Tip & How-To about Chevrolet Tahoe

My Car Won't Turn Over





One Of Your Car's Most Important Components - The Battery...

Here it comes, dangling on a hook!
The shiny SUV, equipped with automatic climate control, an onboard navigation system, antilock brakes with traction control, backup cameras, parking assist, and satellite radio is being carried by the same flatbed that is used to haul the junkers to the scrap yard.
It is unbelievable that something as simple as a battery has caused $50,000 worth of some of the most sophisticated technology available to the public to be reduced to a worthless heap of metal, plastic, rubber and glass. NOTHING on your vehicle works without the battery. The engine won't start or run, the radio won't play, the wipers won't wipe, the lights won't light up, the heater won't heat and if you think you have it covered because your car is equipped with OnStar*, think again. What makes this worse is that this whole scenario is 100% preventable.

If your battery is more than 4 years old you should probably replace it. Some may argue that their battery has a five or seven year warranty. What most people don't realize is that the warranty is pro-rated, which means that you will be charged a percentage of the cost of a new battery based on how many months you have used your original battery. When all is said and done, the amount of credit you actually get won't even scratch the surface of what it is going to cost you for towing and labor when that battery leaves you stranded 20 miles from home.

The difference between a 5-year battery and a 7-year battery is the price. They are constructed from the same materials by the same manufacturers. The extra money you pay only affects the amount of pro-rate credit you will get when the battery fails. Almost all automotive batteries have run out of useable life just after 4 years. There may be battery manufacturers that will argue this point, but I can only tell you what I have seen based on my 35+ years in the automotive repair business. It is my personal belief that you are money ahead buying the 5-year battery and planning on replacing it shortly after 4 years rather than push the envelope with a 7-year battery just to have it leave you stranded in about 4-1/2 years.

Give your battery a visual inspection about once a month. Look at the terminal area where the cables hook up to the battery. If it has a bunch of white or green fluffy-looking stuff on the terminal ends, it is usually a good sign that the battery is beginning to leak. (Start saving your money for a new one.) This corrosion can be cleaned off using some baking soda mixed with water (about 1 heaping teaspoon for 2 cups of water) and an old tooth-brush. Once all the fluffy stuff is dissolved, rinse the battery real good with plain water. Be careful not to get this stuff on your skin or clothing, as it can cause severe skin burns and eat holes in your clothes. Baking soda is real cheap and works a lot better than most of the battery-cleaning agents sold at your local parts store. If the corrosion is really thick and hard and doesn't come off easily with the baking soda, it is probably time to replace your battery cable ends. (A subject I will talk about in a future article)

Finally, check the internal condition of your battery. This should be done every 6 months or so, in the spring, before it gets really hot, and in the fall, before the extreme cold weather sets in. most of the big parts chains (AutoZone, O Reilly's, Carquest, etc.) will load-test your battery for free. A load test works by applying a measured amount of load to your battery and measuring the amount of voltage your battery has left with the load applied. A battery in perfect condition will usually test at a little over 100% of its rated capacity. If your battery is fully charged, and it tests at 85% of its rated capacity or less, it is time to get a new one.

-DTTECH
ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician


Also see: Where's The Fuse?

Another article by dttech: What Else Could Be Wrong?

*OnStar is a registered trademark of OnStar, LLC.

Posted by on

Cars & Trucks Logo

Related Topics:

Related Questions:

1 Answer

Blower stays on when key off 1998 olds lss


Do you have manual or automatic climate control ? If automatic could be a bad blower motor control module .
Caution: Unless directed otherwise, the ignition and start switch must be in the OFF or LOCK position, and all electrical loads must be OFF before servicing any electrical component. Disconnect the negative battery cable to prevent an electrical spark should a tool or equipment come in contact with an exposed electrical terminal. Failure to follow these precautions may result in personal injury and/or damage to the vehicle or its components.
Disconnect the negative battery cable. Remove the rear engine sight shield. Disconnect the positive booster cable from the multi-use relay center. Move the underhood fuse block out of the way. Disconnect the electrical connectors from the blower control module. Remove the blower control module from the blower module.
Blower Control Module
In the center rear of the engine compartment, below the right side MaxiFuse® block
or maybe a stuck Blower Relay
In the center rear of the engine compartment, below the right side MaxiFuse?® block

Sep 21, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

disconnect abs light


I would get a second opinion. You could have fried a fuse and now the ABS system is not getting power. The light is on to tell the driver the ABS system is disabled or not working.

Jun 22, 2013 | 2012 Nissan Murano S 4dr SUV 3.5L V6 CVT...

1 Answer

when the car is too cold it will not start


if you live in the midwest or a colder climate I would suggest to have your battery check, your battery may be old, and also when you start the car in a colder climate, you draw more power if you dont shut off your components like the radio,gps,heat,automatic headlights, all this components demand an exact amount of voltage to operate, if the components do not receive the right amount they will draw as much as the can an this will cause your battery to fail, especially since the below 0 windchill weakens the battery, am in chicago and sometimes we get -30 or more with the winchill i replaced all the batteries on my cars over the years, and i purchase the battery that has the most CC.......COLD CRANK AMPS, might cost you 20 dollars more than the one they recomend, but the one they recomend all the time has only enough amps to operate under normal weather conditions, to me is worth the 20 bucks more, i can remote start my suburban, headlights come on my heat is on an I dont have to worry about not starting or getting a jump on a colder weather..! a tip, when i purchase the battery with the high cold crank amps, i get the one that has side post an top post, since i never know when i might have to use it on someone elses car to help em out is nice to have the flexibility of top an side post, the battery is normally the same size, it will fit on your car with no problem, but is kind like buying a energizer, and a battery from the dollar store,,,lol.........they look the same but one will stand while the other wont, I always notice that batteries go out when u need em the most, so take a good look at it an see it this helps you...!

leave some feedback thanks

Feb 01, 2010 | 2000 Toyota Sienna

1 Answer

noise from fuse box


If the car turns does not turn over when you try to start it the click noise is most likely you cylinoid on your starter. It does that if the battery is dead or if the battery cables are not making a good connection to the battery terminals, possible due to corrosion. Try jump starting it. If the car turns over and still won't start, then it could be a wide variety of problems.

Please give a good rating, it is important to me. I hope I was helpful, be careful..safety first

Aug 05, 2009 | 2002 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

Need to remove the dashboard bezel and instrument cluster from 1990 Buick Regal . What are the details?


Regal 1988–94 MODELS
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. Remove the instrument panel pad:
  3. Carefully pry the speaker grilles and disconnect the Daytime Running Lamp sensor if equipped.
  4. Remove the screw under each speaker grille.
  5. Remove the screws at the lower edge of the instrument panel pad.
  6. Remove the pad by lifting the front and pulling toward you to release it.
  7. Remove the speakers
  8. Remove the instrument cluster.
  9. Remove the glovebox.
  10. Remove the right side sound insulator.
  11. Remove the climate control system switch panel and sound system controls.
  12. Remove the English/Metric switch.
  13. Remove the lights switches.
  14. Remove the cassette deck or compartment that replaces it if not equipped. Remove the ashtray and bracket.
  15. Remove the ALDL connector and allow it to dangle below the instrument panel.
  16. Remove the parking brake release handle and allow it to dangle below.
  17. Remove the remote radio receiver.
  18. Remove the steering column trim plate and lower the steering column.
  19. Remove 7 bolts holding the carrier (5 at the top and 2 at the bottom). Remove the 2 bolts above the steering column.
  20. Remove the 5 screws holding the main air duct.
  21. Remove the 3 nuts holding the conduit. Two are above the glovebox and the other is through the cassette/compartment opening.
  22. Disengage 9 clips holding the wiring harness.
  23. Have a helper assist you, and remove the instrument panel assembly from the vehicle. To install:
  24. Carefully install the instrument panel to the vehicle. Be sure to clear all wiring, etc.
  25. Engage the clips holding the wiring harness.
  26. Install the 3 nuts holding the conduit.
  27. Install the screws holding the main air duct.
  28. Install the bolts holding the carrier.
  29. Secure the steering column and install the trim plate.
  30. Install the remaining components in the reverse of the removal procedure.
  31. Connect the negative battery cable and check all items in the instrument panel for proper operation.

Jul 23, 2009 | 1990 Buick Regal

Not finding what you are looking for?

3,547 people viewed this tip

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Chevrolet Experts

yadayada
yadayada

Level 3 Expert

75051 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22095 Answers

Jeff Turcotte
Jeff Turcotte

Level 3 Expert

7726 Answers

Are you a Chevrolet Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Loading...