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So, it was about 15F this morning and I tried to remote start my car. It didn't want to start. Tried it again, same thing. The lights flashed, I heard the starter try to go, but it didn't start.

Got in to my car and it started just fine. It may have hesitated half a second due to the cold, but otherwise started just fine. Drove to work, turned the car off, got out and tried the remote start again. It worked just fine. The remote starter has been working like a charm this past week, and the last time I used it was actually last night.

Does anybody have any idea what's going on? 15F isn't too stupidly cold for the car I don't think.

Note: I've suspected that a cell in my battery is *starting* to die, but I do not know why that would cause the remote start to fail when a key start worked just fine. Going off of the battery idea, the headlights were on when I used the key (approach lighting), whereas they were off when I tried the remote start. Shouldn't the headlights being on have even further reduced available voltage for the starter?

Also, there are no codes stored in the system.

Thanks in advance!

Edit: I originally posted this in the simple question thread, but I figured it would be better served by being in its own thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
have the battery checked. i've noticed when the battery is getting weak it will do what you described.
Thanks for the reply! That's my prime suspect right now. I had the battery checked just a couple weeks ago, and it's actually reading okay. I've had it checked twice in the last 6 months now, and both times it was reading okay. I'm down to about 550 CCA from 700, and everything is reading in the green. Which is why I suspect a cell is *starting* to die, but somehow comes back to life whenever I get the battery checked lol.

Should I go ahead and replace it anyway? It's an Interstate green and it's about two years old.

If it is the battery, I'm confused why having the headlights on + key start worked when no headlights + remote start didn't. I feel like the headlights should put an even bigger strain on the battery.
 

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That is kind of strange that a remote start won't work but a key start will (if it's the battery). Unless remote starts require the use of more electronic systems or something like that? Not really sure... A battery *should* last more than 2 years though. I think I would just wait and see what happens - just to see if this same situation presents itself again - maybe it was just a one time "fluke"?

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i would probably get it re-tested again to see if it still shows ok. ask if they can do an advanced test on it for load or something? maybe i'm making that last part up and don't know. what happens if you drive it around and remote start it, does it work, is it still the same? if a battery sits overnight or for a few days it can drain down a bit due to a weak cell as you stated (colder weather makes it worse). i don't want you to buy a battery until you can verify it is the battery. are you able to swap a known good battery in and see if that fixes it? does your battery have any pro-rated warranty left on it?
 

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So, it was about 15F this morning and I tried to remote start my car. It didn't want to start. Tried it again, same thing. The lights flashed, I heard the starter try to go, but it didn't start.

Got in to my car and it started just fine. It may have hesitated half a second due to the cold, but otherwise started just fine.
If it is the battery, I'm confused why having the headlights on + key start worked when no headlights + remote start didn't. I feel like the headlights should put an even bigger strain on the battery.
My first thought was that the remote start control algorithm does not try as long as you did. I'm not sure what all the control algorithm monitors, but it may be that, if it doesn't see a desired response soon enough, it quits trying. Whereas, when you say it "may have hesitated half a second due to the cold, but otherwise started just fine", I'm thinking you (manually) held it on longer than the remote start did.

It may also be that, in the time that elapsed between the remote start attempt and the manual attempt, the battery heated up enough to overcome the issue. Also, having the headlights on draws a fair amount of current, which can help warm the battery up.

I agree with Joes74challenger, you probably have a battery going bad. Either that, or maybe a marginally functioning / corroded connection somewhere in the battery/starter cabling.

Doug

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The reason an ailing battery would fail on a remote start but work on a keyed start is as simple as the acto of you opening and closing the door and getting in the car puts enough vibrations into the car to create (or break) failing electrical connections. This is not uncommon. When i receive complaints of this fault, I park the car outside the shop with the hood open and the latch, latched. I attempt to remote start it throughout the day. when it fails to start, I go out and test the battery.

This way i can test the battery immediately after the failure and without disturbing the vehicle in any way :)
 

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I had this happen to my '10, but it wasn't the battery.

IIRC, it was a misfire code due to bad spark plug wire.

It wasn't running horribly bad, but once I fixed the issue, remote start worked again, so be prepared for anything when this happens.

Finally when it really started getting bad, I was getting DIC messages about traction control, etc, and I finally broke down and bought a set of wires; 5 were good, one got very bad very fast.

Beldon is the way to go. Superb wires that fit perfect.
 

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Carbide is 100% correct, any stored Pxxx DTC's that illuminate the CEL will inhibit remote start, even if the Check Engine Ligfht isnt illuminated yet (many DTC's require multiple failures before light comes on) There aere also numerous other DTCs and body system related inhibit reasons. If the sho[p checking the battery is only checking the battery you should get a vehicle wide DTC check done.
 

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But if that were the case, the starter wouldn't have even tried to start the car at all, right? If I have my hood open, for example, trying to remote start the car does nothing. In the OP, it sounds like the starter did *something* when he tried to remote start the car...

Plus, he specifically says that they are no codes stored in the system.

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The RVS system will not operate if any of the following conditions are present:

•A current vehicle DTC that illuminates the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL)
•The vehicle is in valet mode.
•More than 2 remote starts have been attempted.
•The hazard switch is in the ON position.
•A current hazard switch DTC is set.
•The vehicle hood is ajar.
•A current hood ajar DTC is set.
•The CTD system detects an alarm trigger.
•Excessive engine RPM
•Excessive coolant temperature
•Accelerator pedal position greater than 0 percent
•Vehicle not in park
•Vehicle theft deterrent malfunction
•A current automatic transmission shift lock control system DRC is set.
•A vehicle speed sensor signal is detected by the ECM.

I know you said you thought you heard the starter try to go. Did you hear the engine turn over or just a click? I know it says excessive coolant temp. Maybe excessively low temp? I wish it had more information for me to go on as far as a temperature range.

With that being said, 15 degrees is not weather... That's an emergency. I suggest moving lol.
At this point you should be on the curb spraying aerosol cans to the sky to promote global warming.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks for all the responses guys.

When I tried this morning, there was a single, solitary turn both times. Not a click. It didn't behave like the RVS system was disabled due to codes or an open hood, where it simply does nothing. There was no CEL, and there were no codes present when I plugged in my reader.

FWIW, I tried the remote start again after work and it worked fine. So I went to get the battery tested (twice). In the span of about two weeks from when I last tested it it went from 550 out of 700CCA to about 400. So, I'm going to go with the dying cell finally... well, dying. The cold will do that to batteries I guess.

Went out and got a new battery, and let me tell ya, I never want to change out a battery in below freezing weather with 15mph winds ever again. My genius self even parked facing the wind. I couldn't feel my toes after I was done lol, but at least the warm engine kept my fingers from falling off. On the bright side, it turns over beautifully now. Much quicker than with the old battery. I didn't think that was a thing, and I could be imagining it but I swear it turns over quicker lol.

So, I hope the issue has been fixed. The dying cell has been dogging me for months, but I could never quite "catch" it dying, if you know what I mean. I wasn't about to replace a battery on a whim lol. I'll update this thread over the next few days to see if the problem ever comes back. Thank you all for all your help!

Also, lol @carnau. In about a month and a half 15 degrees will probably start to feel quite balmy. :p

Edit: For anybody wondering, my old battery was a two year old Interstate Megatron green, and now I have a DieHard Gold. It was between that or an ACDelco Professional Silver, but I found a 25% off coupon for the DieHard, so that won lol. Always had good luck with DieHards, so I'm hoping that luck hasn't changed lol.
 

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LOL mine died during sustained -40 F temps in Fort Wayne in an apartment parking lot...parked it in the usual spot over the weekend, Monday morning lights came on and failed to roll over from what i could tell (hit the remote a few times and it wouldn't fire up so i walked out and found all sorts of electrical weirdness going on in the car). got a new battery (walmart on the shelf unit) put it in, still had issues...(i should note i had corrosion in the terminal and used coke-a-cola on the terminals which froze almost instantly because of the temps! lol) tried a few hours later finally rolled over slowly spit and sputtered then smoothed out after a minute. drove around for 30+ minutes, stopped started a few times seemed good. that battery is possibly getting due in the next year or so....LOL

also when I've changed batteries in the past i feel the motor rolls faster as well. I've chalked it up to increased juice to allow the starter to roll faster...made sense in my mind!

Thanks for all the responses guys.

When I tried this morning, there was a single, solitary turn both times. Not a click. It didn't behave like the RVS system was disabled due to codes or an open hood, where it simply does nothing. There was no CEL, and there were no codes present when I plugged in my reader.

FWIW, I tried the remote start again after work and it worked fine. So I went to get the battery tested (twice). In the span of about two weeks from when I last tested it it went from 550 out of 700CCA to about 400. So, I'm going to go with the dying cell finally... well, dying. The cold will do that to batteries I guess.

Went out and got a new battery, and let me tell ya, I never want to change out a battery in below freezing weather with 15mph winds ever again. My genius self even parked facing the wind. I couldn't feel my toes after I was done lol, but at least the warm engine kept my fingers from falling off. On the bright side, it turns over beautifully now. Much quicker than with the old battery. I didn't think that was a thing, and I could be imagining it but I swear it turns over quicker lol.

So, I hope the issue has been fixed. The dying cell has been dogging me for months, but I could never quite "catch" it dying, if you know what I mean. I wasn't about to replace a battery on a whim lol. I'll update this thread over the next few days to see if the problem ever comes back. Thank you all for all your help!

Also, lol @carnau. In about a month and a half 15 degrees will probably start to feel quite balmy. :p

Edit: For anybody wondering, my old battery was a two year old Interstate Megatron green, and now I have a DieHard Gold. It was between that or an ACDelco Professional Silver, but I found a 25% off coupon for the DieHard, so that won lol. Always had good luck with DieHards, so I'm hoping that luck hasn't changed lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'll update this thread over the next few days to see if the problem ever comes back. Thank you all for all your help!
So, I've had no starting issues anymore. I've remote-started my car almost every morning since then, quite successfully. Man, I love that feature. Gonna chalk that up to the battery.

LOL mine died during sustained -40 F temps in Fort Wayne in an apartment parking lot...parked it in the usual spot over the weekend, Monday morning lights came on and failed to roll over from what i could tell (hit the remote a few times and it wouldn't fire up so i walked out and found all sorts of electrical weirdness going on in the car).
Cold + car batteries do not mix lol. A minor, negligible problem in the summer could easily leave you with a stranded car in subzero temps.

Also, -40 in Ft. Wayne? Damn that's cold. Coldest I've ever gotten here in Lafayette is a -30 windchill. It was when I had my old civic. She fired right up, but dear god she sounded like a wounded / dying elephant-cat-demon hybrid for a good fifteen minutes before warming up.

It was so cold my washer fluid turned straight into slush on my windshield. I'm amazed it made it out through the nozzles, now that I think about it. I wonder why that is. Hmm.
 
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