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Discussion Starter #1
Chrysler 300 CRD 2007 UK 123k miles

My car is usually slow to turn over first start of the day. The starter motor does engage, but it turns slowly although the engine does start up after about 5-10 seconds. Most other times the starter turns at a reasonable speed although the car does still usually take 5 seconds or so to start up. I am confident the battery is fine as I bought a replacement recently and the slow turn start is still the same.

I have been reading through the forum about the small thin wire (aka exciter wire) that can cause starting problems although issues with this seem to be more around sometimes the starter doesn't turn at all, rather than a slow turn.

Anyway, I have got my car up on ramps, removed the under tray and have located the starter motor. Please can someone tell me if the exciter wire is the wire in the photos attached with the blue sleeve around it? I have pulled back the blue sleeve, but have not been able to pull off the wire, which I was expecting to have a spade connector on the end, it seems very tight so am wondering if this is not the exciter wire?

Are my slow to turn symptoms possibly due to a bad connection on this wire or is that likely to be caused by something else?

Many thanks.
starter1.jpg
starter2.jpg
 

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That looks like the "exciter" or solenoid wire. If the starter motor is turning the engine, then that connection should be OK. Assuming the main battery feed is OK, together with the battery, then it could be the starter motor itself is the problem. These motors don't last forever and are inexpensive to replace.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. Looking at more posts on this subject, it looks like problems with the exciter wire would mean the starter wouldn't turn at all, so I think you are right, most likely the starter is the issue (I had the same symptoms before and after my new battery).

I have been studying YouTube videos tonight of the best ways to remove the starter motor. Looks lime a few different methods but all involve removing some other parts to allow for the starter to come out from underneath the car.

Have you replaced one of these yourself? Any tips?

Thanks.
 

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Yes the exciter wire is a small one which on every CRD I've seen has been fitted with a spade terminal not a bolt ring fitting, i.e. it just pulls off. Though you're in the right place

The exciter wire is binary - it either works or doesn't so your car will turn over or you'll get a click and it won't turn over at all so that doesn't sound to me like your problem.

A few questions:
1. What battery did you buy and what is its rating?
2. Have you had any codes read? Possible at the age of your car one or more of the glowplugs would have gone bad.
3. Try a different way to start the car. (i) turn the ignition on but don't start the car before putting your seatbelt on; (ii) then put your belt on; (iii) then start the car and tell us what happens. The idea here is to give the glowplugs longer to heat up
 

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Have you replaced one of these yourself? Any tips?
No, I'm still on the original after nearly 15yrs, but less than 50k miles.
You might find tips somewhere on the forum, if you try a search.

Have you tried a scan for fault codes, as suggested by DGO? You may have one or more dud glowplugs or even a dud glowplug module, although that wouldn't account for the slow cranking. I used to suffer from poor cold starting, until eventually the module threw a code and since replacing the module a few years ago, no more problems.

Also, as suggested by DGO, don't be in too much of a hurry to crank after the glowplug lamp has extinguished. I usually wait for all the instrument panel lamps to go out first. You should be aware that the glowplugs may still be energised for some time after the warning lamp goes out, depending on ambient temp.

Something else I discovered: If an initial attempt at starting was unsuccessful, frequent subsequent attempts also failed. Better to go away for a few minutes and then try again. That usually worked.

See this post referring to starter removal:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you both for taking the time to reply and sharing your knowledge, much appreciated.

1) The battery is 019 Enduroline Car Battery 100Ah from Tayna Batteries. Pretty sure this one is correct for my car.
2) I only have a basic bluetooth scanner (Torque ELM327 Bluetooth OBD2 Car diagnostic Scanner Tool Reader ES360S) and this is not currently showing any error codes. Not sure if this simple tool would show glowplug errors.
3) I will keep trying the delayed staring suggestions. The slow cranking sounds like the battery is low on charge, but am fairly confident that the battery is fine. Annoyingly the slow crank is fairly intermittent but does seem to happen more when the car hasn't been used for a few days.

Thanks for the link re. the starter motor replacement. A few Youtube videos are available but these all seem to involve disconnecting various steering components to gain enough access to drop the starter out from underneath the car, so was hoping that it could be removed just by removing the retaining starter motor bolts.

I will continue to research.
 

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"Also, as suggested by DGO, don't be in too much of a hurry to crank after the glowplug lamp has extinguished. I usually wait for all the instrument panel lamps to go out first. You should be aware that the glowplugs may still be energised for some time after the warning lamp goes out, depending on ambient temp."

Totally agree with the above! I also wait for ALL the lights to go out before cranking.
Sounds much like glowplugs to me or possibly a faulty battery. The battery should come with warranty, so would take it back to have it tested.
The glowplugs don't always fail completely. They can degrade slowly over many weeks/months and may not show an error until completely dead. Have them read with a better scan tool (I have the same as yours!).
I would not do anything else until you have double checked the above.

Hope this helps.
 

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That battery sounds right. It's the same capacity and CCA as the Bosch 019 I pt in mine last year.

Do you have a battery and alternator test function on your code reader?

If not then use the easter egg screen to have a look at the battery voltage:
i. when you just have the ignition on (straight away and after a few minutes; and
ii. when the car is running
And post us the results please. Looking to use that as a check of the battery and alternator.

Have you checked (and cleaner) the earths by the battery and in the engine compartment, both by the front fuse box and between the engine and body? Trying to eliminate corroded earth connections from your problem

Otherwise as you say you might be in for a new starter at a cost of ~£100 example: Link
 

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In your first post you said that you had recently bought a new battery. Was that because starting was proving difficult?

I had a similar experience several years ago - bought a new battery, but the problem was actually the alternator working intermittently and failing to fully charge the battery. I eventually sussed the problem when the battery warning lamp came on sporadically when driving.

Try using the EVIC, as suggested by DGO, to monitor battery volts:

1, Accessory position only - should be 12.6V for fully charged battery.
2. Ignition ON - voltage drops a little - say to 11V with glowplugs energised.
3. Cranking - voltage drops to 10V, or possibly less, according to ambient temp.
If voltage drops much below 10V, then that could be your problem.
4. Engine running - 14.5V.

Even a very basic code reader should detect battery/alternator faults and glowplug/module faults.
I use the TorquePro app on my Android phone with an OBDLinkLX Bluetooth adaptor. Some of the cheap adaptors found on fleabay can be a bit hit and miss.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the excellent replies.

I haven't used the car for a couple of days, so did the voltage tests today.

1st attempt:
Ignition pos 1: 11.6v
After 2 mins: 11.6v
Ignition pos 2: 11.1v
After 1 min: 11.5v
Cranking: 9.3v (engine turned quite slowly, but fired up in about 5 secs)
Once engine running: 13.2v
After 1 min: 14.0v

2nd attempt (after leaving for 2 mins):
Ignition pos 1: 12.4v
Ignition pos 2: 12.2v
Cranking: 11.5v (engine turned ok, fired up in about in 3 secs)
Once engine running: 14.0

3rd attempt (after leaving for 45 mins):
Ignition pos 1: 12.1v
After 2 mins: 12.1v
Ignition pos 2: 11.7v
After 1 min: 12..0v
Cranking: 11.2v (engine turned ok, fired up in about in 3 secs)
Once engine running: 14.0

Drove for a couple of miles and the voltage remained at 14.0v

I can't be sure but I think I do sometimes get the slow crank scenario (as in 1st attempt) even if I have driven the car an hour or so ago. Best I keep a check on the voltage to see if there is any pattern, but the slow crank nearly always occurs on a cold start and it is a particularly slow crank if I haven't used the car for, say, a week.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

I will also plug in my basic code reader to see what I can find re. glow plugs, although I did check for fault codes a couple of weeks ago and none were found.
 

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devilmaycare I don't know what you think but 11.6v with just accessories on the ignition (1st attempt above) seems low especially for a new battery.

Unfortunately I've been out (though only about 2 miles) in mine this afternoon. I'll put a voltmeter across the battery later as a comparison.

Good news that the reading stayed at 14v so the alternator looks OK.

AB77 (sorry don't know your name) does your code reader have a battery and alternator test function? If so what does that say?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you.

I have just tried again after leaving the car 2 hours and the readings were:

After 2 hours:
Ignition pos 1: 12.0v
Ignition pos 2: 11.6v
Cranking: 11.0v (engine turned ok, fired up in about in 3 secs)
Once engine running: 14.0

I also connected my Torque (Lite) reader. Interestingly all the readings for the above were approximately 0.5v higher than those shown on the easter egg screen, so for example, when the engine was running it showed 14.5v.

I also checked again for fault codes on my reader and there were non logged on the ecu nor were there any historic fault codes, so am thinking, perhaps the glow plugs may be ok?

Struggling to find the alternator and glow plug readings on the Torque (Lite) reader but will keep looking.

The slow turnover (as in the 1st attempt above) does have the feel of a poor battery, but I just feel it is too much of a coincidence for the car to behave in the same way, before and after the new battery.

One other clue: I remember taking it for the MOT some months ago and the tester said he though the battery may need replacing as it started slowly for him when driving onto the ramps. I had only arrived in the car 10 mins earlier, but I did have my new battery already at this point. Perhaps he didn't wait for the glow plug light to go off before starting it?!

I wouldn't want you guys to be off on a wild goose chase on my behalf, I have had these symptoms for a while and they don't seem to be getting any worse, so it may be something I have to put up with, until something fails completely, then it should become clearer.
 

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Having studied your voltage readings, it looks as if your battery is not getting a full charge between start ups. Are you driving the car much? Or maybe the alternator is not working at full efficiency. Another possibility is something draining the battery when parked up - eg interior or boot light.
Were you experiencing these starting problems before changing the battery?

Do you have a battery charger? If so, see if you could try restoring the battery to 12.6 V before attempting another start.
 

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I'm concerned like devilmaycare that either:
  • your new battery isn't quite right
  • you have an electrical drain
  • your system isn't charging properly

Just put a voltmeter across my battery this morning (16 hours since the car was last used for a short run) and I'm seeing:
  • across the battery with just the boot light on - just over 12.5v
  • with ignition on, could hear the fuel pump etc - 12.1v

Have you checked the terminals on your battery and the earth points in the boot and in the engine? Thinking you might just have a connection somewhere that's corroded/dirty
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the further comments. I will check the battery earth points in the boot and engine.

After leaving the car overnight, I had the following readings:

After leaving overnight:
Ignition pos 1: 12.0v
Ignition pos 2: 11.5v
Cranking: 10.3v (engine turned ok, but sounded just a little slow, fired up in about in 3 secs)
Once engine running: 14.0 then up to 14.2v

If the battery was bad or draining, wouldn't I expect the first reading overnight of 12.0v to be lower?

I will try and use the car a bit more over the next few days and keep the voltage reader displayed on the car.

Question about the glow plugs: If one or more were not working correctly, would the engine turn slowly, as in my symptoms, or would the engine turn at normal speed but just take longer to fire up?

DGO: I am thinking that as my readings after leaving overnight are very similar to yours, the battery is not faulty or being drained from somewhere else.

Also, interesting that although I am still getting 12.0v after leaving overnight, it is dropping to 10.3v on cranking, compared to 12.0v and 11.5v yesterday after leaving for a shorter time. If the starter motor was sticking would that cause the voltage to drop a little lower?

Sorry for all the questions!
 

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After leaving overnight:
Ignition pos 1: 12.0v
Ignition pos 2: 11.5v
Cranking: 10.3v (engine turned ok, but sounded just a little slow, fired up in about in 3 secs)
Once engine running: 14.0 then up to 14.2v
These readings seem OK, but engine cranking shouldn't be unduly slow with 10.3 V, unless there is a problem with the starter motor.
If the battery was bad or draining, wouldn't I expect the first reading overnight of 12.0v to be lower?
Not necessarily, depends on what's causing the draining.
Question about the glow plugs: If one or more were not working correctly, would the engine turn slowly, as in my symptoms, or would the engine turn at normal speed but just take longer to fire up?
The latter.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Excellent, thank you.

I am going to leave the car for 2 or 3 days and check the voltage again.

Taking on board all the advice here, assuming the battery earth connections are OK and the voltage is 11 to 12v when I switch on in 2 or 3 days am leaning towards the starter motor being the problem, mainly because of the slow spinning even when the voltage drops to my minimum of 10.3v.

I will update results here in a few days.

I have looked at a few videos re. changing the starter motor, all seem to involve removing other parts, mainly involving the steering, for access so you have space to remove the starter motor....bit of nuisance!
 

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I have read the above - could be your battery isn't being charged - but you get 14 volts when running, so..........

I have a battery load tester. They cost $25 on Ebay. Super handy. I know you have a new battery; but load tester tests a fully charged battery. You can use it to "load test" and see if battery not fully charged. You can also use it to check if "drop when cranking" is normal.

It could be the starter - but first check all your connections. MOST people don't know how to check a dirty connection. I know that sounds stupid; but they don't. To do it properly, it HAS to be done under load if it is a partial (a few ohms) problem. A multimeter is inconclusive on ohms at such low readings. It will show the same reading for a couple of ohms or for a good connection (zero ohms). People understand "connected/disconnected"; but starter draws a few hundred amps. A fraction of an ohm (corroded/dirty connection) can drop a few volts, enough for drama. A multimeter will NOT show that.

What a multimeter WILL show is the voltage drop across a dirty joint. Now - starter high current leads are ALWAYS LIVE - so DON'T short it (be careful). But if you have (say) exactly 10 volts while cranking; and exact same 10 volts across battery while doing same = leads/connections are ok. If NOT - trace back and when you find a difference = THAT is where you are losing the power.

It COULD be the starter. But if you change it and STILL same; you will wish you had checked the leads/current path before you did.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A quick update after leaving the car for 3 days:

1st attempt:
Ignition pos 1: 11.9v
Ignition pos 2: 11.3v
Cranking: 9.5v (engine took a 4 or 5 secs to start, cranking sped was slowly dropping until it fired up)
Once engine running: 14.0v

2nd attempt (immediately afterwards):
Ignition pos 1: 11.8v
Ignition pos 2: 11.3v
Cranking: 10.0v (engine took a 2 or 3 secs to start, cranking speed didn't drop so much as 1st attempt)
Once engine running: 14.0v

3rd attempt (immediately afterwards):
Ignition pos 1: 11.8v
Ignition pos 2: 11.3v
Cranking: 10.0v (engine took a 2 or 3 secs to start, cranking speed didn't drop so much as 1st attempt)
Once engine running: 14.0v

Not sure what this proves really! My limited knowledge of cars suggests to me that possibly the starter brushes may be worn or sticking, but that's only because I remember similar symptoms from another car years ago.

I will keep a check on the voltage over the coming weeks to see if things change, but it does seem to be a rather intermittent problem.
 

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I suspect you're really at the stage where the next step is to remove the starter and get it checked
 
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