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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #1
I am getting my RR ready to sell and drove to a friends to read the climate control system (red herring alert). We found 2 faults and I started the car and drove back home. It was a very hot drive, 90F, about 20 miles of normal roads and highways, maybe also unrelated, but maybe not. I got home, parked in the street, went inside to get wife's keys to move car so I can pull in the garage, because it is hot outside. Moved her car, went to start the RR, nothing. Lights and bells come on as normal, try to start the car and no crank, just like that, it was running 10 minutes before.

12.7 volts at the battery, all other electrical functions seem normal. I let it cool off, opened the hood (bonnet) and let it sit for several hours, although in this heat it did not cool off all that much. Still no crank, no start. Fresh fuel this am, half a tank of high octane, (red herring again). I even banged on the starter for grins as I heard that has worked on at least one older vehicle 20 years ago.

This vehicle is mocking me and it knows I am going to sell it. I was down to the last small items to repair and even have a buyer lined up with transport waiting.

Where to start, (pun) what to try next?
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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42 Posts
Kidding aside, these are quirky. It might just fire right up in the AM. Put a tender on it overnight. No chance you have a nanocom or other reader?

I've had HVAC book signs off & on for 2 years. Depends on the humidity levels. And when they do appear, I pull over & shut off/restart car & they go away. 23 year old British technology.....just another reason to visit the pub & deal with it later.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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134 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I'm close, I even know a firefighter, I could tell him not to show up just to make sure.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #5
I have asked locally for a reader to borrow. Sad part is I was just hooked up to one at a shop for the HVAC codes earlier. Can't really borrow that one though. Luckily it is in front of my house so libations are close at hand.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Seems like the same thing happen to me a few weeks ago.

Drove to the gas station and after filling up it would not start.

Towed it home.

When turning the key I got so sound from the starter and nothing abnormal from the instrument gauge.

Check battery - strong
Checked all fuses and relays to the starter - all good
Starter getting power
Starter solenoid not getting power when key was turned.

I accidentally set off the alarm and after putting in the EKA code it started right up.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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134 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I am taking apart the fuse box board now, probably overdue so I might as well. That will cross one more thing of the list.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Why did you get the "Wife's keys" to move it? (Not red herring)
Do you by chance have 2 working fobs? If so, and it has been a while since wife's keys have been used, it may not recognize
the code being sent as correct.
Try "Your keys" on it, and then re sync the wife's set.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #9
Written language issue, the wife's was to move the wife's car that was in the garage and blocking me from getting there with my RR.
Both fobs works and car will not start, still...
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Is the check engine light on when you turn the ignition on?
If not you have to get the Nanocom out to reset it.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #11
Normal dash lights are on. Odd occurrence though, when I move the key to the start position, the climate control panel flashes off and then on again, and the row of lights for the lo range indicators on the shift console flash on and then off while the normal range indicators stay steady on.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #12
My current problems are your future problems, if you have any ideas, let me know.
 

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You need to go through things methodically. You say you have 12.7 volts at the battery, that's too low to start with but it should still do something. When you tunr the ignition to position 2, you get a full set of lights on the dash but does that include the Check Engine lamp? GEMS or Thor, as a GEMS will not crank if it has lost sync but a Thor will crank but not fire. Assuming you have a Check Engine light, when you turn the key to start, do you get any noise at all? A click from the BeCM, a louder click from the starter solenoid or nothing? The various lights going off when you try to draw current from the battery, coupled with the low battery voltage when the car had only just been switched off so it should have been fully charged, suggests bad battery terminal contact.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #14
Yes the SES light is on and stays on since the vehicle will not start. Still nothing this morning while is it nice and cool outside. I do not hear any clicks or noises except the recirc motors moving around and yesterday I could hear the blower motor relays clicking while the hood was open and the windows were down. The battery is just a month old and while those can fail and I have not ruled that out yet, the terminals and connections are tight and squeaky clean.
 

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Not SES (Service Engine Soon) light, but Check Engine light. If that is not on with the ignition on, you have lost sync. However, noticing your signature, I assume we are talking about a Thor (2000 model) so if sync is lost the starter will still turn the engine over, it just won't start. If the engine isn't running, why are the blower relays clicking? They wouldn't usually do anything untli the HEVAC knows it is running. Only 12.7 volts from a new battery and random clicking suggests that you may have a failed fusebox. Check the obvious, the starter motor. Get underneath and pull off the trigger wire to the starter solenoid and attach a random length of wire to the terminal. Put the other end of that wire onto the positive battery terminal. If the starter spins, that is OK, if it doesn't, the starter is dead. Try it again with the ignition switched to position 2, does the starter spin and the engine start? The starter circuit goes through the BeCM which checks that the gearbox is in P or N, the ignition is on and then pulls in the starter relay to apply power to the trigger terminal. If anything is wrong, it won't energise the starter relay. You do have a P or N showing on the dash?
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #16
It looks like no CEL, although now that I think about it I can't remember exactly what position that light occupies. In the right bank of lights on the info display maybe. I do get the gear shift indicators on the display. I can move the lever through all gears so it does not seem to be an interlock issue.

The fan relay is what started this whole adventure down the rabbit hole. My left blower motor had not worked in a while and I had a shop read the climate system codes and it said left blower motor nor functioning. I drove home to repair what I thought would be the last issue before selling it, and all of this happened.

There was a method to my madness; when it would not start I began looking at things in the engine compartment and decided to pull on the main power wire to the fuse/relay panel in the engine compartment. When I went back inside and tried to start it again, I heard the left blower motor working so I figured I had some connection issues there.

I am parked on a hill in the street and it is not safe to lift or work on the underneath of the vehicle at this time. So I will have to skip those attempts for the time being.

It does seem like I have lost sync. I can do some searches but why does that usually happen out of the blue when all was working fine?
I have owned 2 of these P38s and have never had the EKA codes for either one, both used when purchased by me, not new. From what I read it is either 1515 or it is not. With a dead vehicle and no access to a computer or someone that makes house calls, how do I determine the EKA if I have one? I can try the procedure using 1515 and see what happens.
 

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A good fully charged 12 volt battery "At rest" (Ignition off, no large draws) would be 12.6 to 12.8 volts nominally.
If this drops by more than a couple of tenths when ign. is switched on, get the battery tested.
Check all main batt and earth connections, not just the 2 on the batt.
Follow Richard's suggestions. Particularly the fusebox check and Park / Neutral interlock.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #18
Tried jump starting the vehicle with another running vehicle and no changes. Leaning toward sync or starter issue, I will have to figure out how to mess with the starter considering where it is parked.
 

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If we are talking a Thor (Bosch) engine, which a 2000 would be, then a loss of sync means the starter turns the engine over but the engine ECU isn't powered so there's no sparks or fuel. It's the GEMS that inhibits the starter motor from turning. So it is going to be either a starter that has died or the fusebox. You shouldn't need to jack the car up to get at the starter, it's high enough to crawl underneath with it sitting on the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The latest, it's not the starter, I think. I was messing with the fuse/relay board and it was getting late and I left a window open so I had to button things up again. I decided to temporarily put the board back in, wired it back up, protected it from shorting anything out and went inside the vehicle to check the results. Just for grins I tried to start it and it fired right up. I got tired of the not set warnings and started setting the windows. I was part way through that and turned it off to finish the warning reset. Set the windows and then tried to start it one more time, and dead to the world. Back to where I was before with a dead Rover. Still not sure if it is the board or intermittent sync issues or what. I am having a drink or several for the night.
 
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