Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Okehampton, Devon
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.