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Issue I Can't Figure Out

1490 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Trakka
Hi, I have a 2000 Elantra 4 cyl. 122k and well maintained. Over the last couple days I have had several issues with it. Here's the basics:

1. 3 days ago out of the blue, the car won't start. After putting a battery tester to it - I find it's fine, yet the car is acting as if it's simply dead. Connections are good, and if you try starting it 10 or so times - 1 time it will almost turn over the rest of the time nothing happens (like it's dead). So I put a battery charger on it (just in case) still nothing, I try a quick high amp jump start, each time I try a high amp quick start it sounds as if it's close to starting, but won't start. This is where I get confused... If you connect jumper cables to it and a running car - it instantly starts every time. Just to make sure my batter tester & charger is up to snuff, I leave the lights on my Jeep overnight and kill the battery. The next day, the battery is dead, jeep won't start, tester shows it's dead, and the charger re-charges it. So I eliminated faulty equipment as an excuse.

Ok, that's one odd thing - next:

2. Once started it runs fine, no check engine light, nothing strange - it works just as always. However, each time you turn it off, you must jump it with jumper cables; chargers will not do it (I even pulled out my other charger and tried it). Once I had it started, I took it out for a spin to see if I could find any signs or symptoms of the problem. It drove the same way it did before this problem started. After driving it around for 20-30 mins at various speeds and several stop and goes, nothing seemed unusual. Did the same thing yesterday and still nothing unusual - besides needing to jump it. This afternoon, I had it started again while trying to figure out what's going on with it and out of the blue (while idling) it dies. Jump it again and it starts right up. I left the thing on in park for around 30 mins and it never stalled out again. Once I checked everything I knew to check for, I was going to park it for today. I reversed out from where it was and as soon as I put it in drive it died. This time nothing will start it.

I've had the car for several years (2nd owner at 62K) and this is quite unusual. I have had several small, petty issues but nothing major. Is there anything I should check for? If anyone is thinking starter related - I don't think that's it for 2 reasons. 1: the starter is less then 3 months old. 2: it's been tested at a local autozone the day all this first started. I'm thinking or actually guessing electrical and/or sensor problem, but that's just a guess. Now it's completely dead, will not crank, and no life in it at all. Radio, lights and everything else still works as if the battery is fine, which it is, but it won't start.

I'm all out of ideas and really have no clue on what to try next. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
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Hyundais have a problem with battery cable connections. They rely on the screw threads for connections, instead of making contact with the body metal. The threads rust and....VOILA! Lot's of weird problems.

If it was my car, the first thing I would do is remove both the negative and positive battery cables, clean up all the connections and reinstall.
Hi, and thanks for the reply.

I probably should have mentioned it already but when all this first happened (now 4 days ago) I thought for sure it was a connection problem. I replaced the connections with brand new connectors cleaned the wires, just about everything I could think of to ensure a solid connection. After all that, I'm still getting the same problems.

Earlier this morning I went out and tried starting it again, no luck. It shows no signs of turning over, no noises, nothing. Since reading your reply, I also tried (just for the sake of trying) disconnecting the battery cables and hooking them up to my jeep battery (a battery I know has no issues) and also directly connecting the wires to the charger/quick start jumper. Nothing is giving it any signs of life. Everything that uses that battery still is functional. The lights, windows, radio, horn - everything still works as if nothing is wrong. Charger shows fully powered battery, but when you turn the vehicle on, you get nothing. Based on yesterday, if you try several times eventually you will get a glimmer of hope when out of the blue it will make a noise and sound like a dead battery, if you try it some more, out of the blue it will almost turn over. Today I tried it about 30 times and got 1 split second of a noise sounding like a weak turn over of the motor. The rest of the time, no noise at all like it's completely dead.

I'm having a friend come over to run a diagnostic scan - I guess we'll find out if any codes come back, though the check engine like and all other warning lights haven't come on. My hunch is a sensor somewhere is bad - but in all honesty I really have no clue. I also thought maybe an ignition switch or fuse, so today I'll look more into those options.

Thanks again for the reply - any other ideas?
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Did you physically completely remove the wires the car, or just change the connections at the battery? The battery connectors are not the problem, it's the connections at the body and other.
Hello templit.

You don't mention whether it is a manual or auto.

Manuals won't start unless the clutch is depressed fully. The switch on the pedal may be loose or suspect. Check it. (My floor mat sometimes slides forward and prevents the switch being activated when I depress the clutch).

Good hunting!


Andrew :thumbsup:
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