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Wouldn't Start

2898 Views 16 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  studio1201
95 RR Classic: Went out this morning and the truck wouldn't turn over. The beast has a new battery, and the ambient temp. is well above freezing. There is a clicking sound from the vicinity of the glove box (like a relay); the engine is not cranking. Stranded in Seattle. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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What lead to the replacement of the old battery?
Was the charging system checked to verify it was working properly?
Was the old battery load tested?
Was the new battery load tested and charged?

I can tell you that some independent shops will have batteries sit on a shelf for a long time. The batteries should be rotated with fresh ones, but sometimes the battery delivery guy doesn't always check. Interstate has good guys working for them, but a new guy could be slacking.

If you check the side of the battery for a sticker, this will indicate the year and month the battery was built.
You'll want one within the last 6 months, nothing really wrong with an older battery, but it must be recharged to full prior to being installed.
Older batteries will sulfate, and these crystals prevent the battery from fully charging. There are commercially available battery chargers with a desulfation mode.

So lets assume the new battery is fully charged, and you have a working alternator.
What is preventing the starter from cranking?

Weather can play havoc on a battery, you say the temps are above freezing.
Take out your multi-meter, and test the voltage at the battery.
What is the voltage reading? Should read 12.2v +.

Use the same meter but place it at the starter solenoid battery wire.
What is the voltage reading? Should read battery voltage.

Now get a friend to sit in the drivers seat and have him attempt to crank it.
You'll be testing for voltage at the solenoid trigger wire. May have a 50 marked on it, indicating terminal 50 (Bosch labels it like this).
With the vehicle in the start position, what is the voltage reading?

Anything under 10v and the solenoid won't engage.
This indicates a voltage drop, or a faulty starter relay.
A faulty ground wire could also cause the relay to flutter.
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I've been using the shop for years. I trust them. The battery has been in for several months and has worked flawlessly (until this morning). The ambient temp is low forties. My battery charger indicates full and even with charger connected engine is not cranking, just a lot of clicking under the dash and all the dash lights fluttering. The elec. module was replaced within the last year. I don't own a multi-meter. I've check all contacts for fit, but will check again. Thanks
probably the alarm spider or park/ neutral switch. make sure your gear lever is in position, play with it and try neutral. The alarm spider controls the theft deterrent engine disable system, One of the relays needed t0o be grounded to make it work temporarily.

You can bypass everuthing, open the hood, and with ignition on take a long piece of wire and put it on the small terminal on the starter and the other end to the red positive + terminal, you jump out the keys, relays and if it can crank, it will.
I'm looking into purchasing a multimeter. I checked the gear lever and moved it from P to N, and back again, but starting problem the same. I'll have more to report once I put a meter on it. Any additional thoughts or suggestions are always welcome. Thanks
the wire to the small starter wire is a good trick to eliminate everything. That will tell you if your starter works or not
Forgive me Bandit 86, but could you please elaborate on your post. Thanks.
He means run a direct wire from the battery (+) to the small terminal (solenoid) on the starter
Thanks. I'll give it a try. Especially now that we have a break from the rain.
Update: I connected a wire from the positive battery post to the solenoid and all I got was a single click when I turned the key. Prior to that when I would turn the key, and the solenoid and starter are connected, I would get a "machine gun" effect clicking. Do you think its the starter or would I get the same symptoms if it were the inhibitor switch on the transmission? Thanks.
Clicking when trying to start indicates low voltage at battery or bad connection at battery terminals, also try tightening starter and coil connections. Also you can remove relays from stock alarm ( clicking under dash ? ).
Classicjack, et al - The truck is a 95 classic with about 175K on it. I am the original owner. The current battery was put in service Nov '08, replacing the one put in in '02. An alternator was also installed in '02, the same time as the battery (a replacement alternator was installed in '04 - don't ask!). The transmission was rebuilt in August of '08. After a thorough review of service records, the starter is original equipment. The rapid and robust clicking, what I referred to as a 'machine gun' clicking is coming from the starter solenoid. The sound is deceptive, making me think its coming from under the dash, however, when my head is under the hood, it is the starter solenoid, just on the other side of the firewall. About a year ago I had trouble with the alarm spontaneously going off so I removed the fuse (It means the door actuators don't work, but it was a small price to pay to have a restful night and happy neighbors). Since the car has been idle for about two weeks, and with the cold temperatures and turning the key to troubleshoot the problem I put a charger on to keep the battery level up. The pix below shows the condition of the battery posts. Wiring to the coil and starter are tight. Any additional troubleshooting input you guys could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for all your help.


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I know this sounds barbaric but have you tried hitting the starter and solenoid with a hammer?
I had a Toyota that would not start about once every couple of weeks, so I kept a piece of 2x2 lumber in the back to beat the starter with and it would start every time. :thumb:

If something is sticking this may break it loose and get you started!!

I haven't, but definitely worth a shot. No pun intended. Given its location under the RH manifold I'm not sure I have the space to give it too hard a whack. I'll try and let you know. It doesn't sound barbaric. Its comical and certainly appropriate for the rover. And more grist for the mill for my wife!! Thanks.
Have someone turning the key at the same time as you're hitting it - the combination of the electro-magnetic force and the hitting is sometimes required.

Also, when you used a wire to connect the solenoid to the battery, was it a fairly large wire? It needs to be able to carry a sufficient current to engage the solenoid fully - a thin bit of wire just won't do it, but will still give the 'click'.
Has the battery been tested? Have you tried a different battery or jump starting from another car (with decent sized leads, jumper car held at revs, etc)?

Just because the battery has been on charge doesn't eliminate it as the fault, as suggested i would be starting there. Apologies if you've already done this.
Danny - I'll try the two person technique. And, yes, the wire is of sufficient gauge, or at least I think so. I used a piece of household wire left at the house by an electrician. Thanks
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