I previously asked this question Can low battery cause car to cut out? . sorry I don't know how to link.

I have cleaned the terminals with baking soda and vinegar and initially the car ran for 1 minute and I thought it was fixed however it cut out after a minute.

Before the terminal cleaning the battery was showing 12.15v however it is now showing 11.56v. Whereas previously it would start up and cut out now the more I start it up it makes a whiny noise and hardly starts. If I leave it alone it starts and cuts out again without the whiny noise but eventually goes to that whiny noise if I keep cranking it. Might I have done something wrong(with the cleaning) which has caused the power reduction and more severe symptoms or might this suggest things improved and the battery is is being used even more now hence the reduction?

I know I will need a new or recharged battery before I can diagnose this but Im wondering if I made something worse hence the reduced voltage and behaviour? btw all lights and electronics seem to be fine even at 11.5v its just start up and cutting out thats the problem.

  • 1
    Didn't do anything wrong with cleaning. The voltage went down because the battery has been draining lower from trying to start it. Sounds more like an alternator problem. Its normal the lights/electronics still work even if the battery is too low to crank the car.
    – narkeleptk
    Feb 12, 2020 at 2:27
  • When you say battery power now shows 11.56V, is that only the battery, or is it with the car connected? Did you measure right before clean and right after, or did you as narkeleptk suggested try to crank it in between the measuring points?
    – Markus
    Feb 12, 2020 at 7:50
  • @narkeleptk Why does it sound like an alternator problem? The OP has been repeatedly starting the engine and it has only run for 30 seconds before cutting out. The alternator is probably fine, but just hasn't been running long enough to charge the battery between starts. As you said, the battery probably just needs recharging.
    – HandyHowie
    Feb 12, 2020 at 7:53
  • @HandyHowie IF its a charging issue which is being asked about then I do not see where the battery is being charged by the car at all. Only drained. A 99 Civic would idle off the alternator alone if its functioning normal.
    – narkeleptk
    Feb 12, 2020 at 16:36
  • 1
    @narkeleptk I agree. There is obviously another issue that is causing the engine to cut out. The fact that the OP has been able to repeatedly start the car indicates that the battery is ok, but now just going flat because of the repeated starting. The Op needs to recharge the battery and find the stalling fault.
    – HandyHowie
    Feb 12, 2020 at 16:56


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.