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Thread: P38 not cranking

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    36

    P38 not cranking

    So I left the lights on a few nights a go and woke up to a flat battery, sunroof open and wipers half way across the windscreen.... yup silly me.

    Now I've disconnected the dead battery and charged it, took a while as it's a big battery, only about 6 months old. Battery came back up good, ignition on and no start no crank. No blown fuses but I did have to re set all the windows and sunroof and top up the washer bottle as it was complaining about it since the Moreton trip.

    Not sure where to from here. The engine check light is on when on position 2 so apparently the bem hasn't lost syc but the suspension lock light is on no matter if I press the button or not, EAS is disabled because there is no compressor and airbags because I have springs.

    Everything seems to work ok but it won't turn over and haven't given it any "technical taps" yet. I can hear the fuel pump running, i have fuel pressure, but instead of cranking all I hear is a slick from under the bonnet, I guess a relay, everything else is while in the crank position and everything comes back on when in position 2

    I guess multimeter and check if power goes to starter motor is next but never had issues starting after I removed some battery isolator switch that previous owner installed and was faulty

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    wandin nth vic
    Posts
    116
    Check trans in park. Give the starter a love tap preferably whilst someone holds key in start position.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    36
    trans is in Park, can go into Low fine with no issues .... will try the technical tap thou

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Williamstown, Victoria
    Posts
    592
    If the technical tap doesn't work, it may be the battery not putting out enough power since running flat. You might want to get it load tested just to be sure, I know it's only 6 months old, but P38's need a very good battery to run the fuel injection and to turn over. Are you getting any weird messages popping up? Low battery will cause that to happen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    258
    A damaged battery due to deep discharge will show up in the lights dimming when turning the key. Check the interior light for example when trying to start. It's a cheap way to test

    -P

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Camp Hill, Brisbane
    Posts
    200
    If you have still got BECM-ECU sync, then a whack on the starter solenoid is the next step. The click might be starter relay or the solenoid trying to engage. Moreton Island is a known solenoid black-spot for P38's. Also, measure the battery voltage when you turn the key to crank and make sure the battery is not flaky.
    Steve

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    36
    before I tap things checked and no signal going to the starter to start it so might bypass the relay and manually try and turn it over?

    the car been resting for a few days and noticed some condensation on the windows so while the sunroof was open my guess is some rain got inside, nothing is damp thou but noticed some drops of rain when I first got in the car so my guess some water ingress in the centre console, the BEM is dry thou, taken the plugs out etc looks ok

    I guess now I know why the suspension lock light is on regardless if you press the button or not, some water must of gotten to it ... that sux.

    Battery is putting out good power so that's not the problem, going through gears shows the correct gear in the dash display. I get no rear demister action and fuses are not blown, just noticed the HVAC lights are out so my guess is now water ingress in the center console.... I will take it out this weekend and diagnose further

    can I bypass the starter relay and just start the car with ignition to the 2nd position? then have the heater to hot for a while ?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by PeterH View Post
    If the technical tap doesn't work, it may be the battery not putting out enough power since running flat. You might want to get it load tested just to be sure, I know it's only 6 months old, but P38's need a very good battery to run the fuel injection and to turn over. Are you getting any weird messages popping up? Low battery will cause that to happen.
    no messages, i did get a gearbox message when I had battery issues a while back because previous owners had a batteryswitch installed which was broken internally and would not start the car, taken that out never had an issue

  9. #9
    TheTree is offline ChatterBox Silver Subscriber
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Gosford, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    2,510
    it's not immobilised by any chance is it ?

    Steve
    MY96 4.6 HSE P38. Niagara Grey; "The Phoenix"
    MY99 4.6 HSE P38. LPG, Blenheim Sliver; "Voldemort" burnt to a cinder
    MY79 RR Classic, Gone, MY57 Series 1 SWB, Long gone
    P38 write ups and info on my website http://p38.hts.com.au/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    36
    i don't think so, there is nothing in the message centre and the check engine lights up on 2nd possition which would mean its not immobilized right ?

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