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2008 Ford Focus battery trouble - Need help on a plan for starting

Negative terminal corrosion washed off with baking soda and water, but the battery is deader than when it refused to start the engine. Totally silent now. Out in the boonies. Do I call a tow truck to dump it on the dealership lot? Last time I did that, it took them two days to find it. If it was undercharging, then a new battery wouldn’t last if the real trouble is a loose belt or bad alternator. So it sits. Who should I call?

Did you actually remove the battery cables from the battery when you cleaned the corrosion?



How old is the battery? If under 5-6 years, a slow charge may be what it needs. If older, that may work, but you are closer to the time it’s ready to be retired.

For now, will a jump start get you to a place that can test and maybe charge the battery, and make sure the connections really are clean and secure?

Do you mean you don’t have electricity and a battery charger where the car is now? If so, yes, call a tow truck. They may be able to get it started without having to tow it to a shop. In any event you don’t need a dealership for this problem. What you need is a battery and charging system look see from a good inde shop. Do you have an automatic or manual transmission?

No, the nut looked like it would need WD40 soak before it would turn. My life is so hectic right now that I haven’t been home in the daylight to find the stuff and the tools. I do believe that there probably is more corrosion inside the clamp.

Mary Sue

I don’t know. Do I have to remove both leads to do a slow charge or can I just clamp on to the leads? I didn’t try because of the threat of thunderstorms all this week. I don’t have cables for a jump start.

Mary Sue

Get that fixed first. Trying to charge the battery by clamping onto leads that have corrosion could cause abnormally high voltages in the system, not good (depending on the charger).

Automatic transmission. Where the car is now, I would need a good extension cord and a really big umbrella. Thunderstorms are forecast all week.

Mary Sue

You could buy something like this to get you going. Then get your car into your local independent mechanic. You can also try Advance Auto, Auto Zone etc, they will frequently check your battery and charging system.|G|Base|D25H|Multi|NA|PLA|71700000032394431|58700003837562558|92700030712663431&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI26X5m5jg3AIVCRgMCh1QtA60EAQYBCABEgI1RfD_BwE&dclid=CNDHzqGY4NwCFc9FNwodV88Lig

If you plan to do it yourself get one of these too. Should be less than three dollars.

Now I have bigger problem: the 2003 Ford pickup that I’m using instead of the car has decided I’m a thief and I and my husband are stuck at work and my daughter is missing her doctor appointment as a result. What do I do to reset the anti-theft system?

Some days are better spent standing in bed.

push the unlock button on the remote, that may work.

My 2003 ford pickup work truck has no anti theft system or fob that I know of, Does yours or is there some other issue. If it does is it an aftermarket system? I don’t even know if my key has a chip, try a different key?

I hiked to the nearest repair shop with tow trucks and explained my problems. Had to wait for a tow as they were having a busy day. They wanted the other key for the truck which was at home 13 miles away, so they let me ride in the truck to get the car and the keys. Towed the car to the shop and determined that the dead battery was the only problem, but they didn’t carry that size. Had to wait for delivery of the battery. In the mean time they gave me a lift to the truck and the nice, young man was able to free the steering wheel and start the truck. I had been jerking the wheel and trying to turn the key separately instead of doing them at the same time. I’ll try to remember that. I picked up my husband and drove back to the shop where he took over the wheel and drove it home while I continued to wait for the battery to arrive. Eventually it did along with thunderstorms. Only had to pay for one tow and battery.

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Mary Sue, you might want to consider roadside assistance, annual charge probably less than your tow. I went for many, many years without it until I had a flat tire on I-95. Had to change it with cars zipping by at 75 MPH in 95 degrees temperature and 95% humidity. Never again! Have had to use it when got locked out of car with the motor running-don’t ask! Another flat tire and a couple of times for GFs dead battery.