Getting a sat car running again

malibu
chevrolet

#1

Hi, I am new to car repair but have some sense of troubleshooting. Anyway, I parked a car for 6 months in a parking lot and now the battery is dead. It is getting close to the time to replace it so I got s new one. One battery post was corroded and I cut it off and replaced it but now the bracket is holding the battery in a death grip. The problem is that the bolt holding it in place is so rusted that the bolt won’t move and the bolt/screw set are now rusted so bad that they are now one piece and moving in tandem. Any suggestions apart from using a dremel or similar tool to cut the plastic bracket off. If I have to do it, how would I if I even replace the bracket? What are my options as well as any suggestions on other things to get it going would be very much appreciated.


#2

Is it a bolt or a nut that’s stuck? Usually I see the battery hold-down is a threaded rod sticking up alongside the battery, and a nut on that rod. If you have a nut, and you have enough working room, a nut splitter tool is a simple and fairly inexpensive way to go.


#3

Put a six point socket on one of the nuts, and tighten it until the rod snaps.

Then go buy a replacement battery hold-down.

Tester


#4

Have you tried spraying it with PB Blaster or a similar penetrating oil product? It might work. You could also cut it off. I’m sure the parts can be replaced either at a salvage yard or new from the Chevy dealer. If you cut it off, just be careful on the ride home. The battery cables will help hold the battery in place.


#5

As weird as it is to say the nut is rusted to the bolt. The nut is no longer being held in place and as it is rusted to the bolt when I move one I move the other. Essentially what I have is a nut bolt set that has turned into a rivet. And the battery bracket is what is causing the problem not the battery tray bolt.


#6

Cut it off or use a breaker bar to twist it off.


#7

Just use a hack saw or break it loose and use bungee cord or two to hold battery in place until you can fix it properly.


#8

I think he has the type of hold down that is a plastic piece at the base of the battery with a bolt going into the battery tray and the nut spot welded to the tray. The problem is very tight access to get anything down there. Yeah a bunch of PB Blaster and it might be possible to get a small vice grip or something down there to hold the nut in place. Sometimes an air impact wrench will be able to turn the thing out. I think otherwise it might be time to buy a long drill bit to reach the bolt and drill the head off, unless you can get in there with a cut off tool. Once you get it out, you can either buy a new tray at the dealer for $10 (done that), or drill a hole or two to use that long bolt type hold down. You just have to look at it a couple different ways and scratch your head. Can you cut an access hole in the inner fender or something to be able to grab hold of the turning nut? Sometimes if you try a few things and then go have a cup of coffee, you figure it out.

By the way, I always coated those bolts with anti-seize to make sure they would come out again.


#9

After removing the battery there should be enough room to cut the hold down bolt off but that is the problem the battery can’t be removed.

The plastic wedge holding the battery in place is sometimes flexible enough that with a little force you can bend it away from the battery and pull the battery out.


#10

If all else fails just cut the hold-down hardware away with a dremmel cutoff blade or hacksaw etc, then figure out an alternative battery holding method using new parts from a parts dealer, or from a junkyard, or just some generic bolts/brackets/straps from a hardware store. Auto parts store get this question a lot I expect, and they probably have some ideas how to solve it. That’s where I’d start, the local auto parts store.


#11

Ok, I used a power drill, flat head screwdriver, and a hammer to destroy the clamp holding the battery in place. I am now able to replace the tray which I will be doing. I turned over the car and it worked but it was a little sluggish on startup. Probably from the fact it has been sitting. I have fuel injector cleaner and will be getting a fresh tank of gas and an oil change. What else should I be keeping an eye on as it has sat as long as it has? It was in good mechanical shape before.


#12

Vehicles set that long on dealer lots at times. I had one set in my drive for 4 months after surgery so the fresh fuel, oil change and checking the tires you should be fine.


#13

Ok, thank you everyone for the help. Very much appreciated


#14

Check that coolant in the radiator is orange/red and crystal clear (assume Dex-Cool). If not, drain and replace.


#15

If you have to cut the bolt, I’d use a hand-operated hacksaw, nothing that uses power, just to be safe. There are smaller ones that can fit into tight spaces.

If you can’t find a replacement bracket, a ratcheting strap or two with a weight capacity that exceeds the weight of the battery would be my recommendation.


#16

That really is not that long for a car sit. Fresh gas and should not be a big issue. Check for any rodent damage though depending on where it was sitting.


#17

Concur, check for debris indicating rodents building nests in the air intake system and exhaust pipe. The tires may have developed flat spots too, so don’t do any test drives at 70 mph on the freeway right away. Wait until the flat spots have had time to dissipate in city driving. Likewise be extra cautious about the brakes until you are confident they are working correctly. Suggest to feel the wheels after each of the first few drives. If any feel much hotter than the others, you may have a sticking brake.