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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys,

I signed up hoping someone might be able to help me.

September 3rd
I got my wife's Cruze serviced.

September 16th
My wife rang to tell me the Cruze wouldn't start.
An hour later I had a quick look at it, when I was in the area, and could faintly see the hazards blinking on the dash.
I must have left the hazards on after reverse parking it the night before (a habit of mine, I'm a delivery man). Turned the hazards off but couldn't get it to start.
Got home from work about 6 hours later and was going to jumpstart it and leave it running to recharge the battery BUT
I turned the key & it started all on it's own. Left it running for over 20 minutes. Turned it off and on again. All seemed OK.

September 17th
Cruze wouldn't start after plenty of attempts. Put my son in my car instead. When about to take the key out of the Cruze to lock it I tried one more time and it started! Took the Cruze instead. Noticed a Lock icon on the dash (attached).
Picking someone up I forgot to leave the engine running but it started again, 10 seconds later, on the first attempt. Went home.
A couple hours later my wife drove 10 minutes to the shops and then a couple hours later drove back. She said she saw the Lock icon on the dash.
A couple hours later I drove 35 minutes to the city. The Lock icon was gone.
A couple hours later I drove back.

September 18th
Cruze wouldn't start again but now the Engine light (no longer the Lock light) is displayed. Tried again a few hours later with no luck. Engine light still on.

September 19th
Cruze still won't start. Engine light still on.

Any ideas what could be wrong?

Thanks for looking.
 

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When you say it wouldn't start, what exactly happened? Did the starter run normally, but the engine not catch? Or did the starter not run?

How old is the battery? Typical for US Cruzes is 3 years for the factory battery. What you describe could be a battery on the way out.

Also in the US, we've had problems with the battery ground cable going bad causing intermittent problems.
 

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There is something wrong with the immobilizer system or anti theft system. This could be with the key itself, the key hole, the BCM, or even the ECM.


You can also try learning a new key... Try this.

1. Grab a stopwatch.
2. Put the key in to the On position. Do not start the vehicle.
3. Start your timer, wait 11 minutes. The light should go off. If it doesn't this isn't going to work so don't bother. You can jump to step 4 when the light turns off.
4. put the key to off, do not remove it.
5. Go back to step 2, do this twice, for a toal of 3 times or a total period of 33 minutes.
6. Your vehicle should be off right now. Put it to the on position and start normally.

If this doesn't work. You can try attempting to start the vehicle each time after the lights goes off. Also try starting it for the first time at #2.


Also if you have another key. You don't need to do all the steps. Put your old key in, turn to on, then turn to off and take the key out. Put your unlearned key in, and turn the vehicle to on. Should be good to go.*
 

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There is something wrong with the immobilizer system or anti theft system. This could be with the key itself, the key hole, the BCM, or even the ECM.
Normally, yes. But if the power is sketchy, it could be from that. I'd concentrate on power for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the replies guys.
I've edited my post to clarify that at the early stages the Lock light was on the dash but more recently it has been the Engine light.

When you say it wouldn't start, what exactly happened? Did the starter run normally, but the engine not catch? Or did the starter not run?
I'm not a much of a car guy but it sounded like the engine was cranking(?) over. My wife's cousin has a Cruze too & when her battery went flat a month ago all I could hear was a rapid clicking/ticking sound. Today the car "cranking" isn't lasting as long as the other day so I'm no longer confident it will spontaneously startup again.

How old is the battery? Typical for US Cruzes is 3 years for the factory battery. What you describe could be a battery on the way out.
The factory battery went out just after 3 years. I replaced it with one with a 40 month warranty.
That was about 19 months ago.
If the battery is flat shouldn't the Battery light on the dash come on?

Also if you have another key. You don't need to do all the steps. Put your old key in, turn to on, then turn to off and take the key out. Put your unlearned key in, and turn the vehicle to on. Should be good to go.*
My wife & I each have our own key. In my initial post whoever I said was driving was using their own key. So we're both having problems.

When I just tried to start the engine the instrument panel dinged about 5 times & there is another icon displayed after I stop turning the key. It is a car with a wrench within.
 

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The battery light only illuminates if the charging system is compromised......no light means the charging system is functioning.

Odds are, the deep discharge that occured when the flashers were left on could have damaged the battery to the point it will not accept a charge or has a internal short causing it to lose charge while sitting.

If possible, charge the battery overnight using a formal charger to see if it recovers.......otherwise, have it tested by the folks that provided it.....possible battery warranty.

The various lights that are mentioned often are the result of a battery problem and should not be of concern until it has been determined the battery is 100%.

Rob
 

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Brockster;2576609could faintly see the hazards blinking on the dash.[/QUOTE said:
I cropped all but the critical clue. Leaving the hazards on overnight will drain the battery. If you can jump start the car do so and then drive it to where you bought the battery. Tell them you had to jump start the car and have them load test the battery. Chances are all you have is a drained battery. If the battery fails their testing it will be a warranty replacement.
 

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Hello Brockster,

We regret to hear that you are experiencing a concern with your Cruze and realize that you are seeking the advice from other forum members. However, we would be more than happy to assist you in setting up an appointment with one of our local dealers to have this concern addressed. If this is something you are interested in, please send us a private message with your full contact information, VIN, and the mileage of your vehicle.

Best,

Netty J.
Chevrolet Customer Care

Hi guys,

I signed up hoping someone might be able to help me.

September 3rd
I got my wife's Cruze serviced.

September 16th
My wife rang to tell me the Cruze wouldn't start.
An hour later I had a quick look at it, when I was in the area, and could faintly see the hazards blinking on the dash.
I must have left the hazards on after reverse parking it the night before (a habit of mine, I'm a delivery man). Turned the hazards off but couldn't get it to start.
Got home from work about 6 hours later and was going to jumpstart it and leave it running to recharge the battery BUT
I turned the key & it started all on it's own. Left it running for over 20 minutes. Turned it off and on again. All seemed OK.

September 17th
Cruze wouldn't start after plenty of attempts. Put my son in my car instead. When about to take the key out of the Cruze to lock it I tried one more time and it started! Took the Cruze instead. Noticed a Lock icon on the dash (attached).
Picking someone up I forgot to leave the engine running but it started again, 10 seconds later, on the first attempt. Went home.
A couple hours later my wife drove 10 minutes to the shops and then a couple hours later drove back. She said she saw the Lock icon on the dash.
A couple hours later I drove 35 minutes to the city. The Lock icon was gone.
A couple hours later I drove back.

September 18th
Cruze wouldn't start again but now the Engine light (no longer the Lock light) is displayed. Tried again a few hours later with no luck. Engine light still on.

September 19th
Cruze still won't start. Engine light still on.

Any ideas what could be wrong?

Thanks for looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I removed the battery from the Cruze. I borrowed a 3 stage charger from a mate at work. In 2 hours it said the battery was charged. I put it in the Cruze and the engine light is gone. Went for a few short trips and so far so good.

Is it possible to test the battery myself? I think I've seen it done with a multimeter.

Thanks again for all the advice. You've really helped.
 

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Is it possible to test the battery myself? I think I've seen it done with a multimeter.
That will only tell you if the battery is dead or beyond hope. It won't tell you if it's on the way out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That will only tell you if the battery is dead or beyond hope. It won't tell you if it's on the way out.
Is there any other device?

Are people only supposed to know there's a problem with their battery when the car won't start?
 

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Is there any other device?
The device needed to do a full test costs more than the battery. (A lot more.) It's only affordable to shops.

This is a big improvement over a simple voltmeter. But even then, I'm not sure as it will spot all the problems that could be happening.
 
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Is there any other device?

Are people only supposed to know there's a problem with their battery when the car won't start?
There are two devices that effectively test batteries.

The most frequently used nowadays is a transistorized unit that places a small load on the battery and then looks at how long it takes the battery to recover from that load.
I am not fond of these, however.......I have tested batteries with them that showed a failure, yet, after deep recharging, the battery now tests good.
I often wonder how many serviceable batteries get replaced due to this devices electronic decision making.

I still use a carbon load tester.....two actual meters, one voltage, one amperage.
Prior to load testing I can determine by the voltage reading if the battery is ready (fully charged) for testing.
If voltage is low, I will deep charge the battery for a couple of hours.......if the voltage is still low after charging I need not test....this battery has already failed.

If the voltage is now at spec. after charging, I can load test it.
The device has a adjustable load (carbon pile) rheostat that I control.

The test is done by adjusting the rheostat, loading the battery (as though a starter were drawing) to the point voltage drops to 10 volts.
A good battery will easily exceed its rated amperage for a five second count.
Now, I take the load off and watch how rapidly the voltage recovers.......a good battery will recover in less than ten seconds.

A bad battery will drop to 10 volts but be unable to reach its rated amperage.....this, in a second or two......and then, upon load removal, generally will take 15 or more seconds to recover to initial test voltage (if it reaches it at all).

Neither of these are cheap......that means often in the three to five hundred dollar range if you are a good shopper.

Most dealers use the latest greatest device I described first.....that is because there is no skill required to operate it.

Older, independent mechanics often use both......If the newest type shows a good battery, you generally let it fly.
If the battery fails though, it is best to deep charge and retest with the actual load tester.

This way, you can tell your customer with confidence that the battery is indeed failing.

Rob
 

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Hello Brockster,

I know that we have reached out to you on another post regarding your wife’s Cruze. We would love to assist you in any way that we can. Please feel free to send us a private message.

Best,

Netty J.
Chevrolet Customer Care

I removed the battery from the Cruze. I borrowed a 3 stage charger from a mate at work. In 2 hours it said the battery was charged. I put it in the Cruze and the engine light is gone. Went for a few short trips and so far so good.

Is it possible to test the battery myself? I think I've seen it done with a multimeter.

Thanks again for all the advice. You've really helped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
This is a big improvement over a simple voltmeter. But even then, I'm not sure as it will spot all the problems that could be happening.
Ordered! Looks like a fun gadget. Thanks.

There are two devices that effectively test batteries.

The most frequently used nowadays...
Wow! I will feel like I haven't lived until I've tried this. Thanks for taking the time to go through every little detail.


Update: I'm still having the same problems with icons & starting the car.

I tried charging it again a few times. It would say it was charged after five minutes but then would take forever to start so when I got home I tried charging again. It was still charging the next day so I just pulled the plug.

I'm taking it to be tested by the guy I bought it off tomorrow.



I've obviously come to the right place for advice so thanks again. But I still have a few questions that have been popping into my head over the last week.


1.
As long as you don't mention leaving the hazards on overnight. Discharging a battery that low can kill it.
I'm still a little puzzled. I've left my headlights on once or twice over the years (in different vehicles than the Cruze). I've seen other people do the same thing. Why weren't the batteries killed on those occasions?

Is the Cruze battery a different technology? Do hazards draw more power than headlights meaning it would take more than a day for headlights to kill the battery? Something else?



2. About 18 months ago I checked/pumped up the Cruze tyres using a small pump I'd bought that is powered by the cigarette lighter socket. I didn't think I'd need to leave the engine running but afterwards the car wouldn't start. The pump wouldn't have been on for more than 10 minutes in total and I'm sure I'd done it before (but maybe in a different car). At the time I didn't have jumper leads and was parked wrong way in. The Cruze was about 3 or 4 years old so I thought the original battery was probably on it's way out so I thought it was best to just replace it. Do you think that was the problem?


3. I actually kept that battery and had intended to get the equipment to test/charge it but never got around to it. While I had the charger this week I hooked it up but the charge light flickered which I'd been told means there's a problem with the battery.


4. If I can't get the battery replaced under warranty what type of battery should I look for.


Thanks again.
 

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The quest for fuel economy has even rattled down to batteries......smaller, lighter, but with the same output capabilities of the older, larger, heavier versions of the past.
The antimony (what we call lead plates) has changed to a less lead, more noble material makeup....thus, lighter.
The cells have more of this material and much thinner plate separators........more plates are allowed.
Tight packing means less electrolyte......all tied together gets a lighter unit with similar capabilities of the older, larger bits.

The downside.....a intolerance for deep discharging.......a deeply discharged battery has turned its electrolyte back to water (not totally, but the so4 content as a percentage is deminished and as a result the plates rapidly develop a coating of corrosion.
The corrosion blocks the plates ability to provide current and, even though fully recharged, the amount of time (amp hours) is reduced.

Several deep charging events will destroy the batteries ability to accept and release current.

So, what kind of battery?
Ideally you want a brand name that has a recent construction date......all automotive batteries have a construction date somewhere on the case......actual or Julian.
The retailer, if on their game, can show you the date.

Ideally you want a brand name that has been constructed within the last three months.
Once installed, put it on a trickle charger overnight to fully charge........the act of driving will not fully charge the battery because you are not running the car long enough at one time.

Handled in this manner, without any more 'Whoops I left the whatever on and killed it' events, will get the longest lifespan.
Keep in mind, a lifespan of three to five years is about all a battery can provide.......it lives in a horrible environment....ie, heat and vibration, the other two battery killers.

Good luck,
Rob
 
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