OtherGround Forums Does this sound like just a loose battery cable?

5/23/20 7:26 PM
4/20/02
Posts: 9774

My aunt recently bought a 2016 Elantra, just 42,000 miles. Carfax showed it had had one owner, had been serviced regularly and no wrecks.

 

She had it just seven days when it wouldn't acclerate up a small hill very well. The next day the check engine light came on and it stalled out on her. She took it to the dealer she bought it from who said it was all just a loose battery cable. That was two days ago and there have been no problems since. But I figured a loose battery cable would mean it would start, not stalling out like that.

5/23/20 7:27 PM
4/20/02
Posts: 9775

I should probably ad Carax indicated all the shop visits were routine maintenance, but it did have a coil replaced about six months ago.

Edited: 5/23/20 7:40 PM
5/13/11
Posts: 58881

I believe a loos battery terminal could impact that while driving. Not 100% though. Wouldn't think it would throw a check engine light though, there is a separate battery light on the dash that normally comes on if the alternator or battery are fucked up. 

 

You could use a scan tool and see what the stored code is from the CEL just to be safe. 

5/23/20 7:52 PM
2/29/16
Posts: 3181
Loose battery cable would definitely be more likely to cause a starting issue than stalling/acceleration issues.
5/23/20 7:56 PM
9/13/08
Posts: 930
Yeah loose cable is basically taking away the battery, ala same symptoms as a completely dead battery. No stall involved.
5/23/20 7:57 PM
10/30/03
Posts: 23931

Could be, for sure. 

5/23/20 8:41 PM
8/7/12
Posts: 13142

Loose battery cable could do it but there could also be a loose ground somewhere not allowing an electrical circuit to be completed. Im not super familiar with that car but an electrical circuit is an electrical circuit. No matter who installed it. 

Have her take it to some place else besides where she bought. If its going to be a big issue the original dealer isnt going to want to waste time and money on it. Better off getting an opinion from someplace who doesnt have money at stake in it.

5/23/20 10:55 PM
7/6/09
Posts: 6744

Yea definitely not caused by a loose battery terminal. Elantras in the last 4 years have had misfire issues that are covered under dealer warranty. Could be that. Could honestly be many things, though.

5/23/20 11:03 PM
2/28/13
Posts: 2750

Bad crankshaft position sensor?

5/23/20 11:06 PM
10/21/09
Posts: 12712

You don't really need a car battery anymore once the engine starts and you're driving.

5/23/20 11:46 PM
11/19/19
Posts: 2791

Cars don't run on batteries. They run on alternators. A loose battery cable would limit the charging of the battery.

 

You start a car, remove the battery, and drive away. Just don't turn it off, because it won't start again.

5/24/20 1:16 AM
7/28/08
Posts: 1667
oblongo -

I should probably ad Carax indicated all the shop visits were routine maintenance, but it did have a coil replaced about six months ago.

It’s probably another coil pack

5/24/20 1:20 AM
4/13/12
Posts: 34838

I can't hear anything

5/24/20 1:46 AM
5/14/13
Posts: 6110

Depends.

 

If the vehicle is dumb, and doesnt generate charge off the alternator once running, sure.

 

Or, there could be an alternator issue under load.

 

5/24/20 2:03 AM
4/20/02
Posts: 9777
JPro -
oblongo -

I should probably ad Carax indicated all the shop visits were routine maintenance, but it did have a coil replaced about six months ago.

It’s probably another coil pack

I had thought about that but wondered why it would go bad again so soon. It's still under warranty, but just barely. So I'd like to make sure she gets it fixed right this time.

5/24/20 4:03 AM
11/11/12
Posts: 14806

If the alternator isn't getting the juice to your cars system it will bog down bigly

Edited: 5/24/20 4:20 AM
6/8/10
Posts: 16605

A lot of cars have what's called "limp mode", it's basically your vehicle going into self preservation mode. It can be activated by low fluids, transmission issues and especially electrical issues.

When a car goes into limp mode, it will stop everything but the basics. Things like the a/c will stop, check engine light may come on, lack of power, won't rev past 2500-3500 rpms or accelerate past 45 mph or so  and often won't shift past a certain gear. 

Edited: 5/24/20 4:33 AM
8/28/10
Posts: 13520

 

5/24/20 7:03 AM
6/30/11
Posts: 23237

Had a Polaris (or equivalent I can't remember) at work a few years back. It kept acting all kinds of fucken weird and it was because of a loose battery terminal. 

5/24/20 7:11 AM
7/28/08
Posts: 1669
oblongo -
JPro -
oblongo -

I should probably ad Carax indicated all the shop visits were routine maintenance, but it did have a coil replaced about six months ago.

It’s probably another coil pack

I had thought about that but wondered why it would go bad again so soon. It's still under warranty, but just barely. So I'd like to make sure she gets it fixed right this time.

Your car probably has one for each cylinder.

5/24/20 9:39 AM
2/28/13
Posts: 2758
jasperb -

A lot of cars have what's called "limp mode", it's basically your vehicle going into self preservation mode. It can be activated by low fluids, transmission issues and especially electrical issues.

When a car goes into limp mode, it will stop everything but the basics. Things like the a/c will stop, check engine light may come on, lack of power, won't rev past 2500-3500 rpms or accelerate past 45 mph or so  and often won't shift past a certain gear. 

My car was stuck in limp mode because I had water in my taillight and it triggered the sensor to make the car think the brakes were on. I drilled a hole in the taillight, drained the water, filled the hole with silicon and it fixed the problem

5/24/20 12:17 PM
2/16/09
Posts: 2239
take carfax with a grain of salt but if the issue is gone and the car works, it prolly was a loose cable. you can buy a 10-20 obd scan tool and check the code if the engine light ever comes on again and see for yourself.
5/24/20 12:31 PM
1/12/10
Posts: 15036

The battery was dying and that’s what caused the low power and engine light. 

5/24/20 1:08 PM
7/13/09
Posts: 589

 

5/24/20 1:13 PM
8/29/09
Posts: 17864

It could have been a loose cable on the alternator. That would make more sense than the battery cable. Sometimes service departments will use terms that unknowledgeable people will be familiar with to keep the conversation short and simple, even if not 100% accurate.