OK - I’m new here, and going to try and keep this as short, and clear as possible
Last summer, my husband and I were camping, and the van died on us while driving. Started back up and we got to the camp ground…when we got there, we left it running to charge the battery back up (thinking maybe the battery died or something…) When we opened the hood, there was a softball size ball of acid build-up on the + battery terminal. (at this point, my husband noticed the connection on the + terminal was somewhat corroded) We cleaned it off - no more issues until we were almost home - when idle at a traffic light, the van would shake a bit, as if it was going to die again. We took it to the dealership for service when we got home - they told us it was the spark plugs - so they replaced them. A few months later, we take it back for similar issues - suggesting maybe it’s the battery - they come back saying it’s not the battery.This time, that connection on the + terminal had completely corroded and there was no connection at all. Now first of all - wouldn’t that connection have corroded because of the battery acid? THey tell us No - battery acid build-up (sulfation??) is normal…that doesn’t seem right to me. January comes around and we again, have issues. We ask for the battery to be replaced under its warranty, with no success. They wouldn’t replace it b/c they said there’s nothing wrong…(my husband temp. fixed that connection on the battery terminal) so, no real issues since then. So fast forward to now. We take it for inspection, we get that cable replaced along with general oil change, etc. Husband gets the car home, looks under the hood to check their work and battery acid is coming out of the terminal. After calling and complaining, they agreed to give us a new battery - my husband brought it home, bc he wanted to do it himself since they’d been giving us such a run-around it seems. 2 days after that, we go to leave and van doesn’t start. (new battery wasn’t installed yet) after 2 dozen tries, he finally got it to start. My husband wasn’t sure if it was the battery by this point, b/c typically when the battery is dead, the windows, radio, and sliding doors won’t work - but they all did. Now, last night, he put the new battery in and voila! the van starts right up!
Now, my questions are:
- could some sort of leak cause all the battery acid build-up? and if so, wouldn’t the mechanics have been able to detect that when it was serviced all of those times?
- if it was a dead battery, could that have damaged any other parts, such as the starter?
We are leaving for camping again next week and I am apprehensive about taking it b/c I obviously don’t want to break down! We’re thinking of taking it to a different mechanic to check everything out - if something else is wrong with it, that maybe is draining the battery - would they even be able to tell if it’s all running properly now?
I’d appreciate any help!! Thanks!