Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
46

The symptoms all point to a faulty battery, and an incorrect test result for the Autozone battery test. Starting with this: Hitting brakes: Brake lights come on and interior lights dim: a good battery should have no problem driving both the brake lights and interior lights without dimming. The same goes for many of the other tests you've done. If ...


24

You are right in the thinking of using less gas and that's exactly what the purpose was to have the start/stop feature. The main goal of doing it (at least here in the States) is for zero fuel consumption/zero emissions while the engine is stopped. This provides for better overall fuel consumption numbers to meet what the EPA has mandated for companies to ...


20

The oil problem You can run any engine speed you want as long as you keep the oil pressure up. Because of the impossibility of getting a roller bearing down a crankshaft, engine bearings are "plain bearings" with polished steel floating above babbitt (a soft metal). The oil pressure makes the bearings "float", so the dynamic forces of pistons being ...


16

Since diesel engines rely on compression to run and not a spark like a gasoline engine, heat is directly involved in the combustion of the diesel in the combustion chamber. The way this occurs is that when the piston comes up it compresses the air which is in the cylinder. This creates heat. When the engine is cold, a lot of this heat gets transferred out of ...


15

All symptoms point to a dead battery, but as you have already attempted to rule that out, the next thing I'd check would be bad connections or cables. Turn on the headlights or something else that consumes a fair amount of power - this makes the results of these tests clearer. If the battery is fine, the voltage at battery terminals should stay close to 12 ...


14

tl dr: Corrosion (once cleaned) is not a huge issue. It is just typical corrosion on the battery terminal. See this image: (NOTE: This is a 6V battery, but the same principles apply.) The blueish color you see is hydrated copper sulfate. When acid vapors escape from the battery, it can cause a reaction with any copper which may be in the terminal. The ...


13

There are two power systems on all electric cars (fully electric and hybrids alike). This is in conjunction with the much higher voltage battery packs which normally power the electric motors. The reason for this extra power system is to power things like lights, electronics, and HVAC systems (to name a few). Most hybrid vehicles (and never a fully electric ...


12

Some things to check in order of likelihood- Check the battery connections are tight. A loose connection may prevent your car from starting, even when the lights, radio, etc., may seem to be working fine. The battery may not be fine. Lights are not high load,so having the lights work is not an indicator of how healthy your battery is Starter motor. Some ...


12

Turn the key in the ignition to 'On' Hold the clutch lever Engage first or second gear Let the motorcycle gain speed (either go downhill or push start) Let go of the clutch lever. The motorcycle should sputter to life


11

Potential savings from reduced idling should greatly outweigh any increased wear and tear on starting and charging systems. I answered similar question about idling before (Is idling bad for your engine?). To summarise the negative effects of idling: Fuel combustion is incomplete, which leads to contamination of combustion chamber (glazing), spark plugs (...


11

This sounds like a problem with the coolant temperature sensor. Don't worry - replacement is cheap and can be done easily by yourself or a friend who worked on cars before. Cause Cold engines need more fuel to start than warm engines. This is due to the fact that a part of the vaporized fuel condenses at the cold cylinder wall inside each cylinder. This ...


11

In the two pictures/icons you provide the arrow is intended to indicate the flow of air with regards to the cabin. Where the arrow is coming in from outside the car allows air from outside the vehicle in through the HVAC vents. The circular (ish) arrow indicates that the air already inside the cabin is being recycled through the HVAC system and put out the ...


11

Stupid thing but easy to forget, make sure you have the fuel stopcock on, and that the fuel hasn't evaporated completely. I had a very similar situation with my first bike, a 77 CB500T that had sat for years and I bought for $100. Motorcycles are no different from cars in basic principles, so you need to do the same checks that you'd do with any ...


10

I'll take a slightly different stance here - having a vehicle stand for a year or a little longer than that isn't that long, so I'd try to get it running first before I start changing out parts. Here's what I'd do: Drain the carbs if it's not FI. Chances are that the fuel has evaporated and left some residue. If you didn't drain the carbs it might be worth ...


10

From personal experience, I'd replaced ALOT of these working at the dealership. It wasn't just the accords either, it was quite a few Honda and Acuras that used the same design and power delivery system. The most common issues I saw out of probably close to 100+ failures of these was: Ground strap on the starter becoming corroded. Bad ground to engine Your ...


9

I've a 93 and have had what sounds like the same problem, that is the ignition turns on but when the key is turned further to start the engine it does not always crank the engine. In my case it was the ignition switch and being one not to through money away I took it all apart and cleaned the switch contacts and it's been fine for the past four/five years. ...


9

Repeated clicking is a result of not enough power making it to the starter. Your battery either has a bad connection, or is too weak to turn the starter motor. Battery Connection Your problem may be entirely due to a bad connection. Starters draw a lot of amps, and batteries are weaker in cold temperatures. I'd start by fully exposing the terminals. You ...


9

I'd say the following, which seem fairly universal: Nothing - the worst option, you turn the key and nothing happens at all - either the battery is flat, the immobiliser is misbehaving, or the starter solenoid isn't getting any signal/power. Clicking - the starter is engaging, or trying to, but it's not turning the engine. It might be that it's failing to ...


8

We have a Mk4 TDI Jetta that makes a sound after startup that might be described as a sneeze. I'm fairly confident that it's the starter motor's overrun clutch. As soon as the engine "starts," it begins turning faster than the starter can turn. For this reason, starters have a one-way clutch, called an overrun or sprag clutch. This permits the starter to ...


8

Something to keep in mind is that the time an engine takes a great deal of its wear is cold starts. The oil isn't up to temperature yet, so parts are not separated as they should be and you get more wear. If you do this very frequently, like going from red light to red light, you're probably doing more harm than good. Also, if your car does not start as ...


8

I've got the same sort of function on my Seat Leon (and on my old BMW 320D) - if you drop the clutch quickly enough it will move the car a little. Although I doubt that's enough to get you clear of a railway track. I would err on the side of caution in the event of being stuck on the track/road etc and evacuate the car quickly and safely (i.e. pay ...


8

First, you need to know what each does. #1 allows Fresh air from outside the vehicle. #2 is Recirculates air already inside the vehicle. Unless you are running the AC, you should have the selector to #1. This will help reduce the "misting" effect you are seeing. Selection #2 recirculates air within the vehicle. This is helpful during hot days when the AC ...


8

The engine needs a minimum rpm to idle smoothly - a v8 can idle smoothly about 500to 600rpm but a 1 litre 3 cylinder needs around 700 to 900rpm... It is not the companies that really decided to do the start/stop, if you do some research the various governments have implemented legislation over the years that required drivers to turn off the engine when ...


7

To expand on xpda's answer, and genericise it for any engine that has been standing for some time: Drain and replace the fuel - modern unleaded goes off after a couple of months so won't be any good if it has been standing for longer than that. Replace/clean the fuel filter. Drain and refill the oil. If it has been standing for a long time it would be worth ...


7

As starter motors get old they can require higher current in order to turn successfully, so despite you having no obvious power problem I would first check your battery - also because this is a simple thing to replace if necessary. It could indeed be the starter solenoid, so having a look at both this and the starter motor itself would probably be my next ...


7

If you really want a no-install option, and even @paulster2 answer seems like work then why not use old school locks like gear/steering locks? Or better, this -


7

The other answers failed to emphasize an important point: the 12V battery on hybrid cars is not designed to start an engine, being much smaller than typical automotive starter batteries. Thus, it may not have the cranking amps capacity to successfully start the other car. The 12V battery is merely there to provide power for lights and to boot up the computer ...


7

To differentiate between the starter and the alternator you can check the battery voltage – should be about 12.6 with the engine off and 13.5-14.2 with the engine running if the alternator is doing its job. You may have a failing starter. You can get a good take on this by taking a current reading while trying to start. Usually this is done with a ...


7

It doesn't "have to be done in second gear". It just usually works easier to do it there. The reason is simply as you put it, that being it isn't trying to spin the engine as fast in 2nd gear as it would be in 1st. If the engine is a little harder to start, you won't be wasting all of the momentum trying to get 1st gear to kick over. In 2nd gear, the ...


6

You might be interested in this question: What are the audible symptoms of a failing starter motor? The diagnosis in that question and answer period was that I probably had an aging starter motor (correct).


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