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It was a bit on the cold side this morning, so the discovery decided it didn't want to get up and wanted to stay at home, so I had to go in the Series, which burst into life straight away :rolleyes:

Anyway - just trying to get down to the bottom of the problem, I used the Disco all weekend did 100 miles or so over Saturday and Sunday, the last I used it was Sunday Lunchtime, Then this morning it was turning over very slow, and getting slower.

I've just been home at lunch time, and I jumped it up off the Series and it started perfectly, so I know it's the battery being a bit soft.

So the question is what's causing it, there isn't any significant drain on the system when it is left, I can leave it for days if it's warm and it will still be fine when I come back to it, it's just the cold that does it.

I've only had the disco for 10 weeks or so, but the previous owner said the battery was brand new, it looks new etc.

My gut reaction and common sense would say the battery is at fault and a new one should sort it but I don't want to go and buy a new battery just to find the same happens again.

My only other thought was the Earth Straps not being brilliant, the one that's down by the side of the battery doesn't look brill where it attaches to the chassis, but it's a bit fiddly to get to. Do you reckon that a not brilliant connection there could contribute?

I do have another possibly related fault which is that when I start the LR from cold I have to use the glow plugs (all EDC engines require them from cold) - so that bit is OK, but if the LR is warm I must start it without the glow plugs, if I put the glow plugs on it will just spin over but I'll get no fuel.

Any ideas before I try a new battery?

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The battery may be brand new and in perfect working order, but if it isn't being charged properly

it will still die.

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Only on cold mornings though,

It's lasts for weeks if we don't have a cold morning, then as soon as one comes along I can gaurantee it'll be flat, also the short 4 mile journey to work will put plenty of charge in it for my return journey this evening - so I would have thought it's charging fine - although I'll listen to any suggestions - what's my best way to check it's charging ok? I've checked with a multimeter, with the engine running it's around 14.5Volts, normally when off it's around 12.6V

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I once had a suspicious earth connection, ok that was on a 200tdi disco but i would think the theory is roughly the same and was advised to run another earth lead from the battery to engine to help it, just ran from the earth terminal on the battery to top of the engine housing beside alternator etc where there was 4 very nicely located threaded holes sitting doing nothing ( no idea what they were for) and stuck a bolt into one of them - sure helped the problem for me!

My chassis was totally rotten so simply cleaning up a new bit for earth lead seemed pointless as i reckon the brown rusty rubbish soaked in mud and odd oil leak was holding it all together and as soon as a grinder touched it would have fallen apart!!!!!!!

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what's my best way to check it's charging ok? I've checked with a multimeter, with the engine running it's around 14.5Volts, normally when off it's around 12.6V

best way to check it is what you have already done - anything over 14V and it is charging OK.

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Slow cranking on cold mornings is usually a sign of starter motor problems - worn brushes.

Les.

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Hi Les, thanks for the reply,

I only tried twice this morning so not enough to really drain the battery, I then gave up and as I was in a rush went in the series instead, but when I returned at lunch time when it was a lot warmer - all ice had melted and the sun was shining on the disco, and the battery was still flat, so I guess it points more to the battery than the starter, are the starter motors serviceable?

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Only on cold mornings though,

It's lasts for weeks if we don't have a cold morning, then as soon as one comes along I can gaurantee it'll be flat, also the short 4 mile journey to work will put plenty of charge in it for my return journey this evening - so I would have thought it's charging fine - although I'll listen to any suggestions - what's my best way to check it's charging ok? I've checked with a multimeter, with the engine running it's around 14.5Volts, normally when off it's around 12.6V

You drive to work? :blink::huh::o

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You can dismantle the starter motor, but getting the brushes is the difficult bit. My local diesel specialist also repairs starters and alternators - sometimes a repair is cheaper than buying a new one. Your brushes may just be sticking, in which case a strip, clean, and reassembly might be all that's needed. If it's the battery, then charge it up or replace it with a known good one and wait for a another frosty morning.

Les.

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You drive to work? :blink::huh::o

Yep - it's 2 miles down a steep hill, then two miles up a steep hill, I wouldn't mind the first half! I also have 22 speed bumps to go over on my way there and 22 on the way back! :rolleyes:

You can dismantle the starter motor, but getting the brushes is the difficult bit. My local diesel specialist also repairs starters and alternators - sometimes a repair is cheaper than buying a new one. Your brushes may just be sticking, in which case a strip, clean, and reassembly might be all that's needed. If it's the battery, then charge it up or replace it with a known good one and wait for a another frosty morning.

Les.

I've decided my plan - I'm going to plug the car into my Motorbike Charger each night - it's one of those optimate chargers. That should keep it topped up, then if it starts on a cold morning I know it's down to the battery

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Well I never got round to doing the optimate charger and again it was flat this morning.

I'm 99% sure it's the battery as it jumps straight up with another jumped across, there's no excessive drain on the battery and it's charging perfectly.

I tried running the jump leads across from the negative terminal to the block to give it a better earth supply and that didn't help, so it only really leaves the battery.

What is the biggest capacity battery I can fit in? Or at least what is the largest cold cranking amp battery?

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Well I never got round to doing the optimate charger and again it was flat this morning.

I'm 99% sure it's the battery as it jumps straight up with another jumped across, there's no excessive drain on the battery and it's charging perfectly.

I tried running the jump leads across from the negative terminal to the block to give it a better earth supply and that didn't help, so it only really leaves the battery.

What is the biggest capacity battery I can fit in? Or at least what is the largest cold cranking amp battery?

Not a solution to your problem but I have been keeping an eye on this thread over the past few days as I seem to be having the same problem. This morning was the first time I had to resort to jump starting off another car, and it started on the first turn of the key. I had some problems with the alternator early in the year but it seemed to right its self as i have had no starting problems since, until the cold weather came.

Would be interested in hearing if you resolve the problem in any way.

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I also have 22 speed bumps to go over on my way there and 22 on the way back! :rolleyes:

Hmmm.... So obviously you go the same way to work as you come back?

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I have also had the same problem of non starting after a cold night, I checked my alternator which seems fine as it delivers 14.2v, then had my battery tested at a local garage. Its on its last legs.......

Thanks to Rejo for the battery !!!!!

Cheers,

Neil

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Hmmm.... So obviously you go the same way to work as you come back?

Yes - just emphasising the fact that 44 speed bumps a day is too many, if I go home for lunch I go over 88.

Anyway - just purchased a new battery this morning so that'll be going on tonight and I'll find out if I wasted my money or not! :lol:

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Sounds fun - I had considered a snow plough for the front of the series, see what that does to the bumps :lol:

96a4_1.JPG

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Well it started perfectly this morning, although that's no gaurantee that it's fixed as it seemed a lot warmer this morning.

It did however seem to spin over a lot faster than it's ever done.

I'll have to give it a few weeks of testing before I know for sure.

Also I've got one of those optimate conditioning chargers, so I put that on the old disco battery and it's got an indicator to say how good the battery is (fairly basic - red light=knackered - green light=ok) and it's stayed on the green light.

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I've come across this problem on many old rotten discoverys that kill batteries. If the earth strap is corroded then the starter motor draws more curent as the voltage drops. It's a visious cycle of events that ends up eating batterys in cold temperatures. Check your cranking voltage can't remenber the specific voltage that it should drop to thinks it's 11.5 on a standard battery may be others may know or I check one of mine.

If you want to put a bigger battery in then I used a tractor battery not sure of the code but it fitted. Just!!

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Had a similar problem of the engine turning over slowly on cold mornings with my Disco. The battery was brand new and alternator was fine. I was about to have a go at the starter motor when someone suggested to me that it could be a weak earth. I fixed an additional earth lead from the battery direct to the engine where there are four bolt holes for those who have air conditioning, and it starts perfectly even in the coldest conditions. Total cost about £3.99. :D

Jules

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Had a similar problem of the engine turning over slowly on cold mornings with my Disco. The battery was brand new and alternator was fine. I was about to have a go at the starter motor when someone suggested to me that it could be a weak earth. I fixed an additional earth lead from the battery direct to the engine where there are four bolt holes for those who have air conditioning, and it starts perfectly even in the coldest conditions. Total cost about £3.99. :D

Jules

Hi,

I seem to be having a simlar problem, but to be honest I put it down to weak starter motor, and was planning on changing it soon. But for the sake of a couple of quid, I might as well try the earth thing. Did you just put a lead direct from the neg terminal of the battery to the engine?

Cheers

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Doh, looks like I wasted my money on the new battery!

It was nice and cold this morning, and it didn't want to start. I connected the spare battery up via jump leads and it instantly wizzed over and started.

Whilst it was idling on the drive I thought I'd check the voltage and it was only giving 13.85V instead of the normal 14.5Vish, but I'm fairly sure the charging circuit is fine as I'll leave it all day now and it'll start fine tonight.

So these are the bits I've worked out:

It's only ever first thing in the morning when it's been quite cold.

The battery appears to be charging fine

The vehicle can be left for a long time in the warm weather without draining (most I left it was 6 days)

On cold mornings the battery doesn't appear to be dead - central locking is fine, dash bulbs are bright, starter will keep turning (albeit slower than normal)

As soon as a second battery is connected up by jump leads directly to the battery terminals, the starter turns much quicker and it fires straight up.

I tried leaving a jump lead connected from the negative terminal to the engine, to act as a temporary earth - this didn't change anything.

I tested for a drain on the battery using my multimeter, and there was no significant drain, but I have since tested again and switched the headlights on and there was still no significant drain! So I think my old multimeter might be showing signs of age, everything seems to function correctly for everything else though.

When I connect the 2nd battery to jump the vehicle it does not spark when I connect the leads

When I connected the new battery (after removing the old battery) there was quite a bright blue spark as I connected the second lead.

The jump leads I've got aren't great so they can't be letting the full potential of the 2nd battery through.

So my possibilities are:

The starter motor is on it's way out, and requires more amps on a cold day?? How can I test this, what can be done to fix it? Is it likely? It'll start fine in the evening even if it's -2 again by the time I start it later.

Alternator?? Any comments on that one?

Bad Earth - As I say I've left a jump lead on as a temporary earth and it made no difference.

Things I'll test tomorrow morning

I'll check the voltage in the battery before starting the vehicle tomorrow.

My only other thoughts on it are the Fuel pump is EDC, what happens if the starter motor is drawing all the current, so the fuel injection pump doesn't get any power - will it stop delivering fuel?

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I still think starter motor. Wiring two batteries is still 12v but higher cranking amps, so that's why it spins over ok. Not being an electrical wizz I could be entirely wrong. :(

Les.

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I still think starter motor. Wiring two batteries is still 12v but higher cranking amps, so that's why it spins over ok. Not being an electrical wizz I could be entirely wrong. :(

Les.

So am I right that to test this my best bet would be to take the battery off tonight and put it on charge in the garage, then when I get up (providing it's frosty still) put the battery back onto the disco and if you are correct it won't start still and I would still need the second battery to boost it up?

I guess that would then prove that it's down to the starter or the supply to the starter (Eg bad earth)

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Mine used to do exactly the same when it had EDC on it and now having only changed to a manual pump (ie same starter motor, battery and wiring) will start almost instantly regardless of the outside temperature. I did find that the the fuel pump was 1 tooth out on the cambelt when I removed the old EDC pump.

I am not trying to say that yours is not suffering from a lazy starter motor or bad earth it is just my experience.

I did wonder when mine was still EDC wether they take longer to start because the airflow meter needs to see air flow to tell the ECU to put fuel in but never got round to investigating (I was going to try manually opening the flap in the airflow meter and then cranking the engine). I may of course be talking complete rubbish.

Hope you sort it out soon (But reading the recent threads about issues with EDC more and more convinces me I did the right thing by scrapping it.)

Pete.

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