My engine is very slow to turn over and start. I'm trying to diagnose the problem and could use some help.
I originally thought this was due to leaving my lights on and running the battery down about 2 weeks ago. At that time, I jump started the car and drove it home. After that it seemed to have charged up nicely on it's own and worked perfectly for another week or so (3 or 4 starts per day, short 10 to 20 min trips).
Last week I noticed a lot of corrosion on my positive battery terminal so I cleaned it off with some baking soda and then re-applied some grease to it to keep it protected from the air. This has always kept corrosion off my battery posts before. It still started and worked well.
A few days ago the car acted as if the battery was dead. This is the first cold day we've had after a very hot summer - so if the battery is starting to die, this weather should provoke it. However, my wife couldn't jump start it (maybe the cables weren't making a good contact). She left the car and tried again the next day and it did start. But later that day failed to start again.
Today I tightened up the battery terminals which were a little bit loose, and tested the battery, it has 10.5 volts. I started the car (a little slow to turn over), and the system showed 14.5 volts, turned off the car after 10 minutes and the battery settled down to 11.5 volts. Yet, after letting it sit for an hour it is again very slow to turn over and start, but the battery still shows 11.5 volts.
Could it be that I have 11.5 volts but very little amps in the battery?
Could the starter relay be getting weak?
Could the starter motor be getting weak (although it's only 2 years old)? Maybe the fact I left my lights on really has nothing to do with the problem and the battery is fine?
Maybe the grease I put on the battery post is interferring with a good contact?
I don't want to spend $ on something that's not broken. Any help is appreciated.
Whenever the battery is drained enough to cause it to crank slowly or not at all, it needs a full charge. It is not easy to fully charge a battery by simply driving the car unless you go on a long trip with little to no traffic congestion.
Just jumping a drained battery and driving home almost guarantees that the battery will NOT be fully charged.
I recommend using an automatic battery charger or if you don't have one, taking it to an auto parts store for a full charge.
Based upon what you wrote, the alternator is fine.
The alternator is good. I spoke to some mechanics today who said 11.5 volts is low and even if it's holding 11.5 volts, it may drop to nearly 0 under a load and still be a weak battery. The battery is about 6 years old so I guess I can't complain.
lead acid batteries dont like being taken below 10.8 volts, i.e being drained.
Some you can recover from there and they will be not as good but still useable, but others just sulphate up completely.
The terminal voltage stays low...11.5 is not a good sign, and dropping to 0v under start load is another bad sign, meaning the internal resistance has gone up....sulphating does this.
Just to be on the safe side borrow another battery from somewhere and drop it in briefly to see how it goes.
if the battery is really dead, most jumperleads are useless as they wont take the full start current, theyre designed mostly to "assist" a battery thats slightly flat.
I made myself a pair from 10sq mm cable designed for car amplifiers, but you do have to be careful not to ever allow them to short the battery or it could explode...this maybe another reason why most jumper leads are only about 50-100A rated.
84 626 sedan FE SOHC turbo, FE3 on hold, Toyota E58 conversion under way.
89 626 5 door F2T now with VF34 and MFactory LSD parted - now being made into tomato soup cans
90 323 sedan B6 SOHC Slug-o-matic DD, sold...too slow
84 626 sedan RF diesel, a slug but you get 6.0L/100km (39MPG)
I just had the same thing happen, and it turned out to be the starter.
A dead starter will pull a LOT of draw on a battery.
“One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that if you drive into London at 6am, half of the cars on the roads are Porsches and Astons. Whereas if you go in at ten to nine, they’re all Renaults. Simple solution, then. You want a nice car? Get up earlier and do more work.”
I have been told there are only 2 or 3 battery manufacturers in North America. Everyone just re-badges their batteries with a label, but inside most of them are the same.
The old battery was a Canadian Tire MotorMaster Eliminator 84 month. I replaced it with another one, even though it will likely outlast the car, for 4 reasons:
1. I was trying to find my warranty card from the first one, in which case I would have gotten like $25 refunded against this one
2. This model has 850 cold cranking amps - which come in handy when the temp is -35c.
3. If I have any problems, I can get it replaced at any Canadian Tire, of which there's hundreds across the country.
4. The old one lasted a long time.
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.