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Old 10-31-2018, 11:41 AM   #1
wessywoo
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2004 2WD EX AT
Alabaster Silver Metallic (ASM)
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 8
Battery slowly drained and now won’t start

Hi everyone,

So my 03’ element has 252,000 miles on it. I’m not sure when the battery was last replaced, but thinking it’s been about 4 or 5 years.

So last night driving over the hill to the market I noticed my dashboard started getting dim, as well as my headlights. Once I got to the market my headlight were barely even lighting anything up, very dim.

I turned off the car and when I tried to start it up again I got nothing.

Came back this morning to try and jump it, got a very weak crank but no start.

To me it seems like the battery is shot? Would love to hear anyone’s opinion on this.

I’m thinking about heading back tonight and installing a new battery myself, I’m not experienced at all with working on cars but seems pretty straight forward.

If anyone has any comments or suggestions I would greatly appreciate it!!

Have a great day!

Wesley
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Old 10-31-2018, 01:36 PM   #2
sacandagadave
EOC Rank: Helium
2005 4WD EX AT
Rallye Red (RR)
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY, Torrington, CT
Posts: 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by wessywoo View Post
Hi everyone,

So my 03’ element has 252,000 miles on it. I’m not sure when the battery was last replaced, but thinking it’s been about 4 or 5 years.

So last night driving over the hill to the market I noticed my dashboard started getting dim, as well as my headlights. Once I got to the market my headlight were barely even lighting anything up, very dim.

I turned off the car and when I tried to start it up again I got nothing.

Came back this morning to try and jump it, got a very weak crank but no start.

To me it seems like the battery is shot? Would love to hear anyone’s opinion on this.

I’m thinking about heading back tonight and installing a new battery myself, I’m not experienced at all with working on cars but seems pretty straight forward.

If anyone has any comments or suggestions I would greatly appreciate it!!

Have a great day!

Wesley
The battery certainly could be bad at 4-5 years, but with everything dimming while running, it sounds like it could also possibly be your alternator or maybe corroded cables not charging the battery.
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Old 10-31-2018, 06:20 PM   #3
wessywoo
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2004 2WD EX AT
Alabaster Silver Metallic (ASM)
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacandagadave View Post
The battery certainly could be bad at 4-5 years, but with everything dimming while running, it sounds like it could also possibly be your alternator or maybe corroded cables not charging the battery.
Thanks for the input!

After doing more research today I'm thinking it is the alternator. Am going to get AAA to come test the battery and get it towed to the shop if needed.

Thanks again,

Wesley
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:01 PM   #4
Mrselfdestruct
EOC Rank: Helium
2005 2WD EX AT
Alabaster Silver Metallic (ASM)
 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 123
I dont know if youve checked the belt yet, i imagine youd smell it if it was slipping significantly. Alternator is most likely suspect, but batteries do short.
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:00 AM   #5
nacranym
EOC Rank: Neon
2004 2WD EXS 6MT
Galapagos Green Metallic (GGM)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,670
draining a 4 or 5 yr old battery down to nothing could kill it, so don't be surprised if no start after replacing the alternator.
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Old 11-01-2018, 01:02 PM   #6
wessywoo
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2004 2WD EX AT
Alabaster Silver Metallic (ASM)
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 8
Thanks for the input everyone!

So it ended up being the alternator, so having that replace. Figured while I was at it I would also get a new battery!

Excited to get the E back on the road! Aiming to make it to 300,000 miles :).


Cheers,

Wesley
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Old 11-01-2018, 04:04 PM   #7
dgale
EOC Rank: Carbon
2004 4WD EX MT
Satin Silver Metallic (SSM)
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Arcata, CA
Posts: 1,266
Yes definitely alternator - once the car is running, voltage to run stuff is provided by the alternator, not the battery, so when you see things like headlights fading while driving, you know your alternator is no longer functioning and instead you are now running everything off your battery...this of course won't last long, especially with headlights on. Glad you were able to get it fixed and you were wise to replace that battery as well. Good advise to check the condition of your serpentine belt as well - if it is old and worn, it could go out and cause the same sorts of problems so best to replace if it's due.
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