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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all!
Couldn't find this particular issue through searching, but hoping someone ran into it or maybe I overlooked something.
Oct. 2018, late at night, my smart randomly just decided it wouldn't start while sitting on a parking lot while some guy high on.... something... was milling about. Great timing! Turn key, nothing but relay click. Let it sit overnight, tried again, and then attempted a bump start. Not in enough shape and not enough of a hill, so that failed. So had it towed. Got to the mechanic and the sucker started right up without a hitch after it went on the diagnostics machine. Started every time since... until last night. This time it tried to start for about 1 second, then nothing. Exact same symptoms as before. But this time I managed to bump start it as I happened to be on a nice hill, thank goodness. Parked on a hill again at my next building just to be safe... repeat. Got it home around midnight and parked it. Checked after an hour, Relay click. Went out this afternoon, Started up like normal like the day it was made twice in a row. Took advantage of the situation and I rolled it up on ramps, cleaned the contacts on the starter (didn't look bad at all, surprisingly) and reassembled. Started again and went on a drive.

Would this be a failing solenoid symptom that I should get on top of? Or does my car now have some sort weird annoying random glitchy hiccup? I find it odd that it worked perfectly for over a year and a half, hiccuped again, and is suddenly fine again (for the moment at least). There's something there, I just don't know what.
 

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If start with thoroughly cleaning the battery terminals and putting some grease on them. Check the grounds as well. Also a battery load test just in case it's dying.
I'm guessing 453 with a manual?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh! Where's my manners. 2009 451. Had it since it was new. 171k miles. Shows how long it has been that I've been on here! I completely forgotten about the new model.
The terminals on the battery looked quite clean whenever I disconnected it. The positive looked okay as well. It's not new or old. If I recall correctly, it was put in right before the first incident. I'll have to find the receipt. I'll look into a load test.

And as an update, it's continuing to start (7 times now) like nothing ever happened or was wrong with it...Just like last time. Starts quick and easy with no weird noises or hesitation. I really find this weird.
 

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Oh! Where's my manners. 2009 451. Had it since it was new. 171k miles. Shows how long it has been that I've been on here! I completely forgotten about the new model.
The terminals on the battery looked quite clean whenever I disconnected it. The positive looked okay as well. It's not new or old. If I recall correctly, it was put in right before the first incident. I'll have to find the receipt. I'll look into a load test.

And as an update, it's continuing to start (7 times now) like nothing ever happened or was wrong with it...Just like last time. Starts quick and easy with no weird noises or hesitation. I really find this weird.
Yeah, they have their moments these cars. My 451 twice this year just lost power while driving in the interstate. But I keep a Bluetooth OBD2 dongle plugged in at all times so all I have to do is open torque on my phone and clear the cel on the fly and it returns to normal.
As for your problem it could be just a slightly lose terminal somewhere, or a rusty contact on the Sam board. Next time it doesn't wanna start start taping around on cables, relays, Sam, connectors, battery terminals and see if you can pinpoint what's causing it
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind and poke around a bit. What makes it hard is, not surprisingly, being very intermittent and seemingly self-resetting. So it could be another year or tonight. I know these cars have their moments. Just looks like mine is finally having more of it's own. Just like the p0497 code that keeps getting thrown on random damp (but not wet) nights. Seemingly of its own choosing. It's been doing it for years.

I remember very early on the earlier models having some sort of grounding issues. So I know, at least a decade ago, checking all the points I could see in the car. Doesn't mean anything hasn't worked itself loose, however. That, and if there's any ones outside of or not buried in the passenger compartment, they weren't checked. Could be anything.

Thanks!
 

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Considering the age and mileage, have you checked the ground strap that runs from the engine to the chassis...as well as the terminals on the starter ? :)
 

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Had a buddy of mine once bring his car to me saying that it randomly doesn't wanna start. Relay click, no crank. Battery terminals looked great. So after double checking everything that could come to my mind I decided to pull the ground terminal for some reason. It broke into 3 pieces in my hand. It wasn't corroded at all though
 

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Considering the age and mileage, have you checked the ground strap that runs from the engine to the chassis...as well as the terminals on the starter ? :)

I didn't do this the first time, since the issue seemingly solved itself. But this time while I had the car running from the first time it decided it wanted to start again, I upped it on ramps and sanded off the big lug and spade from the battery and the ignition wire post. The ignition post was a touch crusty but otherwise decent, tossed on some dielectric grease. The main lug and spade looked quite shiny still between the contacts which I found surprising given Midwest winters. Gave it all a good scrub to be safe. As for the ground strap, I haven't checked that as I didn't know that was a thing. And thanks to evolution, I now know it's right up top. I'll add that to the list.

I know a year and half is a long time to be random. Extremely intermittent maybe? Annoyingly the only way I know if I fixed it is if it never happens again!
 
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