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Car battery has 12 V yet sometimes sounds intermittent when starting car

Checked the battery has right voltage. I cleaned the contact points. However, sometimes when i start the car, it takes the car 30 seconds or so to start. You can hear the battery trying (a few clicks) and then it will start. COmes and goes. What could the problem be? Afraid that being a female that mechanics will try to sell me everything!

Could be a loose connection on the starter, or the starter itself.

thanks for your quick response. Is that expensive to fix or it is standard?

How old is the battery? If it’s more than 4 years old and not holding a charge, it may be time for a new one.

A battery with 11.9V is fully discharged, 12.1V is 25% charged, and a reading of 12.6-12.7V is fully charged. If the battery is partially discharged, try a battery charger instead of depending on the car’s alternator to recharge the battery.

Ed B.

If it needs a new starter you can probably figure on two to three hundred dollar neighborhood.

Guess I read this wrong, thought you had a new battery. edb1961 is correct also!

Checked the battery has right voltage.

How did you check it? What voltage did it have when being charged, when sitting with the engine off and nothing running and what is it when the starter is working?

Couple of things, you should not have to operate the starter for any where near 30 seconds, more like 3 seconds. A 30 second requirement indicates something is wrong. Second, even with 30 seconds of starter operation you should not be hearing any “clicks” (thinking it is the solenoid bouncing in and out due to low voltage).

Start this diagnostic process with a load test of the battery (both a conductance test and a standard carbon pile test) and go from there.

thank you for all your replies!!! I will have to check again on the voltage…i’m new to learning about cars…may i ask how the distributor cap works? i read somewhere that every time you start the car, the cap moves so that a different contact point is used. could it be possible that i may have a bad contact spot since every now and then the car takes longer than usual to start? is it expensive to replace distributor cap? since my car is 2002 honda accord 4 cyclinder with 104,000 miles, should i also replace spark plugs along with distributor cap? my neighbor said that it’s not hard to replace either by yourself but i’m afraid that i will mess something up!