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Car started when jumped, got new battery, but car won't start now. Very Cold

 
 
Reply Mon 11 Jan, 2010 07:09 pm
Hi there,
I have a 99 Mercury Cougar. My car battery was dead. I was able to jump start it multiple times and it ran fine, but when I finally got a new battery, it took 3 turns of the key to start it up. I drove it to a friend's house, but when I tried to start it again, it wouldn't start. The chimes and the dash lights all come on and it sounds like the battery has enough power to start the car. It has been pretty cold here, below freezing and the gas tank was very low, but it did have gas, but just in case I added 2 more gallons. What do you guys think?
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 16,851 • Replies: 9

 
Rockhead
 
  2  
Reply Mon 11 Jan, 2010 07:11 pm
@horsehead77,
my "guess" is that your alternator may be the real culprit.

fully charge the battery, start it, and have someone test it to see if the charging system is functioning.

(also re-tighten the battery connections)

good luck.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jan, 2010 08:17 pm
My car does that too and it totally pisses me off!

I had the alternator checked and they said it was fine.

I put a new battery in it and it still does the same damn thing.

It will start for days and days and days -- no problem. Then I'll go out there and nothing!

Someone suggested to me that there is a short in the electrical system but I have no idea if they know what they're talking about.

For now, I just keep my charger handy and check to see if my car will start about a half hour before I actually need to be somewhere. In the meantime, I'm looking for a witchdoctor since kicking it and cussing at it isn't helping at all.
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Mon 11 Jan, 2010 08:18 pm
@boomerang,
Might be as simple as a loose or dirty connection somewhere.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jan, 2010 08:35 pm
@edgarblythe,
I really do need to get it in and have it looked at.

I don't drive all that much so usually it isn't a problem but I do worry about an emergency and not having my car start when I truly need it to.

How much would they charge me to check that out, do you think?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jan, 2010 08:37 pm
@boomerang,
I haven't a clue.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  2  
Reply Mon 11 Jan, 2010 09:21 pm
@boomerang,
I had a similar problem with my very old pajero. The battery would go flat after a while and i'd have to jump start it. then Tt'd go for days and days then nothing.
I took it to an auto elecrician who said there was nothing wrong with the battery and the alternator worked fine. He tested it (the battery) for current draw when stopped which would show a short curcuit from a loose connection or similar ( i watched him do it) and nothing showed.

Consequently i was forced to buy a new battery. Whilst replacing the battery i found that one of the additional wires running off the battery (to power the radio) had an almost broken connection. I replaced that connection (actually i taped it up with duct tape) and everything was back to normal.
I assume the current draw was so small that it couldnt be picked up on his meter, Either that or it was only shorting when it was in a certain position.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jan, 2010 09:22 pm
@boomerang,
That used to be classic symptoms of bad contacts within the starter solenoid. For all I know about current vehicles, the witchdoctor solution may be the best.
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dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jan, 2010 09:27 pm
@horsehead77,
horsehead77 wrote:

The chimes and the dash lights all come on and it sounds like the battery has enough power to start the car.

There may be enough juice in the battery to power small appliances but not the coil. how far did you drive after jumpstarting. 10 mile is the figure i was quoted to charge the battery properly.
Cold starts need a system that is in top shape so sparkplugs, fuel mix, electrics may all be a factor.
0 Replies
 
horsehead77
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 08:51 pm
Hey guys, thanks for all your suggestions. The temp got up to 44 today and still nothing. I tried to jump it in case the new batt. was drained. It's strange that as soon as I put a new battery in there it only started once and then I can't even jump start it. I'm gonna go out in the daylight tomorrow with some duct tape and have a better look at it, plus it's gonna be warmer so I won't freeze out there, might have to take it to a pro though. In the meantime, boomerang, let me know when you find that witchdoctor, it may be that it's all just some bad voodoo!
0 Replies
 
 

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