I did not use the car for a few months. When I got back to it the
battery was dead. Probably a trickle drain somewhere. No big deal.
I removed the battery to take in for a recharge, was told it won't hold
a charge, so I need a new one. Well, OK.
Now I have a new one in, the engine won't turn over. Just a click and
that's it. My first assumption is that the starter motor has had it. But
before I go on a buying spree, here is my question:
All these "newer" cars have computers. Could it be that after a new
battery is installed something somewhere has to be reset, the computer
rebooted, before the car can start?
PS Yes, 12 years is very new by my standards. :-)
The starting circuit is separate from the computer. Use normal
diagnosis for no-crank situations. Check connections at battery and
starter. (Check the state of charge of the new battery, too. Maybe
they gave you a dud.) Don't recall off the top of my head, but if you
have a starter relay, check that as well, or check the applied voltage
at the solenoid terminal of the starter and main starter terminal. In
a few odd cases, I've even seen defective battery cables.
It's difficult to check battery condition with a voltmeter because no-
load voltage is nearly always within spec, even on a bad battery.
It's likely you have a good battery, but just to check, read your
battery voltage when attempting to start the car. Shouldn't drop
below 10V or so.
Again, when trying to start the car, check the voltage at the starter
solenoid connector and then at the main starter lug. Should be
within .5V of battery voltage when attempting to start. If you have
low voltage at the lug, you'll need to replace the positive cable. If
you have low voltage at the solenoid connection, you'll need to
diagnose the solenoid circuit.
Last, put one lead on the negative cable where it attaches to the
transmission and the other lead on the negative battery post. Attempt
to start. Reading should be less than .5V. If more than that,
replace the negative cable.
If all the above checks okay, replace the starter.
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