My sons car is having some sort of starting problem. When you try to start it the battery acts dead and sometimes after 4 or 5 tries it will finally start. If I give it a jump start it starts right away also. I put it on a slow charge and it was fine for a couple days now doing it again. The battery tested good and it had some corrosion on it but I cleaned it off. The negative terminal seems to be loose from the the battery a little not the connector so could that be it? I’m almost sure its not the starter and can’t find any lights being left on so does anyone know what else it could be? Thanks in advance!!!
The alternator is what charges the battery up after using it to start the car or the battery power needed to keep the car running. So check the output of the alternator, plus if the wire connections are dirty, clean them.
Thanks I will go have it checked. I was thinking that might be it. He only drives it a couple miles a day.
The negative cable has to be tight. I don’t understand what you said about it. Is the clamp loose or is the cable loose in the clamp? He might need to replace the negative cable if it can’t be tightened. Explain this a little more.
He needs to take a 20 minute (at least) every other week. I work from home these days and it works for me. I drive maybe once or twice a week, and always ten minutes or less. Except for that one 20 minute drive, of course.
He may also have an electronic device draining power when the car is shut off. Aftermarket stereos and amps are prime offenders!
The post on the battery that is part of the battery is loose. Not the wire that connects to the battery. When I pull the connector off to clean the battery the part that it connects to pulls up off the battery a little. Hope that explains it.
Nothing like that on the car. I thought it may be the dome light but it goes off.
It’s hard to know anything on this end if I can’t see it. If you can’t tighten the clamp so that it is snugly attached to the post, he may need a new cable, or a new battery if the post is damaged. If it’s loose, the space between is where corrosion will grow.
It sounds to me that the battery post is loose. This means the battery is damaged and needs replaced. After replacing the battery you need to have the charging system checked and parsitic draw test. Then you may need a battery tender, or driving it once or twice a week for 20 minutes.
Buy a new battery. If you buy it at Autozone or Advance they will istall it and test the charging system for free. Look for online sales or coupons.
While it is important to check the alternator’s output, plus the condition/tightness of the battery connections, driving only a couple of miles per day is not sufficient to recharge the battery, and will result in a low state of charge. Starting the engine and then driving for just a few miles is the automotive equivalent of using your cellphone for several hours, and then recharging it for five minutes.
In addition to running-down the battery, your son is causing the engine’s oil to become degraded (see note below), and this practice also isn’t good for the exhaust system. Even if he doesn’t “need” to drive further, he should get the car out on the road for 25-30 minutes–at a minimum–at least once each week.
If it has been more than 4 months since the last oil change, your son needs to have it done a.s.a.p. The type of usage to which your son is subjecting this car is classified by manufacturers as “severe service”, and that mandates more frequent oil changes. If he does not do that, engine damage will be the result.
If that’s the case, then yeah, time for a new battery.