Erratic starting - Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2017, 21:41 Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Forest of Dean
Car: 160
Posts: 423
Erratic starting

My recently acquired ZR160 has a starting problem.
80% of the time it will start first time but sometimes refuses to turn engine over..
All dash lights come on when key turned, but even when it starts it seems a bit of an effort.
The battery is only 44amp but shows a good 12.4 v & I have cleaned all the battery & starter motor connections.
The only other things that I think could be at fault,is the ignition switch [unlikely] , a dodgy wiring connection or the starter motor.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 09:28
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Bury
Car: R75 Mk2 1.8t, Mazda6 (Gen 2) TS2- 2.2TD
Posts: 916
From what you have said the battery needs replacing. On starting it not voltage you need.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 11:42
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Car: 06 MG ZR+120
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I would also check the connections onto the starter and alternator for tightness and cleanness, as well as the battery and fuse box earth points where they attach to the bonnet landing panel and left hand inner wing respectively - intermittent poor start can be down to a poor earth which further reduces the current flow.

A 44 amp battery is about the size usually fitted to the 1.1, 1.4 and 1.6 versions and is rather smaller than normal for a 160 - and if it is getting tired, it will very quickly struggle. The 1.8 K series engine was fitted with a slightly more powerful starter motor than the lower capacity versions, which required a larger battery to turn it. Original fit would have been an H5 or 075 (63amp).
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 13:03
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I had this exact thing when I first bought my 160. It had a brand new battery when I bought it but after a few weeks I would turn the key and just get a click and nothing happened, try it again a little later and it would start fine.
Turned out the new battery was for a 1.4. It does not have the amperage to start the 1.8 correctly. I bought a correct size battery for it and it's been fine since. I guess the previous owner got the smaller battery because it was cheaper.
I put the battery I removed in a mates ka and that has been fine too.
Good luck
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 19:24
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Coventry
Car: Rover 25
Posts: 15
I had exactly the same on my diesel. I bought a repair kit for the starter motor for about 10 which consists of replacement contacts and a plunger. Literally takes 10 minutes to do (After removing the Starter) .

After it was done it started on the button every time even with the old original under powered battery.

When I removed the old contacts you can see where the material thickness has worn away. The new material thickness was about 4mm and the old ones had worn down to less than 0.5mm so you can see why it was very hit and miss.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-04-2017, 21:01 Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Forest of Dean
Car: 160
Posts: 423
Took the car in to what used to be the local Lucas depot, which specialises in starter motors, alternators & batteries.They found that the starter motor was sticking & fitted a recon. one for 72.
Glad it's sorted at no great expense
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 15-06-2017, 21:49 Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Forest of Dean
Car: 160
Posts: 423
Even after I had a new starter motor, I was still having the same problem.
So I took it back to the Lucas depot & they said the only other cause must be the ignition switch.
I bought one off the bay & they fitted it for me for the princely sum of 24!
Now works every time. Took some time to finally resolve the problem, as I would think that not many ignition switches fail.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 15-06-2017, 23:06
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Car: 25X, 25 1.6, 25 2.0D Rep:■■■■■■■■■■
Posts: 35,370
Well sides, HGF, rear tailgate loom and the Mk2 electrical issues not much
does fail on these cars mate, half decent, they don't rust as bad as some
cars, depends on where it is kept and if the undersealer got his nuts the
night before lol.

Ignition switch is not an item i'd say failed often, just one of them things,
at least it is sorted now.
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