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Q: won't start hot cable

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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.

A: Hot electrical cables or connections indica...

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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