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C5 Won't Start with Electrical Noise

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C5 Won't Start with Electrical Noise

  #1  
Old 01-06-2009, 11:32 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3
Default C5 Won't Start with Electrical Noise

Thanks to everyone in advance...

I went to start it this morning and all I got was some clicking noises and some very strange electrical noises. Then I heard a electrical noise in the glove box that sounded like an electrical fire was about to start. I opened it and saw the light in the glove box slowly flickering on. The noise stopped after the light came all the way on. After several attempts at starting the car I was afraid of starting an electrical fire due to the crackling noises I was hearing. When I got out of the car, I locked/armed the car via the key fob when I again heard very strange electrical noises and the carslowly locked (it kind of made 3 half attempts at locking).

I've had the '99 Vette for a little more that 2 years. This is the first significant issue. It has always had strange minor issues I've considered to be electrical problems...headlights quickly dim while driving then instantly to back to full strength, every now and then I get a "service tracking system, service ABS" warning (turn the car off and back on and it goes away)...car reads high oil pressure even after sensor was replaced...outside temperature reading will randomly be about 20 degrees off.

Any tips are greatly appreciate. I was on vacation for about 2 weeks. So it sat at about 40 degrees for this time. I have noticed that the above issues tend to happen more when in the winter. Possible electrical connection contraction in the cold? I have no idea.

Battery? Starter? Alternator? Headlights work. I'll check the voltage across the battery tonight after work.

Thanks a lot!

Andy
 
  #2  
Old 01-06-2009, 06:56 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Central North Carolina
Posts: 2,105
Default RE: C5 Won't Start with Electrical Noise

I doubt you have any incipient fires or serious faults too many fuses and breakers for that.

It sounds like you have a battery that is very marginal enough power to barely operate smaller, low current applications like lights, locks, but not enough for the starter.

I'd suggest removing the battery cable connections and cleaning all surfaces connection surfaces on the terminals and cable ends well, then reconnecting and trying it again (estimated 15% chance of fixing things).

Then if you still have problems, have the battery tested, and hope it is bad (I'd replace it even if the test gives it a pass, on the off chance that even the test is wrong): if it isn't the battery, you have, at best, a bad ground somewhere, which is often a bitch to find, and at worse, something really expensive.

A note: early C5s often have a battery leak that would dribble acid down onto the ECM (its directly beneath the battery, you get to it through the front passenger wheel well), and that corroded and ruined a lot of important wiring. If all else fails, inspect the wireing harness to that. But leave it to last. And yes, it is expensive to fix.

Edit PS: the "crackling noise" you hear may be one or more breakers (the body buse box located under the carpets directly under the fusebox has several) that are opeing and closeing rpaidly, which, while unusual, could happen with a battery "right on the edge." Are you sure the noise is coming from the glovebox, or maybe a foot below or so?
 
  #3  
Old 01-06-2009, 09:03 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3
Default RE: C5 Won't Start with Electrical Noise

Thanks a lot for the reply!

I measured the voltage across the battery and got 10.5 V which seems to answer the issue as you mentioned. Not enough to start the car, but enough to power the smaller electronics. Agreed?

I'm going to get a new battery tomorrow and see what happens. Hopefully this will be an easy, quick, cheap fix.

Thanks a lot,

Andy
 
  #4  
Old 01-07-2009, 06:17 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Central North Carolina
Posts: 2,105
Default RE: C5 Won't Start with Electrical Noise

Yeah, you got a bad battery for sure.
 
  #5  
Old 01-07-2009, 11:04 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3
Default RE: C5 Won't Start with Electrical Noise

Fixed.

I picked up a new battery, and after dropping a bolt followed by a socket down the black hole below the battery, I hooked it up and it started right up.

Thanks a lot!

Andy
 
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