I was just reading a question you answered for someone else and I thought I would send you my questions to see if you could help. I drive a 2001 Dodge Neon that had the battery replaced in 2003 due to a faulty cell. Yesterday, the battery stopped working, and the tow-truck driver that jumped my car said that my battery had corrosion on it. He said to add distilled water to the 6 "holes" (please excuse my extreme ignorance!) and to go somewhere where they can clean up the corrosion. After driving it for a half of a hour (after it was jumped), it still did not work this morning. After having it jumped this morning and then running/driving it for 40 minutes, I tried to turn it on again after turning it off and nothing happened. Someone else told me to get a new battery. So, my questions are:
Thanks in advance for your help.
You can do it yourself actually. You will need to remove the cables from the battery terminal. Remove first the negative and then the positive. Then, by using a stiff brush, like a wire brush, scrub the powdery substance away. Then, you can make a solution of water and baking soda to neutralize the acid that is on top of the battery. Make sure none of this gets down into the six holes on top of the battery, as it will also neutralize the acid in the battery. Also, clean the connectors on the cables you removed. Once everything is clean, reconnect the cables and charge the battery. You do not want to use the alternator to charge the battery. It is only designed to replace the power that the car is using, not charge a dead battery. After charging the battery overnight with an automatic charger, everything should be okay.
If you still have the same trouble, then I suspect that your battery might be a goner. Some places like Autozone will test the battery for you for free (you will have to remove it from the car first and bring it to their store). I would do this after you charge it and the car does not start, because if the battery is dead, their machine won't be able to tell you much other than the battery is dead (which we already knew).
However, you may want to think about going back to the place that you purchased the battery. Most batteries come with a warranty that should pro-rate from the day you purchased it. Say it's a five-year battery, and now, two years later, it is dead. There should be three years worth of credit left to apply towards a new battery. It helps to have your original receipt for this. If not, they go by the manufacture date of the battery.
Bob, The Auto Answer Man
If you have a question for Bob send it to: . He's able to answer many of them personally and we'll include the best questions in future issues of The Dollar Stretcher.
Take the Next Step
Sign up for our free weekly eNewsletter Surviving Tough Times.
Looking for an answer to a frugal living question? Click here to ask a
Dollar Stretcher Stretchpert!
Copyright 1996 - 2013 "The Dollar Stretcher, Inc." All rights reserved unless specifically noted.
Contact the Dollar Stretcher at:
PO Box 14160
Bradenton FL 34280
"The Dollar Stretcher, Inc." does not assume responsibility for advice given. All advice should be weighed against your own abilities and circumstances and applied accordingly. It is up to the reader to determine if advice is safe and suitable for their own situation.