In this article, the second in a series identifying resources related to a specific electrical vehicle application, we have pulled together a number of reference articles and videos related to the issue of resolving no-start conditions on today’s vehicles. Some of the articles referenced are more general in nature, while others address a specific starting system component or service issues related to a specific vehicle.
Thorough Approach to No-Start Complaints
In this article, Tony Martin of Motor Age provides a comprehensive review of the starting and charging system, its components and common problem areas. From battery service and testing to charging system inspection to starting system checks, this useful article provides a step-by-step primer on how to perform preventive maintenance on and troubleshoot issues with these tricky electrical system components.
The article also addresses the tools needed to perform electrical system analysis, repair and maintenance. These include the use of a memory saver to preserve electronic presets during battery disconnection, the use of carbon pile testers for battery and charging system analysis and the use of digital battery testers in performing complete system analysis. It is a great introduction to this area of service.
Rotating Electrical Issues – Nissan Style
In this article, Bob Dowie of Underhood Service delves into common rotating electrical issues, specifically focusing on Nissan vehicles. That said, the article contains a variety of general knowledge tips related to rotating electrical service and provides a framework for approaching this area of vehicle service.
He addresses specific issues and conditions related to starter/ignition switch issues, problems stemming from the vehicle immobilizer and a variety of charging system dilemmas. He concludes with a case study of sorts related to a specific repair encountered by his shop that illustrates just how complex these repairs can be. We love his metaphor of the wiring diagram as the “road map” of the electrical system.
Honing in on Alternators
Another article from Tony Martin of Motor Age, this time detailing the evolution of the alternator and key steps that can be taken in alternator diagnosis. Alternator performance and specifications have evolved considerably over the last 20 years as a direct consequence of the increased energy consumption of today’s vehicles when in operation. The increased consumption is due primarily to the increased use of electronic vehicle control systems and the greater prevalence of power hungry in-vehicle accessories and conveniences, such as navigation, DVD systems, heated seats and more.
So, while the fundamental use of and general theory behind alternator operation remains the same, the way the alternator is controlled and the specifics of its operation are specifically designed to meet the growing need for power during vehicle operation. This has implications when it comes to testing, diagnosing and repairing today’s alternators and charging systems, which are covered in detail in this article.
In the pair of videos below from Scope it Out, noted hybrid service expert Craig Van Batenburg addresses two model specific no-start conditions on mid-2000s model hybrid vehicles. In the first clip, it’s the Honda Civic Hybrid and an anomaly that prevents you from retrieving DTCs when the 12V battery is dead. How will you solve that? In the second clip, it’s the Gen2 Toyota Prius and a list of top causes of non-start conditions.
We hope that these resources are useful to you and help you deal more effectively with no-start or slow-start issues in your operation. Clore Automotive offers a wide variety of products that can be very useful in these areas. From jump starters to enable starting of a vehicle with a depleted battery to advanced battery chargers to bring problematic batteries back to a useful state to digital battery and system testers to assess and diagnose electrical system difficulties. When it comes to Battery Service Equipment, we’ve got you covered.