Battery problem averted

crbtryWhile I worked on other parts of my old motorhome, it sat in the driveway without being started for a few weeks.   Yesterday I thought I would start it up to make sure the engine was still happy.  I turned the key and….Nothing.  Oh, Snap!  Is the battery dead already?  It is at least a few years old.  What if it is OK and something else is broken?

It was late and I didn’t have a lot of time to investigate.  My mind spun about it all night and during work today.  I wouldn’t mind buying a fresh battery but if the problem was elsewhere, It would suck muchly.

I had always wanted to buy a battery load tester so now that I have a good reason, I dropped by the brand newly opened Harbor Freight Tools store and picked one up for $19.99.    I brought it home and hoped that it indicated that the battery was bad.  It showed that the battery was fine.  Uh. oh.

Leaving the key in the on position, I touched a screwdriver across the starter relay to see if the starter would turn.  It clicked and I happened to notice a super-tiny spark between the positive terminal of the battery and the battery cable.  A-HAH!  Sometimes something so small can tell you so much if you are observant enough.  That spark indicated that even though the connection looked and felt tight, it was just not tight enough.  Possibly corroded.

I took my battery terminal cleaner and freshened up both the terminals and the cables.  I reconnected them tightening them properly with a wrench.  Feeling confident, I went back into the cab and turned the key.   The starter cranked to life and the engine roared.  It was quite the relief to my anxiety-ridden mind.  Good as new and cost me nothing but a battery tester that I wanted anyway.

Damn I’m good!