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chrisb0108 08-29-2010 02:49 PM

Its dead, its not dead...its dead, its not dead!!!
Lately when I get in my Jeep and start to crank it sometimes it has a really bad lag...almost like the battery is dying. Sometimes it is so bad that I have to turn the key off and wait a second and try again and it will crank. Left work a few minutes ago on my lunch break, got in the Jeep and smelled something that I thought to be an electric smell after is was cranked for a minute. Check engine light came on and the battery voltage gauge maxed out!!! Drove a couple miles & stopped to get gas, got back in and turned the key on and gauges, radio, lights, nothing. Turn the key off and back on and not even a faded, barely-on gauge light. Opened the hood and the positive terminal on my battery was significantly hotter to the touch than the negative. Was about to make a call and decided to turn the key over again one last time and of course it fired right up, no maxed out voltage gauge & no check engine light anymore either. Stopped by autozone and their scanner was stolen so I wasn't able to get a scan(even though the cel was off). A buddy says he's heard when the battery voltage meter pegs out like that that it means my alternator could be going bad. Can anyone give some advice here please?

bobjenkins 08-29-2010 02:53 PM

I just had an alternator go bad on me, and the voltmeter was all the way down , all the time. Once it was dead. it was dead, to me doesnt sound like an alternator, but... I would try to get down to a different autozone

Fweaky 08-29-2010 03:05 PM

My starter went bad a while back and had some of those symptoms could be that and its easy to pull off and check if you don't see anything else thats obvious.

Jerry Bransford 08-29-2010 03:06 PM

Remove the battery connectors. Wire brush and clean the battery posts and connectors thoroughly and then firmly reconnect them.

99% of such problems are caused by bad battery connections. If cleaning your battery connections doesn't help, remove your battery and have a shop do a "load test" on it which will provide the battery's true condition.

NO, just looking at the battery connections and assuming they are ok doesn't count. My Toyota's battery connections looked just fine when I had the same condition recently but cleaning then and then securely tightening them back on to the posts completely cured the problem. Looking at the battery connections isn't good enough, they can look good but still cause problems.

And there's a 99.9999% chance this problem is not caused by your alternator or starter. :)

chrisb0108 08-29-2010 03:30 PM

I definitely appreciate it and I'll be back with an update after I've taken the recommended actions.

rrich 08-29-2010 04:12 PM

The fact that the battery post was hot was a huge tip-off that that connection is bad. Clean it!
If it still does it, the terminal connection inside the battery might be bad - especially if it's a side terminal type.

Tackelbarry 08-29-2010 04:12 PM

I had the exact same symptoms last week. I talked to a ASE certified mechanic friend and he told me that when your battery is dead or going dead it will play havic on the system. Basically, this system responds through the computer and not the alternator. I installed a new battery and everything is back to normal. Hope this helps.

rrich 08-29-2010 05:02 PM

Anytime a post, terminal, cable, splice, or electrical connection gets hot it indicates it has high resistance that should not be there. Clean, replace or repair the connection and things start working again.
-- Electricity 101, Physics 101, Common Sense 101.

Amazing how so many never took those classes.

baja 08-29-2010 05:11 PM

Every couple months I clean my posts and connectors.I am still running the original battery-yes,a 9 yr old battery.Keeping them clean is the key.

chrisb0108 08-29-2010 06:03 PM

Seems to even crank up without as much effort now that I cleaned them. I swear I did this at the most 2-3 months ago. It will definitely be something I do regularly now. Thanks for the responses

If I have the problem again I'll take the battery and get it checked and then just go from there.

chrisb0108 09-15-2010 12:16 PM

Ended up having the problem again. Replaced a bad battery and still had problem. A new starter fixed it!!! :)

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