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Unread 09-19-2011, 02:55 PM   #1
guht
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Starting issues, please help.

Let me begin with a quick horror story...

Me and a buddy take my jeep out into the desert looking for a place to shoot with tannerite. It was our goal to use 40lbs, which meant we needed to find a remote and uninhabited place. This led us to some 'true' off roading. There were literally no roads, just miles and miles of untamed desert. About 10 miles out we find the perfect spot, and got out of the jeep to investigate further.

This is when the horror comes in. After about 15-20 minutes of checking the area out we came back to the jeep, and I went to start it. Nothing, wont turn, click, just plain dead. I look down and notice I had my cell phone plugged into the charger. Insert about 10 of your favorite expletives here!

I unplug the cell phone and start trying to think of what the hell I am going to do. One stoke of good luck is I happened to park slightly uphill, with a fairly clear path for maybe 50-75 yards. I have a manual, so popping the clutch was an option. However, the jeep needed to be turned around so it was facing downhill. With only 2 people, and one needing to try and steer, in patchy desert wash type sand, this was no easy task. Had to remove everything I could, and then still bust *** to move it.

So I am now facing downhill, and have only 1 MAYBE 2 shots at this. It has been awhile since I had popped a clutch, and I wanted to rehearse by just going through the motions without actually moving. So I press clutch down, turn key, and it starts... My buddy was pissed, because he thought I was playing a practical joke, but I was more surprised then he was! Maybe moving it very slightly turned alternator and gave it a small charge?

This happened once before, same thing, left cell phone plugged in 20-30 minutes later, jeep wouldn't start. I had the neighbor give me a jump, so I don’t know if would have started after I unplugged cell phone.

The battery is fairly new.

The battery terminals are clean and the water levels could stand to be topped off, but there is water in there.

I never have a problem starting it any other time, starts right up, no delay, no sputtering, no hesitation - it starts.

What could of caused this?

Thanks!

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Unread 09-20-2011, 02:02 PM   #2
guht
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Anyone?
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Unread 09-20-2011, 02:22 PM   #3
timberwolf0122
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Does the manual have the same safety cut out as the automatic that prevents you starting the engine while still in gear?

I doubt the phone charger drained the battery and you would not have gotten any charge from the alternator without the ignition on and the drive train in gear.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 02:38 PM   #4
guht
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberwolf0122 View Post
Does the manual have the same safety cut out as the automatic that prevents you starting the engine while still in gear?
First thank you for responding!

Second, if it does then it doesn't work, because I start my Jeep in 1st or 2nd gear several times a day for the last year. ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by timberwolf0122 View Post
I doubt the phone charger drained the battery and you would not have gotten any charge from the alternator without the ignition on and the drive train in gear.
Yeah I really didn't think that was a possibility, but I am at a total loss as to why having the cell phone plugged in while the jeep was parked and turned off would cause my jeep not to start.

Is there anything I can do to test what kind of drain the cell phone is having on the battery? An inexpensive way preferably? ;-)
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Unread 09-20-2011, 02:39 PM   #5
bciocco
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Moving it did not give it any charge. It may have given the battery time to build back it's residual charge. I doubt it because of #1 below. It probably worked the clutch switch though.
The first thing I would do is take it to Advance or Auto Zone (I am not sure if O'Reilly's or WalMart check batteries) and have them load test the battery. They check it free and if you need one, you are right there and the warranty is good pretty much wherever you are. There may be an internal problem with the battery. You mentioned the desert; heat is tough on batteries and we are just finishing a very hot summer.
If the battery is OK (even if it is not OK), you may have a switch going out; ignition or clutch safety switch, or possibly a solenoid.

It is tough to say whether your cell phone charger is causing any issues.
1. My jeep doesn't have power through the cigarette lighter with the ignition off. I don't know if yours does. If you are leaving the ignition on, there might me something else draining the battery.
2. Cellphone batteries don't take much juice to charge. It is a small battery being charged by a very big battery. I often leave mine to charge in my car.

I hope this helps.

For future reference, you didn't need to turn the Jeep around. You can push start in reverse, just have the transmission in reverse as well. I'm sure your friend will be glad to hear that.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 02:47 PM   #6
bciocco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guht View Post
First thank you for responding!

Second, if it does then it doesn't work, because I start my Jeep in 1st or 2nd gear several times a day for the last year. ;-)



Yeah I really didn't think that was a possibility, but I am at a total loss as to why having the cell phone plugged in while the jeep was parked and turned off would cause my jeep not to start.

Is there anything I can do to test what kind of drain the cell phone is having on the battery? An inexpensive way preferably? ;-)
The clutch safety switch performs the same function in a manual transmission as the neutral switch in an automatic.

An ammeter can test the draw of any electrical item. If the tech knows what he is doing, the same machine that tests charging systems can check the draw of anything on the system.
Connect the machine (I'm old and have been out of the business a while, so I am thinking of the Sun VAT-40 as the tester) and zero the ammeter. Turn on the item you want to check. The draw will show on the ammeter.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 03:17 PM   #7
wushaw
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Check the battery and clean the battery terminals with a battery terminal cleaner.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 07:55 PM   #8
guht
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wushaw View Post
Check the battery and clean the battery terminals with a battery terminal cleaner.

Thanks for the post, but as stated in my original post the battery is fairly new, terminals are clean, and the water is not full, but it has water in it.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 07:59 PM   #9
chris142
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A cell phone charger uses milliamps. It won't run a battery down in a few minutes or even a few days.
My guess is a bad starter solonoid that acts up when it's being heat soaked.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 08:56 PM   #10
guht
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bciocco View Post
If the battery is OK (even if it is not OK), you may have a switch going out; ignition or clutch safety switch, or possibly a solenoid.
Thanks for the responses! I did some research of my own before asking more questions, and it looks like I can pretty easily test to see if its the solenoid, or wiring.

I couldn't find anything on how to test the clutch switch, all I could find on that was over riding the clutch switch. Which is useful information, I wish I had known that before, there have been a few sticky situations I could of used and override switch! ;-)

Is there a way to test the clutch switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bciocco View Post
It is tough to say whether your cell phone charger is causing any issues.
1. My jeep doesn't have power through the cigarette lighter with the ignition off. I don't know if yours does. If you are leaving the ignition on, there might me something else draining the battery.
I just tested the cigarette light with charger, and it appears that the ignition would need to be on to get power, so I must have left my keys in the ignition in both these cases. I have been known to leave them in there for extended periods of times! :P

Coincidentally I was just testing some new speakers I bought to replace the blown stock ones, the Jeep was not started, but keys were in ignition so the radio was on.

I was playing with different settings and types of music for 30-45 minutes, and after I was done I checked to see if Jeep would start, sure as sh*t it DID NOT start. Nothing, no click, just dead... However, the radio was still on, dashboard display panel lit up, etc... But the jeep would not turnover!

It has been about an hour, havent moved Jeep or done anything to it, and it still wont turnover..

WTH!


Quote:
Originally Posted by bciocco View Post
For future reference, you didn't need to turn the Jeep around. You can push start in reverse, just have the transmission in reverse as well. I'm sure your friend will be glad to hear that.
My buddy is actually an old gearhead, and his father a master mechanic, so he knew about the reverse. However, he was the biggest guy by about 7" and 60lbs. so his *** was stuck doing the pushing, and my green *** was left to do the technical stuff. I wasn't even sure I could pop clutch going forward, and there was no way in hell I was going to try it backwards.
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Unread 09-21-2011, 04:54 AM   #11
bciocco
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I think the first step should be fill the battery, charge it, and get it load tested. The age of the battery is only part of the equation. There could be an internal crack in a plate that could cause issues.
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Unread 09-21-2011, 11:31 AM   #12
guht
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16hrs later and jeep still will not start.... However, I am guessing letting the aftermarket stereo play for 45-60 minutes at a potential of 200 watts is a bit different than letting your cell phone charge for 60 minutes.

At this point it seems to me like it would be the battery? Going to jump it, let it charge, and go down to AutoZone and have them test the battery and starter.

Ill report back in a couple of hours.
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Unread 09-21-2011, 10:48 PM   #13
guht
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The battery ended up being bad, BUT there was a BIG stupid factor involved, and that stoopid happened to be ME....

Some of you suggested that it sounded like it could be a bad clutch switch...

The bad clutch switch happened to be the neural pathways that control brain motor function to my left foot, or clutch foot.

I was not depressing the clutch when trying to start it some of the times!!!

I have driven manuals my entire life. I learned to drive on one over 20+ years ago, and I have only ever owned 1 automatic!

The only way I can explain this besides pure idiocy on my part is:

1) I have been driving the wifes car for last several months while working on some issues with jeep, her car is an automatic, and has no clutch to depress. Lesson here, if you have a wife, always blame things like this on her first!

2) Some manuals you can start in neutral, and often times when I am working on something that requires me to start jeep, I will start it usually NOT like an idiot, THEN put it in neutral, and set the parking break. I probably do this most often when eating fast food in jeep, waiting for the wife.. etc. It is Arizona, its hot, need AC. Did you notice how I threw the wife under the buss again?

At the end of the day though I basically did what Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder warned Tugg Speedman about.

Quote:
Kirk Lazarus: Everybody knows you never go full retard.
Quote:
Tugg Speedman: What do you mean?
Quote:
Kirk Lazarus: Check it out. Dustin Hoffman, 'Rain Man,' look retarded, act retarded, not retarded. Counted toothpicks, cheated cards. Autistic, sho'. Not retarded. You know Tom Hanks, 'Forrest Gump.' Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe. Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and won a ping-pong competition. That ain't retarded. Peter Sellers, "Being There." Infantile, yes. Retarded, no. You went full retard, man. Never go full retard. You don't buy that? Ask Sean Penn, 2001, "I Am Sam." Remember? Went full retard, went home empty handed...
The worst part, and maybe some of you that have followed thread are wondering by now, is this what almost stranded me and my buddy in the desert? He said he was going to kill me next time he see's me!

Thanks for the help everyone, hopefully some of you at least got a laugh from my stupidity!
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Unread 09-22-2011, 05:31 AM   #14
bciocco
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Glad you got it fixed.
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