Car Won't Start

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Car Won't Start

Postby Dr Van Nostrand » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:13 pm

I'm not that knowledgeable when it comes to cars (probably due to the fact that I was raised mostly by a single mother). I'm pretty sure it's the battery, but I would like opinion's from you guys that probably know a shit ton more than I do :lol:

Yesterday my car was running fine (2004 Ford Taurus). Tonight I went to start it & the headlights & the lights on the instrument panel flickered on & off, but stayed on. I heard a clicking noise when trying to start the engine which is a big sign that it is the battery, but it seemed weird to me that all the lights stayed on & the radio turned on & had a lot of static (it was a CD not a radio station). Also, the license plate light, taillights, & headlights stayed on after I shut the car off. I had to try to start it a few times before all the lights finally shut off.

Just wondering if it's just the battery or if it could be something else wrong with it.
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Re: Car Won't Start

Postby WheelBarrow » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:18 pm

Could be corroded battery connections. Oft times when the solenoid clicks and the lights work that is what I look for. If they are corroded, a good cleaning with some battery cleaner and a wire brush will bring them back around.

Always disconnect the negative post first.

If they're tight and clean get the battery tested. Most every auto parts store will be able to do that. Locally I prefer the NAPA store, but that's because I know the guys in there and it is a franchise.
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Re: Car Won't Start

Postby Dr Van Nostrand » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:44 pm

WheelBarrow wrote:Could be corroded battery connections. Oft times when the solenoid clicks and the lights work that is what I look for. If they are corroded, a good cleaning with some battery cleaner and a wire brush will bring them back around.

Always disconnect the negative post first.

If they're tight and clean get the battery tested. Most every auto parts store will be able to do that. Locally I prefer the NAPA store, but that's because I know the guys in there and it is a franchise.


Thanks. I checked the battery connections awhile ago & they looked good, but I just might take the battery out tomorrow to get a better look. If that's not the problem I'll get it checked out at AutoZone as I believe they check batteries for free & there isn't a NAPA around me.
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Re: Car Won't Start

Postby Phathack » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:56 pm

Sounds like a weak battery to me.You could jump start the car to get it running.
Any of the auto parts places should be able to test the battery, even WalMart.

Just and FYI, you can use Coca Cola as a cleaner to remove corrosion on a battery, hit it with a wire brush then flush with lots of water.


:ugeek:
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Re: Car Won't Start

Postby Morgu » Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:07 pm

Had something similar happen once. Turned out the starter had died. Try tapping on the starter while someone else turns the key. You will most likely need a pole to reach the starter.

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Re: Car Won't Start

Postby Dr Van Nostrand » Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:23 pm

Phathack wrote:Sounds like a weak battery to me.You could jump start the car to get it running.
Any of the auto parts places should be able to test the battery, even WalMart.

Just and FYI, you can use Coca Cola as a cleaner to remove corrosion on a battery, hit it with a wire brush then flush with lots of water.


:ugeek:


Yeah I'm thinking it's a weak battery as well. I got the car last May & I have no clue how old the battery is.

Morgu wrote:Had something similar happen once. Turned out the starter had died. Try tapping on the starter while someone else turns the key. You will most likely need a pole to reach the starter.

--Morgu


Damn, I really would hate it if it turned out that the starter died on me.
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Re: Car Won't Start

Postby Knightscribe » Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:59 pm

I concur with what's already been said, first culprits would be a weak battery or a bad starter, but another thing to explore may be your alternator. But in my experience, if you're getting a rapid "clickclickclickclickclick" when you turn the key, it's probably the battery. This time of year, depending on the climate in which you live, the weather can do a number on your car battery. Hope you can work it all out.
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Re: Car Won't Start

Postby Dr Van Nostrand » Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:41 am

Knightscribe wrote:I concur with what's already been said, first culprits would be a weak battery or a bad starter, but another thing to explore may be your alternator. But in my experience, if you're getting a rapid "clickclickclickclickclick" when you turn the key, it's probably the battery. This time of year, depending on the climate in which you live, the weather can do a number on your car battery. Hope you can work it all out.


Yep I'm getting rapid "clicks" & the climate is shit around here in Michigan :lol:
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Re: Car Won't Start

Postby The Shadow » Sat Feb 06, 2016 3:46 am

Dr Van Nostrand wrote:Damn, I really would hate it if it turned out that the starter died on me.


Perhaps so, but its still cheaper then many other things that can go wrong with a vehicle. It sounds like a bad battery, but did you leave anything on when you parked it (dome light, glove box light.ect.)?

I thought I had a bad battery until I found out that the engine service light under the hood of my pickup was sticking on, even with the hood closed. Also you might want to check the water levels in the battery. Even so-called "sealed" batteries still use some water, and distilled water, not tap water.

OTOH, if you have any socket wrenches, a starter is not all that hard to replace. You can see videos of guys doing it on You-Tube to decide if you think you can do it yourself. Two bolts and one or two wires off, and you pull it out and reverse the process with the new or rebuilt starter on most vehicles.
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Re: Car Won't Start

Postby Dr Van Nostrand » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:05 pm

The Shadow wrote:
Dr Van Nostrand wrote:Damn, I really would hate it if it turned out that the starter died on me.


Perhaps so, but its still cheaper then many other things that can go wrong with a vehicle. It sounds like a bad battery, but did you leave anything on when you parked it (dome light, glove box light.ect.)?

I thought I had a bad battery until I found out that the engine service light under the hood of my pickup was sticking on, even with the hood closed. Also you might want to check the water levels in the battery. Even so-called "sealed" batteries still use some water, and distilled water, not tap water.

OTOH, if you have any socket wrenches, a starter is not all that hard to replace. You can see videos of guys doing it on You-Tube to decide if you think you can do it yourself. Two bolts and one or two wires off, and you pull it out and reverse the process with the new or rebuilt starter on most vehicles.


Everything was off when I shut it off the night before. Glove box has killed a battery before on me, but luckily this Ford doesn't have a light in the glove box :lol:

Yeah I'll probably take the battery & starter into AutoZone as they will test both for free.

Thanks for your help.
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Re: Car Won't Start

Postby HeartofShadows » Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:17 pm

Yeah it definitely sounds like the battery.
This happened to me 5 months ago with the car clicking and eventually when the battery goes full on dead the lights won't come on at all.
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Re: Car Won't Start

Postby Dr Van Nostrand » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:34 am

Thanks guys for all of the help & info. It was just the battery like I suspected, but with my shitty luck I was expecting it to be more than just the battery. Again, thanks for all of the help.
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Re: Car Won't Start

Postby WheelBarrow » Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:34 am

Good to hear. The good Doc is mobile again!
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