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Discussion Starter #1
Just bought a 2002 S4 new in July. 600 mile check went fine. Now it's got 3000 miles without problems until...

Went to start it up last night, and the bike wouldn't power-on. No dash light up, no horn, no starter, nothing. When I turn to the park position, however, the headlight does shine.

Tried to push-start it down a hill a few times without luck, but somehow (maybe just the act of rolling it around) I get the dash to come on for a second as I'm parking it and start it up. I drive it around town for 20 minutes, hoping the battery just needs a recharge. I park it, turn it off, and then try to turn it on again. Same problem, no power.

Fuses are all OK. I also tried the red "master" key without luck.

The bike is still under warranty, but the next available appointment at the dealership is OCTOBER 2! So I'd rather take care of it myself ASAP.

Any suggestions as to the possible problem?

Thanks a lot,
Benjamin Burack
 

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My obvious guess is a dead and/or discharged battery. Got a multimeter? If not, pull the battery and have it checked.
dion
 

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Sounds to me like a loose wire somewhere, If you moved it around, and then it powered up suddenly, I would check to make sure that the cables are nice and clean and tight on the battery, then I'd check to make sure that the ground wire is connected nice and tight. It sounds like either the main power wires, or the wires that go to your ignition. I've had a loose ground wire that caused lots of problems, so I'd check there first, good luck!
 

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I had a similar problem on my bike and it turns out it wasn't grounding well. I would check cabling and make sure it has a good ground and getting juice to the plugs with a voltmeter. Not much but I hope it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your suggestions. So far, I have tested the battery with a battery tester and it's good. The connection to the ground is also good. Both battery wires and the ground connection seem to be tight. I have not checked if the connections are clean b/c I don't have the proper tool to undo the screws, but I don't see why they would be dirty since the bike's only three months old and has worked fine up until now.

Usually, when I turn the ignition, nothing comes on except for the fan on the radiator. It spins for about a second. I tried turning the bike on on about 20 times today after checking the above connections, and it powered up properly twice in a row and then wouldn't do it again.

I would like to check the connections from the battery to the ignition, but I don't really know where they are. I can follow the wires out of the battery, but then they enter a big wire bundle and it becomes rather confusing.

Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated, and this bike is my main mode of transportation.

Thanks,
Ben
 

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Did you test the battery with the ignition turned on? Don't be fooled by 12 volts when the ignition is off.
Dion
 

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ben,

On my '02 S4, when I turn the key on:

Fans come on for a moment.
Fuel pump turns on for maybe 1/2 second.
All warning lights come on, then go out, except for the neutral and oil pressure lights, which should be on because it's in neutral and there's no oil pressure because the engine's not running.
Both gauges sweep to maximum and then return to zero.
Headlight, taillight, and dash lights come on & stay on.

I'll look at my wiring diagram tomorrow, I'm too far gone tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I discovered that by jiggling the key around enough I can usually get her to power-up, so I decided that the problem was with the contact between the key and the computer anti-theft sensor. I took her into the Duc dealership yesterday, and although the guy was backed up for four weeks (as usual) he took a quick look. He says the anti-theft device isn't a physical contact but some sort of radio transmitter, and something must be screwed up with the radio receiver in the ignition. He's going to call Ducati tomorrow to see if they've heard of the problem. Hopefully it should be an easy fix, although I'll probably have to wait four weeks for the part to arrive and another four weeks to get an appointment with service.

In any case, at least I can use her now (with a few minutes of key jiggling)

Anyway, thanks everybody for the advice.
 

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Ben,
Your dealer is not doing you any favors......

If you turn the key switch on and get nothing, it's not something wrong with the immobiliser (anti-theft device). It's not that powerful.

It's either:
A: The key switch itself that's going bad, which IMHO is unlikely on such a low mileage/age bike.
B: The ignition relay is bad. That's my guess at this point.

Flip your tank up, and look in from the left hand side:



If you turn the key switch on, and the ignition relay doesn't click, it's probably bad. Turn the key switch OFF, and carefully wiggle out both relays, and swap them (they are the same part). Turn the key switch on again, and you should get lights and most of the other stuff. Fuel pump will probably not run, as you've just swapped a bad relay over to that circuit.

Try this, and post what happens.
 
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I'll add this much. My bike was out of commission for 5 weeks due to a malfunctioning ECU unit. I had starting issues: when I turned the key the lights, gauges, relay, fuel pump, all came on. It's just when I pressed the electrifying starter it wouldn't turn over. I pushed started it a few times but that played out quickly. Have a reputable mechanic check it out. That's what warranties are for, right?
 

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The above photo of the 2 relays just solved my problem! $11 and my 2001 M900 is back on the road. Thanks for the great advice!
 
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