tighe

Battery cable clamps -cause of no start?

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Figured I’d toss this question out, as I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of it myself without much success. 
 

I’ve been having a no start condition in my 98 V70 recently, which I had initially attributed to a bad battery. Replaced the battery. Battery is confirmed good using a battery trickle charger w/readout.  
 

Sometimes the car will just randomly not start, but I can get it to start by taking the battery cables off, sanding/scratching up the insides of the battery cable clamps, then putting them back on the battery terminals. Clamps appear to be clean and in normal working condition- no obvious corrosion/rust/issues.
 

When it doesn’t start, there is still power- lights, radio, etc all work fine...but when I turn the key it just clicks once, and then nothing. I’m on the fence about buying new battery cables...mostly because they’re nearly $200 from FCP. But I don’t want to have to keep popping the hood and scratching the clamps to start my car. 
 

What is happening here? Clamps are tight on the terminals. Battery is brand new. Sometimes power but no start, sometimes starts totally fine. Alternator charges the battery fine. Any ideas? ❤️

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I know that when my clamps aren't tight enough it does the same thing. Clicks and then dead. After that I have to remove the cables and  then re tighten them. 

Not sure if this helps but maybe we both need new cables lol

 

 

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Yup, I’ve definitely had the same thing happen. Loose clamps, everything flickers, car dies. 
 

But what I’m dealing with now is different- there is a disruption in the contact between terminal and clamp despite the clamps being fully tightened. As though there is corrosion/oxidation occurring that causes a buildup of insulation, which gets removed when I scratch the area...

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I've had that issue before, but it was solved by tightening them. 

Honestly im in a similar situation with a cable break on the pos that I zipptied back on (the T) 
After seeing the price $80, im going to the junkyard next weekend and pulling a set. 

 

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1 hour ago, RobT5M said:

I've had that issue before, but it was solved by tightening them. 

Honestly im in a similar situation with a cable break on the pos that I zipptied back on (the T) 
After seeing the price $80, im going to the junkyard next weekend and pulling a set. 

 

Yeah I feel that. I sold my other car recently, so the V70 is temporarily my daily driver. As a result I coughed up the $200 FCP wants for new positive and negative cables, as it's not a good look to be fiddling under the hood at my office parking lot... Hopefully this solves it!

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17 hours ago, tighe said:

Yeah I feel that. I sold my other car recently, so the V70 is temporarily my daily driver. As a result I coughed up the $200 FCP wants for new positive and negative cables, as it's not a good look to be fiddling under the hood at my office parking lot... Hopefully this solves it!

Definitely keep us posted, interested to hear. 

 

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19 hours ago, tighe said:

Yeah I feel that. I sold my other car recently, so the V70 is temporarily my daily driver. As a result I coughed up the $200 FCP wants for new positive and negative cables, as it's not a good look to be fiddling under the hood at my office parking lot... Hopefully this solves it!

The positive cable they sell is lightweight gauge and has a pretty junky cable end. Same part if you buy it from Volvo - the cable is part of the harness so there is no actual replacement. By far the best bet is to fashion one yourself, or buy a heavy gauge generic one.  The other thing I have done is rig it up so the old cable and new junky one are in there together in parallel, yes there is room on the starter for both lugs, but this looks pretty ghetto.

Mostly irrelevant if you are replacing them but I wonder if the problem is corrosion in the cables where they connect to the lugs, this is pretty common. Are the cables (especially positive) heating up near the connector after running for several minutes? Like maybe by disconnecting the end you flex the oxidized cable under the insulation and re-establish connection.

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5 minutes ago, erikv11 said:

The positive cable they sell is lightweight gauge and has a pretty junky cable end. Same part if you buy it from Volvo - the cable is part of the harness so there is no actual replacement. By far the best bet is to fashion one yourself, or buy a heavy gauge generic one.  The other thing I have done is rig it up so the old cable and new junky one are in there together in parallel, yes there is room on the starter for both lugs, but this looks pretty ghetto.

Mostly irrelevant if you are replacing them but I wonder if the problem is corrosion in the cables where they connect to the lugs, this is pretty common. Are the cables (especially positive) heating up near the connector after running for several minutes? Like maybe by disconnecting the end you flex the oxidized cable under the insulation and re-establish connection.

Thanks for all the info! I’ll check whether they’re heating up, appreciate the tip. Can’t say I’ve noticed that at all but certainly a good suggestion. I’ll keep the old one and will inspect for corrosion at the cable/lug connection, if clean will try doubling them up. Thanks for all that! 

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Pft, FCP must have sent it by horse. Still hasn’t arrived. Will update once I get it installed. 
 

of course the car has been starting totally fine for the last week...🙄

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Totally. If jy runs were in my realm of possibility I'd be there too. Two kids under two years old though...so spare time is a thing of the past. 

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Totally pulled this at the junkyard for $4 saturday.  

was actually really easy. 

20200208_103130.jpg

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On 1/31/2020 at 8:21 AM, tighe said:

Thanks for all the info! I’ll check whether they’re heating up, appreciate the tip. Can’t say I’ve noticed that at all but certainly a good suggestion. I’ll keep the old one and will inspect for corrosion at the cable/lug connection, if clean will try doubling them up. Thanks for all that! 

I was looking through some of my notes today and sure enough, when describing this issue to a mechanic friend of mine I described how the positive battery terminal got very hot after driving. Guess I forgot about that... 

Not sure what to conclude from this, but figured I'd get it written down here for posterity. 

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Nice, but I prefer to pay through the nose for OEM yet potentially sub par replacement parts. At least the shipping was free! (it still hasn't arrived yet...)

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Just now, tighe said:

Nice, but I prefer to may through the nose for OEM yet potentially sub par replacement parts. At least the shipping was free! (it still hasn't arrived yet...)

Honestly I more so wanted to see what was involved with removing and installing a new one.  

That and im not sure I really want to drop so much on something not causing issues for me right now lol. 

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