Lotus Elan

How do these things happen?

PostPost by: rmd24 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:39 pm

Two weeks ago I put the Elan in the garage having had a short run without a problem. This morning it will not start. The battery is fully charged but the starter does not operate. Battery connections are good, I have checked connections on starter and solenoid all appear sound. I sort of think that it would start if I ran it down the slope outside my gate but if it doesn't it's at the bottom of a slope!
What gremlin gets to work to screw things up when the car is sitting quietly minding its own business? Any suggestions?

Roger
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:48 pm

Does the red ignition light illuminate? Is there any clicking sounds when trying to start?

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PostPost by: neilsjuke » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:04 pm

Check the earth to the solenoid body
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PostPost by: archigator » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:33 pm

I had a simialr thing happen last week. I got no red ignition light when I turned the key, and heard a clicking at the starter solenoid. I used a screwdriver to bridge the connection between the two terminals on the solenoid, and the engine turned over.

I swapped-out the solenoid for one I had on the shelf, and the engine fired right up. Not to say that it's the solution to your problem, but it worked for me. Good luck.
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PostPost by: promotor » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:38 pm

Can you turn the engine over by hand with the car in neutral? If not then starter motor is probably jammed.
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PostPost by: rmd24 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:52 pm

I do have the red ignition light but the only click I can hear is from the ignition swithch itself. With the plugs removed I can easily push the car in gear and I have checked the terminals on the solenoid. So far I haven't had chance to try shorting the solenoid terminals, I'll try that tomorrow. I have also checked the anti-theft switch is fully off.

Thanks for the input so far.

Roger
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PostPost by: tcsoar » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:41 pm

Hi,

If the only click you are hearing is coming from the ignition switch it may be that the problem is either the ignition switch or the solenoid. You could check this at the solenoid by holding a piece of cable between the 12v battery supply (the large cable from battery to solenoid) and the 12v supply to the coil. This should energise the solenoid and the engine should turn over for as long as you hold the cable in place, if this occurs then the problem is either the switch or the wiring between it and the solenoid. If the solenoid does not energise then you could have either a faulty solenoid or a faulty solenoid earth.

If the engine does turn over then you should be able to start it if you do the same with the ignition switched on.

As far as the anti theft switch goes, I think that breaks the feed to the coil so that the engine would still turn over but not fire up.

Chris.
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PostPost by: rmd24 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:03 am

I have now tried shorting the two solenoid terminals and the starter runs immediately. I notice that when I operate the ignition switch that the panel lights dim slightly, this leads me to think that the switch itself is making contact and working correctly. Does this point to a faulty solenoid?

Roger
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PostPost by: rmd24 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:48 am

Success at last, the simple things work best! A gentle tapping with a small hammer on the body of the solenoid and Bingo!

Thanks for all the input.

Roger.
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PostPost by: simonknee » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:51 am

EDIT: Ah well done but you may want to get a new one now as a sticky solenoid can be a recurring issue. Give it a while to see if this was a one off or not.

90% yes. If you have volts arriving at the solenoid from the ignition switch then it is either the solenoid or an earth somewhere. You could try applying 12volts across the solenoid spade terminals directly to do a final test before ordering a new one.

Simon

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PostPost by: neilsjuke » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:04 am

neilsjuke wrote:Check the earth to the solenoid body
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