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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I have a question regarding some starting issues.

Problem:
Since a day or two, my car won't start. Tuesday morning, I tried starting my car and as I turn the key in the ignition I hear 1 attempt to start (a click and the starter motor for about 1 second) and my car went dead. All dash lights faded and my dome light faded as well. Its almost like my battery does not have enough power to fire up my starter motor.

This is what I've tried so far:
Before assuming it is the battery and replacing it (which is the most common assumption I guess) I tried jump starting the car with my other car which worked just fine. I drove around for about 30 mins (15 km). I parked the ST back in the garage and the next morning, same thing.
This time I spent more time trying to find what the problem is. I used my multi meter and read the Voltage from the battery (cold). The reading was around 12.50 Volts. I turned the key in the ignition once and some dash lights came on. Then I turned the head lights on (it seemed like there was just enough power to do that). I had the lights on for about 1 minute and took another reading right after. Voltage went down to about 12.25 Volts and slowly went up again back to around 12.45 -12:50.
I borrowed a battery charger and charged my battery. No luck with that, car still won't start.
I do have to mention that there was a lot of white crap (the corrosion) on the + pole which I removed/cleaned for as far possible.

Last thing I tried was connecting the multi meter to the 2 poles of the battery, had my wife try to start the car and as soon as she tried I noticed the Voltage of the battery dropped to about 4-5 Volts and all the lights in the car went off again.
I tried the same with my other car and the Voltage never went below 11 Volts.

To be honest I am a little afraid of buying a new battery and then to find out that it was actually my alternator that caused my battery to have died or another electrical leak or something.
I was wondering if someone had similar issues or has any good suggestions?

thanks
 

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i had that issue last week, my battery was fine, but my alternator was bad, if you can get the car started i know autozone can check alternators for free, if theres an autozone near you, or a car parts store that does free battery testing
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Not sure if we have an Autozone in Canada, definitely not where I live unfortunately.
thanks tho

Were you even able to jump start your car? I could take the battery from my other car but if there is something else going on I don't want it to mess up the good battery
 

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Its your battery
However
Go to YouTube and type the following into the search field
battery alternator voltmeter [then type everything back in and substitute multimeter for voltmeter]
There will be an assortment of videos that instruct how to test your automotive electrical system

Oh This tells what NOT to do when 'testing' your alternator
http://www.troubleshooters.com/dont_disconnect_battery.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for the replies. I found out that Walmart checks batteries for free so I'll give that a try
 

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It may carry a decent voltage but not be able to flow enough current to actually turn the motor over. Since your able to drive around after its started it tells me the alternator is at least acceptable (although a bad battery can make it work overtime and eventually kill it). I would be you test that battery with a tester and it would come up to around 12.5 volts but less than 300CCA.
 

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How old is your battery? I had one on my car die in 2008. I had to keep jumper cable connected for nearly 5 minutes before it would stay running, it loaded down the system that much. Climate can do a battery in more often than time too. Did you open your battery and check how much water was in the individual cells? Most batteries are maintenance free, but they ll lose water from the electrolyte over time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@ JEtrinka:
That ended up to be the problem, not enough cranking amps.. I tested my battery with a proper batt tester and the battery was only able to produce 149 CCA
I put a new battery in and all is fine now. Hopefully the bad battery didn't damage my alternator.
@ Sparky34kv:
I couldn't find a date on the battery, but my guess is that it's the factory one. The water levels were still fine though..
I usually check the water levels every 6 months or so.

Thanks everyone for advice and suggestions
 

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7 years is a hell of a long time for a battery to last. I'd be suprised to get 5 years out of a stock battery. Sounds like you got your moneys worth out of it.
 

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You're low on electrolyte. That happens to really old batteries. Back in the old days you simply put water in it. To test your alternator, jump the car off so it will start, then measure the voltage at the battery with the engine running. I wouldn't be surprised to see 13-14v which is alternator charging voltage. Jetrinka is exactly right, I'm just adding to the diagnosis.

If you want to be really weird- can't hurt- go pop the cap off your battery's cells. You should have fluid in there up to about 1/2" from the top. If you don't, then add some carefully. Don't overfill because what comes out is acid. I've had to do this a few times in my life. Non-serviceable batteries my butt. They just don't want people to know anything any more so we'll be at the mercy of the retail industry.

Of course, purchase a new battery ASAP, but that should keep you in the running for a week or so if it works.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
yeah tried that but it didn't work. The battery really was at the end of its life.

I got a new one. The + terminal had so much oxidation, that I decided to put a new, clean terminal on (I didn't feel cleaning it with a wire brush).
After, I put Vaseline on both terminals.
It looks nice and neat and my car starts again :)
 
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