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Old Oct 31st, 2012, 06:10 PM
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Question 2006 Cooper S Starting issues

Hello all, sorry for the long post, just want to give you all enough information to go by.

I have a 2006 Cooper S Automatic.

I also have a fair bit of sound system in it (amps/subs etc) all installed professionally. Never had any issues with this in the last 4 years or so. Part of the upgrade was a decent battery and at this point OEM was about 3-4 years so was a good idea to change anyway.

About 6 months ago I went to start the car on a Sunday and everything came on in the car, but when I went to ignition there was nothing, no clicks just nothing. Opened up the boot and took sound kit out (to get to the battery) and the battery was sitting in about 5 inches of water - not good! So I drained the water out, left a dehumidifier in there to properly dry it out and charged the battery back up. Car starts at this point; phew! The following week I took it in to local MINI dealer, they said boot seals had gone, fairly common apparently, replaced them and I went on my merry way.

Now about a month ago (so around 5 months after this happened) I noticed it sometimes was "hard" to start, as if the battery was dying. Didn't think much of it until it didn't start again. If I charge the battery using external charger or jump the car (cannot bump as automatic) then it works for a few days. My incline told me it was a battery fault, possibly due to the water ingress, and the battery was now about 4 years old anyway, thought to myself, probably time to change it, problem will be solved then.......

....changed battery yesterday and all worked fine. Nice clean startup. Drove to work this morning, again fine, until this afternoon when I came home. Nothing at all again. Lights working etc, stereo indicating 12.4v just nothing on turning to ignition. Luckily I work at a "car related" company and a colleague had some jumper cables. Connected them and started just fine. Drive home and everything all good; try turning off and starting about 10 times; no issues now.

My question to you brainy lot is; I doubt the battery itself is an issue (1 day old) now so I'm happy to discount that. Other possibility is a power leak of some kind (would require diagnostics) and nothing is "on" when the car is parked so I want to avoid this (not to mention the cost) so after reading around it seems it could be a starter motor on its way out. How likely is this (as I don't really want to change that and find it's an electrical leak.

Any advice greatly appreciated :-)

Last edited by phiebs; Oct 31st, 2012 at 06:11 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old Nov 1st, 2012, 05:19 PM
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Just an update: worked fine today, when I got home I multimetered the battery and have 13.5 off and 14.7 when running, think I can rule out the alternator?
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