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Discussion Starter #1
Having acquired a Rover 75 2.0 last autumn I've lurked here for a few months and gleaned a lot of useful information - especially when I had an HGF at the rather convenient mileage of 93000.

Anyway, this afternoon the car absolutely refuses to start, though everything electrical functions OK. Turning the ignition key produces no response at all, though all instrument panel lights are lit up as normal. Same result with spare key. I've had a superficial underbonnet check and all wires are firmly seated and there is nothing obviously visibly amiss. Car has been operated running normally in all other respects.

As an aside...there is a rear indicator bulb that sometimes goes awol and lights up the warning light on the instrument panel. I have come to the conclusion this is a temperature-related malfunction as it has re-occured in the past few days (though not doing it now).

My gut feeling for my non-starting problems is that it is immobiliser-related...though I'm not sure how one conclusively proves or discounts that. Is there a conclusive test? Are there alternatives?
 

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If you mean that when you turn the key the starter motor does not turn the engine you might have a look at the condition of the battery before going too far down any other route.

When you turn the key to the start position do the headlights flash ?? If yes defo look at battery. Fix is new battery but recharging the old may get you going in the short term

The 75 has a number of computers controlling all sorts of things which just do not function when battery voltage gets too low.

Hope this helps

David
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Headlights flash as in spontaneously? Everything electrical functions completely normally, and the only symptom is that its as though the car has no starter motor. If I try this with the headlights on there is no dimming, although the aircon is suppressed for a few seconds when the key is fully turned in what feels like a programmed manner.

My they are big batteries aren't they! I got rid of my trickle charger yonks ago. The battery and terminals appear in OK condition, but I realise that you can't tell a battery by external appearances. I'll see what I can rustle up to pursue the battery route further. Would there have been any low-battery symptoms that might ring a bell with me?

Thanks for suggestion by the way.
 

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Yes I agree with the above, so make sure your battery is fully charged. There is however, an outside chance that the fuse which supplies the Immobiliser ECU has blown. This is found in the front passenger footwell behind the glove box. I am not sure of the fuse number, (maybe FS 5), but your drivers manual gives an diagram of all the fuses and what they do. If it is blown then that beggars the question why?
Another possibility, is that the transponder which recognises they key when you put it in the steering lock, is faulty or been damaged.
Worst of all, but unlikely, is that the immobiliser ECU is dead.
If you can get the car to an ex Rover repairer, then they can quickly find the answer with the diagnostci T4 set.


By the way, how old is the battery?

Colin
 

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Just noticed that you have an auto.

Now please forgive me for asking but the shift is either in the P or N postion isnt it ??? It hasnt been knocked into another position as you were cleaning the dash ??

To answer your previous re headlights 'Headlights flash as in spontaneously? Yes but check the gear shift position first

David
 

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When the PbCd (Calcium) battery died on my Scorpio recently I got a rapid clicking from the starter solonoid but it didn't have the grunt to turn the starter. Get a voltage tester on the battery before you spend £40+ on a new one. 10.5V or less = shagged.

Hope this helps

Rik
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks all. Yes, I am much keener on it being the battery too, but have had no prior experience of vehicles with so much brains am used to duff battery symptoms being an engine that turns, but doesn't fire, ending up with a rather sad "click" and no more when you try to start.

Feel free to make all suggestions or observations no matter how "obvious", as they are all gratefully received. I work as a software developer, so I know well that it is better to question and check the obvious before exploring the more involved possibilities. I did check the gear selector and tried in both P and N with both keys. Have just checked fuses...an interesting process in itself compared to some cars...and the two that were deemed to affect the immobiliser were both OK. This battery doesn't have the useful visual indicator the manual refers to, so I'll dig out my multimeter if I can find it and pursue the battery route tomorrow when it is lighter and warmer.

If I can't find the multimeter I might check to see whether my breakdown policy covers home start. I didn't bother today - I thought I'd let them get on with victims of bank-holiday weekend journeys rather than attend to me snug at home.

More to follow, no doubt

[edit] battery of unknown vintage; car is W-reg.
 

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Not always the best test - as it doesn't put any load on the battery.
Would tell you if the battery was dead though :).

Seriously, though. Does a DMM or Analogue Multimeter load the battery, it's always nice to know these things.

As for the jumpleads, use very carefully. Don't want the ecu to fry...

Rik
 

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Don't wish to hijack the tread so this is the last time I'll mention this but when my batt failed it just made the solonoid click, didn't even attempt to turn the starter. Had 10V showing on the DMM and ran all other electrics as it should.

Rik
 

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Discussion Starter #16
OK, battery is fine and dandy.

In actual fact, events were as follows: tried car this morning about 9:30am and it started absolutely as normal. Went to very nearby Kwik Fit for a battery test and all multimeter numbers were fine.

Curious. I don't feel as though a loose connection is likely, as the only difference to me getting no response yesterday and normal operation this morning is the car door being opened and gently shut (I wasn't even sitting in it).

I'm not sure how to proceed now: as it seems to work there's no obvious fault checking that proves it one way or another is there - unless I give something a wiggle and it no longer starts (not something I'm proposing to do)?

[edit] sounds stupid I know, but part of me feels this is temperature-related like the rogue indicator mentioned at beginning.
 

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Or as has been said, it could be a problem with the inhibitor switch, if that is faulty there is no attempt to start, if it is a battery problem you would get some response - clicking relays, flashing headlights etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just an inconclusive update: the car has started absolutely normally about 6 times since its odd episode, both in the cooler morning and baking afternoon. Should it happen again (as presumably it will once I am far enough away from home, transporting an expectant mother or some highly perishable goods) I will focus on shifting the gear selector as the possible source of salvation + wearing of garlic, etc., etc.

Thanks for all comments that all helped me feel less helpless.
 

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These intermitant faults are a pain ar'nt they? A few further no cost suggestions :

Are the Plenum drains clear. This is the space just below the windscreen and water can collect there, There are drains at the bottom which can get blocked. Unfortunately the Engine Management Computer is situated in this area as well as the Pollen filter for the Air Con. A drowned or partially drowned ECU is not a good idea. At best can cause very odd faults and at worst you will need a new ECU. Not cheap. Be a good idea to check this area even if is not the cause of your current problem. There is a 'how to' here : http://www.the75andztclub.co.uk/index.php?thepage=howto in the last two PDF files in the right hand column. You will have to register as it is a different forum to this one but it is free.

You have not said what model 75 you have (Classic, club or Conn and if SE version or not) . Do you have any electrical equipment eg Sat Nav in the boot. Have you checked in the boot for water particularly in the spare wheel well. This too has been known to cause electrical problems. The water leak, if any, can usually be traced to the sealing of the rear light clusters (either side) , the clips holding the chrome trim on the side of the car or possibly the sealing of the rear window.

Failing a solution after the above I would suggest you get the car on a T4 which is the dealer diagnostic computer. Error codes should have been generated and retianed in the ECU when you were having problems. Getting an idea of what these errors are would be useful. With a bit of luck should cost about £45 but it pays to shop around.

Hope all this helps and let us know how you get on
 
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