Battery Troubleshooting - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
 
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 01-14-2006, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Battery Troubleshooting

Quote:
Q: Starting problem Went to start my bike this a.m. Turned the key to "on," had lights and all, hit the start button, and it made this sorta clicking sound from under the seat. No sound of the engine trying to fire at all. No problems prior to this. Coulda got a little damp in my garage yesterday as it was close to the door, the door was open and we had storms yesterday. What up with this? TIA Stewart
A: the battery is probably dead, try charging it, then check the charging system after you get it to crank. that buzzing is the start solenoid engaging, then disengaging when the starter pulls the voltage too low for the coil to stay magnetized, then it repeats. Thanks, just my 2 cents....... Beavis

A: The noise is the starter relay (aka solenoid) which is located behind the right side cover. The reason that it is making noise is low voltage - check the fluid level in the battery (it should be between the lines on the side of the battery - use water [preferably distilled water] to bring it to the line). If the fluid is OK, charge the battery.

Quote:
Q: I charged the battery overnight. I cleaned the terminals/connections. Still just clicking when I try to start. Now what? Time for a new battery? This one, I believe, is two years old, max.
A: I'd take the battery to a shop that carries my favorite flavor of battery and have it load tested. Most likely it's shot. Get a new battery and away you go. If the battery tests ok, you have more detective work to do.

A: Hook it up to your car battery as if you were to jump start it. But do not start up the car. This will help rule out the battery if it still won't start. Ken

Quote:
Q: I hooked my battery up to my car battery, but did not start the car. When I tried to start the bike, the instrument panel lights briefly went on, then quickly went off, and I had nothing - no clicking, no lights, no action at all. Any ideas about the next step? Does it still make sense to take the battery in for testing, or do I have some other sort of problem?
A: if the battery is shorted inside,juming it will do nothing,still could be a dead battery for sure .... i have seen this issue on batteries before too .(on other bikes) ... i would spring for a new battery..or,take the old one out,and test it,i belive auto zone can do this ...

A: If you have nothing at all now, chances are you blew the main fuse -- 30 amps, behind the left side panel. I don't know why this would happen, or what the fix would be, but I recognize the symptoms.....

A: 1. Check the 30A Main fuse
2. Check and clean the battery ground cable connection at the frame.
3. Check the plug connection on the White/Red wire at the battery +
cable.
4. Check and clean the cable connections at the battery terminals. Scrape corrosion from all mating surfaces
5. Check the battery fluid level (between the lines on the side)
6. Look for battery plate sediment in bottom of battery (shorts)
7. Have the battery professionally tested (AutoZone may)

A: Did Sears check the battery under load? I have had different shops tell me different things on the same battery. Also, battery should be fully charged when tested. When it went dead again, did you lose all lights as well or it just didn't have enough juice to turn it over? You could narrow it down a little by jumping the starter directly. If starter turns over, then you know the problem is somewhere between the starter and the battery. Has the ignition switch been ruled out? Burke

A: Yes, that is my understanding. They charged it and tested it. Took
about 20 minutes.

A: Ok...let me start this post by saying that I am FAR from an expert at most anything but here are my additional comments. I have heard that a quick charge on any of our batteries is a bad thing. Something about too much too quick for these little guys is BAD unlike your car battery which can take it. If they took your battery from fairly low to fully charged in 20 minutes, I would be concerned but others may have a different more educated opinion. I would also specifically ask for a load test and take it to a motorcycle shop that can do a load test and see what their results are. You can jump the starter directly a couple of ways.

One way would be to touch the two posts on the starter solenoid together with something that will carry the juice. The solenoid is located under the seat behind the right side cover. Called the starter relay in my Clymer and discussed on page 315 in mine. Someone recently posted that they did it accidentally with a wrench I think. A screw driver will probably work as well. Use something with an insulated handle so the juice doesn't also flow through your hand. Try this with the ignition in the on position and the red kill switch on the right grip in the run position. If the starter turns over the engine and/or starts the bike, you know your battery is good and your starter is good.

Another way is using a spare battery of the same volts. A car battery will work and you can do it without removing the battery from your car but I wouldn't recommend doing it with your car running. Attach your jumper cables to the spare battery as designed (red on positive and black/yellow on negative). Attach the other end of the negative jumper cable to something on your frame. The bolts holding the foot pegs on should work and you won't run the risk of scratching any frame paint anywhere. Touch the other end of the positive cable to the post on the starter that is connected to the starter cable. Again, the ignition switch and red run switch on the right grip should both be in the on/run position.

If your starter is operational, either of these methods should crank the bike. This could indicate a possible bad starter solenoid but doesn't explain why everything goes dead on you. If the starter doesn't even crank like this, then starter is suspect but again doesn't explain everything else going dead.

*_Group_*: If my instructions for jumping the starter directly could cause potential harm, please chime in before Stewart gives this a try. I have done it a couple of times (on purpose and on accident) without any noticeable ill effects other than scaring me to death when I did it on accident at the solenoid. How did you determine that the main fuse was not bad when it went dead? I have heard some say that even a fuse that "looks good" through the plastic casing was actually bad. They just couldn't tell that it was bad through the casing. I have also heard others opine that a fuse could be bad but still make enough contact inside the casing to carry some juice. Since fuses are so cheap, I would be tempted to replace the main fuse just to rule it out. Your symptoms seem very strange since everything seems to work until you try to start and then all goes dead - twice. Any movement of the bike or handle bars (stand bike upright or straighten handle bars) between the time you had lights and the time you hit the starter and all goes dead? If yes, sounds like a short somewhere or ignition switch issues. If no, I am baffled (not hard to do) but would definitely try a new main fuse regardless of how the current one "looks". Not sure if any that will help but hopefully it gives you some more possibilities. Burke

A: ok, the only thing i see wrong with this procedure, is this will defeat the integral start protection offered by the kickstand, even for a moment, so make sure the bike is absolutely in neutral and up on the center stand. that way it wont lurch forward and land on top of you, . other than that, see no problems here other than make sure your screwdriver does not touch the frame at the same time you are touching the 2 posts with it, as this would be really bad. also it needs to be a big thick screwdriver, not a small jewelry one, or it may get red hot. Thanks, just my 2 cents....... Beavis

A:
1.It seems like you had power to try to start the bike until you hooked up your car battery to it, so you probably blew the fuses at that time. But that's not your only problem, it seems either your battery was low on voltage or you had a starter problem in the beginning.

2.If battery was low on voltage then you probably have a small short somewhere eating your voltage. a pinched wire getting grounded, maybe. check to see with an ammeter, after replacing fuses, *disconnect one lead from the battery and connect your meter in series between battery and battery lead.* If high reading then I think it's a short. Or like others are saying your battery is bad, to know you have to find out how the battery performs under load.

3.And if battery checks out it might be your ignition system, like the starter being bad. I hope that I made some sense, if others disagree please explain. good luck and be safe. Jerry
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