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Sometimes it’s just that easy…. – Auto Repair Chat

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Not every job that comes into the shop is a big complicated repair or diagnosis. Sometimes it is just customers bad luck with junk parts. This is just the case here in this video.
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100 thoughts on “Sometimes it’s just that easy….”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Robert La Cob says:

    Been there, done that! Hope a lot of normal drivers watch this video to clear up misconceptions! Sometimes IT REALLY is that easy a fix! Abattery in today's vehicles is the main ingredient for all electronic to work correctly and should always be checked first when diagnosing.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars five0pd310 says:

    Just so you're aware, your horn scared the shit out of me.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars James Guzman II says:

    I have had more crap with Diehard batteries lately. I just did this exact thing on a Chevy Sonic, battery was roughly 8 months old and it would need a jump after sitting for a day and a half. I could not find any unwanted draw so I had the battery warrantied. So far the customer says everything is working as intended.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars capnskiddies says:

    I haven't replaced many batteries in my cars but when I did I always bought the biggest that'd fit, with the most CCAs and longest warranty. Not cheap, but maybe that's part of the reason I've changed them so seldom. Better to spend €150 on one battery than €90 twice

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Anthony Giovannetti says:

    Thank you for the video! Learn a lot from your electrical troubleshooting. I do wonder though, when you received the new battery, did you happen to test it? Or charge the old one and retest? Just curious because it was not mentioned. Thanks again for another great video, always look forward to your content.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Wind Ward says:

    Eric, some of the reference books for battery replacement cross reference list the wrong replacement battery for a given vehicle, a good example are listings from AAA, who at the roadside, will replace the battery over and over again with the wrong battery because that is what the book lists, even though you can clearly see it is way too small for the tray. Then, as with this customer, the owner will eventually seek out professional help because the stand time is ridiculously short and will get shorter when it gets colder.

    However, you stated in the video, the customer has been to two shops before you, which is hard to believe. Most mechanics will quickly recognize that the battery is not filling out the tray and is way too short for the hold down hardware where someone has put washers in to keep the battery in place.

    Do not trust the SOC calculation from the battery charger / maintainer, it gave 90%, where the internal impedance meter gave about 63%. For nuclear charging in the shop, if the battery is not damaged, like a shorted cell, set the bulk charge amperage at C/10 amp rate (C in Ah, stay below the max charging voltage for the battery type flooded or AGM) if the battery is disconnected from the car you can max out the voltage.

    Charging when connected to the vehicle (sometimes the battery is buried in the trunk) you have to be mindful that a manual fast rate does not produce significant noise on the system (even if charged at the battery or very near for the NEG lead) if below the maximum charging voltage but at a high charging amperage. The majority of newer chargers on high current will produce a lot of switching noise due to their design. The switching approach can get very strange with peak-to-peak noise of 1 or 2 volts.

    Batteries can fail when charging, for flooded batteries the battery electrolyte should be at the full level or slightly below. It is best to monitor the battery temperature if possible, and if it is getting hot while charging, disconnect the charger and replace the battery.

    The best you will be able to do in the winter in the PRNY, where most lead acid starting batteries are chronically undercharged and abused by the cold, is to fast bulk charge which will take perhaps 4 hours for a dead battery. To do a proper full charge (bulk (usually constant current), absorption (usually constant voltage, float (low noise constant voltage)) it will take something like 12 hours when the battery is at room temperature, which is a huge amount of time for a shop with limited space. You could charge outside, but the equipment should not be unattended, which also is not workable for a small shop. The sad truth is, it takes a considerable amount of time to fully charge a dead lead-acid starting battery.

    When receiving a new battery for replacement, I like to do the following:

    1) Take an open battery terminal voltage measurement with your DMM. What you are looking for is a dead or damaged battery voltage. If the battery is bad or completely dead, your done, get a replacement.
    2) Clean the battery posts (if a top post battery) and fully charge the battery. Which should be relatively quick if it is new and charged from the supplier.
    3) If fully charged use an internal battery impedance tester (like the one you have, I have one from Midtronics which for an out of vehicle test is very reliable) and if fully charged, print out the test results for the customer as proof that it is new and charged. If not fully charged try charging again, rarely will a new battery not take a charge. It can happen if the battery has been abused.
    4) Inspect the vehicle battery cables for corrosion and/or damage and clean the vehicle battery lugs, also clean any acid residue present in the tray.
    5) Install the battery and attach the battery to the vehicle negative last. Then test the vehicle for parasitic draw, starting and alternator charging.

    After battery installation you can also seal the battery connections if you want. I use NOCO brush on sealant its much more controllable than the spray. If I use a spray I use a paper shop towel around the post so as to not get is on the battery. For the hold down hardware corrosion I have been using Liquid Wrench Penetrant+Lubricant I use it to free up the hardware, and then use it to soak the hardware in a plastic tray while I swap the battery, then I remove any excess and install in the vehicle.

    I tend not to use the battery terminal protectors (the round felt disks) much anymore because the newer battery plastic post design seems to be very short, and if you install a pad it can interfere with the lug seating properly.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars joe smith says:

    Even if it's a cheap battery it would last longer then6 months! probably the battery was defective!or wrong battery!

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars jimmy aber says:

    I had a similar complaint on a Volvo. Mom and teen daughter drove the car and battery would die with mom.and she drove shorter trips but daughter drove 20 miles to comm. College. My testing found a broken exciter/warning light wire behind alternator. The alternator on most makes needs that feed to start charging at low revs on start. With no exciter feed the alternator has to see 3000 or more engine revs for the faint residual magnetism of rotor to push a little current in stator. Once that ever happens the alternator functions normal until engine is stopped. Daughter drove sporty and mom was poky. Mom was wearing out jumper cables and daughter blew it out on every drive and all was good.

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Cam R says:

    Hard to figure things out with out the real story. Honda civics common to have fused AC clutch relays.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Troy Belding says:

    Pretty much all batteries are now coming with garbage warranties. They make the batteries where you can't maintain them, then shorten the warranties. I spent extra for a NAPA Triple-A branded battery that can be maintained, as well as has a solid warranty, and comes from a slightly better build company. (There are only two companies building them in the US)

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Scott Rittenhouse says:

    Walmarts best battery is the best battery, and usually alot cheaper.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars randy beard says:

    Sometimes you get what you Paid For, Cheap Battery and too Small for Car-not Good…I Love the NAPA Sealed Batteries, never any Corrosion/Battery acid on Posts…

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Steven Edgecomb says:

    So classic the customer bought the cheapest part possible

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars J Lancaster says:

    I guess my question is, if that battery is too small to crank a flipping 1.8 Sentra, what’s it made for??

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Clearanceman2 says:

    I'm sure you checked the alternator first thing?

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rich's Mobile Auto Repair says:

    Two kinds of " parasites " one drains batteries the OTHER drains wallets.

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rich's Mobile Auto Repair says:

    A professional doing what they get hired to do.

    Fix the problem the customer hired you to fix.

    Do what's in their best interest.

    That's what they hired you to do.

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Unknown says:

    Whoever said the customer is never wrong has NOT worked in auto mechanics.

  19. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jonathan Rees says:

    Friends car had similar symptoms – was not the battery or draw. Car would usually restart shortly after driving, while hot etc. After being parked might or might not start. Turned out alternator belt had been replaced with 1 slightly to long. Fully adjusted was almost right – but not tight enough. Depending on (electrical) load while driving the battery would actually be discharging (no belt noise). Car kept going, no charging error. Figured it out when we realized issue always showed up after night driving – when head lights were being used. Changed belt and correct adjustment solved the problem.

  20. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars tbbainter777 says:

    Car was simply never properly diagnosed until arrived your shop. Happens alot

  21. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Patrick Zadd says:


    you are the Cardiologist of car repair

  22. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars 73 Maverick says:

    Back in the day when I was an ASE certified parts person I had a guy come in and asked if the F24 would fit his Ford truck. I informed him yes, but it is the wrong battery because it didn't have enough CCA to start it in the winter, but might start it in the summer. I recommended the correct CCA battery, he refused. It was like 400 CCA for $29.99 in the 90's.

    So the first cold day the guy comes back and said the battery was defective and he wanted his money back. I said well let me test it. The battery tested fine for the rated output. I informed the customer the battery is fine and that he bought a battery not powerful enough to start his truck in the winter. I was not going to exchange or refund the battery.

    After whining to the manager he ended up getting a refund. I don't agree with that myself, but I guess it is not my money, it is corporates. I just feel that all the knowledge I learned about automotive and their systems, umm, why did I waste my time to learn anything since no one cares anyway and they get their way.

    Rant over.

  23. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars mike berry says:

    That battery had been a battery for tp long , 6 months , the supplier should be embarrassed at selling such junk , over the pond we dont have many batteries held by those style of clamps , most just held down by a clamp on the centre of the base of the battery , only some Japanese type vehicles with rod style clamps , great video showing your professional approach to diagnostic faults , great approach with the suppliers to pay the difference to get the upgrade on the battery 👍👍👍👍👍👍

  24. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bruce Frencham says:

    never thought an undersized battery would set a code?

  25. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Doug Kubash says:

    my zero turn mower takes a 26R.

  26. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Andrew White says:

    The autumn leaves in the engine bay also point to battery issues as the temperature drops

  27. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Baxrok2 says:

    Thanks Dr. O!

  28. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars LMacNeill says:

    Car batteries these days are ALL junk. They're all manufactured with the acid in them from day one, instead of like the old days where you had to add the acid to the battery when you bought it new. So they sit on a shelf, with the acid slowly destroying the lead, not being charged, for months at a time — it's no wonder so many of them fail after only a few months in the car. But people these days don't want to buy a battery, then have to put acid in it, then have to charge it for a couple of hours — they just want to buy a battery and go RIGHT NOW! So this is what we get. Junk batteries everywhere.

  29. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jay Finke says:

    Jay the Florida pool pump motor repair guy. When Service Calls Longwood approved ! that was good info 2 see& know👨‍🔧good job !!SMAR

  30. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars LEOPOLDO MENDOZA says:

    Good video!.Sometimes with short life battery, having just very shorts trips back a forth makes it worse.

  31. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars chuck smalfus says:

    I love how he didn’t even flinch when the horn started blowing as he hooked the neg cable 😮 nerves of steel lol

  32. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars HouseCallAutoRepair says:

    @12.43 Loud Car Alarm!
    Wow…never fails… Always makes me jump.

  33. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Sakara123 says:

    I didn't even know they made batteries with 12 month warranties lmao. With the shitty canadian winters around here I've never seen anything with less than 3 years and typically up to 5.

  34. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Sakara123 says:

    I have had days where i've spent upwards of 30 minutes lining up those battery tie-downs. Get it juuust right, and torque it a little too hard and it turns and slips out. I went out of my way to weld up an adapter plate & box for mine. I absolutely abhor the stock one.

  35. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Travis Flander says:

    I amazed you don't become a interstate battery dealer, then you could have batteries on hand

  36. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gerry Dunne says:

    I had a ford van Do the exact same thing Never found out why Oh put the meat on it 40 milliamps when it went to sleep Next day would start Give it back to the customer come back and complain it wouldn't start again I tested a battery for you it was wrongGive it back to the customer come back and complain it wouldn't start again I tested a battery it was run down but not flash Do the exact same thing again no draw the only thing I think I think of the What's the customer's leaving something on

  37. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars bush master says:

    Doing a shot every time Eric says "wrong battery", I've gotten pretty wasted in the last 15 minutes !!

  38. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars BG 45 says:

    I bought a brand new AC Delco battery from a dealer. Only option I had late in the day. I put it in myself and got it started with a jump system used at work for prototype vehicles. I charged it all night and it would not start the next morning. Dealer installed new battery at no charge.

  39. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Peter Somma says:

    I know most manufacturers have top and bottom line products, but when I was a kid, Diehard was a good battery when Sears sold them. What happened?

  40. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Payne says:

    Interesting comments below about battery life. The first car that I had (bought second hand) in 1971 had two batteries in the 27 years that I had that vehicle. One that came with it and just one replacement. And the car was used daily !!!

  41. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Marty's 4x4 says:

    So, 3 batteries and 3 shops turned into 1 shop & 1 battery 7 months ago.

    Go cheap, it doesn't work, blame everyone else. 🙂

  42. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars dave chesna says:

    Would keeping the current flow through the battery while connecting the meter be beneficial? I found some components keep latched until you interrupt the battery-supply. Thanks for the videos.