[xj] battery?

I just got my car back from the mechaninc and the battery was dead. I
got the car jumped, and it started fine. I drove it around for an
hour and then parked it over night, next morning it wouldn’t start. I
went and bought a new battery, and the car still won’t start. Why
will it start from a jump, but not from a new battery? Do I have to
pay to tow it back to this mechaninc to find out why the car won’t
start?

William G Higgins
series 1 XJ6 4.2l
Vancouver, BC===================================================
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In reply to a message from William Higgins sent Sat 28 Nov 2009:

makes you wonder what these mechanics do to cars that they come out
worse than they went in.

Did you report this to the mechanic? When you take it back, look
under the car for any signs of parts having been replaced, usually
the evidence is in the bolts and nuts.

Zurdo–
The original message included these comments:

I just got my car back from the mechaninc and the battery was dead. I
got the car jumped, and it started fine. I drove it around for an
hour and then parked it over night, next morning it wouldn’t start. I
went and bought a new battery, and the car still won’t start. Why
will it start from a jump, but not from a new battery? Do I have to
pay to tow it back to this mechaninc to find out why the car won’t
start?
William G Higgins
series 1 XJ6 4.2l


1965 3.8 ‘S’ 1984 XJ-6
Florida, United States
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I suspect a loose/corroded battery cable or ground strap.

What happens, specifically, when you turn the key? Nothing? Any noise at
all? Does the starter turn, but too slowly to start the engine?

Cheers
Doug Dwyer
Longview Washington USA
1995 XJRFrom: “William Higgins” williamghiggins@gmail.com

I just got my car back from the mechaninc and the battery was dead. I
got the car jumped, and it started fine. I drove it around for an
hour and then parked it over night, next morning it wouldn’t start. I
went and bought a new battery, and the car still won’t start. Why
will it start from a jump, but not from a new battery? Do I have to
pay to tow it back to this mechaninc to find out why the car won’t
start?

===================================================
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Sure, go ahead and cast aspersions without knowing any of the particulars.
:slight_smile:

Cheers
Doug Dwyer
Longview Washington USA
1995 XJRFrom: “zurdo” zurdoremi@gmail.com

makes you wonder what these mechanics do to cars that they come out
worse than they went in.

Did you report this to the mechanic? When you take it back, look
under the car for any signs of parts having been replaced, usually
the evidence is in the bolts and nuts.

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At first it turned over slowly, but eventually started (Friday
morning, then again friday evening).

The next time (later Friday evening), it turned over too slowly to
start, so I got it jumped (with a jumper that says not for cars over
3litres, mine is 4.2, but it worked). I drove it around for half an
hour, and then stopped it, it wouldn’t start again (same slow turn
ovver, but this time my little jumper doesn’t work), so I got another
jump this time from roadside assistance, and ran it for a little over
an hour (the dash board battery indicator read “charged”).

The next day (saturday morning), the same, slow turn over, no start,
my little jumper doesn’t work, I go buy a new battery. Same, slow
turn over, no start. I try jumping the new battery (with my little
jumper that says “not for cars over 3litres”, mine is 4.2) same slow
turn over, no start

I call the mechanic, he asks me if the choke is on, I say yes, he asks
me if the car is in park, I say yes, he asks me if I pumped the gas I
say I never had to do that to start the car before, he says try that.
I go try, now nothing, no turn over, no sound, nothing. just lights
on the dash. He says tow it in to my shop on Monday morning.2009/11/28 Doug Dwyer dougdwyer1@comcast.net:

I suspect a loose/corroded battery cable or ground strap.

What happens, specifically, when you turn the key? Nothing? Any noise at
all? Does the starter turn, but too slowly to start the engine?

Cheers
Doug Dwyer
Longview Washington USA
1995 XJR

From: “William Higgins” <@William_Higgins>

I just got my car back from the mechaninc and the battery was dead. I
got the car jumped, and it started fine. I drove it around for an
hour and then parked it over night, next morning it wouldn’t start. I
went and bought a new battery, and the car still won’t start. Why
will it start from a jump, but not from a new battery? Do I have to
pay to tow it back to this mechaninc to find out why the car won’t
start?

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In reply to a message from William Higgins sent Sat 28 Nov 2009:

If the car will start from a jump start onto the battery
connections you will usually find that if the new battery is
charged and not faulty and the battery connections are
making a good electrical connection to the battery the car
will start on the new battery.
In other words, if the battery connections are clean and
tight take the battery back and have it tested.
If the mechanic was working on the car for a long time
with a 12v lead-light clipped to your battery rather than a
spare battery or mains adaptor or the doors have been left
open with the interior lights on for a couple of days it
would explain why your battery was flat. It maybe just needs
a decent charge on a mains charger.

Dave C.–
The original message included these comments:

I just got my car back from the mechaninc and the battery was dead. I
got the car jumped, and it started fine. I drove it around for an
hour and then parked it over night, next morning it wouldn’t start. I
went and bought a new battery, and the car still won’t start. Why
will it start from a jump, but not from a new battery? Do I have to
pay to tow it back to this mechaninc to find out why the car won’t
start?


Dave Collishaw '79 S2 Daimler Sov '92 xj40
Peterborough, United Kingdom
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–
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At first it turned over slowly, but eventually started (Friday
morning, then again friday evening).

The next time (later Friday evening), it turned over too slowly to
start, so I got it jumped (with a jumper that says not for cars over
3litres, mine is 4.2, but it worked). I drove it around for half an
hour, and then stopped it, it wouldn’t start again (same slow turn
ovver, but this time my little jumper doesn’t work), so I got another
jump this time from roadside assistance, and ran it for a little over
an hour (the dash board battery indicator read “charged”).

The next day (saturday morning), the same, slow turn over, no start,
my little jumper doesn’t work, I go buy a new battery. Same, slow
turn over, no start. I try jumping the new battery (with my little
jumper that says “not for cars over 3litres”, mine is 4.2) same slow
turn over, no start

I call the mechanic, he asks me if the choke is on, I say yes, he asks
me if the car is in park, I say yes, he asks me if I pumped the gas I
say I never had to do that to start the car before, he says try that.
I go try, now nothing, no turn over, no sound, nothing. just lights
on the dash. He says tow it in to my shop on Monday morning===================================================
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Ok, so you think the mechanic drained the battery, and the new battery
is faulty? So, I should bring it to the mechanic and have him have a
look?> If the mechanic was working on the car for a long time

with a 12v lead-light clipped to your battery rather than a
spare battery or mains adaptor or the doors have been left
open with the interior lights on for a couple of days it
would explain why your battery was flat. It maybe just needs
a decent charge on a mains charger.

===================================================
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William Higgins wrote:

At first it turned over slowly, but eventually started (Friday
morning, then again friday evening).

Point one; do you have a battery charger, William - if not; get one, it
is an essential piece with an automatic…

…not particularely in this case. As Dave implies; you may have an
external battery drain which empties the battery over night - constant
or intermittent…

disconnect one battery clamp and measure current with an ammeter
between the post and the clamp. This should read 20 -35 mA - anything
more indicates that there is a user ‘on line’.

if you don’t have a multimeter; a test lamp 5 to 10W will do - if it
lights or glows there is a leak. But that requires a battery reasonably
charged…

measure battery voltage after a run and before starting - it is not a
perfect staus check, but better than nothing

The most common culprit for a current leak is the boot light - but
anything will do, and with work done on the car it may be anywhere. The
point is to detect if there IS a leak or not before going to greater
depths - then if the test shows normal you can proceed with the more
difficult bits…

Incidentally; another cause of successfull jumpstart; if the donor
negative jump was connected to the engine (as it should) you bypasse a
bad battery ground condition. To simulate; connect a jumper cable
between batt neg and engine - if it then cranks OK a bad battery
connection is indicated…:slight_smile:

But to tow the car to the mechanic before checking if the battery is
charged, and lack of juice is the problem - is madness…:slight_smile:

Frank
xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)>The next time (later Friday evening), it turned over too slowly to

start, so I got it jumped (with a jumper that says not for cars over
3litres, mine is 4.2, but it worked). I drove it around for half an
hour, and then stopped it, it wouldn’t start again (same slow turn
ovver, but this time my little jumper doesn’t work), so I got another
jump this time from roadside assistance, and ran it for a little over
an hour (the dash board battery indicator read “charged”).

The next day (saturday morning), the same, slow turn over, no start,
my little jumper doesn’t work, I go buy a new battery. Same, slow
turn over, no start. I try jumping the new battery (with my little
jumper that says “not for cars over 3litres”, mine is 4.2) same slow
turn over, no start

I call the mechanic, he asks me if the choke is on, I say yes, he asks
me if the car is in park, I say yes, he asks me if I pumped the gas I
say I never had to do that to start the car before, he says try that.
I go try, now nothing, no turn over, no sound, nothing. just lights
on the dash. He says tow it in to my shop on Monday morning.

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Ok, battery is charged. No drain on battery. Ground connection is good.

Now no turn over at all, not with a jump, not with anything. What
else is in the ignition that would malfunction, and cause the symptoms
of not enough juice in the battery (i.e. first slowly cranking and
then starting, then needing a jump, then not starting at all)?>>disconnect one battery clamp and measure current with an ammeter between

the post and the clamp. This should read 20 -35 mA - anything more
indicates that there is a user ‘on line’.

Incidentally; another cause of successfull jumpstart; if the donor negative
jump was connected to the engine (as it should) you bypasse a bad battery
ground condition. To simulate; connect a jumper cable between batt neg and
engine - if it then cranks OK a bad battery connection is indicated…:slight_smile:

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In reply to a message from William Higgins sent Sun 29 Nov 2009:

I traded out a perfectly good working starter for my 87’ VDP for
one of those gear reduction starters you see on ebay. They work
really well and are lighter & smaller to boot and under $200.
These are really the way to go.

The good news is I have the old starter sitting in my garage and if
you want to pay the shipping I will send it to you. Someone has
been on my a#$ as of late to clean the garage out anyway.

If you think the starter is the problem email me and I can get this
down to you,

Jim–
87’ VDP (black), 86’ XJ-SC (grey), 86’ XJS (red),
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William Higgins wrote:

Ok, battery is charged. No drain on battery. Ground connection is good.

Now no turn over at all, not with a jump, not with anything. What
else is in the ignition that would malfunction, and cause the symptoms
of not enough juice in the battery (i.e. first slowly cranking and
then starting, then needing a jump, then not starting at all)?

Lots of things, William - electrics are too tricky to discard anything
off-hand. Particularely since it now doesn’t crank at all - which may be
a a fault not necessarily associated with earlier symptoms…

Bad cranking; the starter itself, the starter solenoid may do this and
ultimately fail - as will bad connections/break in feed cables. No
reaction at all to key to crank; the ign key, the start inhibit switch,
the relay - and of course bad/broken connections…

So; is there anything happening at all when you turn the key to ‘crank’

  • like relay clicking, half hearted solenoid or starter action but no
    actual engine turning. Or lights dimming with key to ‘crank’…?

rank
xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)>>>disconnect one battery clamp and measure current with an ammeter between

the post and the clamp. This should read 20 -35 mA - anything more
indicates that there is a user ‘on line’.

Incidentally; another cause of successfull jumpstart; if the donor negative
jump was connected to the engine (as it should) you bypasse a bad battery
ground condition. To simulate; connect a jumper cable between batt neg and
engine - if it then cranks OK a bad battery connection is indicated…:slight_smile:

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Hmmm,
Lights don’t dim with key to crank, ignition light comes on, choke
light comes on, there are audible clicks in the relays that are just
on the lip of the engine bay. They are definitely getting power as
when I tried to do a test I melted my multimiter. But beyond that, no
noise, no lights, no movement. It is quite peaceful really.> Bad cranking; the starter itself, the starter solenoid may do this and

ultimately fail - as will bad connections/break in feed cables. No reaction
at all to key to crank; the ign key, the start inhibit switch, the relay -
and of course bad/broken connections…

So; is there anything happening at all when you turn the key to ‘crank’ -
like relay clicking, half hearted solenoid or starter action but no actual
engine turning. Or lights dimming with key to ‘crank’…?

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This can definitely be a defective battery or poor connections. Have you
removed, cleaned and refitted the battery connections?

Gregory,
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
1966 3.8 Mk 2, Pale Primrose
1992 Series IIII V12 Vanden Plas, Black Cherry,
2002 X-Type, 5 sp. manual, Anthracite
2004 XJ8, Ebony-----Original Message-----
From: owner-xj@jag-lovers.org [mailto:owner-xj@jag-lovers.org] On Behalf Of
William Higgins
Sent: November-30-09 11:50 AM
To: Frank Andersen
Cc: xj@jag-lovers.org
Subject: Re: [xj] battery?

Hmmm,

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In reply to a message from William Higgins sent Mon 30 Nov 2009:

Could well be a faulty starter if the lights don’t dim when
the key is turned to crank. Certainly not a battery problem.
There are four brushes in the starter, in effect it is
like having two motors in one (an over-simplification, but
let’s not get too complicated). When the brushes wear out
one pair invariably loses contact with the commutator first,
so the starter gets ‘‘sluggish’’. The second pair, which is
now doing all the work, soon follows. When both sets of
brushes have gone open circuit the starter solenoid pull-in
winding no longer works (it gets its earth through the motor
before the motor is energised). The hold-in winding (which
earths through the solenoid body) isn’t strong enough to
pull the solenoid in, so the starter doesn’t even click.
You need to put a test lamp on the small terminal of the
starter solenoid, with the earth connection on the motor
body. If the test lamp comes on full brightness when the key
is turned and the solenoid does not engage the starter is
faulty.
losing the engine earth is another possibility, and would
give the same symptoms. I would expect a problem with the
battery supply (I’m thinking fire-wall connections here) to
cause the lights to go dim, which isn’t happening.

Dave C.–
The original message included these comments:

Lights don’t dim with key to crank, ignition light comes on, choke
light comes on, there are audible clicks in the relays that are just
on the lip of the engine bay. They are definitely getting power as
when I tried to do a test I melted my multimiter. But beyond that, no


Dave Collishaw '79 S2 Daimler Sov '92 xj40
Peterborough, United Kingdom
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–
–Support Jag-lovers - Donate at http://www.jag-lovers.org/donate04.php

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Has it been suggested that you jump the red/white wire at the relay
(fire wall where the clicking is coming from) to Battery Positive ?
(Car in neutral, of course…)
Just started paying attention, and what is on here doesn’t say what
model…
“Quite peaceful” made me laugh !

Bill
Alaska
'86 v12 vdP
'71 xj 383 lumpOn Nov 30, 2009, at 10:49 AM, William Higgins wrote:

Hmmm,
Lights don’t dim with key to crank, ignition light comes on, choke
light comes on, there are audible clicks in the relays that are just
on the lip of the engine bay. They are definitely getting power as
when I tried to do a test I melted my multimiter. But beyond that, no
noise, no lights, no movement. It is quite peaceful really.

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That hasn’t been suggested yet. I am hesitant to do this, as my
electronics experience (and car experience in general) is limited, and
the clicking is localized to what appear to be a group of relays. If
there were a diagram or a picture pointing to the correct one, I would
feel a little more confident, but the service manual just presents an
image of the relay, and doesn’t indicate position, or what wire does
what. Does anyone out there have a more revealing image? The relays
have a half dozen wires coming from them, and there appear to be more
than one, and I hate to say it, but on my car, not all wires are
plugged in. (The engine did start before, even without these wires
plugged in, but still…)

William Higgins
1973 Series 1 XJ6 4.2l
Vancouver, BC2009/11/30 William de Creeft decreeft@xyz.net:

Has it been suggested that you jump the red/white wire at the relay(fire
wall where the clicking is coming from) to Battery Positive ?
(Car in neutral, of course…)
Just started paying attention, and what is on here doesn’t say what model…
“Quite peaceful” made me laugh !

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I’m a little afraid to give you advice because mine is an '86 v12 but
on my car there are three relays on the firewall at the back of the
engine…cold start, pump relay, and starter relay with starter relay
closest to the center.

On mine there is a red and white wire plugged up into it…If you
unplug the wire and jumper it to battery plus + the car will kick
over and it should start…IF all else being applicable !
I have gone about 300 miles with several stops this way…it was a
jag mechanic that told me about it.
I then bought a new relay and it was about $25 installed at XK’s
Unlimited (NAYY) in California if that’s a help…
But I’m sure someone familiar with the 4.2 will respond to this by
morning…

having a Series One the only other clue I can contribute is that “the
ignition runs through the tach” on a Series One, so if you have a bad
wire there that would shut off the ignition, or cause it to quit at
whatever rpm is bad in the tach…something about a “white wire”…I
wasted a few dollars on fuel pumps before I learned that.

As I say, I just came into this so don’t remember just what your
symptoms are…
Bill
Alaska
'86 v12 vdP
'71 XJ lumpOn Nov 30, 2009, at 3:31 PM, William Higgins wrote:

That hasn’t been suggested yet. I am hesitant to do this, as my
electronics experience (and car experience in general) is limited, and
the clicking is localized to what appear to be a group of relays. If
there were a diagram or a picture pointing to the correct one, I would
feel a little more confident, but the service manual just presents an
image of the relay, and doesn’t indicate position, or what wire does
what.

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William Higgins wrote:

That hasn’t been suggested yet. I am hesitant to do this, as my
electronics experience (and car experience in general) is limited, and
the clicking is localized to what appear to be a group of relays.

The starter solenoid relay is inboard of, and bigger than, the three
small ‘relays’ lined up on the firewall, William.

With a screwdriver to the ear, or a rubber hose and abutting the relay
to be tested - or by ‘finger feel’;

to the middle of the three; turn ign ‘on’ this relays should click -
it is the ‘main’ relay. This has no bearing on a cranking issue…

to the starter relay; turn to ‘crank’ - the relay should click. The
relay next to that is the fuel pump relay - which should also click when
the key is turned to ‘crank’…

This clicking indicates that the relays get power as prescribed from the
ign key - but doesn’t confirm that the relay is actually connecting as
they should. Briefly, if the starter relay doesn’t click, but the fuel
relay does; the feed from the key is OK. If neither relay clicks there
is no power from the key…

jump the red/white on the starter relay to the battery, or jump it
to relay brown. This effectively bypasses the relay and the ign key -
if the engine then cranks the starter solenoid and starter, and their
wires, are working…

If the PO has bastardised the relays’ connections there is an
identifiction problem, but as the engine cranked before it is of minor
import…

He’s unlikely to have changed the basics - the wires at/near the relay
likely still goes to their appointed addresses. On the starter rely;

…the *red/white" goes to the starter solenoid - the only purpose of
the relay is to connect this wire to brown. Which then powers the
solenoid which then connects battery power to the starter. The relay
white/yellow is powered from the ign key ‘crank’. The black/green
connects the relay to ground via the start inhibit switch, which prevnts
the relay from operating if the car is in gear…

Frank
xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)>there were a diagram or a picture pointing to the correct one, I would

feel a little more confident, but the service manual just presents an
image of the relay, and doesn’t indicate position, or what wire does
what. Does anyone out there have a more revealing image? The relays
have a half dozen wires coming from them, and there appear to be more
than one, and I hate to say it, but on my car, not all wires are
plugged in. (The engine did start before, even without these wires
plugged in, but still…)

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In reply to a message from Frank Andersen sent Mon 30 Nov 2009:

William:

First I suggest a new VOM. It is essential or close to it.

At the starter, there are three basic connections. The biggest one
is from the 12 volt post right under the battery tray (LHD) car.
It goes to the solenoid, the round closed cylinder mounted
parrallel and on top of the starter motor. Then a strap from the
solenoid to the starter motor. The solenoid also has a smaller wire
that comes from the starter relay.

The solenoid is actually a magnetic switch. When power is applied
by the small (red/white) wire it causes a plunger within the
cylinder. That does two things, it makes a connection of battery
power to the starter and moves the starter drive in to engagement
with the fly wheel.

So, if you battery is charged, then the fault is in one or more of
the functions described above.

So, very carefully, apply battery voltage to the small post on the
solenoid with a jumper wire. Often, that results in a healthy crank.

Or, even more carefully connect the two big posts on the solenoid
with an insulated bar. That should make the starter motor spin.

If these don’t work, it is a bad solenoid or a bad starter.

Poor connections, worn out within the solenoid can do this.

The only explanation I have for the start with a jum, is that extra
crankiong amps provided by the additional battery over came a
marginal fault.

I finaly gave up all this clean and lube stuff and got a new
battery for my Jeep. Cranks like crazy, new battery must love all
those clean, tight and lubed connections!!!

Carl–
Carl Hutchins 1983 Jaguar XJ6 with LT1 and 1994 Jeep Grand
Walnut Creek, California, United States
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–
–Support Jag-lovers - Donate at http://www.jag-lovers.org/donate04.php

===================================================
The archives and FAQ will answer many queries on the XJ series…
FAQs: http://www.jag-lovers.org/xjlovers/xjfaq/index.html
Archives: http://www.jag-lovers.org/lists/search.html

To remove yourself from this list, go to http://www.jag-lovers.org/cgi-bin/majordomo.

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