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Dead 2006 Uplander

I have a 2006 Chevy Uplander that was recently involved in a very minor fender-bender (the fenders weren’t even bent). Someone in a Ford F150 pick-up truck rear-ended me at a stoplight. I have a hitch-mounted bike rack at the time which seemed to take the brunt of the impact, since I could see no damage to the rear bumper.

However, the next day I got a very strong rotten-egg smell inside the van, which occurred several times and dissipated over a couple of days. A local shop had a look at the frame to see if maybe the rear hatch was not sealing properly, but couldn’t find anything.

This morning the van would not start. When I turned the key it made a couple of clicking noises, but would not turn over. The lights, radio and dash lights etc. do come on, but no luck at starting.

Do you think the impact could have damaged the battery, or charging system? I was wondering if the smell could have been coming from a leaking battery, since the exhaust did not seem to have the rotten egg smell when it was running - I think it was getting pulled in by the fresh air vents from somewhere under the hood.

Thanks.

Rotten-egg usually means exhaust (catalytic converter).

Sounds like the truck may have hurt your exhaust system. Bent it or maybe knocked loose an O2 sensor.

I’d agree, but the smell is definitely coming from up front somewhere and now the battery is dead.

Sounds like two unrelated problems. If you can jump-start the car, take it to a parts store like AutoZone, Advance, etc. They can test your battery and alternator for free. I can’t imagine that this is related to the bump from behind.

You got the other driver’s insurance information I hope.

It’s a hell of a coincidence if unrelated, though. I was wondering if something may have come loose from the alternator or maybe damaged the battery itself.

I’m going to have AAA come look at it today. About time they earned their keep.

Matt

Just don’t expect a whole lot of expertise from the AAA guy.
He can jump-start an engine, change a tire, and perhaps sell you a new (overpriced) battery.
However, I would take any diagnosis that he offers with a grain of salt until it is confirmed by an actual mechanic.

We have ONE AAA guy near me…And he’s by far the BEST mechanic in a 30 mile radius. Ones a huge shop. Has about 4 mechanics working for him, plus at least 3 Tow-Truck drivers. I agree…some are just tow-truck drivers who will jump your car or get you gas or tow it to a real mechanic…but there are some that are actually mechanics.

They can also diagnose battery/charging system problems - I’m hoping it’s just the battery and not the cat.

The impact might have jarred the battery enough to cause it to short out internally. I think you should have the battery tested, and the alternator tested. Many auto parts stores will do this for free. If the battery is the original one in the car, it might have been on the edge and the accident pushed it over the edge.

Not sure about the smell. If a battery case cracked it might give off some kind of odor.

Uncle Turbo, hit the nail on the head… The impact jared the battery and caused an internal short… Not a huge deal… A new battery should fix you right up…

The smell though, thats an odd one if not being casued by the exsaust

I have had a battery give off the sulphur or rotten egg smell when it’s failed before, so it does make sense.

Uncle Turbo is right its the battery. It may not even take a jump start. I had this happen to me. I replaced a starter and battery cables before I replaced the battery.

Batteries contain sulfuric acid. When sulfuric acid reacts with metal, etc it gives off the odor of sulfur…hence the “rotten egg” smell. The battery probably spilled some acid when the car was impacted. I suggest you wash down the entire area around the battery tray with baking soda and water to neutralize any spilled acid.

You are lucky if it’s just the battery. I had the same thing happen to me several years ago and the shorting out of the battery also fried the alternator.