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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2002 GXE

Backstory: Ran fine earlier in the day. Didn't notice anything wrong with it. Got in it a few hours later and every attempt to start it, I would hear a rapid clicking noise (Im assuming from the starter). I checked the voltage on the battery and it was 12.5V. I finally got it running after jumping it.

Once it was running, I checked the voltage again and it was reading 14.0V. Let it run for a little bit, stopped it and tried to start it again... nothing. The lights on the dash would light up and go dim, no noise from the starter. This battery is only about 2 years old.

Im thinking its the battery, but I don't understand why Im still getting what Ive been told is the proper voltage from the battery and the alternator. Can someone fill me in as to why this could be? Im taking the battery to autozone or somewhere to test it just to see.

Im open to any ideas - pretty new when it comes to car repair.
 

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Battery may not have enough cold cranking amps to start the car consistently. You can test the voltage WHILE someone is trying to start the car and see how far down the voltage dips. Also, you can get battery tested @ autozone/pepboys. Autozone does a free check IIRC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can test the voltage WHILE someone is trying to start the car and see how far down the voltage dips.
Thanks for the reply. What kind of response should I be looking for when doing this? I still plan on taking it to autozone but I would like to try this just to see what happens.
 

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Thanks for the reply. What kind of response should I be looking for when doing this? I still plan on taking it to autozone but I would like to try this just to see what happens.
If it's not enough CCA/CA to start the car, the battery voltage would dip way low. Probably ~8-10 volts which is too low for starting most vehicles. Autozone/pepboys would simply hook it up to a simple diagnostic machine. They could tell you right off the bat wether or not your battery is putting out enough amps or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just got back from autozone... he hooked it up and said the battery was good. The guy told me that you need a min of 8.5 and mine only dropped to 10. Im going to do a test with a multimeter tonight to see what that tells me.

Ok, now Im back at square one... where do I go next? Could it be the cables? I don't think its the starter since I can jump it.

Any input is greatly appreciated! Still new when it comes to cars.
 

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I just got back from autozone... he hooked it up and said the battery was good. The guy told me that you need a min of 8.5 and mine only dropped to 10. Im going to do a test with a multimeter tonight to see what that tells me.

Ok, now Im back at square one... where do I go next? Could it be the cables? I don't think its the starter since I can jump it.

Any input is greatly appreciated! Still new when it comes to cars.
Check your connections on the battery/alternator/starter. Also, it's not so much about voltage but more so current/amperage. Voltage can't do much w/o current flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Check your connections on the battery/alternator/starter. Also, it's not so much about voltage but more so current/amperage. Voltage can't do much w/o current flow.
What kind of current should I be looking for? I've always just checked for voltage assuming that was sufficient.

Where can I find some kind of diagram for how this stuff is wired? I know where the battery and alternator are... never actually pin-pointed the starter.

Thanks for all your help saint0421 !
 

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ever seen the Omega symbol?
the roman symbol for the circle of life.. the end of life... blah blah..
but it looks like an "O" but with legs and an open crotch.

this is also the symbol in electrical testing for Ohms...

or Resistance.

any relay, solenoid, component, wire, connection..
is resistance to the electron flow. each component in a circuit requires a certain amount of voltage... as the electrons flow along the circuit, each component extracts an exact amount of voltage, leaving just enough for the last component on the line... then it grounds out the rest. (sometimes)

this is why you can't hook up show quality stereo systems to your already "in-use" battery, needing another one.

Current Flow can be impeded by all sorts of things.

Resistance, or Ohms, can actually be impeded by the length of wire you are using...
which is why Electrical stations boost the power before it comes along the lines, gets relayed and fused before entering your home.

water corrosion on battery terminals... wires... connections... solenoids...
will stop a car from running.
corrosion is a Resistance factor as well as length of wire.

your terminal wires... or in fact, other smaller wires (that may have rust from an old cut in the insulation)...will impeded the electron flow.

basically, check everything electrical for signs of rust corrosion.
on a battery that dips to 10 on the FIRST (NON-IMPEDED) TEST, will dip to maybe 0-10 on startup... depending on how well your electrical harnesses are.

get a Multimeter... turn to Ohms...
put one end on a metal pole, put the other end on the other end of the metal pole...
it will show continouty... question is.. how many Ohms is in between...

how much energy gets to one end after traveling through the pole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks for the reply. I will go do that now. Problem is im not 100% sure how to do that. I have a cheap SPERRY DM-350A multimeter do I do see the omega symbol. But I have an option of 200, 2k, 20k, 200k, 2m, 20m. What do I set it too? What kind of number am I looking for?

Sorry for the stupidity, spent way to much time working with computers and not cars :S

Thanks

EDIT: Tried 200K and got a reading of -50.4. Is that good or bad?
 
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