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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello!

I've recently had some problems with my 2004-mod, and I hope someone who knows a bit more about these cars than I do might be able to fill me in on some more information.

Recently, from about a month ago and onwards, the car has been a little difficult with the startup. There are no check engine lights etc.

When I turn the key:
The starter engages, but it has a very... I'm struggling to describe it, very light sound, it sounds more electrical than mechanical if that makes sense. I don't know if that's common with these cars, but I'm more used to a more mechanical sound.
The dashlights flicker from the battery drain, the starter is definitely doing something.
Most of the time, if I just continue to hold the key it'll start, but the revs build slowly. (The last time I did this, it gave me a brake! light, TCS light and maybe something else, I don't remember off the top of my head but I figured it was the systems freaking out a little due to the prolonged battery drain.

If I use a little bit of throttle while starting, it starts right up.

Current mileage is 181 000km. Oil was changed two months ago, about 1000km ago. Transmission oil was changed at around 130k. Only thing I've done with the car is change the head unit, but I struggle to relate that to a problem with the starter.

I don't know when the spark plugs were last changed, or if the ignition cassette has been changed. I ordered new plugs though, and they should be here on Monday, but the car seemingly runs fine once it starts.

Thanks in advance!

Edit: Starter noise
 

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My first reaction, based on what I've read on here, is the battery. These cars are sensitive to battery condition. How does it start if you jump-start from another car?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My first reaction, based on what I've read on here, is the battery. These cars are sensitive to battery condition. How does it start if you jump-start from another car?
I haven't tried jump-starting it, but I have a battery charger (cold winters here) so I've hooked it up to top up the battery. When I connected it the voltage reading on the charger said 12.4v. It's currently charging, but I'll have a better idea either later tonight or tomorrow.
 

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If no other battery is available you could try to measure voltage during cranking.
Disconnect ignition cassette DIC and remove fuse (15?) for fuel pump to let it crank without starting.
It seems that voltage drops too low.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If no other battery is available you could try to measure voltage during cranking.
Disconnect ignition cassette DIC and remove fuse (15?) for fuel pump to let it crank without starting.
It seems that voltage drops too low.
I actually have a second battery laying around, but it's at a lower rating. It is 12v though, just needs a charge. I'll make sure to try it if charging up the current battery and changing the spark plugs don't work.

I'll try removing fuse 15 as well if the charge and plugs don't help. But, I do get the feeling that it's not a starter-related problem, just on the basis that it does sound like it's spinning at a good RPM. It's not chugging or anything, it's just the engine that takes its time before starting without some encouragement from the throttle.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well, you learn something new every day. Everything points towards battery, charger was done so hooked the battery up and it just started right up. No clue about the noise from the starter still, but hey, if it works I'm not going to question it. Might need a new battery though. 77amp battery, 4amp charger, charging for about five hours... That's not a lot of charging needed. Might need to buy a jumpstarter for when the winter comes, or just charge it every night.

Either way, many thanks for the input everyone! Great having a place like this to ask!
 

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Try an intelligent trickle charger, like a CTEK.

As for the unusual noises - a chattering relay perhaps?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Try an intelligent trickle charger, like a CTEK.

As for the unusual noises - a chattering relay perhaps?
Yeah I'll look into that when winter comes.

And I dunno about a relay, it's more like an electric whine than a chatter. I'll see if I can get it on video later after I've changed the spark plugs.
 

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take the video with open hood and let someone else start the engine.
Maybe belt?
Dismount belt and try to start again, but let it run only short time as water pump is not driven.
 
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