Q: won't start hot cable

asked by on August 08, 2016

My Hummer H2 won’t start. I replaced the starter, but it still doesn't start, and the battery cable gets very hot. When I start the car it makes a crank noise or "clack clack" noise. I live in a remote part of the wilderness and there are no dealerships in the area. I’m stuck. Need help please. Thank you.

Hot electrical cables or connections indicate either excessive current flow, or excessive resistance in a connection. Test the battery first. All battery cable connections should be clean and tight. You should not be able to move cables by hand.

A couple tests are going to be needed. Test the battery again. You need a known good battery, charged to at least 75%. You need to try turning this engine with a socket and ratchet at the crankshaft to verify that it’s not seized up.

Here’s another test that you can try: turn the headlights on then attempt to crank engine while watching the lights. If the lights dim, you know the starter is pulling amps (indicating a bad battery, shorted starter, or locked-up engine). If lights do not dim, there is excessive electrical resistance in circuit and the starter is not getting the amps it needs (indicating a bad battery cable, bad solenoid or starter, or bad battery). You could also pull that starter out and bench test it with a jumper box. If you would like to have these tests conducted by a professional, a certified technician from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to diagnose the starting issue and let you know what needs repair.

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