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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
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Won't start after accident

Hi. My 2008 Patriot was rear ended. Hard. While parked. By a drunk with no insurance. I only had liability coverage, so here I am. Major body damage, but the frame survived, & I’ve already finished the major mechanical work, but now it wont start. No ignition/crank, & nothing electronic works (interior/dash lights, headlights, etc) except for the alarm horn (but no flashing lights.)
Immediately after the crash; it started up as usual, but wouldn’t move due to the damage.
Since then:
Towed twice on a flatbed (to/from dealer -for $14,000 estimate) with battery still connected (has stock alarm.)
Replaced entire rear suspension with the battery disconnected (stayed disconnected for a few weeks.)
Replaced CVT pan with battery disconnected (small dent/hole from the crash that wasn’t deep enough to touch anything internal,) & added enough fluid to feel comfortable staring it (to check actual level,) but now it wont start at all. Dead silent. No engine/ignition crank, nothing but the alarm horn.
Battery was still fully charged (when I attempted to charge it -thinking that was the problem.)
Do I need to reset the computer?…how do I do that? Any other suggestions? Particular fuses to check, etc…?
I’ve been searching threads till dizzy (several times,) but can’t find any that apply to my exact situation. Any help would be super duper appreciated.
Thank you for your time.

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 08:54 AM
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I apologize ahead of time that I won't be able to provide much help. Tracking down electrical problems is often a nightmare. I simply haven't developed the diagnostic skills that pros have. In light of this, I resort to a multimeter, a scan tool, and my OEM service manual where I can follow the cookbook style diagnostic procedures. If I don't do this, I often bury my head in the sand/put on "blinders" and make incorrect assumptions that sometimes leads to wrong parts replacement.

My only suggestion is to be uber careful not to overlook the very simple things first. For example, I don't remember how many times the problem has simply been an oxidized or poorly connected battery cable. An invisible microscopic oxidation layer on the battery connector can completely cut off the current. One time I chased a charging problem for days, only to learn that a simple fusible link went bad. Another time the positive battery cable corroded internally. All things that I overlooked because of making assumptions. A multimeter will help see things not visible to the eye.

Sorry I cannot be of more assistance. Just sharing my feeble electrical experience.

Inexpensive diagnostic service manuals are available on EBAY. I don't know how legitimate they are: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from...anual&_sacat=0
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Last edited by Treegrower; 04-14-2017 at 09:16 AM.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your reply, Treegrower. I’m curious about the scan tool you mentioned. I have a multimeter, but have no idea how to use it (time to learn, I guess? I posted here in the electronic thread because the site wouldn’t let me post in ‘troubleshooting’ for some reason, but I'm a newb too, so that might have something to do with it.)
Thanks for the heads up on the diagnostic manuals, I have one (from this site actually,) but haven't found anything that seems to apply, & just finding things in the manual is nearly as frustrating as the problem itself. Ugh.
I’ve read that certain procedures (series of key turns/gas pedal/key turns) that can reset things like alarms, oil change lights, etc. It really seems like something just needs to be reset because it started up immediately after the accident, but not after tows/repairs. Nothing electric works except the alarm horn, like a weird switch was pulled, & I need to figure out how to switch it back.

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Also, there isn’t any corrosion on the battery cable/connections (no matter how much I wish it were that easy
The car may be relatively old, but only has 39k miles, has lived in Phoenix, AZ its entire life (hot/dry,) spending the majority of that time either in a warehouse (while I drove company vehicles for work,) or under a carport, so corrosion would really surprise me (though I’ve been really surprised before.)

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 01:23 PM
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That's exactly the type of thinking that gets me in trouble. No corrosion....they LOOK o.k........after a day of head scratching and parts changing I discover that there is an INVISIBLE oxidation layer on the battery post causing no power to anything......then I kick myself. Ground wires can be like this. Maybe there is a single wire somewhere that has broken or come off a connection during the repair process.

Because you have NO power from the battery, I would probably start trouble shooting the BATTERY SYSTEM first. Just part of the battery system is the charging system and the ignition system, all tied together.

Maybe Google things like "vehicle electrical system diagnosis" for a cookbook step by step procedure. Again, my factory service manual has these procedures, but they are too long to copy here. Step by step, eliminating one cause at a time.

An example of Googling "car battery system diagnosis" http://www.aa1car.com/electrical.htm
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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But I do have power. The alarm horn is loud, & clear, but it's the only thing with power (not even the 4 ways/turn signals flash when alarm horn honks, & they normally do) leading me to believe it has something to do with resetting the alarm, or something similar.
I've heard towing can cause alarms to do things like this, but not how to reset, or fix it, & (so far) can't find any info here, or in the manual.

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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 05:13 PM
 
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Do you have an after market alarm? I don't think the patriot's alarm is sophisticated enough to disable anything.

So to make sure I understand correctly, everything else work, except when you turn the key its not starting, correct? have you tested voltage at the starter? see if its getting any power? if it has sat for any length of time, starts like to freeze up. I would check that first. may even whack it with a mallet a bit first, see if that frees anything up.

what part of PHX are you in? I'm in chandler.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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Hi aroundincircles

I’m by the Biltmore/Camelback Corridor area. Lived in 85014 since 1999 (think Hi-Liter

Chandler is practically New Mexico to me, but howdy neighbor!

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 05:31 AM Thread Starter
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The alarm is 100% stock, by Chapman.

No power to anything whatsoever…before, or after key goes in the ignition/attempted starting…
….except for the alarm horn (horn only - just “honk, honk, honk, honk, honk” (as the horn should do -when I activate the alarm, & open any door,) but nothing else works at all (not even the flashing hazard lights that normally accompany the “honks” when the alarm is triggered.) No ignition, no dash lights, no interior lights, no exterior lights, no turn signals, no dash info/codes, no stereo, no fan, (I haven’t tried the cig lighter because I literally just thought of checking it.)
Nothing …but the alarm horn - loud, & clear.
Weird right?!?

Out of frustration; I walked/bussed to the dealership (Bill Luke) yesterday. I figured it best in person since the problem/symptoms are so unique. I could tell they were apprehensive about ‘this sweaty guy who just walked up out of nowhere -in that neighborhood’, but as soon as they realized I wasn’t panhandling, or casing the joint; they were sympathetic, helpful, & assuringly confident in their replies/instructions.

I was tutored through how to disengage/reengage the alarm (reset - basically - as I’ve been suspecting,) & how to just bypass the alarm if that doesn’t work. From what I’ve picked up; there may be some sort of anti-theft pendulum in the alarm unit -that disables ignition -after the car reaches a certain angle compared to level ground when not running (like being towed.)

Unfortunately, right now; I don’t have a safe spot to do it -upside down under the dash -with door open -legs exposed, so it’s gonna be a few days before I can try.

…but I’ll definitely post my results here -in the hopes of easing someone else’s frustrations in the future.

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 05:31 AM Thread Starter
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In the meantime; any other suggestions are welcome (because that might not be the problem, & theres no way of knowing until I’m able to try it.)

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 11:10 AM
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First and foremost, you need to measure the battery voltage with a voltmeter to once and for all eliminate that as the root cause. Relays which feed power to various electrical systems need a minimum amount of voltage to operate.

With that out of the way, if its not some spooky alarm issue this has all the indications of a blown or ejected fuse from the accident. Possibly from a shorted wire somewhere in the rear from the accident.

I would check all fuses both in the engine bay and cabin to eliminate that possibility. There's also fuseable links in most vehicles that act as large amperage fuses for catastrophic short circuits. Normally they're located around the battery.

There's an automatic shut down (ASD) relay that turns off the engine during an accident to prevent a fire in case of a fuel tank rupture. I'm not sure if it kills most of the electrical as you describe. The alarm system could also be tied into the ASD relay to prevent un-authorized engine starting. I'd start with that fuse and relay first.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 09:54 PM
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Repeating moparado, you checked all the fuses, correct? There are numerous Ignition Off Draw and Auto Shut Down circuits that are fused.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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So, all of the fuses in TIPM are visibly clean, & intact (so it seems it’s not just integrated, but totally integrated, which is totally radical.)

…but it still wouldn’t start, & showed all of the same symptoms listed above, so…

I disconnected/reconnected the alarm as instructed by the dealer, & boom! - I got electric back! (to what seems to be everything!) Bitchin’ right?!

…but it still wont start…

…and she has new symptoms, docs…

Now - as I turn/hold the key for ignition; all of the dash lights flash on/off while I hear a small cranking (not ignition crank,) with a rhythmic pop/tapping sound under the hood -appx once per second as (whatever it is) cranks.

My roommate thinks it sounds like the starter turning, but not engaging.
…but to me; the sounds don’t seem to be coming from where (I thought) the starter is. They seem to come from near the inside firewall -on the passenger side, but my ears could be playing tricks on me.

?????

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 11:10 AM
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Good to see you've got the electrical back.
Hard to say without us hearing it.
When you try to start, does the engine itself crank but doesn't start?
Or are you only hearing the clicking without the engine turning over?

The clicking could be the starter solenoid trying to turn over the starter motor. The starter motor needs very high amperage from the battery in order to turn over, the starter solenoid not so much.
If the clicking is coming from the starter then:
-Could be a defective or discharged battery.
-Have you measured the battery voltage? Do this or get someone else and report back. Check the battery terminals clamps for corrosion, looseness, etc.
-Have you charged the battery since the accident?
It could be the battery is highly discharged from the elapsed time the Pat has been sitting since the accident, trying to start, trouble shooting the electrical, etc. All draining the battery.

If the clicking is coming from the firewall area, there's a possibility the EVAP relay is making the noise. If so, this is normal. Don't know offhand where it is on a Pat but its on the pass. firewall on my XJ.
Try to pinpoint the clicking sound.
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Battery is fully charged (even hooked it up to a charger just for gits & shiggles,) & I even tried starting it with the charger still connected…& only got the above.

I haven’t been able to isolate the cranking/ticking (nobody to listen while I crank,) but no; it’s not ignition crank. Something separate, & much smaller than the engine.

What throws me is the flashing dash lights (everything flashes) when I try to start it.

It’s almost like I need to reset something else -now that the alarm has been reset.

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