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Renault master won't start

Discussion in 'Automotive Electronics' started by camerart, May 6, 2014.

  1. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    Hi,

    My Renault master 2004 diesel, won't start. When I turn the key the battery voltage doesn't flicker on a meter and the cigarette lighter socket stays ok, but the radio and blower fan stop. I can hear an automatic click click from the box under the bonnet, at the right side.

    Has anyone got any ideas what's causing this.

    The van is the same as the vauxhaul movano.

    Cheers Camerart.
     
  2. JimB

    JimB Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Worn brushes in the starter motor.

    As a first diagnostic test, try giving the starter motor a sharp tap and then try starting.

    JimB
     
  3. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    Hi Jim,

    A couple of taps, and it tried to start, but sounded as if the battery is flat. I'll change the battery, and try again.

    Cheers, Camerart.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    Hi Jim,

    New battery, plenty tapping, no start just clicks.

    Camerart
     
  6. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Probably need a new starter motor then?.
     
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  7. picbits

    picbits Well-Known Member

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    Make sure the van isn't in gear, turn on the ignition then short the large terminal on the starter (one that goes to the battery) to the smaller terminal (feed from the ignition switch) - the starter should turn. If it doesn't and just clicks then it sounds like either a dead battery (again) or starter.

    Also try putting the car in third and rocking it, take out of gear and try to start again.
     
  8. JimB

    JimB Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    The quick answer is yes, new starter motor.

    The longer answer, if you have a few tools and a sense of adventure - repair the starter motor.
    At a quick guess, the brushes are very worn and not making good contact any more.
    If you are lucky the commutator will just need a good clean, rather than skimming in a lathe.
    New brushes £10
    New starter motor £200 ?

    JimB
     
  9. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    I have a few tools but slowly loosing my sense of adventure, and would like to repair it. Can I do it from the bonnet or do I need to remove the radiator? I've done it in the past but there was more room 'in those days'

    Before I start! Can you explain why the radio and heater blower stall, when the starter is turned, with no load from the starter motor?

    Cheers, Camerart.
     
  10. picbits

    picbits Well-Known Member

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    Often the ignition switch disconnects other stuff when starting. Sometimes it doesn't

    Sometimes the starter motor takes so much current from the battery that there isn't enough juice left to power the other peripherals.

    Have you tried rocking it in gear ? Sometimes a starter motor can get stuck on the flywheel.
     
  11. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    Do you mean the two copper terminals in the photo?

    I don't think I can rock it, it's in a rut in the garden, but I doubt it was running, and the first time I tried again it clicked, but no effort.

    Camerart.
     

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  12. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    Do you mean the two copper terminals in the photo?

    I'll turn the motor tomorrow, but I doubt it's jammed, as the voltage on the battery doesn't dip.

    Camerart.
     
  13. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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  14. picbits

    picbits Well-Known Member

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    Yup - a quick jab with a screwdriver normally does the job - we used to do the a lot when I worked as a mechanic (even had a small button on the end of a lead for the purpose) to turn the engine without having to mess with the ignition switch.

    Just don't allow whatever you're jabbing it with to touch the outer casing or other part of ground.

    Before you remove the motor if you're thinking of replacing it, get a medium sized hammer and give it a few good sharp taps if the above doesn't do anything.

    *Edit - just looking at that picture, it looks like there might be a third terminal.

    Basically there should be a small thin wire which leads to the loom and a large thick wire which goes to the battery. The solenoid is exactly that - just a big relay which brings the live terminal to the starter "in a hurry" - when energised you get the full current flow through the rest of the starter.
     
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  15. JimB

    JimB Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Impossible to say, I have no knowledge of the Renault Master.
    I base my diagnosis of a faulty starter motor on generic knowledge of motor vehicles.
    The last time I did this was on my late lamented Suzuki Vitara (magic little vehicle for what it was).

    Often, electrical items which are un necessary for the engine starting process are turned off to minimise electrical load, so leaving the battery to give all its enerigies to the starter motor.
    From time to time I have seen people with no technical knowledge, turn on the lights (including headlights) before starting a car in the depths of winter, and wondering why it does not start!

    JimB
     
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  16. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    I also used to do it many years ago, and you are slowly reminding me. I think when I did it, I shorted the larger wires with more current, but understand about the smaller wire, I'll look for it. Could it be that there are only two wires, the red power one and the smaller trigger one, with the body of the engine being the gnd?

    Cheers, Camerart.
     
  17. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    J,
    I accept your valuable knowledge, and will have a go at changing it. I'll first try the shorting test, if I can figure it out without too much damage.

    I can understand the logic in switching off eas much as poss, before starting. I also notice the lights on start too, not wise:)

    I'll try to find out the normal technique of changing it. Where's the Haynes manual!!

    cheers, Camerart
     
  18. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    Shorting the cables, is ringing more of a bell now. In my mind I keep seeing a switch with two large wires. This is before solenoids!! I think it had a cable to the dashboard? We used to jam a screwdriver between these and short the switch, which led to the starter. I know you don't mean this, and I'll check for the third wire.

    Camerart.
     
  19. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    I've spent today rocking the motor, it's clear! Then lots of tests, that have been suggested. In the end I connected the large red wire on the solenoid to the other contact going to the motor, and there was a spark, but not enough to start and engine, and it didn't move, so I assume it's the motor. I don't know if this is a symptom of brushes or coils?

    I started to remove it, and there's no space, in fact I'm not sure if there's even space to pass the motor through.

    Cheers, Camerart.
     
  20. picbits

    picbits Well-Known Member

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    You say you replaced the battery - don't discount receiving a duff battery from the supplier - often they sit on the shelves for months.

    Worth checking the battery voltage while attempting to turn over the engine - if it is ok, then read the voltage between the live wire on the solenoid and battery ground.

    Lastly double check any engine grounds as a failed ground strap can also cause this kind of issue.
     
  21. Mickster

    Mickster Well-Known Member

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    The solenoid on the starter has 3 connections, with the starter body being ground via a grounding strap to the chassis.(as picbits posted whilst I was typing).
    The two large connections are for battery +ve supply and the starter motor +ve supply.
    The third, smaller, connection is the trigger for the solenoid. The solenoid is also grounded through the starter body.
    Shorting the smaller connection to the battery +ve supply connection should turn the starter motor.
    If it doesn't turn, but just clicks, it's most likely that the solenoid contacts have burnt out, or are very dirty. (or a very poor contact on the ground strap)
    If it doesn't click, it's most likely that the solenoid coil winding is open-circuit, or the ground strap is open circuit.
     

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