Register a free account today to become a member!
Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Starting Problems.


Ive had countless problems in the past with starting my 1997 1.2 Clio.

I have had 4 batteries on the car now (latest being a heavy duty one), and each one seemed to solve the problem, for a few months.

Today, I tried to start the car with the immobiliser on, it didnt start (thankfully), so I zapped the central locking twice, to turn the immobiliser off, and would it start? Nope.
I waited 10 seconds on ignition for the auto choke to start and still nothing - Very bad.
I ended up being jump started... Ok, I travel 3 miles down the road - Turn the engine off... does it start? yep..
First time? Yep...

So, What is it? Alternator not charging battery properly? Duff Batteries? Duff StartMotor? Duff Anything else?

any idea would be GREAT.. Ive had this for a long time now, and sometimes I dread getting in the car incase it wont start again.

Thanks for any help or pointers,
  Williams 2, STi N12

One common fault on these, if it is the DIET sort is the lead that goes to the coil/solenoid. Take it off and give it a good clean. See if that works. My girlfriend has the same problem of not starting her 1.2 clio, every time she comes home with oil/muck on her hands I know what has happened.
  BMW 320d Sport

Starter problems are sometimes down to heat getting into the starter motor after youve driven for a while. Dont know whether it applies to you. If it does it on cold starts then you can eliminate heat problems at least.

Its happened twice after a long run... and a lot during the winter months.

Now got a heavy duty battery... and Ive noticed its usually failed after Ive been driving a bit.

What worries me is the fact that its usually triggered if I try and start the car with the immobiliser on..

I had been driving around a bit before I tried to start the car again... Maybe it is the heat problem.

+ Ill have a look at the cables. I had them out a few weeks back to add a rev counter (wire had to be put directly into the DIS)...



Could it be a cold start sensor? Ive changed mine twice now. Symptons were not being able to start the engine when cold, but bumpstarted fine. No problems after getting a bit of heat into it.

Just a thought!


Try using ur spare keys. mine had a similar problem and was caused by a intermittant fault of the "plip" in the key.

Started not starting again, last night when it was cold. Drove it 5 miles, and then stopped it, started it again - started sweet as a nut then.

Ive noticed it makes a large clunk on starting sometimes.. which leads me to believe I have a lazy starter.

It does sound like the battery is dead when it goes wrong, but its got 12.78v.. and its all charging nicely. I jump started it off of a powerpack last night, and it fired up, but very slowly and was very "stuttery" to start with - If I had used a Car though with the engine running, I think it would have fired up like it should with no hesitation. Would a lazy starter do this?

Im going to check all the leads sometime today.. and clean them all up I think, on Roamers advice.


How can you tell if thats going?

Any checks or is it something you just replace and hope it works? :)

Also, if it is the sensor, would that make it sound like the battery is dead on starting and not start? Engine turns, but very very slowly... works great now though and did this morning too. The battery was at about 12.78v last night when I checked it after the none-starting, so I know its not that.

Reading fault finding in the haynes manual, it does seem to suggest that the problem lies with the starter motor - maybe its time to get a new one - Original ones are cheap, but I dunno whether to get the heavy duty, super one from somewhere. :confused:



Just a bit more info.

I got multimeter on the battery.. With ignition on, its 12.58v.. with lights on (dipped beams) it drops to 12.2v (ish).. On starting engine, it drops to 11.1v (ish)... Started very nicely though..

Any ideas? Is the starter drawing too much? I would imagine if it is, its needing a mega current to start it sometimes.. hence my heavy duty battery aint cutting it - meaning, it will start when being jumped or off an additional powerpack.. which it is doing.

  Clio 1.6 16V

Anything above 12V with lights etc on with engine off suggests that the battery is OK and your alternator is doing the biz in between times. Would expect the voltage to dip below 12V during start. In cold conditions the starter can draw three figure Amps on initital cold startup, less when hot.

In your second last post you said that the starter was turning very slowly, also on another you say it is making a "clunking sound" IMHO I think this all relates to starter/solenoid or bad connections between there and the battery terminals. Other sensors mentioned will not affect the speed that the engine turns over during startup, but will influence the running of the engine when it eventually gets going.

I would start from the battery terminals and work back through each connection to the starter, checking contact cleanliness (clean with steel wool)and tightness. Dont forget to check all the mian earth connections between the engine and bodywork as these form the current return paths for all the main electrical functions.

A faulty/sticking selenoid can also cause intermittent starting circuit connections when hot or cold. Replacement starters normally come with new solenoids as this throws the mechanical Bendix cog and makes the high current startup circuit during starting (commanded from the low-current ignition switch)

Has your Clio covered a good mileage or been used a lot for short stop/start journeys? This may also stack up against the above theory!

Hope 2003 starts off better than your Clio M8!

Thanks Mate.

Lots of short journeys, yes. Im very lazy - travel 0.1 miles at a time, quite a bit.. just round the corner - LOL!

Lazy starter seems very likely. The clunking comes when the engine JUST turns over. Once the car is started, its perfect. I think Ill definetly check all the wiring and connections from battery to the starter.. get ye olde wire brush out.

52,000 mileage wise, so not a lot.. its an R Reg (1997).

Thanks Flying Scotsman!

  honda accord 2.4 type s

If its the cold idle sensor, the battery will try to spark the rest of the engine but nothing will happen (as though the car is trying to start but cant). My problem occured when cold and because the sensor wasnt working, not enough petrol was getting into the engine, thus nothing to "spark" up. Obivously when the engine was warm, the problem wouldnt occur!

Hope this helps (bit too frazzled to explain the technical stuff properly!!)

THANKS FOR THE ADVICE PEEPS, I had problems starting mine when I was down southend last sat nite.I thought it mite be the battery,but the lights sill we had to bump it.:(

Well, mine happens when engine is hot too (well, at least it did in the summer).. which again, points to the damn starter motor.. Its perfect now though, its just VERY odd times when it lets me down.

Happy New Year!