've had Vauxhall batteries last over twice as long before they fail, so I wouldn't pay for a new one unless you know the battery is at fault. You could pick up a good spare one from a scrappies for a tenner - at least if you swapped that one in you'd get a better idea if it's the battery. (Or say where you are and see if anyone has a known good battery on the bench you could try.)
                  Sorry for not being too clear, was up for 52 hours sadly..

                  I haven't got around to cleaning any connections yet. I'm going to give that a try later on today. I used the method of checking the lights, they dimmed a bit and the car started. I'm not sure if you wanted me to do this when the issue occurs, but when doing it while it operates normally it started within a second of turning the key.

                  Here is a video of me starting with headlights on:

                  As for cleaning the earth, would you know where they are usually located? I have a set of axel stands at home and will pick up a trolley jack today. Which sort of cleaning product would you use, or is a good wipe sufficient?

                  I never use Vauxhall to be honest, I have a garage I've trusted and had a lot of work done on my previous car. As it was more of an electrical issue I thought I'd use Vauxhall, also I'm not 100% sure my local has TECH2. I'll chat with him when he comes back from his operation, he's an old guy and commutes from Cornwall to Woolwich SE London once a week.

                  The codes weren't specific and the guy who read them for me earlier in the year can't remember what it was, both just say it relates to starting.

                  The relays I switched around were, so I'm told Identical to each other. Heres a picture of a UEC off of eBay:




                  And here's the list from the manual:



                  I think I was misinformed... I swapped the two YELLOW relays in the UEC around, as per advice from a guy off of AOC...But looking at the manual diagram, I see the starter fuse(Fuse 18) is just below the yellow relay on the left of the UEC... Am I looking at that right? If this is the case should I address that or leave it? I can't imagine why he'd specifically say swap the yellow ones around if they aren't relating to starting. Sorry to keep adding different things to the mix, just looks like I've made a mistake in the earlier steps.

                  I'll keep with this battery, doesn't seem to be the culprit as per the tests on it.
                  Baronoli
                  'LS' Member
                  Last edited by Baronoli; 04-01-2014, 06:40 AM.

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                  • #10
                    The video of it starting is fine - but I meant to do that test when it isn't starting right. That's what it should do - but how does it look when it won't crank properly? Like all intermittent faults it will be a pain to sort unless you can catch it when it's actually doing it.

                    Re. the relays - the listing is here for the image below - starter relay is marked in red - Vauxhall Workshop Manuals > Astra H > General Vehicle Information > Schematic and Routing Diagrams > Relays and Fuses > Engine compartment - Underhood electrical centre Rear electronic module



                    If you suspect it's the relay then that's the one to renew.
                    1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

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                    • #11
                      Problem is, I have the headlights on Auto when I start, wouldn't have noticed sadly as they come on when the ignition is on....Thanks for the tip though.

                      Yeah that relay is one I swapped around(with the relay at the end of the line on the right of the one you squared red). That didn't make a difference to starting though.

                      Preparing to clean the terminals today, going through the Haynes manual to see where the earths are.

                      Will update, thanks, Taurus.

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                      • #12
                        Didn't get to clean the terminals today sadly, helped a friend as soon as I was about to start and then slept for work.

                        I've looked through the Haynes manual to get an idea where the earths are. I've located the starter earth, is that worth cleaning up? Also were generally would I find the body earth you mentioned, is there a section of the Haynes it would be covered in?

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                        • #13
                          Starter earth, starter connections, battery terminals, look for the earth lead from the -ve battery terminal to where it is bolted to the bodywork. (I'd go outside and look on mine to show you a photo but it's pouring down right now.)
                          1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

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                          • #14
                            I probably wont get to do until next week, but have all the equipment needed. I bought a set of jumper cables from halfords too incase it happens before I get to clean the connections up. I read about earthing the battery to a bit of bodywork with them so would be handy if out and about.

                            Thanks for the thought of the photo though, if you do get the chance I'd appreciate it but will have a look tomorrow when I wake up, bad thing about workings nights is the lack of light when I wake up...

                            As always thanks, the ammount of drinks I owe you is crazy...

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                            • #15
                              Yes - it's a good idea to carry a good set of jump leads, so if it does it again you can make a temporary earth from the battery to a good chassis point to see if it makes any difference. I did exactly that with a V12 E-type recently just to prove the point that it was an earth problem causing the non-start.
                              1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

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