Car Culture-Tip of the Month-Charge it!

Bad Battery

Charge it!

No, we’re not talking about your wife wanting to use your credit card. We’re referring to the problems low voltage can have on today’s highly technical automobiles. Poor cable connections, loose or dirty grounds, and bad batteries can wreak havoc for today’s technicians.

Here are a few examples.

EXAMPLE 1.  A Saturn Vue with the Honda automatic 5 speed will slip on forward engagement. Sometimes it would 2nd gear start. The wrench light on the dash would light sometimes, but there were no stored codes. Checking the battery revealed it would develop only 11.9 volts.

We also had a 2002 Mercedes come in operating in failsafe. A load test revealed the battery putting out 9.8 volts. The main computer will shut down components in a critical order. So often the transmission controller is shut down, saving energy. The car can at least run
with the transmission in failsafe. Replacing the battery cured both vehicles.

EXAMPLE 2. Dodge and Chrysler automobiles will cycle in and out of lockup or 4th gear without any stored codes. We notice this most often on light throttle, somewhere between 35 to 45 miles per hour. There are almost two dozen causes for this issue on these vehicles, but we have found that 90% of the time, cleaning and tightening the battery terminals and ground connections cures the problem.

EXAMPLE 3. A car comes in for a front seal leak, and you had just replaced it 8 months ago. An additional inspection of the vehicle reveals corroded battery terminals. The poor terminal connections caused a front pump bushing failure because of additional starter draw through the bell housing. This caused the front pump bushing to seize to the converter hub, damaging those parts and the front seal.

You can see how important a properly functioning charging system is! Clean connections and grounds are a must on today’s vehicles.





Ford 5R55W transmissions hold 10 quarts of oil. A service dropping the pan and replacing the filter will require about 4 quarts. Always check levels a second time!