Cold Weather Starting

#1
Hi everyone, I've not posted on here much before but here is my situation...
I am up in North Michigan, visiting family, and I'm trapped by the winter!
I have a 1998 Mitsubishi Montero 3.5; I removed the alarm system some 5 years ago and bypassed the starter interrupt. About 2 weeks ago, I had a mechanic replace the turn signal switch and timing belt. Car drove fine all the way up here, then sat for two days. Went to start it, battery was dead; I jumped the car, but no luck. Left it charging on a trickle charger for 24 hours, still won't start; and I have plenty of battery (headlights on for an hour, etc) left.

I have noticed a clicking/ticking noise from the passenger wheel well when I try to start. I also noticed the radio keeps asking for the security code when I try to start. I checked the alarm bypass, and it seems like it is still alright. I check the wiring to the starter, and it appears to be fine.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what could be causing the problem?
 
#3
No, it does not turn over. As soon as I turn the key it draws all the power, but no turn over. I'm going to check the battery tomorrow with a tool, and the starter, but my gut tells me these aren't the problem. I have very little cold weather experience, so any suggestions would be helpful.
 

Salonika

Monterror Pilot
#4
Disconnect and clean your battery terminals. Then get underneath and carefully loosen, wiggle and retighten the lead to the starter. Be careful with the starter leads, they are fragile. Also keep the positive battery lead disconnected while you mess with starter underneath. . If corrosion got bad enough, coupled with cold weather, you could have a good battery but the juice can't get through to the starter. Also check your starter relay.
 
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#6
The battery is not the problem, if it was the boosting would have started it. Probably a starter cable connection or bad starter/solenoid.
If it is a standard you can push start it to get home or to a garage.
 

DanielDD

Vehicle Masochist
#7
Your problem is interesting. The jump/boost from another battery(assuming you used jumper cables from another vehicle)should have started it, even when your battery is dead. The clicking you hear from the passenger side is the solenoid on the starter as it is on that side of the engine. If you now have a fully charged battery and still it doesn't turn over, then it quite possibly is the starter. I would tell you to take a hammer and hit the starter a couple of times - as this will sometimes dislodge the stator (could be the rotor) enough to get it off its bad spot and sometimes start the vehicle, but the starter has a shield, so this will do you no good.

Last thing I would try before pointing my finger at the starter is to try and turn the crankshaft with a 21 or 22mm socket - JUST to make sure the engine isn't seized. IF its not seized and your battery connections are good, then I would be looking at the starter as the culprit.

Best of luck to you!
 
#8
Thank you everyone for your answers, greatly appreciated. Turns out the problem was a frozen battery - when I pulled it out to test, I found it bulged at the sides and cracked. It worked well enough to hold a charge, but wasn't putting out enough amperage to start. A friend brought over a truck battery and it started/ran right off. I got a replacement battery today from Sam's Club and it started right up.