1980 All Other Makes All Other Models

Electrical problem
1980 Questions for all other cars 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Manual 125000 miles

1980 310 Datsun.

When I try to start my car, It sometimes takes 2-5 minutes to get it to start.

I put the key in and try to turn on the car and nothing happens. If I leave the key to ACC(accessories) the accessories will work.

I have looked in the user manual and it tells me that if the CHG light is faint it could be a high electrical load.
It also says if the light is not on it could be an electrical systems failure somewhere.

I can not tell if the light is just getting over flow from the light next to it (which is supposed to come on.) Or if it is faintly lit.

I can hear a 'click' as if something is turning over however there is no engine start. It sometimes takes many attempts to start the car.

I received this car as a gift just recently from a family friend as my first car and I want to keep it as long as possible. I have been told everything from alternator to starter to ignition.

I know very little about cars.

Not sure how long ago the spark plugs or battery was changed, but everything was working fine until recently. The problem seems to be getting worse.

Anything you can do to help would be appreciated!
October 1, 2010.

Is the starter working? Have you checked the battery?

I do not know how to check a starter, The battery's connections are fine, as for the batteries health I am unsure how to check that.

Oct 2, 2010.
Not a problem. As far as the starter, I just wanted to know if it is turning the engine. If it is, the battery is okay. If it isn't, then you can check the battery with a volt gauge to see how much power it is producing, or you can remove it and take it to a parts store and have them load test it to make sure it is working.

I took it to a auto parts store and they did an electrical check.

The alternator is fine, the starter read as fine, but there is some dirt and grime build up around the wire connections going into it from the battery, but the battery is only producing 334/450 CCA. Can't remember exactly what the acronym is.

He said to clean off the connectors so i'll be doing that then taking it back in to see if I need a new battery or if the connections were dirty.

Does any of that help?

Oct 3, 2010.
The CCA stands for cold cranking amps. Actually, yours sounds fine. Let me know about the connections.

This problem Has been fixed, It was fixed by replacing the battery and it's cables. Thanks.

Jan 7, 2011.
Great. Let us know if you have questions in the future.

Oh I should add, I live in the great white north so it gets pretty cold, and the 334 I put was a typo. It should have been 124, I just realized that I forgot about this site so I thought I should add an update. The temperatures were in the negatives, Around -10 to -20c.

Jan 8, 2011.