When I try to start my Elantra I can hear the starter solenoid click, but the motor doesn't turn over / crank.

After a few attempts of this, the car loses all electrical power for awhile (~1 hour). Turning the ignition to on doesn't display any dash lights, and none of the rest of the electrical systems work. I've noticed that the dash lights also seem to fade on the last few attempts before everything goes dark. After the hour I can use the electrical systems (turn on the lights, beep the horn, ect) until I try starting it again.

This happens with both the old and a new battery.

I'm planning to pull the starter motor, but it seems odd that it would affect the whole electrical system in this way. I was wondering if anyone has any insights into what I'm seeing.

  • 1
    Check for broken or corroded battery cables.
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 13 '20 at 3:49
  • 1
    Yep, this was it. The threads and bolts from the battery's ground connection on the chassis needed to be cleaned. Once that was done it started right up. It probably wasn't a time based thing when it worked periodically, it's more likely that we were jostling the ground connection while we were working on the battery.
    – Tony.P
    Jul 13 '20 at 18:58
  • Good find, well done.
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 13 '20 at 19:05

This turned out to be a bad ground connection from the battery. Tested the resistance from the battery ground to another ground point that connects to the transmission and it came out to ~10MΩ, after cleaning the threads and bolts on the battery ground connection it went down to ~0.9Ω.

enter image description here enter image description here

  • Please use the tick or check mark top left to accept your answer, then the system can catalogue the question correctly.
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 15 '20 at 11:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.