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Discussion Starter #1
I need some guidance from the board guru's.This past wed. I left work and the car started fine.I made a quick stop at the grocery store and when I came back out and tried to start the car the only thing that happened were some of the dash lights flashed erratically.I kept trying but the engine would not turn over.I got some tools from the trunk and checked battery connections at the jump posts and the terminals and all were tight (battery is approx. 3 years old).I got in touch with my brother to try jump starting the car.After connecting jumper cables to his car and waiting a few moments my car finally grudgingly turned over a couple of times but didnt have enough charge to start.After waiting several minutes to charge again the car finally started and I left it idling while I packed my things up and thanked my brother.I get in the car to leave and go just a few yards and the car dies and wil not do anything again.At this point I called a wrecker and had it towed to a relatives house nearby.Yesterday after work I went to troubleshoot what I assumed was a charging system issue.I had a voltmeter,assorted test leads,and a charger/starter unit(110V.).My intent was to jump the car off and do an alternator test per Pevas instructions that I found on this site.The issue now is the car will not turn over at all when trying to start it.There is only loud clicking from the starter relay under the hood.I swapped the relay out with another and no change.I have read on here that the clicking usually means a bad starter but what I dont get is why the car died after I had gotten it running again in the grocery store parking lot.Sorry this is so long but I didnt want to leave out anything.Thanks ahead of time for anyones help.
 

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Starter clicking only indicates bad starter solenoid contacts if the system is getting full voltage. Your system obviously is having voltage problems.

Assuming the connections at the jump posts are indeed good, you need to also check the connections at the battery. From what you've described it sounds almost certain that you have a bad battery or bad connections at the battery (charging system problem - as in otherwise good battaery but with a low charge - is a distant third - check after ruling out battery and connections).

If you have a charger, fully charge it up. If you have something like a 10 amp charger, that means letting it charge overnight. With the battery charged (assuming it takes a charge), you can do your checks on the alternator charging using the volt meter. But, also with the battery charged, go by an auto parts store and have the battery itself tested. (Note: If they test using the jump posts, the validity of their test results depends on the integrity of the jump post connections - bad connections there, and they're likely to tell you the battery is bad when it may not be.)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply Peva.The charger I was using includes a 50amp jump start setting which is what I had it on when trying to start the car and only got the starter relay clicking.Would that not provide the necessary voltage to engage the starter as if it had full voltage from the battery? Believe me I hope it is just the battery because its sitting on an incline in grass and will be hell to get jacked up.I will work on it tomorrow and begin with the battery either way.Thanks again.
 

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Thanks for the reply Peva.The charger I was using includes a 50amp jump start setting which is what I had it on when trying to start the car and only got the starter relay clicking.Would that not provide the necessary voltage to engage the starter as if it had full voltage from the battery? Believe me I hope it is just the battery because its sitting on an incline in grass and will be hell to get jacked up.I will work on it tomorrow and begin with the battery either way.Thanks again.
You're welcome.

Hard to say. Starter issue would not explain everything you described in your first post, like it cutting off after you had it running. Maybe there is more than one problem.

Troubleshoot it with a multimeter - find out if full voltage is making it to the starter (both wires) with the key at Start. That should narrow it down for you. If voltage not making it to the starter, work back up the system and find out where voltage is getting dropped (while key at Start) - including the battery itself. Or start at the battery and work in the opposite direction. See schematics in FSM to do that.
 

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I had the same problem. But in my case, the running car (while waiting at a red light), shook for 3-4 seconds and the battery light came on and the car kept on shaking lightly afterward. Drove the car home (about 2-3 mins away), turned the car off, and then back on. No battery light or anything else flashing anymore. Everything ran normal. Then checked the battery terminals.. one was really bad... rusted out with acid. Replaced it. Running fine after that. (had to use metal saw to cut the damaged terminal from the copper wires. Bought new terminals at Canadian Tire for $3.99) Since my battery was pretty old, I changed the battery too.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thought I would let everyone know that the only thing wrong with my car was a bad battery that was less than 3 years old.The new one didnt cost anything but as we all know was a bear to change.I had an explorer that behaved similarly.When the battery would go there was no warning,you would get in it and it would start fine,make a stop and try to start again and it wont even groan.a new battery would fix the issue.By the way I got the original battery at walmart (Everstart) it was a 770 CCA battery.They tested my old one,showed 9.6v and 7CCA.lol.The new one is now 800CCA.I hope it lasts longer than the last one.I also checked alternator output at the jump post with the fan on high and the headlights on high,car running at 2000RPM's,output voltage 13.77 so I'm good.Thanks again for the help,especially Peva.
 

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Glad to help, and glad you got it solved.
 
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