2003 accent, no crank & weird electrical stuff

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dlb
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2003 accent, no crank & weird electrical stuff

Post by dlb » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:17 pm

My wife drove her 2003 Hyundai Accent to a friend's place last night. Everything was normal, no issues. She spent the night there and when she tried to start the car to come home, the lights on the dash went off, the gas gauge started flying up and down, and the starter either made no sound or clicked repeatedly. She called me, I said the battery was probably dead because she must have left the dome light on or something. She used jumper cables and her friend's car to jump hers but it took a long time. I told her to keep adjusting the jumper cables and make sure they had good contact with the terminals on both batteries. Eventually she got it started.

She drove it home without further incident but when she went to start it again this afternoon, same thing. I hopped in and found the same thing. I thought, "ok, battery is hooped." But I checked the battery and it's fully charged. I hopped back in the car, tried starting it again, and it fired up. I let it run for a minute, turned it off, tried again. Started fine. I did this a few more times until I was convinced the gremlins were gone.

An hour later, she tries to start it, and the problem is back. I just went out and messed around and there's lots of weird electrical stuff happening. Sometimes when I turn the headlights on, they are bright and normal, but sometimes they are dim and something (a relay, I presume) clicks away madly. I switch the dash lights on, put the key in, take the key out and the dash lights go out even with the switch on. I put the key back in, the dash lights come back on.

I'm really unsure what's going on, but am still leaning toward the battery. Tomorrow I will swap in a known good battery and see what happens but I'm curious like a cat so I wanted to see what the gang here thinks first.

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BaileySims
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Re: 2003 accent, no crank & weird electrical stuff

Post by BaileySims » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:55 am

Every time I have come across what you described here, it was normally the battery terminals needing a good cleaning because they were gunked up, along with the leads to the battery.

I had it so bad on my 01 corolla in fact , I had to carry a bottle of battery contact cleaner in the glove box at all times.
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dlb
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Re: 2003 accent, no crank & weird electrical stuff

Post by dlb » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:49 pm

The terminals looked fine but I cleaned them anyway just in case, problem remained. I put in a known good battery and it started up fine. Going to let it sit and try a few more times before declaring success but it looks like the battery was the culprit.

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Petros
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Re: 2003 accent, no crank & weird electrical stuff

Post by Petros » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:39 am

check your main ground from the battery, and also the condition of connection where the battery cable meets the clamp. also check the main power cable meets the starter for corrsion (you may have to remove it to clean it), and also check both ends of the ground strap from the engine to the frame.

sounds like an unreliable contact somewhere in the system.

Use one of those battery terminal wire brush, they are cheap and work well. I also use a corrosion inhibitor on the terminals, a spray can from the auto parts store. LPS or CRC spray also works.
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dlb
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Re: 2003 accent, no crank & weird electrical stuff

Post by dlb » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:12 pm

Looks like I was on the right track -- the battery was the problem. Nice easy fix.

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