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Virtual Wrench
Virtual Wrench, Buick Mechanic
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 14618
Experience:  35 years Master Mechanic
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Buick Regal CXL: Have a 2011 Buick Regal - wife just purchased

Customer Question

Have a 2011 Buick Regal - wife just purchased w/40k miles. Have had about 3 weeks. Car acts like battery is dead/dying. Rough cranking but catches and fires up, sometimes catches and fires up right away, sometimes dead. Past experience indicates a weak battery or corroded terminals. Had checked and battery is good 570 of 611 CCA, 12.9v, starter draw 10v, charging system output good, connections are clean. Somewhat at a loss here. Am thinking of taking apart the connections and cleaning/greasing just to see if that helps. Your thoughts?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Buick
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
It never hurts to clean the battery connections real good but i'm concerned if the volts are dropping to 10 volts when starting. Thats too low and would indicate a weak battery or high starter AMP draw (possibly battery connections but it would always give trouble if it were that). This is different than voltage draw and can only be tested with an AMP meter. Most parts stores can test the AMP draw with an inductive amp meter that simply clamps around the battery cable and measures starter draw.
They can also do a load test on the battery to make sure it doesnt drop to 10 volts with a load applied. Without this testing, and if the battery is 100% good, then it points to a faulty starter BUT the battery can fool these readings thats why its very important to have a load test of at least 200 amps applied to the battery and make sure it doesnt drop to 10 volts.
If it has the original battery i would replace it regardless because it has met it's life expectancy anyway.
If you have questions feel free to reply.
Larry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Larry.
Took it to Advance Auto the other day. The Starter Test results show cranking normal drawing 10.95v and 0.0 amps for ~1sec. don't think he used an amp meter just a unit that connected to the battery. Charging system test - high voltage shows no load @ 15.1 and loaded @ 14.8. while waiting took apart, inspected, cleaned (not realy needed) and greased the terminals and body grounds. Still a hesitation when first turning the key. Hmmmm 4 years on a battery seems a little "short" if you know what I mean.
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
Charging looks good,BUT 0 amps when cranking??? Definitely did not use an amp meter to test starter draw and that is critical...without that i cant say for sure but i know for sure it's going to be the starter or battery....too many mis diagnoses happen when an efficient amp draw test is not performed...
Did they use a load tester on the battery? It has to be able to stand a 200 amp draw test to determine it's condition.