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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Not looking for an answer per se, rather simple feedback, experience or otherwise. Warning... this is long, sorry!

My wife's UK 2012 Captiva (manual) has started playing up in the last 48 hours or so - which sees it refusing to start, playing silly wotsits and other random things. It's being collected on Monday to be checked - again - by our local garage.

In recent days it didn't always start first time. On Friday it just refused to start, sounded like the starter motor couldn't do what was required. Had our automobile club come along to advise the battery wasn't the correct type for a stop start car but otherwise it was fine. No joy getting it going though and it was towed to the garage.

A while later the garage called to say it was alive. They'd experienced the same but claimed the ECU was bunged up with fault codes related to the rear tailgate always being open and the car had gone into self-preservation mode. They're good folks but that part just seems daft, but happy to be corrected.

Anyway, wife collected car with myself in tow just in case. After a few minutes the car decided the front, driver's side indicator would stop working after 3 blinks - and rapidly blink to indicate so. Got home and it would intermittently happen when using the stalk. Hazards didn't trigger it.

It's Friday evening and the car refused to start again.

Observation time... you'd unlock the car and whilst the headlamp indicator would illuminate they were in fact not - but the front fogs would be, along with the driver's side wing mirror indicator permanently on. The car's instrument panel refuses to show the fuel amount when switched to ignition and shows the check engine light along with a maintenance. EPB needs attention and traction control lights. Audible pings sound x4 so the car seems to know it's not happy.

An extremely basic OBD unit recognises my own, automatic 2012 model but has a link error with the wife's manual of the same year.

With an imminent MOT this is why the garage are being given the car on Monday. I'm hoping the car just needs a battery disconnect and ECU flushing. But anyone ever experienced such oddness?

Yours,

Jonty and missus.
 

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Jonty, I read the first three lines of your post and said to myself 'battery'. Then I read the next three lines. Wrong battery.

About three years ago I had similar 'weird' happenings with lights and dials (with a completely different vehicle not GM and now sold) but that turned out to be battery related - one of the cells had a collapsed plate. New battery and reset and everything was fine and I sold (px) it two years later.

My guess is your dealer will probably replace the battery and clear out old codes and everything will be fine. Just make sure the tailgate and the rear glass are properly closed or the tailgate catch readjusted.
 
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I agree with Aussie Ed. A failing battery in a modern car causes a plethora of issues. I would go from there. Since the battery is already a replacement I could be worthy to check the alternator as well as I seemed to have my original battery on mine.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Guys, thanks for the input - much appreciated.

A replacement - correct - battery would seem a good starting point at least, and Winter isn't too far away. Even if there's something else going on, you cannot beat a good battery for the colder times eh!

Will gladly provide updates as things progress.

Jonty and wife.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Hi all,

An update to the issue which, sadly, isn't yet resolved.

The wife's Series 2 was at the garage who confirmed its starting woes were not due to ECU safety measures OR the incorrect battery fitment for a stop start car - advising the battery was perfectly healthy. What had been observed was a tired and problematic starter motor, which was subsequently replaced. Having just driven a shade under 60K miles, the car had always started even if somewhat hesitant at times compared to my own of the same year (albeit auto Vs manual).

Sporting its new starter motor the car was collected fine and was working as such for just under a week - when the same oddity re-appeared. Effectively, unlock the car and the front fogs (not headlamps) would light up along with the driver's side wing mirror/indicator lamp. Turn the key and nothing.

Our automobile club came along again and were given the history. This time the technician played around with relays - swapping the starter relay with the rear window demister one. And voila! She starts, but advice given that could be a fluke. A couple of days later and the problem is back.

Today, I'd removed all the relays from inside the engine-bay fuse box and cleaned the contacted - but to no avail. After 5-10 mins the car can be unlocked but the front fogs light up so I know the car will refuse to start. But give the engine-bay fuse box a tap and an audible whirr can be heard - and the headlamps light up and the car can be started. This was repeated a good few times with the same result.

My auto model of the same year makes no such whirr when unlocked. I guess the manual has other tasks to perform, which may explain why the engine-bay fuse box has a different layout. I guess it could still be a dicky relay or a fuse not making a good contact? Or is there something underneath the fuses and relays which makes some magic? I struggled to hear where the clicks and whirrs were coming from to be honest. All I know is you can give the box a slap after unlocking, a whirr can be heard and the car can be started. Just not keen to go back to the garage just yet. Hoping I'm getting closer to the root cause! Confident the colder weather is a factor.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Very grateful in advance. Feeling for the missus who now doesn't want to drive the car.

Jonty and missus.
 

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Just picking up on the starter replacement issue, have either of your vehicles had the recall carried out on this subject? Mine of same year had dealership recall where various sections of cable to the starter motor were replaced.
 
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