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[final update?] Dead car battery, redux, redux
Posted by: clay
Date: September 10, 2017 09:20PM
Most recent post : [forums.macresource.com]

I ended up buying another new battery in January 2017, after it seemed that I had lost another battery. The car worked just fine with occasional use until a few weeks ago. I discovered while wiggling the battery contacts that the positive contact was quite literally falling apart. I ordered a new OEM part, replaced it a few days ago, and the car has been starting up just fine since then. The first time I started it after replacing the positive contact, I drove it for about a half hour. Drove it the next day without a jump, and just drove it again today for two 15 minute stretches with no jump. Works fine.

I'm guessing the battery contact was likely the culprit all along. For a $10 DIY fix, I'm glad I figured it out finally! I don't mind spending $100 every 8 months on a new battery to keep it running, but if I don't need to do that, I'm sure glad! The car has actually been quite reliable over its lifetime. If I can keep it running for another year or two, I'd be pretty happy.

Anyway, just thought I'd report. Always feels good to figure out/fix an issue like this.
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Re: [final update?] Dead car battery, redux, redux
Posted by: Speedy
Date: September 10, 2017 09:40PM
Nice that it was an easy fix even if it cost a bit to figure out.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: [final update?] Dead car battery, redux, redux
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 10, 2017 10:04PM
I discovered while wiggling the battery contacts that the positive contact was quite literally falling apart.

how can you miss that? you got pointed in the right direction smiling smiley

Filliam H. Muffman: " If a fairly new battery goes weak, the two most likely causes are a bad alternator or a corroded connection. "

clay: "battery leads look just fine...I cleaned them when the battery was replaced."
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Re: [final update?] Dead car battery, redux, redux
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: September 10, 2017 11:51PM
Yeah, that battery should last a good five years
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Re: [final update?] Dead car battery, redux, redux
Posted by: Carm
Date: September 11, 2017 01:04AM
My wife's BIL recently had a bad battery connector on his truck. It wasn't putting out full amperage. It was replaced at dealership. Then the whole fusebox under the hood melted and it wasn't covered by ford, should have been. Potential fire hazard and/or crash hazard if it had melted while he was driving.

Quote
mrbigstuff
Yeah, that battery should last a good five years
Depends on location of battery. Or car.
Batteries in southern CA last 3-4 years, five of you're lucky. Under hood. Battery in insulated compartment in car lasted 7 ish years. I'm sure my under hood batteries would last longer in a cooler climate.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2017 01:13AM by Carm.
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Re: [final update?] Dead car battery, redux, redux
Posted by: DP
Date: September 11, 2017 06:58AM
I don't mind spending $100 every 8 months on a new battery to keep it running

I sure would! But, after that last slap, clay, I'll tell a story about my dumb learning-the-hard-way story. Years ago, I had been driving in a car I had only for a few days and the battery died while on a road trip. I limped into a gas station in a state I don't drive in very often. I had to buy a new battery. Then, it died again a few hours later. Limping in to another gas station, the mechanic popped the hood and the first thing he did was tug on the alternator belt and said it was way too loose. Tightened it up and I was on my way and never had the problem again! Live and learn...



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Re: [final update?] Dead car battery, redux, redux
Posted by: billb
Date: September 11, 2017 06:59AM
Quote
space-time
I discovered while wiggling the battery contacts that the positive contact was quite literally falling apart.

how can you miss that? you got pointed in the right direction smiling smiley

Filliam H. Muffman: " If a fairly new battery goes weak, the two most likely causes are a bad alternator or a corroded connection. "

clay: "battery leads look just fine...I cleaned them when the battery was replaced."


loose connections aren't obvious to untrained eyes until they are so bad they are falling apart
especially crimp connections that are rotting/arcing internally
when a bad connection is mimicking a bad battery it is human nature to replace the battery



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Re: [final update?] Dead car battery, redux, redux
Posted by: testcase
Date: September 11, 2017 07:22AM
Poor ground connections cause all sorts automotive problems.
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Re: [final update?] Dead car battery, redux, redux
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: September 11, 2017 08:24AM
Very nicely done ! Note that a copper penny (not the steel ones) works very nicely as a battery terminal repair part, conductive shim, etc... I've used a swiss army knife and a copper penny like that for a field expedient repair in the past..
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Re: [final update?] Dead car battery, redux, redux
Posted by: clay
Date: September 11, 2017 08:29AM
Quote
DP
I don't mind spending $100 every 8 months on a new battery to keep it running

I sure would!

I guess I should have phrased differently... When I (or most people who have no interest/inclination to investigate/fix car issues) have something wrong with a car, it goes to the shop. At the shop, most of the time, we're looking at a $50 minimum to have a mechanic look it over/investigate. And then if something is wrong, there's the cost to fix. I guess I'd rather put that $50-$100 to use in trying things myself. If, eventually, it needs to go to the shop for diagnosis and fix, I at least know that I have tried. On a car that's maybe worth $1k on a good day, looking for an easy/cheap fix is preferable to dropping $100 every time something pops up. With this particular issue, sure, it would have been nice to correctly diagnose and fix the issue without having spent $200 on unnecessary battery replacements the past couple of years. But I look at that money spent as an investment in my auto-repair education. Spending the same money on periodic trips to the mechanic would still have resulted in a working car much more quickly, but I wouldn't have the same knowledge/experience that I do now.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2017 10:38AM by clay.
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Re: [final update?] Dead car battery, redux, redux
Posted by: clay
Date: September 11, 2017 08:30AM
Quote
Speedy
Nice that it was an easy fix even if it cost a bit to figure out.
my thoughts exactly. thanks!
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Re: [final update?] Dead car battery, redux, redux
Posted by: clay
Date: September 11, 2017 08:32AM
Quote
space-time
I discovered while wiggling the battery contacts that the positive contact was quite literally falling apart.

how can you miss that? you got pointed in the right direction smiling smiley

Filliam H. Muffman: " If a fairly new battery goes weak, the two most likely causes are a bad alternator or a corroded connection. "

clay: "battery leads look just fine...I cleaned them when the battery was replaced."

It's just part of my car repair education. I have not done a ton of it, so perhaps I wasn't as attuned to what to be looking for when I looked at the contact the last time around. Not all of us know everything about all of the topic areas that we dabble in.
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Re: [final update?] Dead car battery, redux, redux
Posted by: JoeH
Date: September 11, 2017 01:25PM
Quote
Carm
My wife's BIL recently had a bad battery connector on his truck. It wasn't putting out full amperage. It was replaced at dealership. Then the whole fusebox under the hood melted and it wasn't covered by ford, should have been. Potential fire hazard and/or crash hazard if it had melted while he was driving.

Quote
mrbigstuff
Yeah, that battery should last a good five years
Depends on location of battery. Or car.
Batteries in southern CA last 3-4 years, five of you're lucky. Under hood. Battery in insulated compartment in car lasted 7 ish years. I'm sure my under hood batteries would last longer in a cooler climate.

Yeah, the battery in the Plymouth Breeze I had lasted almost 8 years. That car had the battery compartment just in front of the left front wheel, completely out of the engine bay.
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Re: [final update?] Dead car battery, redux, redux
Posted by: DP
Date: September 11, 2017 03:15PM
Quote
clay
Quote
DP
I don't mind spending $100 every 8 months on a new battery to keep it running

I sure would!

I guess I should have phrased differently... When I (or most people who have no interest/inclination to investigate/fix car issues) have something wrong with a car, it goes to the shop. At the shop, most of the time, we're looking at a $50 minimum to have a mechanic look it over/investigate. And then if something is wrong, there's the cost to fix. I guess I'd rather put that $50-$100 to use in trying things myself. If, eventually, it needs to go to the shop for diagnosis and fix, I at least know that I have tried. On a car that's maybe worth $1k on a good day, looking for an easy/cheap fix is preferable to dropping $100 every time something pops up. With this particular issue, sure, it would have been nice to correctly diagnose and fix the issue without having spent $200 on unnecessary battery replacements the past couple of years. But I look at that money spent as an investment in my auto-repair education. Spending the same money on periodic trips to the mechanic would still have resulted in a working car much more quickly, but I wouldn't have the same knowledge/experience that I do now.

That's why I wrote my little story-it's part of my investment in my auto repair education too! I would never consider myself anywhere near proficient in auto repair. I can change my oil-it's really easy now on my Wrangler-and rotate tires. Replace my coolant and I installed my Delta Halo headlights. But anything harder than that; forget it!



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Re: [final update?] Dead car battery, redux, redux
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: September 12, 2017 10:43AM
Quote
space-time
I discovered while wiggling the battery contacts that the positive contact was quite literally falling apart.

how can you miss that? you got pointed in the right direction smiling smiley

Filliam H. Muffman: " If a fairly new battery goes weak, the two most likely causes are a bad alternator or a corroded connection. "

clay: "battery leads look just fine...I cleaned them when the battery was replaced."

He checked the battery end of the cable - the problem was at the other end.



It is what it is.
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