Could a corroded battery cable prevent a 97 Honda Civic from starting?
Topic started by: Polaris aka Stardude, Date: 03-10-2017 04:57 PM
Original thread: http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum10/HTML/000702.html


Polaris aka Stardude (newtehtrance@gmail.com) MSG #1, 03-10-2017 04:57 PM
      Somewhat curious since my mechanic mentioned my car wouldn't start, even though it was working fine a few days ago. Apparently it's VERY close to getting over that edge, but it just stops.

We've got a brand new battery in the thing, but it has been sitting for like 5-6 years. Everything else is in very good-excellent shape, but this battery is the ONLY thing preventing the car from running. Aside from tires, of course.

Anyhow, some ants + a rat has been discovered in the engine, plus some corroded cables have been discovered near the battery. He (Mechanic) looked around, and took notice of the corroded cables. Could this be the issue preventing my car from holding a charge/starting up fully?

P.S. Just to clarify, when I mean almost start up, you can hear the engine getting ready to sound like it's idling, but it just stops. Any ideas? Also, is there anything else I should be on the lookout for?


tebailey (tebailey@charter.net) MSG #2, 03-10-2017 07:12 PM
      Check for the rat's nest. Long time ago a co worker had a problem with hi truck barely running. Pulled off the air cleaner and the rats built a nest in it and it was stuffed full of dog food. They also LOVE to chew through wiring.

RWDPLZ MSG #3, 03-11-2017 07:50 PM
      Yes it could. Those little batteries don't have much power to begin with.

My little brother has a 96 Civic, once found a mouse had crawled up the intake tube and started eating through the air filter element. Caught it before he broke through and any could get into the engine. That D16Y7 is frequently a PITA to work on, too.

Check voltage drop from battery to frame, and battery to alternator.

Sitting 5-6 years, old fuel is a factor, too. Replace the fuel filter, it's pretty easy to get to and cheap.


Khw (i3ite_ivie@msn.com) MSG #4, 03-14-2017 11:29 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Polaris aka Stardude:

Somewhat curious since my mechanic mentioned my car wouldn't start, even though it was working fine a few days ago. Apparently it's VERY close to getting over that edge, but it just stops.


So, it cranks for a bit then just stops? Does it crank quickly, or slowly?

 
quote
We've got a brand new battery in the thing, but it has been sitting for like 5-6 years. Everything else is in very good-excellent shape, but this battery is the ONLY thing preventing the car from running. Aside from tires, of course.


Hold up, slow down a sec. Okay so the car was working fine a few days ago but it's been sitting for 5 or 6 years? Do you mean it started a few days ago after sitting for 5 or 6 years but now it won't start?

 
quote
Anyhow, some ants + a rat has been discovered in the engine, plus some corroded cables have been discovered near the battery. He (Mechanic) looked around, and took notice of the corroded cables. Could this be the issue preventing my car from holding a charge/starting up fully?


Corroded cables can keep a battery from charging properly. Corroded cables can keep a car from starting. Corroded cables are also a symptom of a failing battery or one who's internal chemistry is off. If the battery sat for 5-6 years never being charged, chances are the battery is failing and that has caused the corroded cables making the situation worse. Just like the "best if used by" dates you see on a pack of AA batteries in the store, your car battery also only has a certain "best" lifespan. Except car batteries being lead acid batteries are a bit more demanding in treatment. Sitting without being charged for 5-6 years isn't the best treatment for a battery. Even sitting that long on a battery tender, the battery will still suffer from age. If I was you, I'd clean the corrosion from the battery cables and see if the car will start. If the corrosion has worked it's way into the cable itself, down into the wire going into the rubber insulator, you may need to replace the cables. If that works, I'd still plan on getting a battery in the near future. If cleaning the cables doesn't work, take the battery to Autozone (or wherever) and have them test it. It's always been free to have them tested when I have gone. If the battery fails, get a new battery.

 
quote
P.S. Just to clarify, when I mean almost start up, you can hear the engine getting ready to sound like it's idling, but it just stops. Any ideas? Also, is there anything else I should be on the lookout for?


Okay, so the engine fires but it just won't stay running once it does? Or am I not understanding what you mean by "getting ready to sound like it's idling"? If the engine fires and the starter stops and then you have to turn the key over again to crank the engine again, that's not uncommon.Many cars kick the starter out when the engine fires to protect the starter. In that case, you will probably have to look elsewhere for your problem. I'd still clean the corroded cables, but as RWDPLZ said, you may want to replace the fuel filter. You will probably want to check fuel pressure when you do in case the fuel pump got gummed up from old fuel and it needs replaced to. There was a dead rat under the hood? Start tracing wires back from the engine to firewall to see if the rat chewed through any wires. Check the fuses. Maybe fuel pump popped the fuse or?

Lot's of possibilities with the disjointed information we have been given.