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no crank, rapid starter relay click, will jump start

maladjustedmaladjusted 2000 infiniti l30Posts: 3
edited August 2019 in Pontiac
okay guys, im new here. i dont do facebook and i dont even own a cell phone so im hoping you guys are a huge help to me. my wifes car sat for a couple of months this summer, i just put tires on it (the reason it sat for a while were the tires) and i went to fire it up to take it to the car wash. well, it wouldnt start. battery was dead, so i charged it up with jumpers. took about 20min to get it juiced up to start. took it the the car wash, washed it, then it wouldnt start again but this time the starter relay is clicking really rapidly. i cleaned the terminals, the battery is only a year old. It jumped a lot more quickly this time but after i turned it off it wont start again. do you think the battery went bad when it sat, or the alt is bad, or the actual terminal wires need replaced possibly? its definitely a power issue and it isnt the ignition switch because i had to replace that already so i know how it acts, and it wont jump when that is out. any advice would be a big help, thank you.


  • maladjustedmaladjusted 2000 infiniti l30Posts: 3
    sorry its not my infinity it is my wifes grand am. 2001
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 898
    First, put the battery on a charger. Trying to charge a dead battery off the alternator can lead to an alternator failure.

    Second, do you have a VOM? I suspect you don't. If you do, the battery voltage should be about 12.7 volts. If before you start charging it, it is less, particularly if it is 10 volts or lower, you likely have a dead cell in the battery.

    While the battery is charging, you should get over 13.5 volts?

    After an hour of charging, the voltage should be higher than when you first started. disconnect the charger and measure the voltage. It should be 12.7.

    Let it sit for an hour. Measure the voltage again. if it is below 12.0 voltys, you likely have a dead battery.

    Alternatively you could take the battery out and have it tested at one of the auto parts places.
  • maladjustedmaladjusted 2000 infiniti l30Posts: 3
    i scrubbed the positive terminal with a wire brush and then hooked the battery to my car with jumpers and let mine run for a while, seems to have fixed the issue. went out this morning to make sure it maintained a charge and now it is seeming to be okay. thanks for your response!!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 25,544
    Batteries can go into failures by being mistreated whether in very cold weather or very hot weather. Sitting with a slight drain and not being run for 15-20 minutes every few weeks to recharge may have killed that battery with sulfate bridging, or other ways that cells short and then don't show shorting.

    I agree with your cleaning the terminals. I'd check the multiple positive wires, if more than one, on the battery and at the other ends by removing, cleaning and tightening. Remember to take off the negative terminal and isolate it before touching anything.

    Clean the negative wires at both ends.

    The clicking indicates enough power to activate the starter solenoid but as that power is used, there's not enough to continue at that rate of drain from the battery, and the starter clicks as it retracts the solenoid.

    I'd replace the battery if it were mine. You might also have the alternator charging rate tested. Box stores like Autozone and Walmart around here have an all in one unit that gives a cursory test on the battery as well as the alternator's health.

    Get a $5 volt ohms tester at Harbor Freight.e.g., and after battery has sat in car for an hour at least, check voltage. There are charts on the internet that will tell you the approximate state of charge based on the exact voltage.

    Odd that running in your car with a 120 amp alternator or so didn't pump a fast charge into the battery in a 5 or 10 minute run time minimum. I'd prefer the battery be charged on a charger to get a better layer of lead plated onto the plate with the charging.

    If you have a charger I'd connect it and let it charge until the charger says it fully charged.

    The table of 100%, 75%, etc., values 3rd item down this story should help.


    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

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