Bike won't start after sitting awhile.

Discussion in 'Mechanics Garage' started by slowbird, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. slowbird

    slowbird Member

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    This sucks cause I'm supposed to ride down to Deals Gap in 2 days and now my bike is acting up.

    Anyways...I washed the bike last night. Started it up then and let it idle while I dried it. Revved it a few times and watched my voltage led gauge show a good charge when above idle. Turned the bike off and went inside.

    This AM I tried to ride the bike out to breakfast but it wouldnt turn over. Voltage gauge showed below 12v. I hooked the battery up to my car battery and the bike started right up. Rode it around the block and it's fine. The led volt gauge showed a good voltage during the ride. The voltage only drops when at idle.

    I parked the bike for a few hours. I'll see if it starts up again.

    I have a brand new Battery and I got a new R/R from VFRness.com.

    Would water cause this problem?

    I've had the bike sit for over a week and it still started(though just barely)
     
  2. TOE CUTTER

    TOE CUTTER Mullet Man

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    I think you need to check the voltage at the battery posts. Not the bolts or the cable ends but the posts them selves and the voltage drop across the cable ends.
     
  3. FoothillRyder

    FoothillRyder New Member

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    The simple answer to the question is "yes" - water could cause the symptom to present itself. Lots of variables.

    First thing I would check are the battery terminals - make sure the connections are clean and tight. (this, IMHO, is the most likely problem).

    Do you have that 'spare' battery because the one in the bike is old? If so, I would change it anyway - then make sure the terminals are tight.

    In my experience, the battery terminals being slightly loose is the cause of this symptom a majority of the time. Since the symptom showed itself after you got the bike wet, the small amount of corrosion that was there to begin with (between the wires and the battery) got very suddenly worse because of the moisture that was introduced.
     
  4. slowbird

    slowbird Member

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    Thanks Toe. I'll check those voltages. Am I looking for a difference between the reading at the battery posts, and the readings at the bolts/cables?

    Spare battery? Well the battery in the bike is Brand New. The battery I removed from the bike is sitting on a bench in the basement. I just checked it and it needs a charge.

    Otherwise I'll give those terminals a check.
    Should I apply some dielectric grease to them?
     
  5. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    That depends on how/where you plan to apply it. Basically dielectric grease is non conductive so you need to apply it simply as a very light weather proofing coat after the battery electrial terminals are connected. That way it should help prevent/slow down any moisture related corrosion on the terminals. However if you put it onto the terminals first and then bolt them together, you are probably going to reduce the potential current flow.

    Don't get me wrong its brilliant stuff for making connectors etc water resistant but just put it on the connector sealing surfaces, and not on the electrical connections themselves. I have seen loads of well intentioned but wrong stuff mentioned about covering everything with dielectric grease - if you want to know the facts and how to use it properly it is spelled out in plain language in this wiki page - Silicone grease - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Sadly I have even encountered people who seem to think silcone sealant is the same stuff - its not!

    Hope that helps

    Skimad4x4 6th Gen Militia #218
     
  6. slowbird

    slowbird Member

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    Very useful knowledge on Dielectric grease, thanks Skim.

    So here's what I've done. I got home after letting the bike sit for a few hours. Checked the voltage and it reads about 11.5v at the battery, the battery bolts and the cables.
    I then removed all battery connections. They were all clean. Just to be sure, I ran some fine sandpaper over the terminals and connections, and cleaned them thoroughly.
    With voltage still around 11.5v I Tried starting the bike, and it turned over no problem. Volts go up as the revs increase up to 14.4-14.7....if I let off the throttle they drop down to the 12's.

    If I keep the revs up and the volts are in the 14's...I'll turn off the ignition key and watch as the volts slowly drop down to 11.5 (ish) volts. (should it go down like that?)

    It looks like the bike is able to charge and produce the correct amounts of voltage. So why didn't the bike start this morning?

    I'm just worried I'll have starting issues on my trip.
     
  7. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Rather looks like its time for a new battery. Check out the FAQ on the whitedog website Motorbike battery maintenance and fault finding from the White Dog guide to Motorcycle Batteries and you will see your battery volts are way low - sorry.


    Skimad4x4 - 6th gen Militia #218
     
  8. slowbird

    slowbird Member

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    I don't see how I can need a new battery already?!

    It's a Brand New battery from Honda. (Yuasa) I bought it on Aug 11th and I only put about 2,000kms on it.

    I followed the filling and charging instructions to the letter, and it's shown no issues at all until today.

    Could it somehow gotten water in it? The cover for the Acid cells are well sealed.

    EDIT: I read that battery guide and though it says the volts shouldn't go below 12v mine does...and does with both batteries I've had in the bike...and it still starts fine.
     
  9. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Its unlikely but not impossible and of course it could simply have some other manufacturing defect. Have another read through the whitedog site - as I recall seeing something about most new batteries work OK but that a small percentage fail within a month. Assuming your own volt readings are correct, then you may be the unlucky one and have been sold a duff one. Certainly a battery putting out anything below 12 volts is not good. Take it back to Honda. The figures for volts once the engine is running seem OK so I think the RR is working fine.

    Sorry

    skimad4x4 6th Gen Militia #218
     
  10. slowbird

    slowbird Member

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    I've been checking the voltage and it looks as if it is slowly dropping.

    As of 1hr ago it's at 11.63v. I'll check again in a bit.

    Would a bad battery just slowly drain out like that?

    Fack! I don't have time to exchange a battery and fill/charge a new one before my trip.
     
  11. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Sorry but yes it can, especially if its got some sort of internal fault which in all probability will only get worse. So don't let it wreck your trip, just take it BACK!

    I would ring ahead to warn them about the problem, and also explain how its going to wreck your planned trip. That way if they are a decent dealership before you arrive they won't hesitate to get another battery fully charged and ready for you to just hook up and ride away with. After all they want your continued custom. These things happen...

    Skimad4x4 6th Gen Militia #218
     
  12. slowbird

    slowbird Member

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    Ahhh poop!

    Well cause you insisted it's the Battery I took it out of the bike and put it on my smart charger. It's showing 30%. so I put it on a charge for a bit. As soon as I turn off the charge it drops down to under 11volts.

    I guess the battery is just a complete douchebag and won't hold a charge anymore.

    Too bad it's Sunday. I have to wait till tomorrow to bring the battery back.
     
  13. karazy

    karazy New Member

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    Once you get your new battery installed, adjust your idle up until the meter shows that it is charging at atleast 13.5 volts. It should only take a few 100 rpm and it will ensure that the battery is charging when at idle.

    Have a great trip.

    :crazy:
     
  14. slowbird

    slowbird Member

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    So yesterday I had the battery on the charger (at 2amp charge) till it was full....I then left it over night.

    This morning I checked the Battery and it maintained the charge all night. It sits at 12.7v

    Is the battery still bad? Dealership isn't open yet...will head over in an hour.
     
  15. slowbird

    slowbird Member

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    Dropped the battery off at the Honda dealer. They said they'd give it to the parts manager when he comes in and he'll call me back.
    Odd how the battery is holding a charge now. I hope the guys at Honda don't check it and see that its got a good charge and it's seems ok. I'd hate to have to bump start the bike all the way to North Carolina.
     
  16. rc24rc51

    rc24rc51 New Member

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    That battery should be load tested to ensure it's longevity. The dealership should be filling and charging the new battery before you pick it up... not you. Spring for a gel or maintanence free battery if possible.
     
  17. slowbird

    slowbird Member

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    I got a new battery from them. They filled and charged it for me.

    The manual says this is a "Maintenance free" battery....though a Gel may be good for the future.
     
  18. FoothillRyder

    FoothillRyder New Member

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    Keep your eye on it lad. You may yet have a 'bug' in there somewhere that's draining the battery when the bike sits.
     
  19. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Result. Now enjoy your trip and post up some photos!

    Skimad4x4 6th Gen Militia # 218

    (PS Hopefully lightning does not strike twice, but its definitely worth keeping an eye on it for the next few weeks)
     
  20. rc24rc51

    rc24rc51 New Member

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    Enjoy the ride, the weather's looking nice down here for the rest of the week!
     
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