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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My car is a daily driven car, was working great, started fine until I parked it for a week. Now, ready to go back to work and the car won't start.

This is what happens when I try to start it;
- The starter is running slow compared to before it was parked... seems laboured.
- First thought was the battery. Tried jumping it with our other vehicle,no go.
My battery was old so no problems to get a new one. After replacing the battery, cleaning all the connections there was no change- starter sounds slow and car won't start.
-the engine sound is : rrrr, rrrr, rrrr, chuff and repeat.
-The cranking voltage for the new battery is 10.5 volts.
-Tested the spark plugs: all fired and were getting fuel- could smell the gas.
-We can hear the fuel pump run and shut off after 3 or 4 seconds.
-The air filter was dirty, took it out for testing, will replace with a new one.
-Code scanner gave no code.
-Engine Immobilizer light comes on- doesn't flash.

Any ideas why sitting for 1 week would cause this starting problem?

My car is a 2008 Suzuki SX4, 352 000 Km, We live an hour north of Toronto.
Still think she has lots of life left in her !
 

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check all connections to the starter and earths, maybe pull the starter and check it, quite possible its gone faulty sitting for a week. (or the solenoids sticky or has a bad internal contact, or brushes are dirty/worn.) Bit of moisture from the air into all that old brush dust, can and does happen after sitting for a few days. I've had one starter in the last month do the same thing, fine that morning, wouldn't turn over after work. Brushes were worn, and the last start finished it off.
 

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My car is a daily driven car, was working great, started fine until I parked it for a week. Now, ready to go back to work and the car won't start...
Thank you for all the details of your symptoms.

Another possible test is to pull the plugs and check if the starter is still labored without compression.

check all connections to the starter and earths, maybe pull the starter and check it, quite possible its gone faulty sitting for a week...
My thoughts too. A lot of current is required to spin a starter. A loose or dirty connection can make a big difference.

For auto issues, I found that sharing a recording (audio or video) can be helpful too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Did the test of pulling the plugs.
It is still labored without compression.

Removing the starter next, will update later with the results.
 

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If you have access to a d/c amp clamp, measure the current draw on the starter..

Then perform a voltage drop test on load side of starter circuit..

… Philip
 

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Discussion Starter #8
New starter installed. Same problem, car doesn't sound any different... still won't start. Any ideas where to go next ?
 

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New starter installed. Same problem
If you have spark and fuel, the next thing I would check is timing.
The SX4 has a timing chain, which should last longer than a belt, but not forever.

I am not certain, but can you tell if the timing chain jumped a tooth by using a timing light while someone else cranks the engine? Can you do a compression check on each cylinder?

You definitely have enough Km on the engine to make it a possibility.

I don't know that an external load (AC, alternator, PS) could cause enough load on the engine, but you could try removing the belt and see how the engine cranks.
 

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Just curious - did you try and wait in between start attempts for a few seconds? It sure sounds like it is not getting fuel. Failing fuel pump can start out like that. I am sure you tried everything, but still... Fuel filter? Bad gas? If it is not the spark it must be the fuel. Let us know when you figure this out.
 

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Just curious - did you try and wait in between start attempts for a few seconds? It sure sounds like it is not getting fuel. Failing fuel pump can start out like that. I am sure you tried everything, but still... Fuel filter? Bad gas? If it is not the spark it must be the fuel. Let us know when you figure this out.
The first issue is the slow cranking....then the no start.
 

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The first issue is the slow cranking.......
Well....slow cranking is rather a normal fact for this model....but since usually...the engine will come to life, then we do not really notice. At this cranking speed, it should nevertheless start if all is OK. THis "slow"....I'd rnther say, long and unsuccessful cranking, IMO, might be a consequence of the problem, not the cause. as CAS1234 suggests, I,d also suspect fuel supply...
I have lived with timing chain (in other cars) jumping 1 cog..even 2 cogs...engine would start...but much less power.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Car finally started !?!... then promptly emitted a cloud of smoke/ burning smell and died.
We did solve the problem... seized alternator.
We had tried a shot of starting fluid, it did sound more promising but still didn't start.
We did clean the spark plugs and confirmed all 4 were firing- no problems there.

Removing the alternator was a whole new adventure.
We went through the top. After removing the serpentine belt, we started the car and it started right away, no drag, no hesitation, confirming that it was the alternator. To get to the alternator, we did have to remove the Power steering pump. In fact, we removed the whole bracket for the Power steering pump and alternator to get better access to the bolts. The bottom bolt for the power steering was the hardest to access and we only got it out once the bracket was off the engine. When reassembling, we put the steering pump and alternator back on the bracket first and then attached the bracket back to the engine. We did support the engine with a jack stand but we didn't jack it up.

For good measure, we replaced the serpentine belt after the cloud of smoke/ burning smell in case the belt was compromised.

Once everything was back together, the car started without any hesitation... what a difference !
Our conclusion was that the drag on the starter was caused by the seized alternator.
 

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.... To get to the alternator, ... we removed the whole bracket for the Power steering pump and alternator .... When reassembling, we put the steering pump and alternator back on the bracket first and then attached the bracket back to the engine...r.
Great...and in fact, the same happened before on this or another SX4 forum.
THe way you got the alternator out is a good reply to several who had asked how to get it .
 
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