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Engine Battery, Starting Issue

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Tirami su View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27 June 2023 at 12:24
We have twice had an engine start problem on our 495. When I press start it immediately turns off with a relay click in the engine bay.  After waiting a bit and lots of wiggling of the throttle lever it has started normally and runs well. We have recently had the engine serviced and sail drive diaphram replace by a Volvo mechanic.  I first thought this was to do with an interlock on the throttle position believing, incorrectly, the drive was in gear and preventing starting However I can find no sensors for this on either end of the cables. 

I am now wondering if it is a battery or connection issue. In both cases  the failure to start happened in the morning when the battery voltage is a bit lower before the solar panels have topped up the charge. But still 12.7 volts on the panel and at the battery switch. I know where all the batteries are except the engine start battery. The manual says under the navigation station but I can see no way of accessing it. 

I would welcome any advice/ experience you can provide. Particularly about:
  • Does the 495 have an in gear interlock on the engine start?
  • Experience accessing the engine battery?
  • Any other observation/ advice you would have?
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Wayne's World View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wayne's World Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2023 at 15:06
John,

In answer to some of your questions -
1 The engine would definitely have an "interlock" so it would not start in gear.
2. Don't know.
3. Most batteries seem to fail quickly without much notice. I would check the battery connections and starter motor connections to ensure there is no corrosion and the connections are tight (once you sort out item 2). I would check the voltage of the battery when the engine was cranking. If it goes to low ie < 10.5V then the battery is possibly toast.

Wayne W
Cruising, currently in the Caribbean and will head across the Pacific early 2024
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S&J View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote S&J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2023 at 21:36
My experience is with newer models but it has been possible to start both my 385 and 458 (Volvo and Yanmar respectively) whilst in gear.  The 458 has a design fault which means the throttle is in neutral when 45° forward rather than a more conventional vertical position and this catches many people out.
Both boats have engine start battery in the engine compartment above the engine.  Not the best location for heat but short cable runs.
12,.7V sounds slightly low for an AGM that only has to provide amps for cranking for a few seconds, but not fatal by any means.  The engine battery should be topped up immediately by the alternator so really should not be dependent on solar unless it has very high self discharge.
I would also check what the voltage is when cranking to rule out battery issues.

H458 #159 Primal Mediterranean cruising
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redlion View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote redlion Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2023 at 09:23
I had a similar problem and it turned out to be the water pump bearing. The engine would not start and we would hear a click but after wiggling the drive belt it would start. Replacing the water pump bearing and seal cured it. The clue was the drip from the back of the water pump but I was slow to diagnose.
It,s not over till the fat lady drowns
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Julian View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Julian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2023 at 20:42
The starter battery sits at the end of the house bank. Right in front of starboard aft cabin. You’ve got to take out the floor board. 
SV Pelicano
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Hanse 495
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Tirami su View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tirami su Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 June 2023 at 13:10
Found my engine battery under the port floor boards between the hot water tank and wine storage. I contacted the previous owner; he moved it to the new location when increasing the house battery capacity, a couple of years ago. 

It looks like there is no interlock with the throttle position as far as I can find.  

I had an electrician fit an emergency start button in the engine bay, which bypasses the electronic systems as we suspected than was part of the issue.  

This has now highlighted, though I have good volts on the engine battery and a reasonable voltage drop, it is probably the cause of my issues. Fitting a new battery today. 

Thanks for the advice and suggestions. 

Heading to Crete
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