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Battery drains and won't start, plus no power to anything

 
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Old 05 Nov 2011, 01:19 pm
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Question Battery drains and won't start, plus no power to anything

I have an 02 pt cruiser limited edition non-turbo with roughly 130,000 miles, this engine was redone roughly a year ago and has already had the transmission replaced on it as well around 4 years ago. Last week I replaced the Oil pressure switch, because it was leaking and the upper and lower mounts, along with the motor mounts which were worn out. The battery is about a year old and i just had it tested last week at an advanced auto parts after my wife used the radio for about a half hour and the battery was drained and needed a jump. Battery checked out fine and didn't have any problems at until last night. The temperature has dropped to about 35 degrees and i had to go to the store last night to pick up some medicine around 1am. After about twenty minutes in the store, i came out and tried to turn on my car. I turned put the key in, and turned and nothing. No clicks, no lights, no dash lights, dome lights, nothing. This was similar to having no power in the car at all, put the key back and forth a few times and a minute later got the dash lights back and it fired up like nothing happened. Drove home and woke up this morning and now i get nothing again, but this time the needles started jumping around when i opened the door and tried turning the key. Needles i mean ( gas gauge, temp, RPMS, etc. like if it was trying to go to normal but couldn't get enough electricity. Later i went back in the car, and with the door open and without the key in the ignition, the needles bounced around again. Then slowly went to nothing. My dad came over and we put the cables to the battery and with his van on i was able to get dash lights on again. I turned the key and heard a single click and that was all. I turned my lights on and noticed that the lights dimmed with each turn, but still did not turn over. The battery disconnected from another vehicle shortly drained back down to where no lights or gauges worked at all. No window power, locks, button stuck and won't release gear shift, gauges, all without power. I'm thinking either a cut or burn in the battery cable, bad starter, bad alternator, or possibly something else. I'm trying to understand what is draining the battery so quickly and if there are some ways to trouble shoot this problem so i know for sure what it is? I've heard that if it is the Starter than a replacement solenoid from a 1995 grand cherokee serves as a great replacement and that an alternator replacement is a real pain. Any info is greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Anthony

Last edited by apalomo01; 05 Nov 2011 at 01:22 pm.
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Old 05 Nov 2011, 01:44 pm
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Default Re: Battery drains and won't start, plus no power to anything

Anthony,

Shorts in the electrical system and pin-pointing a single element that might be draining the battery is a long and tiring job requiring a lot of patience. First, I'd try advance auto again or another auto store (Auto Zone, Pep Boys etc) that will not only check the battery again but also check the whole charging system. If everything checks OK, Check all your cables at the battery and starter. Any kind of corrosion will take away the cables ability to transfer power from one end to the other. If all cables are OK, start with the ignition switch. play around with the key when it's working properly and see if you can get the dials or ignition to do any kind of odd thing like cut off the car or get the dials to move. <y bet is on the charging system or corroded cables.
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Old 05 Nov 2011, 10:40 pm
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Default Re: Battery drains and won't start, plus no power to anything

Thanks Crewzin,

Took off the battery and starter and took them in to Autozone to get tested. Starter tested ok, then battery was ok at first, then the guy changed his mind and said it started showing a bad cell. After replacing the battery, reinstalling the starter, and trimming off the old battery terminal ends that were corroded, pt runs great with no problems so far. Thanks for the info, looks like the best way to get the battery checked is to take it off and take it in to get properly checked. This bad cell really caused some crazy symptoms that i haven't seen before with a bad battery so it was was definitely a first.

Thanks again,

Anthony
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Old 06 Nov 2011, 08:42 am
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Default Re: Battery drains and won't start, plus no power to anything

Your very welcome.
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Old 27 Apr 2012, 01:07 pm
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Default Re: Battery drains and won't start, plus no power to anything

I too am now having this problem. I jumped it and a few days later it stopped working.
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Old 27 Apr 2012, 01:40 pm
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Default Re: Battery drains and won't start, plus no power to anything

Quote:
Originally Posted by 01Limited View Post
I too am now having this problem. I jumped it and a few days later it stopped working.

Follow the advice given above.
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Old 08 May 2012, 09:32 am
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Default Re: Battery drains and won't start, plus no power to anything

Hi, this is my first post, my wifes 2007 convertable is having similar problems
the car lay idle for around three months, the battery was dead, we jump started it and all seemed fine, then the following morning the car started, my wife turned the a/c on and the car cut out, the battery was dead,I tried to jump sart it but nothing, no life at all, I then re charged the battery overnight, the next day the car fired up loads of life, I tried the a/c and lights all working well still loads of power.
the next morning the car fired up, we turned the a/c on and the car cut out.


I took the 8 month old battery to Walmart, the charged and checked the battery and said it was fine, the car stared loads of power, no problems when we turned the a/c on, the next morning the car started then cut our when we turned the a/c on, the batter was then dead

any advice would be much appreciated.
Daveboy
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Old 08 May 2012, 11:58 am
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Default Re: Battery drains and won't start, plus no power to anything

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveboy View Post
Hi, this is my first post, my wifes 2007 convertable is having similar problems
the car lay idle for around three months, the battery was dead, we jump started it and all seemed fine, then the following morning the car started, my wife turned the a/c on and the car cut out, the battery was dead,I tried to jump sart it but nothing, no life at all, I then re charged the battery overnight, the next day the car fired up loads of life, I tried the a/c and lights all working well still loads of power.
the next morning the car fired up, we turned the a/c on and the car cut out.


I took the 8 month old battery to Walmart, the charged and checked the battery and said it was fine, the car stared loads of power, no problems when we turned the a/c on, the next morning the car started then cut our when we turned the a/c on, the batter was then dead

any advice would be much appreciated.
Daveboy
Charging a battery before testing can hide a bad cell. Happened to me at Walmart!
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Old 08 May 2012, 05:34 pm
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Default Re: Battery drains and won't start, plus no power to anything

If a battery has been discharged for a long time or remained in a low state of charge for a long time, one or two cells will no longer take a full charge and will drag down the rest of the battery's total voltage and capacity.

I had a relatively new battery in my PT, but I didn't drive much this winter, and one cell ended up way lower in specific gravity than the rest of the cells and the battery wouldn't keep a full charge even after a regular charge cycle for more than a few days.

Well, I have a horse of a Snap-On old style battery charger that will put out 16 volts at 40 amps. I took the battery out of the car, put it in a well ventilated garage and cooked that baby on high for about an hour, keeping a careful watch on electrolyte bubbling and temperature to make sure I didn't fry the battery. It finally came back to full charge on all the cells and now works like a charm.

This procedure is called equalization and is usually done on batteries that have unequal cell specific gravities. This procedure cannot be done very much or it will eventually destroy the lead on the plates, but it will salvage a damaged battery and give it few more years of life. It's also a good idea to keep a hydrometer around to test the cells if your having battery problems.

I've been thinking about getting a newer style charger called the Battery Minder, which has an equalization mode with a temp sensor to make the procedure easier and safer.
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