Mitsubishi Eclipse 3G Club banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

My 2003 Eclipse GS simply won't start sometimes.
Yes, sometimes. Usually the car starts fine, but once in a while I go to turn the key and nothing happens-- no engine cranking, no turning, nothing (actually, not exactly nothing-- I'll explain in a bit). It's an odd problem because I don't know what would cause the car not to start only sometimes.
I'm posting here because nobody-- not even my mechanic-- can figure out the problem.
Here are the solutions I've pursued thus far:

New Starter (actually got the starter a month before the problem arose-- so it still might be the potential problem, however unlikely)
New Throttle Body Detector
New Starter Relay
New Clutch Switch
Check for corrosion on Starter Solenoid Male Connector/Battery

What's interesting about this problem is that every time I brought it to the mechanic-- and attempted the first four solutions-- the car started impeccably for about a week thereafter. Inevitably it always came back. Maybe this has something to do with the ECU? :dunno:

A final note: when I said that the car made no noise, I wasn't being particularly exact. If you listen closely, you can hear a mild humming noise coming from under the rear seats. Under those seats exist a pair of wires running to two connectors mounted on an embedded box of some sort (it looks like a subwoofer, idrk)-- I doubt it has anything to do with the starter system, but I thought I'd point it out nevertheless. Also, he humming noise only transpires when I push the clutch down, so I know the clutch switch is working.

Any help would be greatly appreciated; I would hate to lean my dependence on an otherwise clueless mechanic. :(
Thanks in advance. :)
 

·
King of Rice!!
Joined
·
1,425 Posts
The box under the passender seat is a factory amp. There also may be wires connected to the seats for airbags. I had a random no start problem that was just the thinnest layer of corrosion on my terminals, my battery was actually leaking on the top pos+ terminal and the connectors were pretty much gone after cleaning them so many times. Replacted those and smothered the whole terminal and connectors in that anti corrosion jelly stuff and I haven't had a problem since.
 

·
boost-a-holic
Joined
·
13 Posts
HAD THIS PROBLEM BEFORE.... do you happen to have a floor mat or anything on the drivers side floor board? Its silly...but I went through the same things and come to find out...the rug was getting pushed forward from me getting in and out of the car. Everyone knows how low its is and how much force you put on the rug in our low slung cars. Anyway, the rug slides up under the clutch pedal and it doesn't let it travel all the way to the floor when depressed, thus not allowing the car to start. I changed my floor mat, and haven't had a starting problem since. Hope that is all it is for you as well. ;)
 

·
Manual Swapped!!
Joined
·
5,977 Posts
Check your electrical/chargeing system (the battery and alt) make sure they're good. Then check your connections to the starter, to the fuse box, to the alternator etc. make sure they're tight and clean
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My negative terminal is a bit rusty. I'll sand it down next time this happens and see if anything changes (it's working now-- the problem arises spontaneously).
Thanks for the tips :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I would tend to look at the last thing changed before the problem started. A bad starter will definitely cause the problems you're experiencing. If it has just one bad spot on the windings, the problem would be intermittent (depending on exactly where in its rotation the starter stopped last time it spun down). This can be super frustrating but can sometimes be diagnosed with some tapping on the starter housing with a hammer when the problem occurs. The tapping can move the starter just passed the bad spot, the it will work (until the next unlucky spin down).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The problem hasn't occured in a while since I sanded down the negative terminal on the battery. Though, just recently, it transpired again while at the mechanic, and he had told me that I should get a new battery.
I'd just like to make sure this would be a viable solution to said problem-- is it possible for a battery to be deffective like this? Everything works (radio, lighting, etc.), it just doesn't start sometimes.
So, should I even bother getting a new battery? :sweat:
Idk what else I could try. Just don't know if this makes sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Like Anonymous said you should look hard at the last thing you did before the problem started. New does not necessarily equal good. I highly doubt this is a battery problem. What problem were you having that prompted the starter replacement to begin with?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well tapping on the Starter Solenoid actually got it started. Pretty cool.
Guess I'll just order a new one :)
Thanks a lot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Um,
I'd just like to make sure of one thing before replacing the solenoid:
There's a missing screw (I think, although I'm not even sure if anything's supposed to be there in the first place) on the right corner of it. Would this be the cause of the defect? If so, does anyone know the dimensions of this screw? I doubt it'd be as easy as replacing a screw, but I'd just like to make sure.

It looks like this:

<a href="http://s525.photobucket.com/albums/cc332/BluddHunterr/?action=view&current=IMAG0287.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc332/BluddHunterr/IMAG0287.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Thanks again for all the help
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I used to be a quality engineer in a car battery factory and looked at a number of warranty returns. It is possible for a battery to cause this intermittent problem you describe (radio and interior lights work but no solenoid click or noise other than the fuel pump humming). Here's two ways that a battery can cause that problem .

1) Batteries have a series of positive and negative plates in each cell (6 cells) of the battery. The plates in each cell are separated by an non-conductive envelope that holds the negative plate. Negative plates are typically expanded metal type plates; that means that there are sharp "wire" ends on the edges of the plate where the expanded metal is cut off (think of an expanded metal screen door guard without a frame around it). These wire ends start bending and buckling when they age and get hot. Eventually, one of the wires may pierce the envelope or separator material and contact the positive plate. The negative wire will try to "weld" itself to the positive plate. If it does, it will not start the car because the battery is now putting out 10 volts instead of 12. As the battery cools or as it is placed under heavy load i.e. trying to start the car or jump starting the car, the weld may break free and allow the battery to go back to 12V and start the car. Eventually, it will either weld up solid and ruin the battery or arc melt away enough of the wire away that it can't bend and touch the positive any more and will work for a period of time without fault.

2) Overfilling a battery can cause it to "flood". A flooded battery will sometimes leach acid from one cell to another through the strap weld hole near the top of the battery case partition. This effect causes the battery to loose voltage in multiples of 2 also. If one cell was flooded and leached to only one of it's neighbor cells, it would act as a 10V battery; if fully flooded in all cells, it would be a big 2V battery! Batteries should be filled no more than to the top of the lead strap when you look down the holes on top of the battery.

I have this problem now on a Ford Probe. I had a volt meter hooked up to the battery while cranking it with the coil wire unplugged. It cranked good several times showing 12+ volts then one time it dropped to 10+ volts but would not crank the engine. I hit the key again and it cranked. At the part store, it tested good three times on three different testers. On one tester, I saw it drop to 10 volts but it still showed it as good but low volts. Their testers are not catching intermittent 10 volt batteries unless it's well shorted out as described above.

Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
791 Posts
Um,
I'd just like to make sure of one thing before replacing the solenoid:
There's a missing screw (I think, although I'm not even sure if anything's supposed to be there in the first place) on the right corner of it. Would this be the cause of the defect? If so, does anyone know the dimensions of this screw? I doubt it'd be as easy as replacing a screw, but I'd just like to make sure
Well like AnonymousDog said, tapping on a starter doesn't mean the solenoid is bad. The starter itself can be bad internally (like AnonymousDog said, on the windings), and when you tap it, it vibrates the motor (not solenoid) just enough so the windings "catch" a good spot. OR the whole assembly can be binding up and that tap will loosen it.

So you might want to change the whole assembly and not just the solenoid.

I don't think that missing screw would do anything. It looks to be part of the case, not the solenoid/starter itself. A search thru the RockAuto Auto Parts catalog showed a Remy starter that appeared to have screws there- but possibly for a heatshield (like DanielV said).

RREclipse good info on the batteries, thank you! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the info :)
I replaced the (whole) starter and it seems to be working fine.
Nice to know that the battery could have been the problem, though. Never would have guessed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Problem starting

I have an 03 eclipse that will turn over really slowly and than fire up some times. I thought it was a battery issue so I charged my battery and it still did it. Was not as bad but it still did not fire right away. Any ideas what the problem could be>
 

·
Turboed! Trying to t
Joined
·
388 Posts
Throwing money at it sucks, but if this thread describes your issue, I would would follow their advice as it seems to have fixed the problem.

Ie, replace the starter and solenoid. Very easy. Just get a used one and see if it fixes it. W
Its easy on the i4 anyways.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hey all,

My 2003 Eclipse GS simply won't start sometimes.
Yes, sometimes. Usually the car starts fine, but once in a while I go to turn the key and nothing happens-- no engine cranking, no turning, nothing (actually, not exactly nothing-- I'll explain in a bit). It's an odd problem because I don't know what would cause the car not to start only sometimes.
I'm posting here because nobody-- not even my mechanic-- can figure out the problem.
Here are the solutions I've pursued thus far:

New Starter (actually got the starter a month before the problem arose-- so it still might be the potential problem, however unlikely)
New Throttle Body Detector
New Starter Relay
New Clutch Switch
Check for corrosion on Starter Solenoid Male Connector/Battery

What's interesting about this problem is that every time I brought it to the mechanic-- and attempted the first four solutions-- the car started impeccably for about a week thereafter. Inevitably it always came back. Maybe this has something to do with the ECU? :dunno:

A final note: when I said that the car made no noise, I wasn't being particularly exact. If you listen closely, you can hear a mild humming noise coming from under the rear seats. Under those seats exist a pair of wires running to two connectors mounted on an embedded box of some sort (it looks like a subwoofer, idrk)-- I doubt it has anything to do with the starter system, but I thought I'd point it out nevertheless. Also, he humming noise only transpires when I push the clutch down, so I know the clutch switch is working.

Any help would be greatly appreciated; I would hate to lean my dependence on an otherwise clueless mechanic. :(
Thanks in advance. :)
Its actually weird that you mention this I am having the exact same problem did you ever get your issue resolved by chance?
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top