I replaced the battery on my trep by the end of June. I think it had the factory unit and was giving some trouble.
Went to Advanced/Discount Autoparts and got their brand. Replaced and the car worked fine.
Couple of days ago, the car started taking some extra time to start and the cranking was slow. Yesterday it simply did not turn.
Had no time to check so I took my wife's monster to work (16 MPG ).
Today, I removed the battery and found the connector to the positive completely loose and the bold corroded.
Took the battery to AutoZone for a test (load test). Their machine said the battery was fine.
Replaced with new connectors and cables and reinstalled the battery. NOTHING.
When I turn the key, I can hear the fuel pump for a couple of seconds. The interior lights are working, the ODO displays fine and the lights on the panel come fine when I turn the key. When I try to crank, I can hear the solenoid clicking hard but no turning. And the clock in the radio goes black. Interior lights flick.
Jump it with my wife's monster = SAME THING.
Keep it jumped for more than 45 minutes, tried again = SAME THING.
I am borrowing my son's VW Passat for tomorrow, and plan on removing the batt on Saturday and taking it to Advanced/Discount for a charge or change.
Somebody suggested that it could be a bad starter, too.
Any suggestions? Could it be the starter? Or just a bad battery?
Yes it is your starter. I had the same problem with my intrepid. It started to make clicking noises and then i would stop like nothing happend and then it started again, i suggest takeing it to your favorite dealer or shop to have it repiared. why you ask... because to acces the starter you need to remove the whole engien. i also suggest getting your timing belt done at the same time.
I would also check the tightness of the positive and negative jump posts before doing anything else too. Your starter power goes thru both places and is dependent on them being tight and not corroded. If the postive one is loose, make sure the nuts are not bound up on the stud from the heat and arcing (semi-welded to the stud). They can seem tight, but they're not really clamping the cable terminals - so make sure that you can loosen them, and then re-tighten. Disconnect the neg. jump post before putting a wrench on the pos. one - lots of sparks and possible damage or injury if you don't and the wrench touches surrounding (grounded) metal.
'98 LXi - Later Concorde gages (black w/ chrome rings)/'99 LX - LHS gages (white) - HIR bulbs
Also the starter connection may be dirty as well. (You would have to crawl under the car and do this).
BTW, the engine does NOT have to come out for the starter to come out. It's a pain in the ass to remove it but it can be done. Did that on a 99 concorde with a 2.7 and it was pretty annoying. I would suggest a pair of car ramps if you are going to do it yourself.
Peva, I already did that. Since I found the cable going to the positive battery post completely loose, I decided to replace the connector and the cable. I re-tightened the jump posts after replacing the cable.
Some more info:
I was reminded that a few days ago, just before my problem started, I drove the car with water covering the wheels completely (flooded street) for almost a full street block. The car didn't even hesitate, but I think the battery was under water all the time.
I did that with the old battery several times, with no problem at all. But the old one looked very high quality. I think it was OEM. The new one looks really cheap (my bad).
Looking into specs, seems like my Trep has the biggest battery in the house. Not even my wife's monster has a bigger batt.
I will check the starter too. Yiran, thanks for the suggestion. I think I will use ramps if am able to move the car.
My son helped me and took the starter out. He discovered it is almost impossible to remove (the manual says you have to remove bolts for the motor mount and jack the engine) but a simple 90 degree rotation on its axis will let it free.
Took the starter to AutoZone for testing. FAIL ... FAIL .... FAIL