why didn't my car start? - Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2006, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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let me preface by saying that this is my first car of which i know next to nothing.

on wednesday, i drove my 2003 mazda 6s about 45 minutes on the highway from my house to a friend's house for a baseball game. i got out of the car for 20 minutes and when i got back, my engine wouldn't start. it sounded like the engine would begin to turn over, but then just stop. my radio, power windows, lights, headlights were all working.

~6 hours later, i try to start the car again. it sounds like it starts to turn over a little more, but then stops again. i get a jump, let it run a little while, then drive back home. fast forward to today. i manage to start the car on the first try, but it sounds like it just barely got there. i'm thinking it's the battery, but i'm not sure, so i drive ~20 miles out to radio shack and buy a multimeter. when i get back, with everything off, i measure 12.8V. according to some other thread i found here, this would seem to say that the battery's ok?? or was it just charged up from driving around?

any ideas?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2006, 04:32 PM
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Good chances the battery is dead. And, yes, I'd imagine if you tested it right after buying the multimeter it would still be holding its' charge from the drive there. Wait a few hours, test it again, see if it's holding a full charge still.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2006, 04:35 PM
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Agree with sigma on this one.

Also, you can take it to autozone or pepboys and they can test the battery for you.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2006, 04:42 PM
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sounds like a bad battery. and testing with a voltmeter will not give you a good indication of how the battery takes the load. if you do as previously suggested, and hit a autozone or checker, they can load test it, and tell you for sure. heck when i use to work at autozone they had a tester they rolled out to the car to check it for you.


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a 2003 SVT Mustang Cobra also is sitting in my garage....
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2006, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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cool, i'll test it in an hour or so.

what will autozone or pepboys do to test it?

also, i did notice some gunk (dirt?? battery acid??) on the battery terminals when i popped the hood. what should i use to clean this off? paper towel? water?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2006, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
what will autozone or pepboys do to test it?[/b]
They can hook a tester up to it, for free, that will determine if the battery is holding a charge or not.

Quote:
also, i did notice some gunk (dirt?? battery acid??) on the battery terminals when i popped the hood. what should i use to clean this off? paper towel? water?[/b]
Best thing is a wire brush. Should be able to pick that up at the auto parts store too.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 03:59 PM
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Best thing is a wire brush. Should be able to pick that up at the auto parts store too.
[/b]
Baking Soda mixed with a little water is also helpful as it will neutralize the battery acid. Just my 2.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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i took the car to autozone and just as expected, the battery test showed that it was bad. swapping the battery out was no problem, next time just need to remember to write down my radio presets...
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