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Sable won't start after cleaning/reconnecting battery

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Sable won't start after cleaning/reconnecting battery

Old 10-30-2010, 01:27 PM
Junior Member
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2
Default Sable won't start after cleaning/reconnecting battery

I have 2000 Mercury Sable. My battery terminals were corroded so I disconnected the battery, cleaned the terminals with wire barrey brush and reconnected. Now horn is blowing. Removed horn fuse and tried to start car. When I turn the key trunk opens, wipers, washer, light on, something spinning (fan, starter not sure), but engine wont start Positive battery connector seems loose and worn, could that be it or did I short out something else.

Any ideas, PLEASE HELP!!
Old 11-02-2010, 02:22 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Kansas
Posts: 54
Default Was the car starting before you cleaned the teminal?

I had a similar problem with my Explorer a few years ago. I drove to a restaurant, and after supper attempted to restart the engine and all hell broke loose. The horn started honking, the radio was turning on and off, the wipers were going, the windows were going up and down and the emergency flashers were flashing. I would not have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself. I disconnected the battery and it all stopped. I had my vehicle towed home and began troubleshooting the problem. What I discovered is that these newer cars have a multiplex (or MUX) system. The computer monitors every subsystem in the car through a network of wires that connect all circuits. What happened with my Explorer is that for some reason my battery shorted internally and the computer didn't no how to deal with it and through the MUX system it energized all the other circuits. The fix was to replace the battery.
I don't know if just having loose or dirty connections will cause this or not, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to try the following and possibly save you a few bucks (if it works).
Make sure everything is turned off and disconnect the negative battery terminal. Then, remove the positive terminal. Clean the top of the battery, terminals and cable clamps with a solution of baking soda and water. Rinse any left over baking soda off the top of the battery and dry with paper towels. If your battery is not a maintenance free battery, remove the caps and add distilled water to the bottom edge of the windows. Apply the caps and clean the terminals and cable clamps with a wire battery terminal service tool. Before attaching the cables, apply liberal amounts of petroleum jelly to both the terminals and the clamps. Connect the cable clamps - positive first, then the negative cable and tighten securely. See if your car will start without the weird stuff. If this doesn't work, get a new battery. Good luck.
Old 11-02-2010, 06:10 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2
Default Idiot cleans Sable battery teminals

Thank you, Mtnlovrs. You hit the nail on the head. It was a short, but it was in my brain first. I'm an idiot. I installed the battery backwards after taking it out to clean the terminals and posts. Something I've done many times over in my life. Fortunately all the damage that I caused was a new battery (which was close to the end of its life, the 175 amp mega fuse between the alternator and the battery, and a couple of othe fuses. Thanks for your help. I'm an idiot, but I'm once again a happy idiot!
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