Car won't start

Tiny
AUM110
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 PONTIAC SUNFIRE
  • 10,000 MILES
I really hope you can help me out. I have a '98 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L that turns over a few times but won't start. I have replaced both the battery and the starter.

When I put my multimeter over the brand new battery, I get around 12.5 volts when off, but when I turn the key to "ON" and attempt to start the car the voltage drops to around 7.1 volts. The engine will turn over a time or two. If I try starting it again, it may turn over once or not at all.

Any idea what could be causing the voltage drop when I try to start the engine? I am thinking that because of the low voltage the starter isn't getting enough power to start the engine.

I can confirm I am getting a spark, and the alternator is roughly 6 years old.

I really appreciate any help you can provide.
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Friday, January 20th, 2012 AT 1:56 AM

6 Replies

Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Sounds like you just need a new battery.
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Friday, January 20th, 2012 AT 2:21 AM
Tiny
AUM110
  • MEMBER
The battery does not seem to be the issue. I just bought the battery two days ago, and had it tested to verify it was a good battery. The battery is in good working order.
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Friday, January 20th, 2012 AT 2:26 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Then the only other answer is a shorted started but I seriously doubt that because even a shorted started would have a hard time pulling a new battery down that far. That battery just sounds too weak.
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Friday, January 20th, 2012 AT 2:29 AM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Let's do a battery load test and see if it holds up 9.6 volts in 10secs during cranking if not goodbye Mr. Battery

At 12.5 volts the battery only has 1/2 of a charge from full
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Friday, January 20th, 2012 AT 2:36 AM
Tiny
AUM110
  • MEMBER
I will charge the battery and see if I can get over 9.6 volts while cranking. I am pretty sure it will drop back down to around the mid 7 volt range again. I had the battery tested by two different auto supply stores, and they both think it is a good battery. Is it possible the test will come back good, but the battery still being bad?

Could it be anything else that isn't allowing it to start? Maybe the alternator or voltage regulator?
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Friday, January 20th, 2012 AT 2:44 AM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Those things you've mentioned alternator or voltage regulator if the stater motor and battery are good it will crank the engine w/o an alty or a reg and keep it running till the battery drains out-

You can load test the battery by using your vehicle with a voltmeter
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Friday, January 20th, 2012 AT 3:02 AM

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