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Battery problem?

Joined
27 May 2008
Messages
21
Location
Raleigh, NC
Yesterday I noticed the charging sytem gauge in my 91 was running a little lower than normal (just over 12V rather than around 15V). Today, total lights out! Went to start the car, a brief blip of activity and then nothing. No batter whatsoever. Has the battery failed or is there something else wrong? The reason I ask is because I have never experienced a total failure like this. Usually the starter clicks or cranks slowly and there is still enough battery to turn on the lights.

Did the lower charging voltage indicate a bad cell and then the cell failed shorting out the entire battery?
 
Glad to hear your problem has been solved. I do have another question for all....

It seems that the loosened battery terminal problem occurs over the years of driving and eventually results in the need to install another terminal/cable. Instead of the quick fix of inserting something between the post and the terminal before tightening, is there something on the market that's slim enough to fit over the post to take up the gap...yet still allow the terminal to go over it for tightening???????
 
It seems that the loosened battery terminal problem occurs over the years of driving and eventually results in the need to install another terminal/cable. Instead of the quick fix of inserting something between the post and the terminal before tightening, is there something on the market that's slim enough to fit over the post to take up the gap...yet still allow the terminal to go over it for tightening???????
Your question sounds like you think the battery cable clamps start out loose, with a gap. They don't; they start out tight, without any gap. Over the course of many years of driving, and the various g-forces on the cable and battery, as well as exposure to the elements, those clamps can work themselves loose, unless you tighten them from time to time. It's the same thing with many parts on the car; you just need to tighten them from time to time. Most parts that need tightening are designed this way because they need to be removed from time to time, to enable the replacement of the battery, or of the tires (lug nuts), or of the brake pads (bolts holding the calipers together), etc. The only thing different about the battery is that you can go as much as 6-8 years without replacing the battery, so it's generally a longer time between tightenings than with those other parts of the car.
 
Several years ago I saw some copper foil at Autozone that was about 3/4 of an inch wide and about as thick as aluminum foil. It was specifically to improve contact on battery posts. Don't know if they still sell it or not but would imagine that's what you're looking for if you don't want to put on a new cable.
 
Your question sounds like you think the battery cable clamps start out loose, with a gap. They don't; they start out tight, without any gap. Over the course of many years of driving, and the various g-forces on the cable and battery, as well as exposure to the elements, those clamps can work themselves loose, unless you tighten them from time to time. It's the same thing with many parts on the car; you just need to tighten them from time to time. Most parts that need tightening are designed this way because they need to be removed from time to time, to enable the replacement of the battery, or of the tires (lug nuts), or of the brake pads (bolts holding the calipers together), etc. The only thing different about the battery is that you can go as much as 6-8 years without replacing the battery, so it's generally a longer time between tightenings than with those other parts of the car.

Not only do they work loose, but they will also stretch over time. I have replaced the terminals for several NSXs because they got stretched to the point where even if you fully tightened the nut, it will not be tight. Many well intentioned mechanics will disconnect the battery for whatever reasons and then torque the nut really hard which stretches the terminal. I replaced my terminals long ago with expensive, high quality terminals designed for car audio that will never work loose. I recommend this once your terminals start getting loose.
 
The terminal stretched and it wouldn't go tight so I took a small square lead washer that was on my Toyota battery terminal and put it on the NSX. That worked.
 
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