My 2.2JTS Spider failed to start AGAIN. The T.E.G. (key) appears to be working and is sending the correct signal to the NBS (steering wheel lock) because the steering wheel unlocks just fine. I can hear some small relays clicking and some of the aux loads are correctly shed; i.e. the stereo shuts off when the start button is pushed. However, the starter doesnít engage. I donít get any error messages nor do hear the clack normally associated with a solenoid contactor not making proper contact. i.e. the starter solenoid is NOT moving and the starter motor doesnít attempt to spin.
When this happened in the past, I suspected the starter solenoid, starter motor, wiring, or battery. Iíve checked these components and confirmed that theyíre OK. Tapping the starter solenoid, wiggling cables, and removing and replacing the key fob have no effect. Plus, the symptoms donít match a starter or battery problem.
This frustrating failure seems to happen only when Iím far from home. After three such disappointments, I have discovered a few clues.
I now realize that it fails to start ONLY after a long run of several hours followed by an hour or so with the engine off. Thatís exactly what happened yesterday when I drove from my home in Italy to France for lunch. Otherwise, it starts quickly and runs fine. The battery gives every indication that it is strong and it operates all the lights and electrical components properly. Normally the car starts quickly in cold weather and hot weather. It starts with alacrity even after 30 days of resting inside my garage during bad winter weather.
It also starts OK immediately after a long run even in hot weather. Or if I wait for three or more hours for the engine to cool off with the bonnet closed it starts fine. But after heat soaking for an hour it will only start after I curse and fume for 15 to 20 minutes. Iím pretty sure that Iím not doing anything useful with my tapping, wire wiggling, key removing/replacing, etc. The cursing for 15-20 minutes seems to do the trick, I suspect because during that time the bonnet is open.
I now believe some electronic component involved in the start sequence is heat soaking and not functioning because itís too hot, most likely the Engine Management Unit. I was surprised yesterday at how warm the engine compartment was after an hourís wait while I ate lunch, particularly the engine computer. Perhaps itís getting ready to fail. Sad to say there are over 150 electrical connections linking all kinds of sensors to this computer box, plus the problem is intermittent, so I suspect it wonít be easy to troubleshoot.
Has anyone here experienced a similar failure to start when the engine heat soaks for an hour?