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Instant electrodeath - WTF?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Bravus, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. The Bandit has been running absolutely fine. Then this arvo I turned it on, all the lights came on and everything, hit the starter, it spun just a fraction then everything just went dark and dead. No lights, no nothing when the ignition is turned on and off. Checked the battery connections and they're solid. Checked the ignition fuse, looked fine, swapped it out anyway, still nothing.

    Any ideas? Dead reg-rect? Short in the starter?

    Obviously it could be a few things, but a place to start would be very handy.
  2. Hmm... I would suggest start at the battery & work out where the power disappears. You'll nut it out.
  3. Starter have a solenoid ? Can you manually turn the starter ? From experience with cars when starters burn out internally they quite often sieze and suck current under heavy load. Makes a mess of the feed cables, can in worst cases melt electrics. Fuses and relays should go first IF the load exceeds them but anyone who's ever hung onto the key trying to start a car will know the smell and the heat associated with that.

    Perhaps you've had a heavy current draw that's fried a wire or three, break out the multi-meter mate and start looking. Was the battery overly warm when you checked it ? Sign of load if it was warm or even hot to the touch.
  4. Check your fuses first.
  5. I reckon if it's not the starter solenoid (which is probable), it may just be the starter relay (the one that cuts power to other bits and pieces to give your starter motor full herbs) being stuck on. The contacts within the relay weld themselves together eventually after throwing a gazillion e's between the A & C.

    Also, do what Smee said. I read that you checked the fuse, but, there may be a "main" fuse, as well as a fuse for the starter circuit.
  6. The stuck relay sounds the most plausible of all, since the lights didn't just go dim, they died totally. Battery wasn't noticably hot. Will check all the fuses, not just the ignition one, then if there's no joy there it'll be tracking things with the multimeter, but unless it's something fairly obvious I'll be toast. Next step is to try to borrow a trailer and take it to a shop.

    Thanks all.
  7. When my Honda did that it was the battery, which had popped a cell; all lit up and cranking one second, nothing live the next. Even heard the pop. I did all the fuse checks and so on, not wanting to believe I was up for a new battery!

    New battery fitted, problem solved.
  8. ^^
    easy to test!
    A test-light (or multimeter) across the + & - will soon tell you if you have a dead cell. There will be no continuity.
  9. Hmm, so 12.85 V across the battery when it's connected to the bike but the ignition is switched off, dropped to something like 25mV when the ignition is switched on - still no lights or anything.

    Seems to me like the battery is good and healthy but there's a bad short somewhere else in the system.

    I think I'm defeated in terms of DIY, even though I bought an awesome new multimeter - the bike is parked in a dark parking area for a shopping centre, so there's no light and I can't really start pulling it apart there. And for all the Bandit's other virtues, reaching even the starter solenoids/relays requires some fairly major work pulling the side panels (and tank, and seat, and...) off... and then without a workshop manual I wouldn't know what to test anyway.

    Now trying to figure out a way to get the bike to my friendly local mechanic. Will ring him and have a chat, but it's about 30 km from his shop so I doubt he'll be willing to pick it up.
  10. I had exactly the same thing. Adam from City West Yamaha told me it was a dead cell in the batt, he was 100% correct - easy fix.
  11. Sounds like battery worth replacing as they wear out in 2-5 years (yes you can fluck a battery that lasts longer ) and then you save yourself a work shop fee thats the same or more than a battery anyway..
  12. I'm almost tempted to just throw a battery in it on spec... could be a bit of a waste of money if it's something else, but not that huge, and if it fixed it I'd save myself heaps (looking at bike transporters now, which would cost me more than a cost of a battery before I even had a shot at finding out what it is).

    Getting a bit late to do anything today, but I'll get a quote on a battery and also bounce it off the guys at the Maximum Suzuki forums over night and have a think about what to do tomorrow.
  13. If you had a short bad enough to drop the voltage that low when you turn the key on without blowing fuses, I would suspect your wiring loom would be a smoking mess by now. Change/test the battery.
  14. Yeah, good point Roarin'.

    And besides, if I do get a new battery and it turns out to be something else, I can pull it out and put the old one back and keep the new one for when the old one *does* die - no major loss.
  15. +1 battery. Exactly the same happened to Cheng's GSX250F.
  16. Worth changing the Battery for sure ,will most likely fix it ..
    Work shop few 60-90 dollars to find problem and give it all a check
    Trailer 30-50 a day to get it there.
    New Battery around the 100 mark for good quality
    Fixed it yourself at home with only this forum for Help ,Increases self confidance, feels great,Braggin rights

  17. Check for continuity between the 2 postes, that will check for a dropped cell (internal short)
  18. Was tossing up whether to dig for the main fuse before plonking down my money for the battery, but then reasoned thusly:

    If the main fuse had blown the whole thing would be open circuit, so there wouldn't be a voltage drop across the battery when the iginition was turned on.

    Nice rationalisation, anyway, since it saved me pulling bits off the bike for the time being.

    We'll see how it works - it's a lovely sunny 30 degree day in Brisbane and the cricket is on the car radio, so I'll throw my gear in the car, drive and pick up the new battery, drive to the bike, put it in and hope for the best... 'cos then I can go for a ride!

    Thanks all for your help, will report back.
  19. SORTED!!

    Yep, it was the battery. Picked up a new one from my mate Matt at Brisbane Motorcycles, for $63, tossed it in and all was well.

    Thanks so much to all of you - likely saved me hundreds in transport etc, plus as someone said above, it's very satisfying to fix it myself.

    Was wondering whether I did something wrong: Matt asked me "do you have a battery charger at home?" I just said "Yes" and didn't pursue it any further. I didn't end up charging the battery first, just poured the acid in (it came packed separately) and fitted it to the bike and everything worked. (Basically because the bike has been parked there for 2 days already and I have a crap charger that would have taken over night to do anything anyway.) Any reason I should have charged before using?

    Thanks again,

  20. good news.

    it is always important to check battery health under load. with no load even a shagged battery will show good voltage as you have just found out. It's what happens when you ask it to do some work that's the true indicator

    personally I'd put the battery on charge before I used it, but as long as you do a long ride it should top itself off okay - always assuming your alternator is good!