Sportrak starting problem


Hi all,

Took my Sportrak (1995, 82,000 miles) off-roading last sunday, and whilst jet washing it all over at a garage, the passengers in the car were listening to the radio for about 10-20 mins. Came to start the car and completely dead, completely flat battery. Slowly came back to life a little while waiting for help, but not enough to start. Started fine with a jumpstart on the battery.

Started ok all week, until yesterday, again waiting for a jet wash, I had the radio on (engine off), as I've done many times, for about 5 mins, and again, not enough power to start. Left it while I washed the car down and 15-20 mins later it had recovered enough to start the engine.

This morning it will also start ok.

First thought is the battery is a bit knackered, maybe time for a new one? (not sure how old it is).

Second thought is maybe its something to do with a bad earth??

Anyone any ideas or comments/suggestions?? Could it be the earth, and if so where should I check it??

Thanks in advance,


Take the car to a reputable battery wholesale outlet and get the battery checked for continuity and power output. One of the battery plates could be failing. Any battery more than 5years old is probably dying especially if the car is used infrequently or for short trips only. Infrequent used battery plates oxodise. Some batteries dont last that long!
New battery between £25 and £60 ... so shop arround. If your in the midlands UK and close to B'ham, go to the 'Yuca' battery shop in Tysley = direct from manufacturer at wholesale price.[Its the 'old' Lucas factory outlet, now in a new building]

Had the same problem with min

Had the same problem with mine. Replaced the battery and it's been fine since.

It seems to be a problem on the Sportys during the winter months. With more useage of lights, heater, radio/cd etc. the charging system can sometimes not be up to the job. Especially if there's lots of short journeys or the battery is not 100%.

Re starting problem

Hi Nat

Just to say I had the same problem last month on my 1997 Sportrak. It transpired that the battery needed topping up with water as it was as dry as a (insert suitable expression) All of this was to no avail. After charging the battery overnight it didn´t have enough power to pull the skin off a rice pudding.

A new battery has solved the problem immediately. Wasn´t helped by the bonnet ("hood" for you guys in the States and Oz) being frozen, which meant I couldn´t attach my jump leads, and had to have an embarassing drag start from a Kia Sportage owner (The shame, the shame!)

ATB and keep motoring