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Old 11-18-2003, 12:51 AM   #1
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Default Second opinion

My sister has a 1992 Buick Lesabre (3800'* rule!!!). I think that she has a bad battery connection, but I'd like you guys' opinions on this.

The basic conversation:

Julie(sister): ok is time for me to see if the buick starts so i can go to the rec.
Me: new battery time? alternator was replaced pretty recently.
Julie: dunno was really hoping it would make it home so Dad can take a look at it. It
starts hard in the cold.
Me: i see. Hmmm...frost, moisture on the connections, maybe?
Julie: like sometimes it starts right up, sometimes it balks.
Me: Sounds like a bad connection. Or loose.
Julie: ill turn the key and it makes a noise, ill turn it back, then I'll do it again, and
eventually it starts.
Me: fun. Hard on the starter too.
Julie: I'm outta here. I have no money, so I hope it makes it home.
Me: YIKES. Me too. I'll post it on Bonneville Club and see what they can come up with.

Okay, put your heads together, please!!! Julie has a two and a half hour drive ahead of her, and I don't want her driving here if it'* not safe, especially since I'm not sure she has a cell phone right now!!! Any ideas on what this is guys???

Thanks much.

--Christine
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Old 11-18-2003, 01:32 AM   #2
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First things first, cables. Both ends. I bet this will help tons...
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Old 11-18-2003, 03:32 AM   #3
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Does it crank over, but not start?
Or does it NOT crank over?

Must know.
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Old 11-18-2003, 06:54 AM   #4
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when it gets cold, thats when a bad battery will show its face. we have a tool at work that i just type in the CCA of the battery and it tests it and tell me just how many CCA it has and whether ot not it needs to be replaced. this is the best tool i have ever found. everyone of the batteries that it said was bad and needed replaced, started the car fine until it was cold. and every customer that didnt buy a new battery was back within a month to get one.
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Old 11-18-2003, 04:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Second opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSided23
My sister has a 1992 Buick Lesabre (3800'* rule!!!). I think that she has a bad battery connection
I agree...

Quote:
Julie: dunno was really hoping it would make it home so Dad can take a look at it. It starts hard in the cold.
Anyone ever changed the spark plug wires?

Quote:
Julie: like sometimes it starts right up, sometimes it balks.
Me: Sounds like a bad connection. Or loose.
Julie: ill turn the key and it makes a noise, ill turn it back, then I'll do it again, and
eventually it starts.
Me: fun. Hard on the starter too.
That depends on what the Bad Noise is. If it'* just a single *click* followed by silence, the solenoid is closing properly but the starter isn't turning, perhaps because not enough juice is reaching it from the battery. If it'* a rat-tat-tat noise, the starter is trying to engage the flywheel, but slipping, again due to lack of juice. Someone should definitely clean _both_ ends of the battery cables (including the hard-to-reach ends at the engine).

If the Bad Noise is a gawdawful grinding, screeching noise, the starter pinion is not engaging the teeth of the flywheel properly, and instead of meshing with them it'* crashing into them and grinding edge-to-edge instead. Someone needs to adjust the starter motor installation; maybe someone removed it and forgot to replace the shims when they put it back in.
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Old 11-19-2003, 02:06 AM   #6
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All very good points, which means, we need more info!! Soon as you can, give us a better idea of whats going on.

I had a Ranger pick up where I went through 3 starters before I figured out it was bad cables all along. It will all depend on the Noise, like he said.
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Old 11-19-2003, 09:41 AM   #7
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Here'* what I would do for starters.....
First check & Clean both Battery Cable Terminals & Ends (leave them off until the end). Next check & Clean ( If need be) the Starter connections, make sure they're tight too. Next check the Aux. Positive terminal connector on the junction block. Now check the Alternator connections. Once all this is done, re-connect the battery cables to the battery. You can also take the battery in to get it checked too if need be. once you make sure the connections are all tight & clean, then you can move on to the cause if a starting problem is still present.
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Old 11-19-2003, 05:17 PM   #8
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i have this problem too....

mine heres what it does...

go to start it...wont go everything will come on and ding but nothing wont * tart....turn it off...turn it on wont start do this multiple times turning the key til it starts...sometimes it 3 times sometimes its 25....what it is is the pos connection isnt in the batteryg ood enough....i hvae 4 guage wire in there and its not connected to bat good enough so the spark from the battery is arcing to try to get a connection...but its done it so much that its wearing down the threads...so if i were you id tell her to check the battery connection...make sure its tight...make sure the neg is tight....thats where id start w/
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Old 11-20-2003, 11:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraZyDriVer868
i hvae 4 guage wire in there and its not connected to bat good enough so the spark from the battery is arcing to try to get a connection...but its done it so much that its wearing down the threads...so if i were you id tell her to check the battery connection...make sure its tight...make sure the neg is tight....thats where id start w/
Me too.

One contact area in the battery terminal connection is really concealed, but makes a big difference if you clean it, and that'* under the head of the bolt in the cable connector. When you tighten the bolt, it presses down on a metal contact ring to make the connection.

You can see the bottom side of this ring when you take the cable off the battery, but to clean the top side of it, you need to work the bolt out of the rubber cable connector. After you disconnect it from the battery, you can "unscrew" it with a small socket wrench in one hand while pushing the bolt outwards with the thumb of your other hand until the bolt pops out. You'll probably find all kinds of gook in there.

Clean it with a wire brush, wipe Vaseline over it all and put it back together.
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Old 11-20-2003, 12:22 PM   #10
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Okay, my sis says it'* not a really awful noise, but she couldn't give me a good description of it either. She'* coming home with it anyway. She says that once it gets started it stays started, so she should be fine as long as she doesn't stop.

Dang women and their bathroom breaks on trips...

Thanks for all your help, we'll check such things when she gets home. You guys are awesome.

--Christine
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