Battery or starter?


Old 12-27-06, 03:16 AM
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Question Battery or starter?

How do I figure out is I'm having a problem with the battery or starter? The car will not take a jump. When I first turn the key, I get a very weak connection, but once I attempt to jump with another car I get nothing. I also should mention that when a attach the last cable, to the battery, I get a spark. The battery is a couple years old I think. Thanks for any and all input.
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Old 12-27-06, 04:05 AM
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Side mount or top mount battery posts?? Remove the cables and clean the terminals, both on the bat and the cable end. A solution of baking soda and water will clena off corrosion and acid. For side mount terminals, check the bat terminals closely, those are infamous for breaking at the bat and causing leakage, which cause poor connections.
Old 12-27-06, 05:45 AM
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Also check the starter cable, a hot battery won't do any good if the current doesn't make it to the starter.
Old 12-27-06, 07:11 AM
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When you hook up jumpers, DO NOT hook the negative to your weak or bad battery, Hook up good battery positive to bad battery positive and then good battery negative to a clean piece of bare metal on the engine block of the car with the bad battery. The reason is safety. If the weak battery has any vent or crack, it will leak hydrogen sulfide gas. The spark you mentioned can ignite the gas and you could have the battery blow up in your face.
Old 12-27-06, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by goldstar View Post
The reason is safety. The spark you mentioned can ignite the gas and you could have the battery blow up in your face

I had a battery blow up once, I was fortunate that my shirt to the majority of impact - it disengrated parts of my shirt - glad it wasn't my skin.
Old 12-27-06, 10:03 AM
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There are many places that will test your battery for you free-AutoZone and Walmart come to mind.
Old 12-27-06, 10:53 AM
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What vehicle

If it's a Ford you may not be able to jump it off, they will not jump. I had an 03 Taurus that had a bad battery, it would not jump. Called the ford dealer since it was under warranty. They towed it a replaced the battery. didn't charge me a dime, not even my $50 deductable. they said that the fords will not jump. I recently ran across someone in a parkinglot, 03 ford truck. Tried to jump but it would not jump either, they had also heard that Some fords will not jump off.
Old 12-27-06, 07:21 PM
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Did the batter explode into pieces? Or was there a ball of fire for a brief moment? I have heard about hydrogen gas catching fire but I don't know if the event is explosive. Thanks.
Old 12-28-06, 05:09 AM
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Think "Hindenburg". I've never seen a live event, but I suspect it's a quick flash that is pretty close to an explosive event. Don't want to be near it in any case. One for the Mythbusters maybe.
Old 12-28-06, 05:43 AM
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It has been 30+ yrs since my battery exploded but what I remember was a loud bang [I thought someone was firing a shotgun] I felt a tingling of my skin and noticed a hole in the top of the battery about the same time parts of my shirt was falling off.
Old 12-28-06, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Smile Shorted battery cell

I have had the experience you're having once with a firebird. My battery would not jump because I had one cell shorted out

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