I last drove Rangie on 21st December and it worked flawlessly. Parked up as normal and then yesterday I came to drive it and the fob would not unlock it so I resorted to the key which unlocked the drivers door only, no central locking ‘unlock’. Key in ignition and absolutely nothing, nada, zip. The battery voltage was 1.7V!!! My less than one year old Hankook MF3-1000 battery is probably toast … sob.
Had to put on my very old traditional, unsophisticated battery charger to get it to take any charge whatsoever. Once it took a bit of charge it was put on life support ‘recovery’ mode of a more sophisticated and ‘intelligent’ C-Tek charger. It is now fully charged but is out of the vehicle and voltage showing good but no idea of capacity yet.
Fitted a back up battery I have that is kept charged and after overcoming the usual annoyance of the alarm going off all looked normal until trying to start the engine. Nothing, no click from any relay or solenoid. Hmmm! Decided to measure the current draw and with everything checked as being off it was draining at ~2A. The BeCM seemed to go to sleep correctly at the 2 minute mark but the drain then sat at a consistent 600mA!
I removed the starter motor relay (16) and bench checked it and all OK. Decided to short the relay contacts in the fuse box without ignition on to check stater motor and nothing, no power at the relay. Pulled fuse 40 and it was completely blown! Replaced fuse and shorted the relay again expecting trouble but the solenoid/starter motor span the engine over fine. Replaced the relay and she started fine, no warning lamps and alternator charging the battery fine. Shut down and restarted a few more times and all OK. Checked the battery drain again and all checked out with BeCM going to sleep and drain at ~30mA.
I can only think the starter solenoid threw a bit of a wobbly and after starting the car for the last time on 21st December then fried the fuse but managed to put the starter into a state where it was continually consuming current. Shorting the starter relay shook the solenoid back to its senses and all is now fine . . . but for how long?
Is my starter on the way out? What mechanism put the starter into a state where it was continually drawing ~1.5A? Is there any other explanation for this odd behaviour? Will my Hankook battery recover its masculinity? Answers on a postcard please!