dead battery or more?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by anniew, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

    Dec 11, 2002
    NE PA
    I have a 2001 Saturn which "clicks" when I try to start it. I tried jumping it and nothing else happened.
    Question 1: The battery may be completely dead as it is original equipment. If so, can I assume that is why I can't jump it?
    2. I want to take the battery out, but the nuts that holds the cables on the side of the battery (not top) are very strange...tiny. What can I use to get them off without stripping them?
    3. Has anyone had this trouble and found it to be something totally different? The car worked fine then a week ago wouldn't start. It didn't even crank over lazily.
    Any help/suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    East TN
    Just clicking can be a starter problem and not the battery. Do you have a voltmeter? Either hand held or even the one on the dash of the car. Check to see what the voltage of the battery is, then turn the key till the starter clicks and read the voltage. If the voltage reading is over 12v to start with and stays high when you hear the click chances are it isn't the battery but probably the starter solenoid. If the voltage is low to start with and goes lower when you hear the click there is a good chance you have a dead or very low battery. You would then have to determine what caused it, possibly just all the good is gone from the original battery. Now all of this is also dependant on good clean tight connections at the battery and the starter which takes us to your other question. Side post battery terminals are 5/16 hex head bolts from the factory so a good 5/16 wrench or socket should remove them. The bolts come out of the cable ends after the cables are removed and can and should be replaced if badly corroded or damaged by not using a 5/16 wrench to remove them. The metal surface under the bolt needs to be cleaned with a wire brush on both sides as should the battery terminal which is lead and soft. To prevent corrosion on assembly you can put dielectric grease (silicon grease) which seals out air and moisture, You can use vaseline or white grease also.