Overheating and dying batteries - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members
 


Insert BS here A place to discuss anything you want

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-18-2012, 04:04 AM   #1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
UnknownPerson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 141
Total Cats: 0
Default Overheating and dying batteries

To start, my Miata has never ever had an overheating issue. After running the car hard, even in the summer (pretty mild in BC), the car has never seen anything passed 12 o'clock on the temperature gauge. I changed the oil in the Miata before setting out on my California road trip last week and I fear that my first ever oil change is causing this issue. I replaced the oil with 5w30 synthetic oil and basically just set off on the trip. After hitting the heat of Oregon on the I-5, I noticed some scary overheating (hitting 1 o'clock and climbing) but this was quickly fixed by turning on the secondary fan and keeping my speed down to 60 mph. Great. Next problem: Apparently running the secondary fan destroy's my battery and stops the car from being able to be started -- after running the secondary fan and riding the highway for a good 4 or 5 hours, we stopped to get some gas and supplies just to find that the engine would not turn over, this issue was solved by bump/push starting the car -- whhhhhyyy?

At this point in the trip, I have traveled about 1000 miles and bump started the car with the help of random strangers about 5 or 6 times. I also noticed (for the first time ever) that there was some smoking out of the exhaust - inconsistently (smokes a couple of seconds, then doesn't for several minutes, etc.) -- this doesn't sound good...

I'm not really sure what I am able to do to solve/diagnose these issues before I return home, but I am hoping that someone might have some insight, ideas, or possible solutions while I'm out running in the amazing California heat.

Thanks in advance. Sorry for the word cluster ****. On trip. Frantic.
UnknownPerson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2012, 06:09 AM   #2
Cpt. Slow
iTrader: (25)
 
curly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 12,107
Total Cats: 518
Default

Sounds like either a dead battery or dead altenator. There's no way that traveling on the interstate for 4-5 hours wouldn't charge the battery. Either the battery won't hold a charge or the altenator won't give it one.

The battery is easy enough to have tested at an Autozone or similar store, I think you need the altenator out of the car to be tested.
curly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2012, 06:48 AM   #3
Elite Member
iTrader: (2)
 
triple88a's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 9,131
Total Cats: 598
Default

If it clicks like a dead battery after 30 minutes of being hooked up to a charger or another vehicle, battery is probably shot or on its last leg.

Start the car and hook up a voltage meter. What does it read? Unless you're running some crazy fans, 2 fans should be within voltage limits.

At highway speeds your radiator is getting more air from the speed than the fans can provide. Check your thermostat. Turn on your heater, is it even heat or does it fade away at spots?

On the other hand you say you got a smoke out of your tail pipe. Do a compression tests and pull the plugs. Hope it's not a blown head gasket.
triple88a is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2012, 01:38 PM   #4
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
UnknownPerson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 141
Total Cats: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
Sounds like either a dead battery or dead altenator. There's no way that traveling on the interstate for 4-5 hours wouldn't charge the battery. Either the battery won't hold a charge or the altenator won't give it one.

The battery is easy enough to have tested at an Autozone or similar store, I think you need the altenator out of the car to be tested.
I'm leaning towards the alternator. My car has a voltage gauge hooked up and its showing around 12 volts for the most part. When the car wouldn't start, the voltage was reading closer to 11 volts. The other odd thing, and this probably has something to do with the way the fan was hooked up, is that when thee secondary fan gets turned on, the voltage drops around 1 - 1.5 volts. I'm guessing that has something to do with this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by triple88a View Post
If it clicks like a dead battery after 30 minutes of being hooked up to a charger or another vehicle, battery is probably shot or on its last leg.

Start the car and hook up a voltage meter. What does it read? Unless you're running some crazy fans, 2 fans should be within voltage limits.

At highway speeds your radiator is getting more air from the speed than the fans can provide. Check your thermostat. Turn on your heater, is it even heat or does it fade away at spots?

On the other hand you say you got a smoke out of your tail pipe. Do a compression tests and pull the plugs. Hope it's not a blown head gasket.
When I turned my heat on, it was very constant. And very very hot. Maybe my intercooler and radiator are full of bugs? Would a clogged intercooler restrict airflow enough to the radiator to stop proper cooling?

I have never had a smoking problem before, I thought that I might have been using a lighter weight oil or something and that might be causing it to smoke. Either way, I will have to do a compression test and such when I get back home.
UnknownPerson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2012, 01:57 PM   #5
Elite Member
iTrader: (2)
 
fooger03's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 4,133
Total Cats: 187
Default

Maybe your alternator died/is dying, and the lower voltage made your temp sensor read hotter?
fooger03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2012, 10:02 PM   #6
Elite Member
iTrader: (2)
 
triple88a's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 9,131
Total Cats: 598
Default

Well then your WP should be fine, now check the thermostat, with how cheap they are, might as well replace it to be safe. Check the voltage while the car is running.
triple88a is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2012, 02:15 AM   #7
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
UnknownPerson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 141
Total Cats: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by triple88a View Post
Well then your WP should be fine, now check the thermostat, with how cheap they are, might as well replace it to be safe. Check the voltage while the car is running.
WP? Voltage was mostly around 13 volts when running.

I made it back to Canada with out many more issues, just one more bump start and reduced speed on the freeway... and 9 hours of driving in the cool cool California air to make Portland by 3am after being stuck in Redding with the I-5 closed. Anyway, car hates California heat but loves the cool and humid air up here.
UnknownPerson is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Are my coils failing? viriiguy General Miata Chat 5 09-28-2015 08:39 PM
wiring wideband ground to battery terminal btabor ECUs and Tuning 10 09-28-2015 06:33 PM
Another Alternator thread ihiryu General Miata Chat 9 09-28-2015 11:22 AM
In what world... curly MEGAsquirt 11 09-22-2015 12:54 PM
Overheating Turbo'd 96M Bruce MacKay General Miata Chat 8 09-05-2015 08:05 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:47 PM.