YACT: Car's been sitting, no longer starts

archcommus

Diamond Member
Sep 14, 2003
8,115
0
71
Hey guys,

I have a 92 Sable with ~131k miles on it that I had to stop driving last August since I went to school and did not take it with me. Weekly I had my parents start it and move it a bit to make sure the battery stayed fresh and the tires did not develop flat spots. When I was home for spring break around the beginning of March, I tried to start it and it wouldn't turn over. After trying two or three times, it wouldn't even try anymore, as if the battery was dead. We hooked up jumpers and it went back to trying but not being able to turn over. After disconnecting the jumpers and trying to start it again a couple times, it went back to doing nothing at all.

So I'm guessing this means 1) the battery's bad because it couldn't get recharged with the jumpers and seems to lose its charge after attempting to start it a couple times, and 2) the alternator or something else is bad since it won't start in the first place. What do you think?

My other concern is, it's been sitting still since early March now since it won't start. I'm coming home May 16 and intend to get it towed, hopefully fixed, and inspected then. That's about 2 1/2 months of sitting still...am I going to have problems with my tires now?

Thanks guys.
 

Heisenberg

Lifer
Dec 21, 2001
10,621
1
0
Have you tried recharging the battery fully? You can also take it to an autoparts store and they'll test it for you. If it still doesn't start with a charged/new battery, then you have another problem.
 

j00fek

Diamond Member
Dec 19, 2005
8,099
1
0
tires shoudl be fine till you drive it. and get a new battery or just charge this one up if you wont be driving it again till you come home again
 

K1052

Elite Member
Aug 21, 2003
47,264
35,368
136
Hook it up to a charger and see if the battery comes back. Too many deep discharges can kill an auto battery quickly.

Get a tender next time.
 

Zenmervolt

Elite member
Oct 22, 2000
24,512
21
81
Battery. Alternator doesn't come into play until after the engine is started. If the battery is really dead, then you won't be able to jump it because there will be too much resistance in the circuit from the dead battery. Just get a new battery and go from there.

Your tires are fine.

ZV
 

archcommus

Diamond Member
Sep 14, 2003
8,115
0
71
Thanks for the quick replies.

So at least I know now maybe why jumping it didn't help. But if the battery were the only problem I would hear nothing when turning the ignition, correct? So there must be another problem, what could it be? What's it sound like? Just like a normal car-starting sound but it never finishes and actually starts. Just keeps trying. Then after two or three times of that it won't do anything as if the battery's dead.
 

AStar617

Diamond Member
Sep 29, 2002
4,983
0
0
If a battery is flat dead, you'll hear nothing.

If a battery is very low but not flat dead (i.e., if you have jumpers connected to a flat dead battery but didn't wait long enough), you might hear clicking, or slooooow to normal cycles of the starter motor.

Either let a running vehicle sit on the dead one with cables connected for ~15 or more mins (remember to have negative to ground on the dead vehicle, not the neg battery post), slow charge the dead battery with a battery charger, or replace the battery outright.
 

Heisenberg

Lifer
Dec 21, 2001
10,621
1
0
Originally posted by: archcommus
Thanks for the quick replies.

So at least I know now maybe why jumping it didn't help. But if the battery were the only problem I would hear nothing when turning the ignition, correct? So there must be another problem, what could it be? What's it sound like? Just like a normal car-starting sound but it never finishes and actually starts. Just keeps trying. Then after two or three times of that it won't do anything as if the battery's dead.
The battery wasn't totally dead and would turn the car over a few times before it didn't have enough juice to even roll the starter. That's what you heard.
 

dman

Diamond Member
Nov 2, 1999
9,110
0
76
Gas goes bad after sitting for a while. I have a car in the garage that I had probs with. I was able to get it started, added fresh gas with stabalizer and it hasn't been much of a problem since then.

You could try adding some fuel injector cleaner to it (like Techron) which after it gets a chance to mix in may help the car get started.

 

archcommus

Diamond Member
Sep 14, 2003
8,115
0
71
I did add some preserving fluid of some sort last time I filled it up in August.

So hopefully the only issue is the battery. I'll be getting it towed in about three weeks. If anyone has any other comments feel free to add, thanks.
 

archcommus

Diamond Member
Sep 14, 2003
8,115
0
71
Originally posted by: AStar617
If a battery is flat dead, you'll hear nothing.

If a battery is very low but not flat dead (i.e., if you have jumpers connected to a flat dead battery but didn't wait long enough), you might hear clicking, or slooooow to normal cycles of the starter motor.

Either let a running vehicle sit on the dead one with cables connected for ~15 or more mins (remember to have negative to ground on the dead vehicle, not the neg battery post), slow charge the dead battery with a battery charger, or replace the battery outright.
Why is this?
 

Pepsi90919

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
25,162
1
81
Originally posted by: dman
Gas goes bad after sitting for a while. I have a car in the garage that I had probs with. I was able to get it started, added fresh gas with stabalizer and it hasn't been much of a problem since then.

You could try adding some fuel injector cleaner to it (like Techron) which after it gets a chance to mix in may help the car get started.

uh... it doesn't turn over.
 

LordMorpheus

Diamond Member
Aug 14, 2002
6,871
1
0
Originally posted by: Pepsi90919
Originally posted by: dman
Gas goes bad after sitting for a while. I have a car in the garage that I had probs with. I was able to get it started, added fresh gas with stabalizer and it hasn't been much of a problem since then.

You could try adding some fuel injector cleaner to it (like Techron) which after it gets a chance to mix in may help the car get started.

uh... it doesn't turn over.

He's not saying this will fix it, he is saying that it could make it easier to start, and in the future is a good idea when letting a car sit for a while.
 

fbrdphreak

Lifer
Apr 17, 2004
17,556
1
0
Originally posted by: archcommus
Originally posted by: AStar617
If a battery is flat dead, you'll hear nothing.

If a battery is very low but not flat dead (i.e., if you have jumpers connected to a flat dead battery but didn't wait long enough), you might hear clicking, or slooooow to normal cycles of the starter motor.

Either let a running vehicle sit on the dead one with cables connected for ~15 or more mins (remember to have negative to ground on the dead vehicle, not the neg battery post), slow charge the dead battery with a battery charger, or replace the battery outright.
Why is this?
Something about wearing your battery faster, not good for it. You have a 93 Sable, there should be plenty of metal ground contacts in that engine bay; just use those. People with newer cars sometime have to contend with an all plastic engine bay and might be forced to hook it to the neg post on the battery; not the best idea, but it shouldn't blow anything up.
 

AStar617

Diamond Member
Sep 29, 2002
4,983
0
0
Originally posted by: fbrdphreak
Originally posted by: archcommus
Originally posted by: AStar617
If a battery is flat dead, you'll hear nothing.

If a battery is very low but not flat dead (i.e., if you have jumpers connected to a flat dead battery but didn't wait long enough), you might hear clicking, or slooooow to normal cycles of the starter motor.

Either let a running vehicle sit on the dead one with cables connected for ~15 or more mins (remember to have negative to ground on the dead vehicle, not the neg battery post), slow charge the dead battery with a battery charger, or replace the battery outright.
Why is this?
Something about wearing your battery faster, not good for it. You have a 93 Sable, there should be plenty of metal ground contacts in that engine bay; just use those. People with newer cars sometime have to contend with an all plastic engine bay and might be forced to hook it to the neg post on the battery; not the best idea, but it shouldn't blow anything up.
Has nothing to do with battery wear (trying excessively to start a car on a dead battery under any circumstances is stressful on it)... Has EVERYTHING to do with minimizing the risk of explosion.

You should always be able to find exposed, unpainted metal to connect the negative jumper cable in an engine bay regardless of vintage--if nothing else, an engine mount or hood hinge should suffice.

 

archcommus

Diamond Member
Sep 14, 2003
8,115
0
71
Originally posted by: AStar617
Originally posted by: fbrdphreak
Originally posted by: archcommus
Originally posted by: AStar617
If a battery is flat dead, you'll hear nothing.

If a battery is very low but not flat dead (i.e., if you have jumpers connected to a flat dead battery but didn't wait long enough), you might hear clicking, or slooooow to normal cycles of the starter motor.

Either let a running vehicle sit on the dead one with cables connected for ~15 or more mins (remember to have negative to ground on the dead vehicle, not the neg battery post), slow charge the dead battery with a battery charger, or replace the battery outright.
Why is this?
Something about wearing your battery faster, not good for it. You have a 93 Sable, there should be plenty of metal ground contacts in that engine bay; just use those. People with newer cars sometime have to contend with an all plastic engine bay and might be forced to hook it to the neg post on the battery; not the best idea, but it shouldn't blow anything up.
Has nothing to do with battery wear (trying excessively to start a car on a dead battery under any circumstances is stressful on it)... Has EVERYTHING to do with minimizing the risk of explosion.

You should always be able to find exposed, unpainted metal to connect the negative jumper cable in an engine bay regardless of vintage--if nothing else, an engine mount or hood hinge should suffice.
So you're saying hooking positive to positive and negative to negative might cause an explosion???
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
63,534
11,841
136
As a battery charges, it off-gasses Hydrogen gas. That is highly explosive...(think Hindenburg) There have been thousands of people seriously injured by exploding batteries over the years. Positive (red) clamp to the + side of the battery...negative (black) clamp to an un-painted metal piece in the engine compartment.
Proper way to hook up jumper cables is:
http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/howto/articles/43793/article.html
Safety First...
 

Kelemvor

Lifer
May 23, 2002
16,930
7
81
Like others have said, either:

1) Take the battery to an auto parts place that can test it
or
2) Get a battery charger that will slowly charge it over a day or so and let it go

That's how you can tell if the battery is dead or not.
 

Zenmervolt

Elite member
Oct 22, 2000
24,512
21
81
Originally posted by: fbrdphreak
Originally posted by: archcommus
Originally posted by: AStar617
If a battery is flat dead, you'll hear nothing.

If a battery is very low but not flat dead (i.e., if you have jumpers connected to a flat dead battery but didn't wait long enough), you might hear clicking, or slooooow to normal cycles of the starter motor.

Either let a running vehicle sit on the dead one with cables connected for ~15 or more mins (remember to have negative to ground on the dead vehicle, not the neg battery post), slow charge the dead battery with a battery charger, or replace the battery outright.
Why is this?
Something about wearing your battery faster, not good for it. You have a 93 Sable, there should be plenty of metal ground contacts in that engine bay; just use those. People with newer cars sometime have to contend with an all plastic engine bay and might be forced to hook it to the neg post on the battery; not the best idea, but it shouldn't blow anything up.
No, it's just because hyper-paranoid people are afraid that it the negative clamp will arc when you take it off and ignite the hydrogen gas that a battery emits when it's charging. It's overkill and I've never once worried about it.

ZV
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
63,534
11,841
136
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: fbrdphreak
Originally posted by: archcommus
Originally posted by: AStar617
If a battery is flat dead, you'll hear nothing.

If a battery is very low but not flat dead (i.e., if you have jumpers connected to a flat dead battery but didn't wait long enough), you might hear clicking, or slooooow to normal cycles of the starter motor.

Either let a running vehicle sit on the dead one with cables connected for ~15 or more mins (remember to have negative to ground on the dead vehicle, not the neg battery post), slow charge the dead battery with a battery charger, or replace the battery outright.
Why is this?
Something about wearing your battery faster, not good for it. You have a 93 Sable, there should be plenty of metal ground contacts in that engine bay; just use those. People with newer cars sometime have to contend with an all plastic engine bay and might be forced to hook it to the neg post on the battery; not the best idea, but it shouldn't blow anything up.
No, it's just because hyper-paranoid people are afraid that it the negative clamp will arc when you take it off and ignite the hydrogen gas that a battery emits when it's charging. It's overkill and I've never once worried about it.

ZV

ok...hyper-paranoid...try smart....

http://www.aa1car.com/library/battery_safety.htm

http://www.expertwitness-electric.com/i...orders/Battery_Explosion_(SSB)_054.jpg

http://www.uuhome.de/william.darden/carfaq14.htm#explode

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...Doff%26rls%3DGGLG,GGLG:2006-11,GGLG:en

 

Zenmervolt

Elite member
Oct 22, 2000
24,512
21
81
Originally posted by: BoomerD
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: fbrdphreak
Originally posted by: archcommus
Originally posted by: AStar617
If a battery is flat dead, you'll hear nothing.

If a battery is very low but not flat dead (i.e., if you have jumpers connected to a flat dead battery but didn't wait long enough), you might hear clicking, or slooooow to normal cycles of the starter motor.

Either let a running vehicle sit on the dead one with cables connected for ~15 or more mins (remember to have negative to ground on the dead vehicle, not the neg battery post), slow charge the dead battery with a battery charger, or replace the battery outright.
Why is this?
Something about wearing your battery faster, not good for it. You have a 93 Sable, there should be plenty of metal ground contacts in that engine bay; just use those. People with newer cars sometime have to contend with an all plastic engine bay and might be forced to hook it to the neg post on the battery; not the best idea, but it shouldn't blow anything up.
No, it's just because hyper-paranoid people are afraid that it the negative clamp will arc when you take it off and ignite the hydrogen gas that a battery emits when it's charging. It's overkill and I've never once worried about it.

ZV
ok...hyper-paranoid...try smart....

http://www.aa1car.com/library/battery_safety.htm

http://www.expertwitness-electric.com/i...orders/Battery_Explosion_(SSB)_054.jpg

http://www.uuhome.de/william.darden/carfaq14.htm#explode

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...Doff%26rls%3DGGLG,GGLG:2006-11,GGLG:en
Do you have any idea of just how concentrated the hydrogen would have to be in order to ignite? You'd need to be pulling a high-amp fast charge in an area with zero airflow for a long time in order to generate enough Hydrogen to cause an explosion. A car's engine compartment is not confined enough to allow that kind of build-up unless you're trying to jump the car indoors, and even then if you have half-decent airflow in your shop, it's not an issue.

I repeat: It is for over-cautious people and you needn't worry if you're outside or in a properly ventillated area.

ZV
 

mrchan

Diamond Member
May 18, 2000
3,123
0
0
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: BoomerD
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: fbrdphreak
Originally posted by: archcommus
Originally posted by: AStar617
If a battery is flat dead, you'll hear nothing.

If a battery is very low but not flat dead (i.e., if you have jumpers connected to a flat dead battery but didn't wait long enough), you might hear clicking, or slooooow to normal cycles of the starter motor.

Either let a running vehicle sit on the dead one with cables connected for ~15 or more mins (remember to have negative to ground on the dead vehicle, not the neg battery post), slow charge the dead battery with a battery charger, or replace the battery outright.
Why is this?
Something about wearing your battery faster, not good for it. You have a 93 Sable, there should be plenty of metal ground contacts in that engine bay; just use those. People with newer cars sometime have to contend with an all plastic engine bay and might be forced to hook it to the neg post on the battery; not the best idea, but it shouldn't blow anything up.
No, it's just because hyper-paranoid people are afraid that it the negative clamp will arc when you take it off and ignite the hydrogen gas that a battery emits when it's charging. It's overkill and I've never once worried about it.

ZV
ok...hyper-paranoid...try smart....

http://www.aa1car.com/library/battery_safety.htm

http://www.expertwitness-electric.com/i...orders/Battery_Explosion_(SSB)_054.jpg

http://www.uuhome.de/william.darden/carfaq14.htm#explode

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...Doff%26rls%3DGGLG,GGLG:2006-11,GGLG:en
Do you have any idea of just how concentrated the hydrogen would have to be in order to ignite? You'd need to be pulling a high-amp fast charge in an area with zero airflow for a long time in order to generate enough Hydrogen to cause an explosion. A car's engine compartment is not confined enough to allow that kind of build-up unless you're trying to jump the car indoors, and even then if you have half-decent airflow in your shop, it's not an issue.

I repeat: It is for over-cautious people and you needn't worry if you're outside or in a properly ventillated area.

ZV



I've always done + to + and - to -, and you're probably absolutely right.

But I will be doing it the "right" way now. I mean... why not?