DIY: Car won't start, but battery seems okay... - Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-21-2018, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Car won't start, but battery seems okay...

Hey all,

I have a 2008 Mazda6 (I don't know if it's 1st or 2nd Gen...). After school the other day I tried to start it to drive home and it wasn't starting (or seemingly even trying to). The battery clearly still had some charge to it because all of my lights and such were working. I tried jumping it with two other people and it didn't work either time. When I try to start, there is no sound like it's trying to start, some lights just come on and it doesn't do anything.

Since I couldn't jump start it, I'm wondering if there is something else I should check? There's always the possibility that I have a bad set of jumper cables or something, but I assume it's something with the car.

This happened a few weeks ago too (I was only away from my car for about 20 minutes, so it couldn't have been from leaving on lights or something). That time it was jumped successfully, and I went to Advanced Auto Parts and they tested the battery and alternator and said everything was fine.

The Mazda dealership nearby isn't open on the weekend, so I'm trying to see if I can identify and fix the problem before getting it towed on Monday. Any suggestions are appreciated!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 02:09 AM
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Here - try this: http://www.ifitjams.com/start.gif It's not nearly as complicated as it looks. I suspect you have corrosion or battery sulfate residue on your battery post terminal(s). If you see the battery post caked white powdery residue, it's a sure sign. First thing I'd do is pull the cables, and clean (i.e., lightly scrape with sandpaper or a wire brush) both the inside of the terminals and the outside of the posts to ensure a good electrical connection.


If you can get it started, take it to another auto parts store to have the battery and alternator tested again. If both check out fine, a good preventative maintenance measure would be to change out the battery cables. It's fairly inexpensive to do, and worth doing on a 10+ year old car.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 10:38 AM
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Checking the cables as mentioned above is the best place to start especially if you see corrosion.

If that is not the problem it is usually the battery. You can have a battery test fine for some reason and still not start your car. The next probability is the starter solenoid/motor.

Do the lights that come on dim significantly when you try and start it?

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 03:31 PM
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When I sold batteries some brands were built with lighter weight (thinner) internal plates that would crack with repeated heat/cool cycles and vibration. This would result in an internal short. The most common presentation would be working dash and ambient lighting until crank. When the starter is engaged the short manifests and all the interior lighting goes out and the starter does not turn. No amount jump starting will do in this case because there cannot be a complete circuit established.
Remedy = Replace the Battery.


1st - clean terminals
2nd - check fuses
3rd - load test battery and/or replace
4th - check and/or replace starter/solenoid

good luck


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 08:03 PM
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I know this thread is several months old, but somebody may find use for what I am about to suggest. Maybe the solenoid in the starter was going bad. The starter has two actions. When the ignition switch is activated, the solenoid on the starter first causes the internal shaft to extend in order to mate with the ring gear around the flywheel (manual) or flex-plate (auto). At its full extension, the gear at the end of the shaft mates with the ring gear and also activates the rotational motion of the starter. If the solenoid is bad the internal shaft does not extend far enough to engage the rotational motion and so all you hear is the click of the solenoid/shaft as it extends, but not the whirring of the starter. A little tap on the starter housing with a screw driver (or hammer) sometimes allows that extra cm of extension to engage the starter fully. At this point, a starter rebuild or replacement is necessary.

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