Battery or Alternator?

mercury
sable

#1

My 1997 Mercury Sable has been having a rough time starting lately. It will turn over, but 2 out of 3 starts will be labored. It will crank, but hesitate and finally give enough to start. When I start it at night and turn on the headlights they dim and flicker until the engine has been running a bit.

This car was originally my wife’s, and she can’t remember the last time it has had it’s battery replaced.


#2

Take the car to the closest auto parts store and have them load test the battery. If it fails buy a new battery. If it passes then you will need to troubleshoot more but it will likely turn out to be a bad starter.


#3

Have the battery and the alternator tested. Most auto parts stores will do this for free.

Most batteries have a date sticker on them. You should be able to tell when it was installed.


#4

“Have the battery and the alternator tested. Most auto parts stores will do this for free.”

Just repeating what mcparadise wrote.