Electrical Fault when turning high beam on

Tiny
SEAN GRIFFIN
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 3.0L
  • V6
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 1,864,113 MILES
Hi,

When I go to turn my high beam on at night the power can cut out but also my car has had loss of power all together and refused to start.

I am not sure what it could be and I am afraid that it might happen when I am driving along doing high speeds and cause an accident.

The other day I when to try and turn my car on and it had no power at all it just would not start. Hazards would not turn on nor could I lock my car or anything electrical. I popped the hood and fiddled with the battery cables just took the cap of the positive terminal and that did something so my car could start again.

I am unsure what I can do about the problem as I am not very good with cars.

Any help with this problem would be of great help to me.

Kind regards

Sean
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 AT 2:48 AM

6 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
What you are describing is loose or dirty battery cable connections. Start by removing the negative cable, then the positive one. That order is important only because if you slip with the wrench and it touches anything metal on the car and the negative battery post at the same time, nothing will happen. If you remove the positive cable first and the wrench touches something metal at the same time, you'll have sparks like you have never seen before. The wrench can get hot enough to melt and bend under its own weight.

Once both cables are removed, use a wire brush to clean the mating surfaces of the clamps and the battery posts. You can use sandpaper too. They also make special wire brushes for this that work real well. You can find them at any hardware store, auto parts store, Walmart, etc. Once everything is shined up, reattach the positive cable first and tighten the bolt, then reattach the negative cable.

Note that if you have a lot of corrosion around the battery posts that looks like cauliflower, that is a sure sign the battery is going to fail within the next six months. The installer will also clean the cables when he replaces the battery at that time. If you do not see a lot of corrosion buildup, but the battery posts are black instead of the normal gray, that is from air in contact with the lead, and that is from a loose connection that has been that way for a while. Those posts will be shiny silver when they are cleaned.
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 AT 3:23 AM
Tiny
SEAN GRIFFIN
  • MEMBER
I will do this tomorrow and try and buy the tools needed.

I am from Australia.

I will keep you posted with what happens over the next couple of days.

Thank you for your quick response and hopefully this will help.

Kind regards

Sean
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 AT 3:28 AM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Please let us know what you find so it will help others.

Best, Ken
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Saturday, September 17th, 2016 AT 6:56 PM
Tiny
SEAN GRIFFIN
  • MEMBER
Hi all

So I talked to my father about it and we cleaned it all up wasn't much on the terminals if anything really.

Then we checked the battery water levels now they were low and one cell was empty, no water in it at all.

Could this of caused the problem?

Cheers

Sean
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Saturday, September 17th, 2016 AT 9:13 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Yes, it could have ruined the battery, Refill it to see if it comes back to life, if not you mat need to replace it, here is a guide that will help you.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/replacing-car-battery

Please let us know what you find.

Best, Ken

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Saturday, September 17th, 2016 AT 10:48 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I'll go one step further. When a portion of the lead plates becomes dry, it's not coming back. Also, the current that goes through one cell is the same as what goes through every cell, so why did the water boil completely out of only one cell? That's because a higher percentage of lead has flaked off the plates in that cell, which can't be avoided, so the current had less lead to store electrons in. That makes what lead is left get hotter, hence the boiled-out water. The lack of water did the battery in, but the lack of water was caused by a battery that was about to fail, so don't beat yourself up over neglecting it. Pop a new battery in there, then just to double-check, have the charging system tested, particularly for charging system voltage, or you can do that yourself with an inexpensive digital voltmeter. Measure the battery voltage with the engine running. It must be between 13.75 and 14.75 volts.
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Sunday, September 18th, 2016 AT 7:50 PM

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