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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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222 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
In the year and a bit that I have had the P38 it has had a few occasions where it has decided it's not starting. Normally, a second or third turn of the key solves it and once or twice, it has needed jump starting. The symptoms range from totally unresponsive to the key turn to a click and to normal cranking but not lighting off.
Christmas day, my wife took the Rangie down to the shops and when she got to the car to go home, it wouldn't start and showed a message that it was immobilised, no response to the key at all. She walked home and returned the next day and it cranked the battery flat, so she went home and returned later with the Disco to jump start it and the spare keys. She did the synch of the key and, Voila!, normal service resumed.

A few days back after a few months of good behaviour, the ***** threw a strop with me and just cranked and wouldn't start, so to show there were no hard feelings, I took the Atos to work and when I got home later in the day, it started on the button. I have just loaded the P38 systems to my Nanocom and was having a rummage around the menu the day before and reset the "adaptive parameters", so I don't know if this has any bearing to the sudden onset of sulking.
Next morning, same again, but this time, no light off at all, even with jumper cables...Nada. I was late for work, so that evening, after work, I tried again, and still cranking but not lighting off... Jumpered it and suddenly it was dead, no cranking, nothing. Connecting the Nanocom revealed "Unable to connect to ECU" for all systems, but it worked fine on the Disco. I checked every fuse and swapped relays around to no avail.

I consulted the Oracle and was duly directed by the troubleshooting in the manual which revealed the starter solenoid was at fault. A carefully calibrated tap with a 5 pound buggering stick had no effect, so I left it for the long weekend's mission. In the meanwhile, I discovered that I had not read the troubleshooting correctly, so I decided to redo it using the battery out of my Disco, and when I did the first part of the test that requires the key to be turned to Position III... it started and has been fine for the last 2 days....

Needless to say, I am puzzled and more than slightly peed off at the car, and I need some guidance, please.
What are the likely suspects?
Immobiliser?
GEMS ECU?
Ignition switch?
Duff battery? (my jumpers are self made using 50mm Square welding cable with strong clamps, not cheap and nasty)
Other/mix of the above?

Any ideas, please?
 

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Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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1,422 Posts
WELL, seeing as you tried virtually everything EXCEPT what you should have first, You are now down to the most probable cause: Loose, or corroded connections at the battery and starter motor, with the main battery earthing points tossed in as well.
Clean and properly tighten all of them. Loose and corroded will show all the intermittent issues you describe.
Remember: "A new battery is not always a good battery" Usually? Yes. Always?? NO!
By changing the battery, you altered at least 2 of the suspect connections. Re make them, and all the others.
Good luck!
 
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