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Two days ago I noticed that my car was having trouble turning over. When I would attempt to start the car, the lights would flicker on the dash and I would hear the car trying to rev but never actually turning all the way over. A second or third try would finally get things going.

Finally, today, I couldn't get the car to turn over at all. I have uploaded a video for you to see what's happening https://youtu.be/g3jeK97n530

There is a known problem with the fuel pump in the vehicle - the car sometimes takes several tries to build fuel pressure before it will start. My mechanic believes its the check valve failing on the pump - but the starting symptoms were different with this problem. The lights would not flicker and the car would have no trouble attempting to turn over.

Could this be a battery issue?


EDIT I took the battery out and got it tested. It was drained but otherwise fine. The positive terminal post had a lot of blue corrosion around it which I cleaned off and the clamp had a piece cracked off of it as shown in this pic: http://imgur.com/a/u4yrU.

I cleaned the battery posts and terminal clamps with a scrubbing tool and tightened the clamps back on the now fully recharged battery. The car started up pretty immediately the first time, but each following time does the same thing with flickering lights and no turn over (as shown in this video: https://youtu.be/tACCd4GYxjQ). Could the cracked terminal clamp be the problem?

  • Have you had the battery tested? – Kevin Evans Nov 8 '16 at 15:57
  • Not yet, this just happened this morning before I had to go to work. I'll get it tested today at the local auto shop and post an update. – James Bilous Nov 8 '16 at 16:03
  • Took the battery out and got it tested at the local auto store. It was drained but otherwise healthy. The positive terminal and post on the battery was covered in chalky corrosion. The actual terminal is also cracked and missing a piece as shown in this picture: imgur.com/a/u4yrU. Scrubbed the terminals and posts removing the corrosion. When I replaced the now fully charged and cleaned battery the car started up pretty immediately. I shut it off and every subsequent time I tried to turn it on it did the following shown in this video: youtu.be/tACCd4GYxjQ Not sure whats up? – James Bilous Nov 10 '16 at 3:42
  • So it started once and then doesn't start again? do a voltage drop test from the battery ground to engine ground and battery ground to frame when you're trying to crank the engine. Do the same on the battery to starter. And replace the battery terminal that's cracked. You should also check for parasitic draw and probably replace the battery if it's drained again. – Ben Nov 10 '16 at 23:51
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Turns out it was the battery. Crystal deposits were building up and shorting out the battery (3 year old cheap one from walmart). After getting it jumped and driving around, the short would fall apart until I parked for awhile longer and the crystals had a chance to build back up. Replacing the battery solved my problem.

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