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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Before i start, here’s what’s new on the vehicle:

New battery March 2020
New alternator June 2020
New serpentine belt June 2020 (might as well when replacing alternator)
New Starter May 2021

A few weeks ago I noticed an issue where I’m cranking a little longer than normal to get it started. It has progressed into the occasional issue where I have no start/no crank, just relays clicking in the fuse box. My clock will flicker on and off slowly while relays are clicking. This happened to me leaving work last night. Turned the key on and off 3 times and the relays clicked every time with the clock dimming. Tried twice more after that, dome light turned on and dash lights came on. Got a long strong crank but no turnover. Final attempt it started right up. Same situation happened a few weeks ago.

12.02 on the multimeter before I attempted to start last night. Cranks longer than it should every time unless it’s a quick stop at the store.

A few days before this, battery was put on a trickle charge for 24 hours until charger shut off. 12.6v after that. The next morning battery was down to 12.14. I had no accessories plugged in. This car sits quite a bit but I do use it at least once or twice a week. I figured it needed a full charge, but that did not work.

Went to Napa later that day. Battery tests good. Rated at 650 cca and measures at 696. Charges at 13.99 normal and 13.7 loaded.

I assume I have a drain somewhere? I’m thinking the ignition relay is trying to get enough voltage to open, then it closes and keeps trying. I’m confused because It seems like I have plenty of power moments later when it does crank strongly and eventually turn over.

Any suggestions on where to start? Went to get the mail this morning and started fine, probably cranked for an extra second or two. Shut car off to get the mail, returned to my car and just got long cranks with no turnover twice before finally starting up the third time. Could this be the starter relay?

100k on the car and it runs normally outside of this. Engine runs good, everything well maintained. No stalling or performance issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry, cranks just fine but engine does not fire. Engine does fire on the 3rd or 4th attempt. The issue with the relays clicking is usually accompanied by a few failed attempts to start once power is restored.
 

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Apparently it is neither the battery nor the starter, or the engine would not start at all. And the battery would be dead as a stuffed parrot after a 3rd or 4th attempt.

I think you have to check the contacts at the battery itself and its grounding to the chassis and the engine/transmission block.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I’m thinking battery cables or terminals. Had an issue with loss of power and relays making noise in another vehicle a few years ago and that was the cause. Will look into it but was hoping it was a quick relay replacement. I don’t think it’s a drain either. The car can sit for a week and turn over, other times its dead after just running 5 minutes prior.
 

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A long crank can sometimes indicate a weak or failing fuel pump. You are at the age where many pumps quit. But I would look at grounds first, then check your fuel pump pressures if you can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Apparently it is neither the battery nor the starter, or the engine would not start at all. And the battery would be dead as a stuffed parrot after a 3rd or 4th attempt.

I think you have to check the contacts at the battery itself and its grounding to the chassis and the engine/transmission block.

Thank you, Architect! I had a bad ground between the chassis and engine. Fires up every time now. Fingers crossed! Did all new plugs as well, they were needed.
 
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