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Old 04-21-2018, 06:27 AM   #21
jeopardy98
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

Thanks. I've had the battery on a battery tender since yesterday so I guess it's time to get that alternator off.

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Old 04-21-2018, 09:55 PM   #22
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

Since I always dislike when threads don't have closure... I pulled the alternator this morning and swung by my local parts yard and pulled an oem from an 04 vue they had just gotten in. It cost me $22 And I knew it was a gamble but they said if it tested bad I could get my money back. I took it to the local parts store to have it tested and it all seemed good so I brought it home and installed it. Car jumped to life and reads 13.6 volts at idle with the a.c. on high and the lights on. As high as 13.75 at idle with no extra load. 6 starts and not the first issue. So far so good and I'm pretty confident that this one is a wrap.

Thanks to everyone for the replies and guidance.

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Old 04-23-2018, 11:36 PM   #23
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

Well I spoke too soon. Went to leave work today and it wouldn't start. Hooked up the jump box and no start. Used the screwdriver to get the starter past the point it is hanging up and she cranked right over. I went and got a brand new battery and had the alternator tested. It tested fine. The parts guy said it sounded to him like the bendix was binding up. He said everything points to a bad starter and I can't help but agree at this point. For some reason the starter is binding up or has a dead spot. When I use the screwdriver to jump the starter I have to hit the posts several times before the starter will spin and when I jump the solenoid it takes 2 or 3 hits to make it jump a click or two. After that it will start 2 or 3 times and then the process repeats itself. I'm at a loss.

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Old 04-23-2018, 11:56 PM   #24
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

1-Dead silence, no starter clicking sounds can suggest a starting circuit problem.

2-Starter clicking suggests battery, battery cables and their connections.

When you have to connect a booster battery and still can't get the starter to power up, this may suggest a connection problem with both battery cables and their connections; battery positive to main fuse box and starter terminal, battery negative to chassis and engine block. If too have to, disconnect boot battery cables and examine them for corrosion. Powdery deposits are due to dried battery acid that can eat copper wires. Removing acid is worth a warm solution of baking soda and water with a toothbrush. Pain water rinse.

Severe corrosion prevents battery power from the starter. Simply shorting the two starter terminals bypasses the entire starting circuit by supplying battery power directly to the starter solenoid that begins the starter sequence to power the starter solenoid pulling out the starter gear and then powering up the starter motor. Not seeing this suggests a power issue (battery, cables and their connections).

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Old 04-24-2018, 05:47 AM   #25
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

I have already replaced the battery cables and I'm getting 12.4 volts to the starter. I appreciate the fact that you are still convinced it is a power issue but I have replaced the alternator, the battery, and both battery cables. That doesn't leave much else beyond the starter. If shorting the starter made it work right away every time I could see a cable issue but it doesn't. The starter still binds until it is forced past the bad spot.

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Old 04-24-2018, 06:52 AM   #26
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

This thread may be going around in circles . If you have to manually short starter terminals to get the starter to run to get the engine to startup, this suggests not getting 12v from the ignition switch normally supplying solenoid power (starting circuit). If the third starter behaves the same as the second starter with a dead spot, this may be a faulty starter (not likely) or higher than normal compression. A new or rebuilt starter may be difficult to prove faulty.

It's rare for anyone to have a starter with a dead spot as it would have to be proven on a portion of starter that's exhibiting this characteristic on a random basis. Proving it is more difficult when its more likely something else that eludes troubleshooting. Unfortunately, you are the only person to see this intermittent problem of erratic no start issues and have to check every possible item that can cause this condition. What's puzzling here is the changing condition. To eliminate a starting circuit problem requires monitoring the 'S' terminal for 12v when the ignition switch is held in the START position. 12v should be seen with a multimeter while hearing the starter power up and turning the engine over.

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Old 04-24-2018, 10:54 AM   #27
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

Okay so... Should I try one more starter? I get 6V at the S terminal during a no start condition and I get 12V at the S terminal during regular starting. I would expect this is normal behavior, correct?

I'm open to suggestions. I have traced the start circuit from beginning (ugh switch) to end (starter) and every leg passes continuity and resistance tests. I've replaced the battery cables. I've replaced the battery, alternator, and starter twice. What are my next steps?

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Old 04-24-2018, 11:32 AM   #28
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

There is a electrical body connection behind the drivers kick panel. (left side where the drivers left foot would be).

This connector is notorious for having bad connections. I would inspect this and possibly jumper around this connector to see if that solves you problem..

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Old 04-24-2018, 12:56 PM   #29
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

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There is a electrical body connection behind the drivers kick panel. (left side where the drivers left foot would be).

This connector is notorious for having bad connections. I would inspect this and possibly jumper around this connector to see if that solves you problem..
You are referring to the C200 plug. I have pulled that apart and tested resistance and continuity on both sides of that plug. It enters the plug purple and leaves yellow at the connector. It enters the UHFB as yellow and leaves as purple which is the wire that goes directly to the starter. There were no issues within the connector or any of the wires going to or passing through that connector. Thank you for the suggestion though. If it has been suggested in this thread I have tried it.

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Old 04-24-2018, 02:57 PM   #30
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

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Okay so... Should I try one more starter? I get 6V at the S terminal during a no start condition and I get 12V at the S terminal during regular starting. I would expect this is normal behavior, correct?

I'm open to suggestions. I have traced the start circuit from beginning (ugh switch) to end (starter) and every leg passes continuity and resistance tests. I've replaced the battery cables. I've replaced the battery, alternator, and starter twice.
No! The 'S' wire should always show 12 volts when the ignition switch is turned to the START position whether its held there for a second or forever. Disconnect this (purple) wire and measure is again. This eliminates the starter solenoid from dragging battery voltage down and isolates the starting circuit to itself. When disconnecting the 'S' wire from the starter solenoid, examine the terminal for damage at the crimping. Cut away any insulation if you have to in order to clearly see any evidence of damaged/missing stranded wires. You're measuring for 12 volts at any time when the ignition switch is held in the START position. The starting circuit is conventional - 12 volts is sent from the ignition switch thru wiring and ends at the 'S' terminal to power the starter solenoid. The solenoid pulls around 3-5 amps of current, similar to one low beam. With the purple 'S' wire disconnected, you can safely start as many times as needed without powering up the starter to ensure the starting circuit always sends 12v to that wire, no less.

Since you did continuity tests to the starting circuit, this doesn't guarantee amperage can get thru. A continuity test simply sends low voltage without current to check on wire connectivity. It cannot guarantee current handling when full voltage is sent on a specific wire. Testing for voltage with the wire disconnected and seeing 6 volts then 12 volts means either wire damage or battery power. I believe you're working thru this problem and as frustrating as it seems, you're getting closer to the problem. It seems as if there's a starting circuit issue here when you're measuring two different voltages when you should be seeing 12 volts. Worse case scenario is the ignition switch is worn and making intermittent electrical connection when sending 12 volts thru wiring to the starter.

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Old 04-24-2018, 03:58 PM   #31
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

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Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
No! The 'S' wire should always show 12 volts when the ignition switch is turned to the START position whether its held there for a second or forever. Disconnect this (purple) wire and measure is again. This eliminates the starter solenoid from dragging battery voltage down and isolates the starting circuit to itself. When disconnecting the 'S' wire from the starter solenoid, examine the terminal for damage at the crimping. Cut away any insulation if you have to in order to clearly see any evidence of damaged/missing stranded wires. You're measuring for 12 volts at any time when the ignition switch is held in the START position. The starting circuit is conventional - 12 volts is sent from the ignition switch thru wiring and ends at the 'S' terminal to power the starter solenoid. The solenoid pulls around 3-5 amps of current, similar to one low beam. With the purple 'S' wire disconnected, you can safely start as many times as needed without powering up the starter to ensure the starting circuit always sends 12v to that wire, no less.

Since you did continuity tests to the starting circuit, this doesn't guarantee amperage can get thru. A continuity test simply sends low voltage without current to check on wire connectivity. It cannot guarantee current handling when full voltage is sent on a specific wire. Testing for voltage with the wire disconnected and seeing 6 volts then 12 volts means either wire damage or battery power. I believe you're working thru this problem and as frustrating as it seems, you're getting closer to the problem. It seems as if there's a starting circuit issue here when you're measuring two different voltages when you should be seeing 12 volts. Worse case scenario is the ignition switch is worn and making intermittent electrical connection when sending 12 volts thru wiring to the starter.

Eureka. I had not thought of isolating the purple wire away from the starter and measuring voltage. Thanks!

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Old 04-27-2018, 08:52 AM   #32
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

Well... fingers crossed. I think it is fixed. 15 starts in a row with no issues.

I pulled the "S" wire (purple) from the starter and tested for voltage in the start position. 12.41 volts. Test again 12.41 volts. Test again 12.38 volts. Keep testing and testing and testing until 12.21 volts. Wire seems good. To make sure I cut the ring terminal off and strip off some insulation to inspect the wire. It looks good with no corrosion or oxidation. I install a new ring terminal and shrink wrap it to protect it.

Since the wire seemed to test good I pulled the starter again. I bench tested the starter and the solenoid and the starter itself worked exactly as they should have every single time. At this point I'm really scratching my head.

While I had the starter out I inspected the flywheel teeth and the teeth on the starter for damage and did not find any.

When I go to reinstall the starter I make a discovery. I put the top bolt in loosely and the bottom and then I tried to move the starter. There is about 1/4" of play from the front to the back of the vehicle. I then realize that I can faintly see the line from the original starter where it was mated to the surface. I attempt to line the new starter up with that exactly and lightly tighten down each bolt a little at a time to keep it from moving. Once it was all snugged up the car has started flawlessly every time.

I cannot say for sure, because I changed 2 variables, which fixed the issue but my opinion is that the starter was installed and cocked forward or backward just a hair causing it to bind at some point in the flywheel rotation. Now that I have found the sweet spot of perfect alignment it appears to have cured it. The wire may have been the issue but I think the alignment is more likely my issue since I could feel the starter dragging at times.

I will report back if anything changes but hopefully it is smooth sailing from here forward. Thank you very much for everyone's help and suggestions.

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Old 04-27-2018, 10:41 AM   #33
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

No one can tell you for certain where this problem originated, having only your descriptions to go by, sight unseen. Without a hands on experience like your last post, its not surprising to find out one or two things may have been missed during starter replacement. Cocking a starter may explain some things while not seeing 12 volts on the purple wire is another mystery. Hopefully you found the problems and the next few days will confirm it as every startup should be the same as the last.

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Old 04-30-2018, 09:26 AM   #34
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

Well I'm back and this is like a bad dream. The Vue worked flawlessly until yesterday evening. Probably 20 starts over the last few days with no signs of an issue and then last night it did the exact same thing. Turn to crank and nothing. All lights dim, all gauges go out, and no attempt to start.

At this point I have no idea where to begin. I feel everything has been checked or replaced. Obviously it hasn't but I'm still banging my head against the wall.

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Old 04-30-2018, 01:59 PM   #35
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

Unfortunately, with this mystery problem repeating, you'll have to painstakingly go over things again. "Turn to crank and nothing. All lights dim, all gauges go out, and no attempt to start." points to main power (battery, cables, connections). Dimming lights tends to point to everything related to main power especially if you do not hear any loud click that's usually associated with the starter solenoid.

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Old 05-01-2018, 05:11 PM   #36
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

Well all the lights on the dash started blinking today on the way home. Made it home with 11.2 volts to the battery. Alternator isn't charging again. I'm sure this no start condition has killed it again.

Im also losing coolant definitely. Not running hot but definitely going somewhere. It's not on the ground so it must be going through the head.

Attempted to remove negative cable and the engine bolt twisted off like butter. It passes all the way through so I guess I'll have to drill it out. Still have no idea why the car won't start.

What do I check next? I'm totally out of ideas and the patience is rapidly depleting.

Oh can anyone tell me what the plug goes to? It's not hooked up to anything.
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Old 05-01-2018, 09:44 PM   #37
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

I would replace battery cables - battery ground terminal splits with one black cable to chassis and one to engine block (now broken?).

Positive battery terminal splits with one red cable to starter and one to underhood fuse block.

The red cable from battery positive to underhood fuse block also provides power to power steering ... I've recently replaced a corroded cable on a 05 Vue with about 80,000 miles on odometer.

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Old 05-01-2018, 09:55 PM   #38
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

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I would replace battery cables - battery ground terminal splits with one black cable to chassis and one to engine block (now broken?).

Positive battery terminal splits with one red cable to starter and one to underhood fuse block.

The red cable from battery positive to underhood fuse block also provides power to power steering ... I've recently replaced a corroded cable on a 05 Vue with about 80,000 miles on odometer.
Both battery cables have been replaced. How do I go about replacing the broken bolt?

What about the missing coolant?

Thanks for the reply.

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Old 05-02-2018, 12:14 PM   #39
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

So I ordered a small carbide bit for my Dremel tool with the flex shaft. I also plan to center punch it and once I have a pilot hole I will step up slightly until I remove the stud. If I have to helicoil it I will.

Anyone have any ideas on where to look for the missing coolant? Per this thread, plugs are good and compression is good. It's not leaking on to the ground nor can I find any signs of coolant in my oil or vice versa. It must be going somewhere.

Anyone have any suggestions at all as to the no start condition? Is it possible that the coolant is working into the cylinder and hydro locking the cylinder enough to keep the starter from spinning and once I get past the compression stroke on that cylinder it will crank right up? Is that a crazy thought?

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Old 05-02-2018, 12:39 PM   #40
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Default Re: Strange no crank issue 2004 Vue 2.2 MT

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Well all the lights on the dash started blinking today on the way home. Made it home with 11.2 volts to the battery. Alternator isn't charging again. I'm sure this no start condition has killed it again. Attempted to remove negative cable and the engine bolt twisted off like butter. It passes all the way through so I guess I'll have to drill it out. Still have no idea why the car won't start. . .
If you lose engine ground, everything on the engine won't have power. Battery positive only connects to starter and two fuse panels. Two main grounds - chassis and engine block provide all electrical grounds. A loose or severely corroded engine ground bolt that snapped off easily may be the original problem. Starters require large amount of current and that current flows thru ground

You may not have to drill and extract the broken bolt if there's another tapped hole nearby with the same thread size. If the engine ground cable can't stretch to a new attachment hole, you can add an extension but still have to use as large a gauge of wire as the engine ground wire(s). Soldering is best to ensure complete electrical conductivity, cutting back original wiring to expose fresh copper wires for soldering onto an extension. Then this extension is attached to another part of the engine block.

Coolant loss can occur from anywhere in the cooling system; water pump, hoses, radiator, ruptured coolant container, etc.. A damaged head gasket allowing coolant to fill a cylinder can stop a starter but once the engine starts up the engine will run odd and generate steam forever as coolant turns to steam. It can happen but you'd see a cloud of white steam from your exhaust.

Last edited by fdryer; 05-02-2018 at 12:44 PM..

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