Chrysler 300M Enthusiasts Club
  • Stupid question, ..if my negative battery cable isn't on the post tight, will that cause no power?

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Repair Questions and Answers.

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 #394367  by jim2891
Hi everyone, my battery, 12 years old for crying out loud, finally decided it wanted to retire so I went to change that out and of course, most here know how much "fun" it is to do that and it's even more fun since it has been 12 years since the battery connection have been loosened, needless to say it was a major PITA thanks to living in the rust belt!
In order to make enough room to slide the battery back so that I could get the negative cable off, I turned my steering wheel to the right some (to move the front right tire) and I noticed that the steering wheel locked in place, completely upside-down! On top of that, when I try to turn the key, I can go into the accessory position no problem but it doesn't want to go forward to the run position one bit. I did try slowly moving the steering wheel left/right while turning the key, I've tried adjusting the tilt of the steering wheel while turning the key and I have also tried tapping on the ignition key cylinder lightly but nothing seems to be able to free up the steering wheel or allowing me to turn the key forward. I have also made sure that the car is in park. Then I took off the steering wheel plastic covers pieces and everything seemed fine but I did pull on what I "think" is the shifter interlock cable (or something like that) and then it (or somehow anyway) did release the steering wheel so that I could turn it, as well as turn the key to the run position!

I thought that my problem was over, and I was able to start it and then after going for a few block test drive, I shut it off and tried to start it again and I have no power at all. I know that my battery connection points aren't that good, I just don't have the knowledge/experience to replace them so I am wondering, if I don't have my battery connection on the negative battery post tight enough, would that be what is causing my problem? That is my best guess at this point but I am tired and will take another look at it on Sunday.

I was shocked as to how many years I was able to get out of this battery. I thought I paid up for it when I put it in 12 years ago and I certainly got my moneys worth. I do drive mostly highway miles so I'm sure it had a good chance to charge up nearly every day which helped a lot I would think. The 2 pictures show the positive connection to the post (which unfortunately I accidentally broke the post trying to get the connection off) and the actual battery I had in there for 12 years. I did pick up a new battery, but then when I went to put it in, I realized I made a very stupid mistake and got one with only side posts on it, so I took out the 1 year old battery from my moms 1994 Dodge Spirit and put that in my 300M.
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 #394369  by M-Pressive
A loose connection could cause it to cut out.

I would go back through and check all connections (including the negative post on the strut tower).

Are you sure the battery you put in is large enough to support the car?

My only other thought is if the terminal got damaged when you pulled the battery and shorted somewhere as you were driving it.
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 #394371  by LUNAT1C
Clean up the terminal clamps and get the right battery in the. The Spirit battery might not be enough for the bigger 3.5L.
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 #394373  by jim2891
At this time, I am thinking that it is something to do with my negative battery terminal connection. I did check and and re-attach it, had a brief spark when I put the negative battery cable back on the strut tower and I could then hear my 6 disc CD changer cycling through the CD's but when I tried to start the car, I got one little click and then nothing, no power at all, not even my map lights would light up.
I then put some PB blaster on the negative battery cable so I could hopefully loosen & tighten the nut properly and wouldn't you know it, the rusty bolt broke!
I then took the battery back out and put it back in my mom's 1994 Spirit so on Monday I am going to go to the salvage yard will see if the 2002 300M in the yard has a good cable I can get but if not, then I will have my old cable with me and will stop at a parts store to see what I can get there.
Here are some pictures showing my negative terminal and also the battery from my moms car (should be plenty powerful at 690 CCA).
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 #394374  by FIREM
Save the yard trip, chances of finding a good used one slim to one. Auto parts stores have bolt on terminal ends to repair that connection. Once installed slather the connection with grease or battery terminal coating. Goal is to keep moisture and air from allowing it to corrode.
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 #394375  by LUNAT1C
I can check my stash, but I believe I took a good negative cable recently when I was still deciding how to build a new 1/0 cable back in June. I ended up not needing that cable and put it in the "good used parts" bin. Might even have a second somewhere. If that is preferable I can send to you for basic shipping.
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 #394376  by In-trepid
Your problem may not only be your negative cable. We have noticed lately that a number of people are reporting corrosion inside the positive cables, usually on the starter end of the cable. It's hard to see unless you ohm out the cable and find high resistance. Then cutting off the end reveals a lot of green corrosion inside. Something to think about if the new battery and new negative cable doesn't fix the problem.
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