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Q: Car has sulfated battery - 2006 Mercury Milan

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I tried to start my car and it sounded like the battery had died. My neighbor took a quick look at it and he said it looked like I have a ‘sulfated’ battery. As I understand it, that is the blue flakes around the positive connection. Wearing a glove, he tried scraping away the crud and it did slowly start, so I won’t have to get a tow. Should I take his suggestions to finish the maintenance or should I take it to the shop and have them install a new battery?

Hello. The battery and battery cables need to be evaluated at this point. Check the two terminals. If corrosion has begun on one area, the other areas around there will likely follow. If the tips of the battery cables are corroded, there’s a strong chance it goes up inside the wire conduit and will need to be cleaned off.

The battery terminals will need to be cleaned off, and if the battery posts are not clean, they will need to be cleaned as well. With perfectly clean terminals, posts, and cables, reevaluate the the status of your battery. If it holds a charge and works, you do not need a new battery. If it continues to give you trouble, then you will then need to replace the battery. If you would like to have this taken care of for you, have a certified technician from YourMechanic come to your car’s location to inspect the system and replace the battery if necessary.

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