My Battery Isn’t That Old, Why Won’t My Car Start?

April 11, 2024 1:35 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

My battery is not that old, why does my car not start? I am revisiting this topic because of return of errors on this topic. It’s a frustrating scenario that many of us have experienced at some point: you go to start your car, and nothing happens. No engine roar, no familiar hum of ignition—just silence, maybe accompanied by a feeble click. Before you resign yourself to the hassle of calling for a jump or replacing the battery altogether, let’s delve into one of the common culprits behind this automotive woe: corroded battery terminals.

Understanding Corroded Battery Terminals

The terminals on a battery might have a film on them to prevent maximum amperage to start the vehicle. Think of a new nickel and how shiny it is. The battery terminal should look this way. However, over time, these terminals can become coated in oxidation or other corrosive substances, hindering the flow of electricity from the battery to the rest of the vehicle’s electrical system.

Tools and Techniques for Cleaning

Fortunately, there are several tools available to clean the terminals at a parts house or department store. From circle brushes to internal brushes, along with chemicals designed to clean and neutralize the acid residue on top of the terminals, there’s a solution for every level of corrosion. However, it’s essential to steer clear of home remedies like pouring soft drinks over the terminals. While this might seem like a quick fix, it leaves behind a sticky film that can exacerbate the problem. Instead, opt for a simple mixture of baking soda and water—a cost-effective and efficient solution. Just one teaspoon of soda ash combined with water should be sufficient to neutralize any corrosive material, restoring your terminals to their optimal condition.

Protective Measures

Once you’ve cleaned the terminals, it’s crucial to take preventative measures to safeguard against future corrosion. Protective materials such as washers, jellies, and pastes can be applied to “seal” the terminals, insulating them from hazardous and corrosive gases. By creating a barrier between the terminals and external elements, these products help prolong the life of your battery and ensure reliable performance over time.

Addressing System Draws

In some cases, the issue may not lie solely with corroded terminals but rather with a draw on the vehicle’s electrical system. Many vehicles experience a continuous draw on the battery, even when the engine is turned off. This constant drain can gradually deplete the battery’s charge, leaving it unable to start the vehicle when needed. When the engine is eventually started, the alternator works overtime to replenish the battery’s charge, leading to the release of hydrogen gas—a byproduct that is both explosive and corrosive.


So, the next time you find yourself wondering why your seemingly young battery is failing to start your car, remember to inspect the terminals for signs of corrosion. By regularly cleaning and protecting these crucial components, you can help ensure optimal battery performance and minimize the risk of unexpected breakdowns. And if you suspect a deeper issue with your vehicle’s electrical system, don’t hesitate to consult a professional mechanic for further diagnosis and repair. With proper maintenance and attention to detail, you can keep your car running smoothly and reliably for miles to come.

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