Q: Put new battery in my car

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I replaced my battery seeing as my car wasn't starting and it would only start with a jump. Two days after while driving I lost all power. So, I got a new alternator, when I went to take the old one out there was corrosion on the screw and the terminal from the wire from the battery that connects to the alternator. When I went to unhook it the screw was attached to the terminal. What caused to have corrosion to be on the screw and terminal? I've never experienced that before. I cleaned everything up and put the new one on. Went to start and got nothing. Recharged the battery, it started right up but only last 3 hours of drive time before completely dying. Any ideas on what I need to do next?

My car has 144000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi Tiffany. Thanks for writing in to YourMechanic.com today. Corrosion is caused by oxidation, and battery acid leaking - which occurs overtime. It can create a faulty ground or power connection and cause several of the symptoms you are describing. If you’ve replaced the alternator, and the battery recently, then my guess would be that you have either a few faulty relays - or the wiring within the charging system is worn out and should be replaced. To be honest, there are about a dozen other possibilities that should be inspected, so you might want to have a professional mechanic complete an electrical inspection to isolate the source of this issue.

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The corrosion at the wire from the battery can be caused by the battery leaked acid into the battery cable and it will travel all the way through the wire inside the plastic cover and get all the way into the cable ends and cause loss of connection. You will need to inspect and test cable and if corrosion is all through the cable then replace it.

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