Failure to start

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evanmjones
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:24 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Failure to start

Postby evanmjones » Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:55 am

Hi all,

Looking for some advice and suggestions.

Berlingo regularly refuses to start at the beginning of the day. The fault is much worse after it has been charged and it can be a couple of days before I can get it to start. If I can get it to start in the morning it’s generally completely fine for the rest of the day.

History: pretty much since I had the van, about the 4th day, every so often I’d turn the key and no ‘clunk’. Problem worse at the start of the day when it could take 2-3 goes. Usually started if I counted to 60 and tried again. It always started eventually.

I changed the LV battery in October and for a month the fault pretty much went away entirely. Started creeping back end of November and has got much worse over the last 10 days or so. When I recharge the van, I can’t start it again for a day or two. When I do get it started it will play up a couple of times thereafter but always start eventually. But when I charge it up again it’s a pig to start afterwards.

The suspects:

* The low voltage battery
Has to be prime suspect since when the battery was changed the fault largely went away…. until it came back. The battery is currently reading 12.8v on my Maplins multimeter, which seems low, 14.5v when the ‘ignition’ is on but it’s not starting.

I’ve tried charging the battery to raise the voltage but my ‘intelligent’ battery charger thinks it /is/ charged and stops charging it. Must get stupider battery charger.

The fact that it’s fine after being driven around a bit implies that something is happening to improve the situation while I’m driving around. I’m obviously thinking “LV charging”.

I left the ignition on for about an hour to raise the LV resting voltage, which it did, to 13.4 for a while, but still no start. Interestingly, 24 hour later the LV battery had dropped to 12.75, the number it seems to generally hang around at.

To do:
Remember to check the LV battery voltage during the day after it’s been driven around a bit.
Bring the spare boat battery home and parallel it, see what that does to the voltage, and to the ‘clunk’ factor. Big query: will I potentially knacker anything on the Berlingo electronics by adding a second battery in parallel?

* Fault in the key switch
A ChrisB suggestion in the last thread (Berlingo fan stays on, which morphed into a brief discussion on the occasional ‘no clunk’ situation).

To do:
Access key switch, check voltage and continuity of ‘start’ circuit.

* Resistance in the LV side of the relay circuit
I don’t know where the relay is and haven’t followed the cables to find out yet. When I do I’ll test for continuity.

* Short in the LV side of the relay circuit
When I do turn the key it does seem to take a fair bit of electricity. The radio goes off as does the cabin ventilation fan. The lights on the dash dim. I don’t know if this is normal behaviour – the LV auxiliary circuit being disconnected by the key switch when it’s turned to ‘start’ position (anyone know?) or whether it’s a symptom of heavy battery drain. If it’s the latter is that normal for these relays? I wouldn’t have thought so.

* Sticky relay
I guess the relay itself could be faulty requiring higher than normal power to shift it. Don’t know where it is to examine it, or to see if I can clunk it with a direct connection bypassing the ignition wiring. Anyone?

* Gear selector interrupt fault
I don’t know what the name of the thing that prevents the vehicle being started when Drive or Reverse is selected. But not knowing its name isn’t stopping me from wondering if it’s interfering.

* Something else
Can’t think what though. Anyone any ideas?

Finally, I’m completely lost in France over the ‘won’t start after charging’ aspect. Does anyone know what happens or doesn’t happen during charging the traction batteries that could compromise some part of the starting system?

Any advice or ideas much appreciated.

Cheers,

Evan

Grumpy-b
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Postby Grumpy-b » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:27 pm

My thoughts that its still the 12volt battery thats at fault. Its possible that you have a less than good cell that when loaded is dropping the voltage way down. Measure the voltage with the ign turned off and the lights turned on. If its dropping low down below 12v then your battery is poor. Have you checked the electrolyte level in it?
Grumpy-b

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ChrisB
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Postby ChrisB » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:17 pm

Sounds like the DC/DC is running correctly and 12.8 off load seems about right.

Bung the headlights on and see how much it dips, I'd like to think that it wont drop below 12v for a good 10-15mins (this is done without the ignition on)

Also check that under charge the 12v aux battery is charging as well.

Check that the battery holds up underload first I'd say.

If that all seems fine then as you say maybe the gear lever s/w is becoming sticky ?? I'm not sure where the switch is though :oops:

Have you tried waggling the gear lever about while trying to start the van ?

ChrisB
I reject reality and substitute my own !!!!!!

EVan
Posts: 124
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:27 pm
Location: Fife

Re: Failure to start

Postby EVan » Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:11 pm

evanmjones wrote:Hi all,

Looking for some advice and suggestions.

Berlingo regularly refuses to start at the beginning of the day. The fault is much worse after it has been charged and it can be a couple of days before I can get it to start. If I can get it to start in the morning it’s generally completely fine for the rest of the day.

History: pretty much since I had the van, about the 4th day, every so often I’d turn the key and no ‘clunk’. Problem worse at the start of the day when it could take 2-3 goes. Usually started if I counted to 60 and tried again. It always started eventually.

I changed the LV battery in October and for a month the fault pretty much went away entirely. Started creeping back end of November and has got much worse over the last 10 days or so. When I recharge the van, I can’t start it again for a day or two. When I do get it started it will play up a couple of times thereafter but always start eventually. But when I charge it up again it’s a pig to start afterwards.

The suspects:

* The low voltage battery
Has to be prime suspect since when the battery was changed the fault largely went away…. until it came back. The battery is currently reading 12.8v on my Maplins multimeter, which seems low, 14.5v when the ‘ignition’ is on but it’s not starting.

I’ve tried charging the battery to raise the voltage but my ‘intelligent’ battery charger thinks it /is/ charged and stops charging it. Must get stupider battery charger.

The fact that it’s fine after being driven around a bit implies that something is happening to improve the situation while I’m driving around. I’m obviously thinking “LV charging”.

I left the ignition on for about an hour to raise the LV resting voltage, which it did, to 13.4 for a while, but still no start. Interestingly, 24 hour later the LV battery had dropped to 12.75, the number it seems to generally hang around at.

To do:
Remember to check the LV battery voltage during the day after it’s been driven around a bit.
Bring the spare boat battery home and parallel it, see what that does to the voltage, and to the ‘clunk’ factor. Big query: will I potentially knacker anything on the Berlingo electronics by adding a second battery in parallel?


No, but you don't have a problem with the 12V battery - forget about it.

* Fault in the key switch
A ChrisB suggestion in the last thread (Berlingo fan stays on, which morphed into a brief discussion on the occasional ‘no clunk’ situation).

To do:
Access key switch, check voltage and continuity of ‘start’ circuit.

Very unlikely.

* Resistance in the LV side of the relay circuit
I don’t know where the relay is and haven’t followed the cables to find out yet. When I do I’ll test for continuity.

* Short in the LV side of the relay circuit
When I do turn the key it does seem to take a fair bit of electricity. The radio goes off as does the cabin ventilation fan. The lights on the dash dim. I don’t know if this is normal behaviour – the LV auxiliary circuit being disconnected by the key switch when it’s turned to ‘start’ position (anyone know?) or whether it’s a symptom of heavy battery drain. If it’s the latter is that normal for these relays? I wouldn’t have thought so.

* Sticky relay
I guess the relay itself could be faulty requiring higher than normal power to shift it. Don’t know where it is to examine it, or to see if I can clunk it with a direct connection bypassing the ignition wiring. Anyone?


None of the above!

* Gear selector interrupt fault
I don’t know what the name of the thing that prevents the vehicle being started when Drive or Reverse is selected. But not knowing its name isn’t stopping me from wondering if it’s interfering.

Check with evlite that the PRND symbol is at P or N when you are trying to start.

* Something else
Can’t think what though. Anyone any ideas?


It's probably the throttle position. Next time it won't start, unplug the pedal (3-pin connector next to the pedal). Then try to start it - it should do, with the fault light on.

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timpootle
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Postby timpootle » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:07 pm

Another one for us all to remember. Thanks for sharing this info, Evan.
Tim Crumpton

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harolddegouw
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Location: The Netherlands, Drunen
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Postby harolddegouw » Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:00 am

Had a similar problem with two of my vans.

1 had a bad contact in the gear leaver. I start it now in N and the problem is gone, I am too lazy to repair it.

The other had just like Evan mentions a problem with the acceleration pedal, i started the van by unplugging the connector, after replugging it the van could be driven. Suprisingly was that the van automatically started to drive slightly after replugging it. I did a lot of measuring, and could only come up with the idea of placing an extra resistor between the pedal, then the problem got worse. So i tried a hard reset, and all problems where gone. I still do not know why it worked. I unpluged the traction battery, i unpluged the auxilary battery, waited some minutes, (probably a hard reset for the pedal position) reconected the batteries. The car was starting and driving normal from that time.

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Teslas fag packet
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Postby Teslas fag packet » Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:00 pm

Yeah there's a limited number of things which will make the van fail to start without the fault light on, one of which is the throttle minimum position being lower than the actual position.

the ECU learns the minimum throttle position during charging, this is why the fault manifests it's self in a morning.

I discovered this whilst replacing the interior of my van and having the peddle disconnected when charging.

if you have a lexia you can read both actual and minimum throttle position

hope this is of some use.

bad connection on ECU multi plug? donno
Yorkshire isn't just a place, it's a state of mind!

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evanmjones
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:24 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby evanmjones » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:05 pm

Update. Checked the battery first, mostly because it was something that I knew I could do. Seemed to hold charge well. Went swiftly on to using the EV Lite to check the gear position - also fine, so moved on to the prime suspect, the accelerator.

Checked it still wouldn't start, it wouldn't, so took off facia panel beneath / behind steering wheel; spent ages trying to find a body position (I was parked by a wall) that meant I could get a clear look at the accelerator assembly & wiring. Removed cardboard thing above footwell, found wiring from accelerator by which time I was mostly upside down in the passenger seat and twisted across. Found what I believe to be a connector for the accelerator wiring – a largish in-line one – and spent ages fiddling with it working out how I could disconnect it. Failed to disconnect it. Decided I’d had enough being upside down for one day and re-assembled cardboard thing and facia panel.

Next day came with camera and notepad to log everything so whichever way there’d be a record of what I’d done. Began systematically, 1. "check van doesn’t start". Van does start, first time. Turned it off, it started again. I’ve since started it a further 5 times and it’s started first time every time including first thing this morning.

My conclusion is that there was a loose touch in the connector which my pulling it about has pushed into a better contact. On one level I’m pleased with this since my van is working. On another level I’m not entirely happy since I’d rather know I’d fixed the fault.

Will charge it tonight and see what tomorrow brings.

Many thanks for all the help & suggestions.

Evan

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ChrisB
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Postby ChrisB » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:56 pm

evanmjones wrote:....... by which time I was mostly upside down in the passenger seat and twisted across.........Decided I’d had enough being upside down for one day and re-assembled cardboard thing and facia panel.




:lol: :lol: :lol: did make me chuckle somewhat, I know exactly what you mean though, its a right nightmare when you have to do stuff in the foot wells.

Damn annoying that you didnt actually find the actual reason but as you say it does seem that it was something in and around that area and your fiddling has cured it.
Still would have been nice to know for sure, I hate it when it goes like that, my heater is still somewhat flakey and after two years of fiddling Im still really none the wiser as to its random going outages :roll:

ChrisB
I reject reality and substitute my own !!!!!!

EVan
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:27 pm
Location: Fife

Postby EVan » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:30 pm

evanmjones wrote:Update. Checked the battery first, mostly because it was something that I knew I could do. Seemed to hold charge well. Went swiftly on to using the EV Lite to check the gear position - also fine, so moved on to the prime suspect, the accelerator.


Glad you got it running.

I forgot to mention, you can check the accelerator value with evlite as well - if the software version is 2.0 or greater. It's worth taking a note of the "normal" values for your vehicle so that you have something to compare it to if you suspect a problem.

Also, it's worth mentioning that even if the pedal value looks OK, the problem may still be in this area: the calculator "self calibrates" the accelerator rest position. It occasionally seems to get this wrong, and is more prone to doing so on certain vehicles. I suspect that if the potentiometer or wiring is "noisy" it can cause this problem.

To recover that, I can force the calculator to store a "safe" value and it will start again. Fixed two with that problem this winter.


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