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Really weird starting problem

My 8 valve has developed a new and interesting intermittent electrical problem. Occasionally when trying to start it, the igniton lights etc come on as normal, but once the key gets round to the starter motor point all the lights go out and nothing happens. If you then try and start again, the lights only come on very dimly, and again nothing happens. The really weird thing is that while in the starting position the speedo jumps to 30 mph and the trip odometer starts to go round!

The only way I have found to get it to work again is to disconnect both battery terminals (just the negative doesn't seem to work) leave it for 30 seconds, reconnect and try again. This doesn't work every time, but the igniton lights etc. come on at full brightness first time and normally the starter will then work.

The problem started after I got a new battery as my old one was knackered and wouldn't keep its charge for more than a couple of days. Is it possible that this new battery is overloading some circuit and tripping some safety device? This seems slightly likely as it normally happens when you try to start it after the car has had a good run and the battery is fully charged. The battery could just be a coincidence though.

Anyone else had a similar problem? Any relays I should check/replace. Could it be the starter motor? It seems like the ecu is getting confused as "rebooting" it seems to fix it.

Any ideas you've got would be great, because its really confusing me. I really don't get how it is affecting the speedo and trip odometer.
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Re: Really weird starting problem

you can make the speedo and the ignitions come on by just connecting two wires in the glove box light, i dont get how its connected myself anyway it could well be an earthing proplem they can have strange effects on the wiring as they have strange wiring or even somethin could be shorting out somewhere as i found one thing shorting out can effect completely different things somethimes. i'd recommend getting someone to check it out
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Re: Really weird starting problem

It could be three things really;
1. Since you had the battery replaced it worth checking if theres more than one powerlead connected to the positive pole, and they haven't been damaged.
2. A faulty ignition switch (my best bet)
3. As mentioned above - a dodgy earth somewhere...

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Re: Really weird starting problem

A chap had this problem on with his 146 Ti.

A new battery cured it.
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Re: Really weird starting problem

replace your battery terminal.
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Re: Really weird starting problem

Starter motor has a relay... may be worth nosing around in that area.

I thought it sounded like a classic "dying battery" till I read you just replaced it.

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Re: Really weird starting problem

I'd go with battery terminals / engine earthing strap.
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Re: Really weird starting problem

Try change your fuel filter. I have the same problem before.
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Re: Really weird starting problem

Battery or terminals for sure.
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