E36 dead as a dead thing

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by Palfrem, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Palfrem

    Palfrem MB Enthusiast

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    Here's a funny one.

    Took the E36 for a spin on Saturday - all is well.

    Put it in the garage, definitely no lights on, door closed, etc.

    Came to start it today - nothing!

    Not even the click of doom from the solenoid.

    It's a newish battery and according to the needle on the charger the battery has lots of charge.

    Checked all the fuses.

    The whole car is dead.

    Any ideas chaps?
     
  2. renault12ts

    renault12ts MB Club Veteran

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    Must be an earth?
     
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  3. brucemillar

    brucemillar MB Enthusiast

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    I second Renault here. Try the battery earth first (common culprit) then the main body earth.

    Sent from my iPhone using MBClub UK
     
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  4. Ted

    Ted MB Enthusiast

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    I third what R12ts and Bruce say.
    Time to shell out on an incredibly expensive testlight from Halfords and you will almost certainly nail it down.
    Don't use a DMM for this or you will be following it up the garden path for some time to come. :)
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    Palfrem

    Palfrem MB Enthusiast

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    OK chaps. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check in the morning now
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Palfrem

    Palfrem MB Enthusiast

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    All the obvious earth leads from battery to bodywork are in place and solid.

    Breakdown service coming out around lunchtime
     
  7. d w124

    d w124 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    is it cranking at all or just dead?
     
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  8. OP
    OP
    Palfrem

    Palfrem MB Enthusiast

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    Completely dead.

    Not even headlights, radio or courtesy light when connected to the battery charger

    Fuse somewhere ?
     
  9. brucemillar

    brucemillar MB Enthusiast

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    Does the car have an OVP Relay? This would normally be mounted behind the battery (a black plastic bendy cover) and have two fuses mounted on the top. That could cause this issue if it has blown the relay or a fuse(s) This is two minute check and very easy to locate.

    Next..

    Disconnect the earth from the battery and check the voltage across the terminals. It would be unlikely to be a fuse (I could be wrong) as I am not aware of any fuse in the live from the battery and that is where your issue has to be as you have absolutely no power at all?

    You could simply have a dead battery that is going closed or open circuit when it gets a load applied - hence I say try it with the car and the charger disconnected to see what it has stored. It should read 12.2VDC Any lower and it may struggle to crank the car but should give you lights and a clunk from the starter.

    No voltage only gives two (realistic) choices..

    1) Dead battery
    2) Broken circuit (usually an earth)

    Remote possibility is that something has fallen across a feed and is shorting the entire thing out. Have you lost any spanners?

    Or.. Somebody has fitted a kill switch to the battery live or earth leads.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
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  10. grober

    grober MB Master

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    You need to test the battery voltage when disconnected from the car with a meter. Sounds as if its dead. Frequent cause is a shorted diode/s in the alternator.
     
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  11. OP
    OP
    Palfrem

    Palfrem MB Enthusiast

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    Breakdown man been and gone.

    Diagnosed one dead battery. It's only 14 months old (Bosch) from ECP

    Anyway, took said battery and receipt to local ECP and they swapped it with no problem.

    Fittted it and vroom. Alles in ordnung.

    Booked in for service and MOT on Friday - fingers crossed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
  12. grober

    grober MB Master

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    With everything switched off- wait a few minutes then disconnect the battery earth strap and with a meter connected in series across the said broken circuit [ observing polarity and on your highest amp setting first] -- then switch down the meter ranges till it registers --- measure the current drain. There will always be some [from the clock for example] Any excessive current would indicate a current drain to earth somewhere. Drains can be from anywhere--door wiring and interior/boot lights staying on are favourites
    W124 battery drain at rest - PeachParts Mercedes ShopForum
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
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  13. OP
    OP
    Palfrem

    Palfrem MB Enthusiast

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    I don't posses a (functioning) meter. Discovered this yesterday!

    Any recommendations from Maplin, eBay, perhaps

    Don't really want to spend out for a fab one, equally don't want junk either.


    EDIT - BLIMEY! Just looked on eBay, didn't realise how cheap they'd become. Out of touch (again)
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
  14. grober

    grober MB Master

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    LOTS OUT THERE
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/ULTRICSĀ®-D...=1493216387&sr=8-3&keywords=digital+voltmeter

    They are all much the same at the cheap end but if you can see one up close check the quality of the leads/lead connections/probes and maybe display size if your sight isn't so good.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
  15. Ted

    Ted MB Enthusiast

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    Just a reminder for anyone testing these sort of things in the future.
    A voltmeter is used to check voltage. Due to its high input impedence (a good thing) it is crap at showing if there is any 'ooomph' behind it.
    A testlight is a better tool for checking to see if a circuit is live as it actually draws some current (but not TOO much)
    An ammeter as Grober says is connected in series and measures current. Great for looking for errant current drains, or confirming that a circuit isn't overloaded.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
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  16. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    Some of the 'budget' multi-meters do have a 20A (rather than 10A) current range, which is handy if you can find one.
     
  17. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    Apart from clamp meters of course, which just go around a cable rather than having to be inserted into the circuit :)

    But DC ones start at around Ā£70 so not for everyone, plus of course they're more accurate at higher currents. Handy things though.
     
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