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Battery or Starter

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by jaxer smith jaxer smith 7 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #988515
    Andrew Herbst
    Andrew Herbst
    Participant

    My car won’t start – no cranking, just a series of clicks. I am surprised since I bought a brand new, relatively expensive battery three months ago. I cannot remember what brand it is, but I ensured that it had a solid rating for winter use. Here are some facts of relevance:

    – The car has been sitting for a week;
    – The temperature the preceding night had been about -15 Celsius
    – The preceding week had not been that cold – lows ranging from -16 C to -5 C. This is not really that cold for this part of the world and, historically, I have never had problems at these temperatures here, even with an older battery.
    – When I turned the key, all I heard were a series of clicks. I did confirm that some of the interior electrics (e.g. dome light) were functioning, although at noticeably reduced levels.

    Question 1: How likely is it that this is a battery problem (and not a starter problem, for example)?

    Question 2: Does the ability of a battery to start the car depend only on its temperature at the time of attempted start? Or is also a function of the amount of time since the last start.

    Question 3: It will get up to zero Celsius in a couple of days. Do you think there is a chance the car will start at this warmer temperature without a boost?

    Question 4: Assuming the battery is the problem, does it not seem odd that a new battery would go so dead in such relatively warm conditions?

    Thanks.

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  • #988516
    Nightflyr *
    Richard Kirshy
    Participant

    – When I turned the key, all I heard were a series of clicks. I did confirm that some of the interior electrics (e.g. dome light) were functioning, although at noticeably reduced levels.

    This is indicative of a lower voltage condition.
    Suggest you test the battery voltage at rest and again during cranking.

    Question 1: How likely is it that this is a battery problem (and not a starter problem, for example)?

    You will need to test the battery in order to find out.

    Question 2: Does the ability of a battery to start the car depend only on its temperature at the time of attempted start? Or is also a function of the amount of time since the last start.

    There are a few factors to consider:
    1 Any excessive parasitic draw.
    2 Colder temps will reduce the output of the battery, how much depends on the condition of the battery.
    3 How well your vehicle charging system can recharge the battery.
    4 Condition of the battery cables.

    Question 3: It will get up to zero Celsius in a couple of days. Do you think there is a chance the car will start at this warmer temperature without a boost?

    Unknown until a load and voltage test is performed.

    Question 4: Assuming the battery is the problem, does it not seem odd that a new battery would go so dead in such relatively warm conditions?

    Just because a part is new doesn’t always mean it is good.

    #988519
    Andrew Herbst
    Andrew Herbst
    Participant

    Thanks Richard, I will get my voltmeter out and do the test.

    #988603
    jaxer smith
    jaxer smith
    Participant

    99.9% certain your battery is the problem. A series of clicks is a classic description of a dead battery.
    Source: https://freeautomechanic.com/battery.html

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