View Full Version : Bad Battery Cell can cause no spark from startup?

08-12-2014, 06:42 PM
I do have an Advance Auto battery, has the word ECONOMY in all caps on the front of it but it does have openable caps to check the water level in the cells. So I popped it open and found just one cell completely empty, and I went to the store and got some distilled water and filled it back up.
Next morning there's a puddle on my battery tray and I check it and sure enough its leaking out of that same cell.
When I test it with a voltmeter I've still got 12.8v. but is it possible that this doesn't have enough amps to make the spark at first to get it fired up and get the alternator going??
it just never acted like a "dead" battery, I always had good cranking power until I ran it down from all the times I tried to start it.

08-12-2014, 06:54 PM
Leaking battery should be replaced.

08-12-2014, 07:39 PM
ya im definitely on that(later today), but I wonder is this also the cause of my no-spark condition? ive been through distributor, coil, condenser, igniter, plug connecters, test circuits from the ecu.
could the leaky battery have been the real issue all along? its giving me a code 14

08-12-2014, 07:45 PM
ya im definitely on that(later today), but I wonder is this also the cause of my no-spark condition? ive been through distributor, coil, condenser, igniter, plug connecters, test circuits from the ecu.
could the leaky battery have been the real issue all along? its giving me a code 14

Anything is possible, guess you'll have to report back after the battery replacement.

08-12-2014, 10:55 PM
Does the battery hold charge or not?

If the answer is yes, and you can get the battery to turn the engine over, then you have to assume that electrons are flowing and most likely battery not root cause of your problem.

08-12-2014, 11:09 PM
Luni has it. If it'll crank the engine over it's got plenty of amperage.

08-12-2014, 11:19 PM
Well but I also had first suspected the distributor and ignition coil, and the coil was bad. but when I took the distr apart the plug to it kinda fell apart in my hand, so then I had a code 12 until I got that plug fixed. I ran the battery down during that time before I got the plug fixed. Now the battery reads 12.something but it does not have enough to crank it over, I have this little bitty 400w jump box that has to be plugged in for 36 hours and I couldn't get it to crank over much with that either.
So I haven't even had a decent car to jump start from. it had been acting weird for a while like once in a while it was hard to start but if you let it sit for a while it would start up. and if I let it sit for a couple days it got worse hmm....
so it does Not hold a charge very well. and no doubt one whole cell is bone dry, even though the voltage reads within spec it surely cant have the same cranking amps it should.

08-12-2014, 11:24 PM
Your post doesnt make any sense.

If you cant crank, you dont get spark. Spark only happens if the engine actually makes a rotation.

So, again I restate, get the engine to turn over, and if you dont have spark, its NOT your battery.

08-13-2014, 12:53 AM
the battery reads 12.3v, but I clip the leads in place and hit the max/min button to min and cranked the engine and it dropped as low as 5.5v. with my semi-charged jumper box in place I cranked it and it still dropped to 8.8v
it still recorded a code 14 though the coil I have both looks good and ohms out right, I guess it still could not be good at high voltage. either way I cant find out until I go get the battery :)

08-13-2014, 03:20 AM
well for the record I got it to fire up, but not easily. my original problem is a headgasket leak and I think the compression has gotten bad enough that it doesn't always want to start. but I got it to run for a little while and used the barsleaks pour-n-go stuff. so hopefully that will setup overnight and be just good enough to keep it going for another month till I get my rebuilt motor. I'm kindof mad at myself for letting other people talk me out of using stop-leak more than a month ago. but owell

I appreciate it that you let me bounce ideas off of you, even when you just remind me of things I should already know. I just don't have anybody else here to help me.

08-13-2014, 09:04 PM
Id have talked you out of stop leak too. Headgasket on a 5S is easy man.

08-14-2014, 04:14 AM
ya, it's a long story, this motor was already toast and we determined it had already been stopleaked before I got it. plus it's from a camry and they butchered the transmission to make the oilpan fit, and I can see the paint pen marks on the head so they must have gotten the whole motor from a picknpull. and I don't know exactly what year camry it's from which made it difficult to be sure I was getting the right head gasket kit. So I decided it was best to pick up another motor, one with the right oilpan and one that I know the history on.
so the motor doesn't matter, I was worried about gunking up the radiator and heater core. but if it's gotten so bad that I don't even have good enough compression to get combustion then I'm bumming.

one more thing I noticed today is that, at least from the top, I can not find the ground strap that should run from the intake to the firewall. from what I understand the ground from the ecu comes out of the wirelimb between injectors 2 and 3 and mounts to the intake there and there should also be a strap from the intake to the firewall. I've checked and cleaned up the other grounds up by the battery and from the head to the fenders. but there's also some oil leaking down the manifold side maybe the ground is not there or it's just got so much oil on it that doesn't conduct reliably.
/cross fingers. I ordered a brand new dizzy and coil just in case, and there's a dude parting out the stuff for his 5sfe that he took out just to do the 3sgte swap, so im going to pick up his ecu just in case.
For $60 even if I don't need it ill keep it on the shelf in case I ever do.