Thursday, October 15, 2009

Car wouldn't start because battery terminals were loose

I have had issues with my car (1999 Chevy Camaro - V6) lately where my car battery would seemingly die often if I didn't drive it for a couple days. I thought it was a bad battery at first (battery not holding a charge). I would jump it and it would work fine. I kept delaying the simple trip to AutoZone to have them test my battery (AutoZone will test your battery for free) and instead just made sure I did not leave the car idle for more than a day.

Recently I went to Wal-Mart and when I came out after just 45 minutes the car would not start at all. Completely dead no lights or anything. I had someone jump it and it made a lot of clicking noises and almost didn't start before it finally turned over. As I was leaving I turned my dash lights down and right when I did that the car turned totally off. I could not figure it out. I left the car there and the next morning had a friend come to jump it with me. The car would not start, instead I kept hearing firing noises but no vroom. It seemed the battery was completely dead and was not even getting enough charge to start the engine. We let it idle for 20 minutes and tried again with no success.

I then took the battery to a local auto shop to have it tested. They tested it and the battery came back fine.. I was shocked and confused. As we went back to the car I though about how when I took the terminals off the car they came off pretty easily. It took one quarter turn with a wrench and the cables were loose enough to be taken off by hand. I thought perhaps this was the problem and that the terminals simply weren't properly hooked to the battery.

When we got back to the car I put the battery back in and secured it tight. Sure enough the car fired up no problem without a jump or anything and has been working fine so far since. Unbelievable that the issue was so simple. If you are having trouble starting your car and it just doesn't add up that the battery is dead and you think it may be an electrical problem, check the terminals on your battery for corrosion or if the terminals are just loose.

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