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Old 10-22-2005, 02:57 PM   #1
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Default corroded battery terminals

I went to start my car after it sitting for a few days, and the battery was completely dead. No dome light, no click, nothing. I had driven it 3 days before, and I don't remember seeing low amps on the battery. So I tried to jumpstart it, and I got the dome light to work, but it wouldn't turn over. I just got the clicking sound you get when there'* not enough juice to start it. The amps on the battery when the jump wires were connected was just above redline, when normally it hovers just below 14.

Checked the ground, and there'* no corrosion on the terminal or where it connects to the body, but when I pulled the battery out, it had a fairly heavy coating of corrosion on the positive cables. This past summer, I had a plastic fitting on the water pump blow out, and sprayed the engine with a healthy coating of antifreeze.

My question is, would this be enough to cause a trickle drain on the battery and kill it over a few days? I recharged the battery and cleaned the positive contacts, and it started just fine. I left it overnight, and there was no short that drained the battery. I'm going to drive it today to see if the alternator'* charging it. Any ideas?
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Old 10-23-2005, 04:14 AM   #2
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My 97SE, and my wife'* 2001 Grand Prix GT both suffered from totally corroded positive battery cables, when each car reached around 4 years old. We'd gone through replacing the alternator and the battery before nailing it down to the cable. The cable had corroded inside the protective rubber insulation, so you couldn't see it directly.

Take my word for it: Yes, they corrode. I'd seriously suggest that you just outright replace the positive cable, to avoid getting stranded somewhere. Our previous cars, an 88 Grand Prix and my old 78 Bonneville did the same thing too. So now I'm kind of paranoid about them. I'd replace it.

You could test the resistance of the cable with an ohmmeter, and compare to a new cable to see if it has a measurable defect due to corrosion.
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