Camaro won't start

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  #1  
Old 06-09-06, 07:17 AM
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Camaro won't start

Hello:

98 Camaro v6...running perfect this morning, parked it, went to work. This afternoon when I came out the battery was basically dead (a small amount of power, just enough to make some beeps)...not enough power to turn over the engine or operate the headlights. There was no obvious reason to drain the battery (I hadn't left the lights on or anything).

The campus police (I work at a university) managed to jump start the car, but it was difficult. Took them about 10 minutes and they had to use another car, not their portable unit. Most tries it would start some dashboard indicators beeping as if it was getting some power but not normal supply. Turning the key would produce either nothing or (sometimes) a grinding noise (which in my lack of expertise I guess was the starter). Finally after 10 minutes of trying, they finally seemed to get the "right" connection and the car suddently turned over perfectly without (on that try) the least bit of hesitation.

So I drove it home, keeping a good eye on the battery indicator. Appeared to be normal during the whole drive (which again, in my limited expertise, I took to mean that the alternator was working fine).

Got all the way home, figured I'd put it in the driveway back first (already suspecting I was going to need another jump tomorrow to get it to a repair station). In the road next to my drive way I put the transmission in reverse and the engine instantly died and once again I instantly found myself with no power (there was no gradual powerdown as I have experienced in cases of alternator failure). There was not even a second of warning.

So my father and I had to push it to the side of the street (with my wife steering).

So my question is...of course...what gives?

Battery that won't hold its load? Battery leads? Or something more sinister?

Thanx,
Chris
 
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  #2  
Old 06-09-06, 08:09 AM
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How old is the battery? If over three years old, that's a good bet.
No indicator light means that the alternator was trying to charge it, but an internal short in the battery was draining the charge. Once a cell shorts, all you can do is replace the battery.
 
  #3  
Old 06-09-06, 02:57 PM
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Before replacing anything, do some voltage drop tests to check the condition of the battery cable connections. If you respond, I'll get into greater depth on how to do that.
 
  #4  
Old 06-09-06, 09:19 PM
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Thanx for replying...this is kind of what I figured. The battery is 8-9 years old...I just had it taken to my mechanic (a guy I trust) who said it probably was either the battery or battery terminals.

Thanx!
 
  #5  
Old 06-10-06, 11:39 AM
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An 8 to 9 year old battery should be put on display. That far exceeds the norm.
 
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