Crank but no start after draining battery

freedom_in_4low

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TL;DR - ran the battery down, starter was just clicking. Tried to jump, cranks full speed but will not fire. Battery is 7 years old but it seems like as fast as it's cranking, it should be able to spark. Wondering if this is typical for a TJ or if I somehow fried something else at the exact same time. My past dead batteries have always started if they could crank.

ASD relay is good and all relays in the PDC are visibly good, though I admit I have not checked continuity yet as I'm in the middle of moving and the whereabouts of my DVOM are not currently known.


The 54th thing to go wrong with this move.

We got about 8" of snow the day we were moving in, and I threw my back out so I couldn't shovel snow. My wife attempted to leave to go clean at the old house and got 3 wheels of her 4runner off the off-camber driveway and stuck up to the frame.

20200320_092454.jpg


After running the snowblower, I winched it up to 3 wheels back on pavement and got out to go try to drive it the rest of the way. I was revving the engine while winching 'cause at idle the voltage was dropping enough that it was wanting to die. I shut off the Jeep but left the winch rope tight to keep the 4runner from sliding farther downhill and back off the driveway. When I started making some progress but then stopped, my wife decided to "help" by pulling the slack out of the winch rope and trying to winch me in. Buuuut...I didn't see her doing this and the Jeep was off. When I realized what was happening I got out to start the Jeep back up, but...click.
 

pagrey

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it seems like as fast as it's cranking, it should be able to spark. Wondering if this is typical for a TJ or if I somehow fried something else at the exact same time. My past dead batteries have always started if they could crank.
Not normal to me. I've jumped my Jeep with a dead battery and even with a slow crank it'll fire. Crank and no fire is sometimes the ignition switch, are the gauges on when it is cranking? Seems like something else isn't cooperating.
 
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freedom_in_4low

freedom_in_4low

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Not normal to me. I've jumped my Jeep with a dead battery and even with a slow crank it'll fire. Crank and no fire is sometimes the ignition switch, are the gauges on when it is cranking? Seems like something else isn't cooperating.
It's good to know I'm not crazy but I was kinda hoping I was, lol.

Gauges work. Any other common culprits? Any specific quirks to the electrical system that might be more likely to take damage when pulling winch-level amps off the battery? I usually don't believe in coincidences and if something completely unrelated failed in the 5 minute span between turning it off and trying to start it again it's going to alter my very understanding of the universe.

I'm gonna need a charged battery to diagnose, and my charger broke.

The bright side is I got my wife's 4runner unstuck so we're back to 2 usable vehicles.

I could start a thread in the off topic section about everything that has gone wrong during this move.
 

ac_

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This happened to my Wifes Jeep. She took her doors off and parked it and didn't notice her dome light was on for a couple of days. Battery was dead. It was super old so we replaced it with an AGM. It wouldn't start after that. I found that it had a car alarm under the dash. I found a button that overrides the car alarm and the Jeep started right up. Follow the wires from the key under your dash and see if there are other wires tied in that go to an alarm. Usually it cuts ignition when you change or charge the battery.

Hers would actually start but would die after about 3 seconds.

Not saying that is your issue, but that is something we ran into.
 
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freedom_in_4low

freedom_in_4low

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This happened to my Wifes Jeep. She took her doors off and parked it and didn't notice her dome light was on for a couple of days. Battery was dead. It was super old so we replaced it with an AGM. It wouldn't start after that. I found that it had a car alarm under the dash. I found a button that overrides the car alarm and the Jeep started right up. Follow the wires from the key under your dash and see if there are other wires tied in that go to an alarm. Usually it cuts ignition when you change or charge the battery.

Hers would actually start but would die after about 3 seconds.

Not saying that is your issue, but that is something we ran into.
Good call, I've had that happen before on a Toyota T100. Fortunately I knew the previous owner so I called him up and he told me what to do.

However, I've been under the dash on this TJ enough to know there's not an alarm on it and I've had the battery disconnected and drained before as well. The last time it drained, I roll started it down a hill as I was alone with no jump available. I've hesitated to try that here because if it doesn't start it'll be on a much less favorable location. (my driveway is 180 feet long and goes to a single car width once it's much farther from the garage)

I think tomorrow I'll get the battery charged up and check for codes and spark. I'll have to do a little research to see how to check if injectors are firing.
 
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freedom_in_4low

freedom_in_4low

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with the move, my progress has been slow.

A neighbor who actually measured, said we got 14" of snow. I guess that's what I get for moving to a house at 7,300'.

I charged the battery for half a day yesterday and when it seemed to be at full voltage, I attempted another start. It almost seemed to fire, but cranking slowed and stopped within a few seconds as the voltage gauge dropped and bottomed out. Confirmed at the battery terminals that just with that, voltage had dropped to 12.3 and when I turned on the LED headlights and light bar, it was 10.6. Clearly the mfg 2013 battery is done, so I got another one. Hope to drop it in when i break for lunch and see what happens.
 
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freedom_in_4low

freedom_in_4low

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new battery is in. As I suspected, still cranks and doesn't start.

No codes. Not that I expected to see many since it won't even run.

I have good fuel pressure. Exhaust smells strongly of gasoline so the injectors are firing.

My timing light lights up regularly for cylinder 1 and about 6x as fast when I put it on the coil-to-distributor wire, so it seems to be getting spark...or at least it's getting current flowing through the wires. Seems like a big coincidence to go from running fine with no misfires to developing carbon tracks shorting the electrodes on enough plugs to not even try to run.

I pulled one plug and the gap is probably .060" or larger and the electrodes are really rounded off, so they need replaced anyway. Color is good, plug smells like gas. So I'm gonna put some plugs and wires on it tomorrow. I'll check spark for real while I have plugs out. Maybe all the cranking trying to start it just soaked the plugs?

Might as well check compression too, just 'cause I've never done it on this engine before and it'll give me a baseline for the future. The way it's cranking gives me no reason to suspect a compression issue though.

Unfortunately out in the driveway lighting is poor and conditions are cold after my kids go to bed, so I'm pretty much just working on it during my lunch breaks. A much bigger guy might be able to push it up into my garage but it's just a bit too steep for me.
 
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ac_

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Get some carb spray or ether (staring fluid), and spray it in the air cleaner. If it starts, you have a fuel problem. If it doesn't most likely a spark problem. I have a cool tool that is cheap for checking spark. It looks like a spark plug with no electrode. It has a clamp so you unplug your spark plug; put the boot on to this tool then clip it to a ground somewhere, and crank the motor, you will see spark shoot to ground if you have spark. I think the tool is like 10 dollars at the parts store, and it sure beats the old screwdriver trick. The old screw driver trick works also, but usually you share the load, and it is never fun.

A compression check would be my next test for sure.
 

qslim

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Damn dude you're having a rough go at it!

This is a question people don't like being asked, but I've been working on cars for decades and have been guilty of it... Any chance you had the cables reversed? Does the instrument gauge look normal with the key on?
I have a cool tool that is cheap for checking spark. It looks like a spark plug with no electrode. It has a clamp so you unplug your spark plug; put the boot on to this tool then clip it to a ground somewhere, and crank the motor, you will see spark shoot to ground if you have spark. I think the tool is like 10 dollars at the parts store, and it sure beats the old screwdriver trick. The old screw driver trick works also, but usually you share the load, and it is never fun.
Yeah, I went out and got one of those after I checked for spark by just holding the side of the plug to the head and having someone crank it. I dropped the plug wire with the plug in it while my buddy was cranking and it just bounced around arcing on stuff while I yelled at him to stop.
 
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freedom_in_4low

freedom_in_4low

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Damn dude you're having a rough go at it!

This is a question people don't like being asked, but I've been working on cars for decades and have been guilty of it... Any chance you had the cables reversed? Does the instrument gauge look normal with the key on?
I get it, but yeah, no chance. I remember specifically because the angle my Jeep was at made it where the positive side was just barely long enough to reach the positive post on my truck where I was able to park it. And yes, instrument gauge looks perfectly normal and everything about the Jeep works exactly as expected...except not starting.

I've never hooked up the cables in reverse before, but I always figured it would let you know almost immediately with sparks and heat since you'd have ~24V in series with zero load.
 

qslim

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I've never hooked up the cables in reverse before, but I always figured it would let you know almost immediately with sparks and heat since you'd have ~24V in series with zero load.
Yeah, most cars have a fusible link on the positive circuit that will pop... I know on some of the old Toyotas I used to work on a had a few that were jump started backwards and in the aftermath they would still crank but nothing would run because the link that protected the ECU would pop. Hopefully you just have some fouled plugs.
 
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freedom_in_4low

freedom_in_4low

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Since time is limited, I'm studying the FSM this morning for diagnosis procedures to try this afternoon along with replacing the plugs and doing the compression test, so I'm not having to refer back if the things I already plan don't find the answer.

There's a statement in the Fuel System group that says "If the PCM does not receive a crankshaft position sensor signal within 3 seconds of cranking the engine, it will shut down the fuel injection system". Unfortunately it doesn't go into any further detail as to HOW it shuts down the FI system. Does it do it using the ASD relay? Because if it does, I can watch for spark to disappear after 3 seconds of cranking to narrow or rule out the CPS (because the ASD also provides power to the ignition coil). If not, can anybody comment on what else would be an easy thing to watch, like maybe the fuel pump relay?

Or does the absence of a diagnostic code already rule the CPS out?
 

Goatman

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If you have that strong fuel smell I would think the system isn't getting shut down. That fuseable link jogged my memory. Nissan PU that sat too long and battery went low. Put one of those fancy jumpstart packs on. Everything on right. When I turned the key I heard a 'snap's and then it would crank and crank. Let a charger sit on it for 2 days. Turned over just like always, but wouldn't start. Fool thing burned up that fuseable link. So be sure and put a multimeter on the main positive cable (wire) going to the computer. I replaced mine and the truck fired right up. Don't know why that link went, but it did.
 
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freedom_in_4low

freedom_in_4low

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If you have that strong fuel smell I would think the system isn't getting shut down. That fuseable link jogged my memory. Nissan PU that sat too long and battery went low. Put one of those fancy jumpstart packs on. Everything on right. When I turned the key I heard a 'snap's and then it would crank and crank. Let a charger sit on it for 2 days. Turned over just like always, but wouldn't start. Fool thing burned up that fuseable link. So be sure and put a multimeter on the main positive cable (wire) going to the computer. I replaced mine and the truck fired right up. Don't know why that link went, but it did.
I think since my gauges all work then my PCM must be getting power, because the PCM feeds the gauges over the CCD bus. At least on my 99, the PCM is powered through maxi fuse 6 which is fed directly from battery positive, and that fuse is ok. The only fusible link is between the battery positive and alternator, though with the voltage regulator embedded in the PCM I suppose those systems are more tied together than I would have thought. And come to think of it...that fusible link could see a lot of current while winching....I might have my next thing to check.
 
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qslim

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I think since my gauges all work then my PCM must be getting power, because the PCM feeds the gauges over the CCD bus. At least on my 99, the PCM is powered through maxi fuse 6 which is fed directly from battery positive, and that fuse is ok. The only fusible link is between the battery positive and alternator, though with the voltage regulator embedded in the PCM I suppose those systems are more tied together than I would have thought. And come to think of it...that fusible link could see a lot of current while winching....I might have my next thing to check.
I think it would be worth a look. I can't comment on how exactly the ASD relay shuts everything down like you asked in your previous post. Do you have multi meter to poke around and see what you're getting at the control side of the relays or at the fuses while you're cranking?
 
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freedom_in_4low

freedom_in_4low

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I think it would be worth a look. I can't comment on how exactly the ASD relay shuts everything down like you asked in your previous post. Do you have multi meter to poke around and see what you're getting at the control side of the relays or at the fuses while you're cranking?
The relay coil is powered through the ignition switch then fuse 12 in the fuse block and the PCM controls it by switching the ground. One pole on the ASD relay kills the power supply to the ignition coil, the other goes back to the PCM to "sense" the relay position. I would assume if the relay is open the PCM probably stops pulsing the injectors and may turn off the fuel pump relay.

I get spark for well more than 3 seconds so that tells me PDC fuse 3 (ignition switch feed), the ignition switch, and FB fuse 12 are all good, and either the PCM doesn't kill the ASD relay for a CPS failure or my CPS is fine. I would think that no CPS signal would generate a code, which I don't have, so I'm looking elsewhere for now.

I've got a meter. The tougher part is getting someone to crank while I poke around. I can get my wife out there for a few minutes at a time before she has to run back in to make sure our two boys under 5yo aren't burning the house down. She helped me check for spark last night.
 
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pagrey

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I've got a meter. The tougher part is getting someone to crank while I poke around. I can get my wife out there for a few minutes at a time before she has to run back in to make sure our two boys under 5yo aren't burning the house down. She helped me check for spark last night.
If you turn the ignition on and apply power to the small tab on the starter it will crank. I have an alligator clip that I can just connect and turn over the engine that way. You can also short the big terminal to the small one but that's harder to do when you are holding a meter too. The small terminal doesn't take a huge amount of current so you don't need jumper cables or anything like that. You'll get a spark so be careful.

15852532467530.jpg


I think it's useful to have a jumper like this for anything electrical.
 
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qslim

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I've got a meter. The tougher part is getting someone to crank while I poke around. I can get my wife out there for a few minutes at a time before she has to run back in to make sure our two boys under 5yo aren't burning the house down. She helped me check for spark last night.
Lol I feel you, been there plenty. I think you're on the right track of thinking with a possible overcurrent from winching popping a protected circuit.
 
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freedom_in_4low

freedom_in_4low

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If you turn the ignition on and apply power to the small tab on the starter it will crank...

I think it's useful to have a jumper like this for anything electrical.
I have one...it might be long enough. I made it when my last one got lost and I needed to clip it to a paperclip in an OBD2 connector to recalibrate the accel and yaw sensors on a Toyota 4Runner. Weird story.

I've done that before to start an F150 when the ignition actuator pin had broken and wouldn't push the switch far enough to start, but this time I hadn't 'cause my wife has been able to help so far and my garage is the last room in the house to get unpacked so the jumper is probably gonna be hard to get to. But, you bringing it up also gave me an idea.

I was thinking about bypassing the clutch switch to I could use the starter to power the Jeep back into the garage for a warm, well lit place to work (my HOA also limits me to two vehicles visible from the street, which I'm in violation of right now because the Jeep is blocking the other vehicles from getting into the garage, too). But, if I ran some wires into the cab I could force the starter on in reverse with the clutch engaged.