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my car wont start, randomly.

ALEXIS_DH

Tirelessly Awesome
Jan 30, 2003
5,364
159
Lima, Peru, Peru
background information. hyundai santa fe v6 4wd 2007 with 55k miles and no funny stories on the car (unmolested drivetrain, no flooding, never crashed etc). it is not throwing any codes.
the car does not come with an inmobilizer/gps.

a few months ago, my car would randomly fail to start.
since i had replaced the battery a few months before that, i called the place where i bought the battery and had it replaced under warranty.
6 months after the new battery was replaced, i started to get the same problem again. over the last 4 months, this has happened to me about 5 times.

every now and then, i would try to start the car (it could be with a cold or warm engine) and the car wont start.
the battery appears to be ok. i could put the key in, turn it to ON, and all the electronics (horn, odo display, radio, lights, lights, wipers, windows) would work perfectly... but as soon as I turned the key to START, the car would blackout without the slightest sound from the starter.

after this, no electrical device would work, and the car wont start. there would be no lights, radio, nor anything..... it would be as if i had unplugged the battery.
sometimes, after a 2-3 minutes the car would "magically" start again; on the 5th or 6th time i turned the key.

the 2 times it did not start after 2-3 minutes.
i had to leave the car at home overnight, but it would magically start without any isssues the next morning; as if nothing had happened.

the 4th time, this happened to me, i opened the hood, disconnected the battery, hooked it back again; and the car started without any issues.

i have not been able to duplicate this issue. it happens randomly, and i doubt it has to do with the ignition switch; since it seems not only the starter wont work, but everything electric seems to shut down for good; only to come back to life a few minutes (or hours) later.
 
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dan-o

Turbo Monkey
Jun 30, 2004
5,381
1,500
Bad ground wire.
All your epic shuttle runs loosened it up. Remove. Clean mating surfaces, refasten, profit.
 

Casey-Ryan

Monkey
Jan 2, 2012
143
1
Gloucester, MA
Either ground issue or it may be that there is a draw coming from somewhere in the car. On some of the older models I have seen lights draw power with a faulty fuse or even a contaminated door switch which still draws power from the system. Get out your volt meter and test light if re-positioning the ground doesn't work for you.
 

DirtyMike

Turbo Fluffer
Aug 8, 2005
14,300
887
My own world inside my head
Bad ground wire.
All your epic shuttle runs loosened it up. Remove. Clean mating surfaces, refasten, profit.
possible, but with what he is describing sounds further up the line, i was actually thinking the main connection on the power distribution center, specially how just removing the cables and back on gives a temporary cure

Either ground issue or it may be that there is a draw coming from somewhere in the car. On some of the older models I have seen lights draw power with a faulty fuse or even a contaminated door switch which still draws power from the system. Get out your volt meter and test light if re-positioning the ground doesn't work for you.
It is not a draw on this one, note that simply removing and reinstalling the cables gives a temp cure.




Again for the op, next time it does this, just shake the battery cables a bit without removing them, if that also allows it to start that tells you it is closer to that side of the system
 

ALEXIS_DH

Tirelessly Awesome
Jan 30, 2003
5,364
159
Lima, Peru, Peru
Bad ground wire.
All your epic shuttle runs loosened it up. Remove. Clean mating surfaces, refasten, profit.
am going to try this and dirtymike suggestions later tonight.

my car is loose and rattly as hell from all the epic shuttling. it would make sense something got loose.

now, i have only tried the "unplug and plug battery" trick once; so i dont know if that actually fixed the problem, or it was one of those "3 minutes later it comes back life" times.
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
9,593
1,947
AK
Probably one on the neighbours brats under the hood.
Haha. Eureka!

(my old neon somehow got a corroded wiring harness to the spark plugs, was making me crazy trying to figure out why the car was acting up and sometimes not starting)
 
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DirtyMike

Turbo Fluffer
Aug 8, 2005
14,300
887
My own world inside my head
am going to try this and dirtymike suggestions later tonight.

my car is loose and rattly as hell from all the epic shuttling. it would make sense something got loose.

now, i have only tried the "unplug and plug battery" trick once; so i dont know if that actually fixed the problem, or it was one of those "3 minutes later it comes back life" times.
Batteries do not just come back to life, what is happening is when you removed the battery cables you pulled the bad connection enough so it made contaact, also when you are trying to start it and it is not working, you are heating and arcing the poor connection, when the temp changes at the connection you are doing the same thing etc etc
FTFY.


As has been noted, it's a bad connection somewhere. My money is also on distributor.
No distributor o. This one if i am remembering correctly, but also the power is going away completely, the engine is not spinning at all ad a distributor wont do that
 

Da Peach

Outwitted by a rodent
Jul 2, 2002
12,685
2,109
North Van
When was the last time you tried it now? It's probably then by now, so you should probably try again.
 

ALEXIS_DH

Tirelessly Awesome
Jan 30, 2003
5,364
159
Lima, Peru, Peru
oh yeah... it was the battery. unplugged the battery, cleaned the conectors and fastened really good.
never happened again in the next year; then I sold the car.