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Guest nuker

motor wouldn't start

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Guest nuker

on saturday morning (oct 10) i headed out early for some fishing. it was below zero overnight and my boat is kept in my driveway. there was frost layer on the boat since it was raining/snowing over night.

 

the battery was fully charged and it is brand new this year.

 

when i got to the lake and tried to start the motor, all i got was a clicking. it sounded like the starter couldn't turn the motor.

 

i went out anyways with the trolling motor, thinking that when it warms up (ie. frost melts off cover and inside starts to warm from sun) it would start.

 

sure enough, a few hours in the sun and a few tries later, it started.

 

is this sorta... normal? is there something is should not or should be doing when this happens? is it possible something was frozen... like pulleys? what should i check?

 

i didn't open up the cover as i'm not comfortable messing around in there when i'm no the water.

 

oh i have an 04 optimax 150.

 

thanks!

Edited by nuker

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Hmm you shouldn't have a problem turning your engine over at all. I would check your connections at the battery wire brush the connections to make sure you have solid contact. If that doesn't work then i would have your battery tested i know the opti's needs a lot of cranking amps to turn the motor.

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I had this happen with my Honda; and no I can’t say for sure this is what has happened to yours; but when Mother Nature wants to play games; she’ll get in there and have her way.

Again with mine it was sitting outside like you explained; raining and then a fast drop in temperature.

I believe that the starter solenoid/relay plunger, pivoting linkage or the drive itself became frozen and held still?

The solenoid is/was not strong enough to pull in the plunger through the frost, moving the drive out to engage the flywheel or making the contact of the main battery terminals inside the solenoid. Preventing the started motor from being energized; all the solenoid could do was click.

The starter drive on the Honda is easily accessed, once the hood is off. I then used a screwdriver to move the drive through the frost a few times until the return spring could pull the drive back on its own; hit the key and the engine cranked normally.

Since then I’ve lubricated the solenoid’s moving parts with an automotive silicone spray to repel the water and haven’t had another issue?

Here a diagram of a generic starter motor; the red arrows show the directions the plunger and starter drive should move and the blue is where I believe the frost got a hold of things.

Sorry for being so long winded; didn’t know how else to explain what happened to mine.

 

Dan.

 

217.jpg

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This is one more reason I love my pull start Tiller in cold weather. 3 pulls and I'm gone every time!

 

I'd get your battery tested if I was you. At the very least, clean up your battery terminals.

 

S.

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Sounds like a contact issue to me. Clean all your contact points up with some sand cloth and add some electrically conductive grease. Make sure everything is tight and you should be good to go.

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this happened to my father and me up at simcoe two years back i asked the same question and i was told that your battery can freeze up in the cold

if your battery freezes up then how does your truck start at 15 below?

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When a lead acid battery becomes discharged; chemically the acid in the battery turns back into (for the lack of better word) water.

Any lead acid battery (even new) that is allowed to become low (dead) in charge; sit out in below zero weather will freeze solid and usually ruin the battery, from the plates becoming crushed.

 

Dan.

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sit out in below zero weather will freeze solid and usually ruin the battery, from the plates becoming crushed.

 

When I bought my Interstate battery brand new the guy at the Marina told me that Interstate told them to leave the batteries in the boats (outside) during the winter (fully charged). He said when they stored the batteries indoors the one year they would not hold a charge come spring. I took this advice with mine and had no problems :dunno:

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When I bought my Interstate battery brand new the guy at the Marina told me that Interstate told them to leave the batteries in the boats (outside) during the winter (fully charged). He said when they stored the batteries indoors the one year they would not hold a charge come spring. I took this advice with mine and had no problems :dunno:

:whistling: Honestly, I think the marina guy wants to sell you lots of batteries, my boat battery comes inside at the end of the season until the next spring, it's 7 years old and still going strong. Ditto for the RV battery.

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a also agree with the battery connections... i have the same issues once in a while, especially if the battery terminals are wet when i initially connect the cables to the battery. whenever i i have this problem, i just dry them off, then re-connect... 95% of the time that works.

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I had a similar issue when I attempted to launch in -13 C at Picton last fall. Turn the key and nothing, just the click! I thought it was a dead battery, reading was just below 11 volts. So I ran down to Canadian Tire and bought a new battery. When I returned with a brand new battery, exact same thing. I was not a happy camper!

 

I agree with DanD on this one: Italo and his gang were launching and I asked them for an opinion. They suggested using a screw drive to manually engage the fly wheel while turning the key. Second attempt and i was good to go. Wish I knew that before buying the new battery but now I have a spare, so be it. In the end it was not the battery at all and I did not have another issue for the rest of the day. Has not happened to me again but if it does, I keep a long screw driver in the boat with me!

 

Cheers, Remo

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DanD has the most likely solution to this issue. Also sometimes the grease to lubricate the starter drive shaft will impede the motion to engage the flywheel.

 

Fisherman, there is truth to the marine guys statement. Although I leave my battery inside my boat (disconnected) I do charge it once through the winter, just in case.

A charged or even semi charged battery will not freeze. Battery's will deteriorate faster in warmer temperatures, it's when the cold arrives that the bad ones show up when more amps are required to crank. The cold will actually make your stored charged battery last longer because less chemical reaction is taking place.

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Battery's will deteriorate faster in warmer temperatures, it's when the cold arrives that the bad ones show up when more amps are required to crank. The cold will actually make your stored charged battery last longer because less chemical reaction is taking place.

Bernie, I will agree with the statement that batteries discharge at a slightly faster rate in warmer temps but, that rate of discharge is so small, that if you do proper battery maintnenace through the winter, ie, monthly charging, there will be no difference. I keep both of mine on a VDC Battery minder hooked up 24/7 through the winter months, so far the battery mfgrs aren't making a lot of money from me.

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What I’ve done in an attempt to keep my batteries in good condition or not let them degrade any faster then necessary. I've installed a battery maintainer; that I’ve hardwired into the boat’s electrical system. It’s self regulating; it will turn on and off whenever the voltage drops below or goes above a certain voltage value.

The first one I had was a solar panel style, when I had to store the boat outside. The one I have now is a plug-in type; I have easy access to electricity now and the boat is inside a heated warehouse (No sun, much like last summer LOL).

Plug the maintainer in, after a day out on the water or in the fall when I store the boat for the season. Turn the battery select switch to both batteries and forget about them. In the spring or the next time I go out, both batteries are fully charged and ready to go.

I also have one here in the shop, to keep my inventory of batteries fully charged. No more soft batteries; when I go too install one in a customer’s vehicle.

Man, I sound like an infomercial. LOL

 

Not to steal the thread; but most lead acid batteries are now factory filled with acid; which I think is the dumbest thing ever. As soon as they’re wet down their life’s time clock starts ticking.

I guess what I’m saying is always check the date code on the shipping stamp, on the battery case; because when you’re buying a new battery; it’s actually only new to you.

 

 

Dan

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