Question about Volkswagen Jetta

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Two weeks ago my battery was fine, now my car won't even start. It has gotten really cold here, could that be a problem? Also, tere is a blue gunk around one of the battery connectors. What could be causing my battery to go dead like this? I don't have any aftermarket parts on it, please help

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The blue gunk may be corrosion. You can buy an inexpensive 'battery terminal cleaning tool' at a parts store. Unbolt the cable and one end of the tool has a wire brush that cleans the inside of the battery cable, the other end fits over the battery terminal (with the cable removed) and you turn it and a wire brush inside that end cleans the battery terminal. Coat the entire cable end and terminal with grease, or petroleum jelly which will stop corrosion from happening. Cold weather is real tough on a battery, the engine oil is thicker, it takes a lot of power to crank the engine over, and when it's cold, the battery has a tough time. So clean off the terminals and cables, you can bring the battery to a parts store for a FREE check of its condition. They can tell you if it's low charge (possibly due to corrosion on the cable), or if the battery is bad. Let me know how you make out.

Posted on Dec 10, 2009

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  • Master
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If your battery is over 3 years old it may be bad. If the connections are corroded they may just need cleaning. If you have ran the battery down more than once, that may have hurt the battery enough to have shortened it's life considerably. First thing you need to do is to clean the connections. Go to your local parts store and purchase a battery terminal wire brush.

  1. Remove the battery cables from the battery terminals by loosening the nut on each cable clamp. Once they are loose, always remove the cable clamp from the negative terminal first. It’s marked with a minus (-) sign; the positive terminal has a plus (+) sign. Reverse the procedure, positive first, negative second, when replacing the cables. The cable may not come off easily. You will have to wiggle it and lift it upward until the clamp comes off the terminal post. Sometimes, especially if there is a lot of corrosion, you may need the assistance of pair of locking pliers. Be careful not to short any tools you use against the car when they’re in contact with the battery. Use only a boxed in wrench and not an open end wrench.
  2. Examine the battery cables and clamps for excess wear or corrosion. Should damage appear extensive, replace the cables and clamps to avoid future problems.
  3. Check the battery case for cracks and the terminals for damage. If you find either, replace the battery.
  4. Secure the loose cables so that they don’t accidentally flop back onto the terminals.
  5. Pour some baking soda directly onto the posts.
  6. Dip a toothbrush in water and use it to scrub the baking soda into the terminal posts and cable clamps. Skin and eye protection is recommended.
  7. If the toothbrush isn’t doing the job, Use a battery terminal cleaner brush on it. Also shine up the insides of the cable clamps by using the clamp cleaner that usually comes attached to the terminal brush or use a plain, soap-free steel wool pad.
  8. Dry everything off with a clean, disposable, lint-free rag and dispose of that rag.
  9. Smear grease or petroleum jelly on the posts to slow down the formation of corrosive deposits. Cover all exposed metal surfaces on the battery posts, battery cables, and clamps.
  10. Replace the positive clamp first and then replace the negative clamp. Tighten them down with a boxed end wrench.
  11. Replace the rubber boot or plastic shield that covers the positive terminal.
  12. See if the engine will start.
  13. If it will not start then connect a battery charger to the battery and see if it will take a charge. If not then the battery is defective.
  14. If it takes a charge then start the engine and check the voltage at the battery posts with a voltage meter. It should read between 13.5 and 16 volts. If it does not, then the alternator may be bad.
  15. Drive to your local auto parts store and have the electrical system checked. They will normally do this for free and even install the battery for you.

Posted on Dec 10, 2009

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  • Expert
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Yes the cold weather will do that ive been having to jump my car for the last three mornings, and the blue gunk is corrosion all you have to do is get a terminal cleaner from parts store and clean it, cause that can effect the battery as well

Posted on Dec 10, 2009

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  • Master
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I would bet your guess is the correct one,
cold weather is the killer of batteries,you need to chose one that has high cca's
Cold Cranking Amps, the hight the number the longer it will turn your engine over in the cold before dying.
the blue color around the battery post is corrosion,the best way to get rid of it is to pour hot water on it,
"not pepsi" like some think because it will just return.

Posted on Dec 10, 2009

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