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Battery/Cable question - pls help!

2096 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  MWA
Hi everyone,
I just came out of a store, and my 2001 Deville wouldn't interior lights either. It was fine earlier today, so thinking I'd check out the battery first, I removed the rear seat...only to find the positive battery cable just hanging there not connected to anything! The problem is there's some corrosion around the terminal, and I can't tell if the post broke off of the battery, or if the cable/connector itself is damaged. The cable connector has what looks like a post stuck in it, but it's kinda small...and there was too much corrosion for me to make out what it was. So I guess my question is:

Do these batteries (79-6YR) have posts, like a normal battery, or does the positive cable screw into the battery housing? Car is in a parking lot right now, otherwise I'd look at it myself. If it's just a matter of replacing the battery, I can pick one up on the way to get the car (and save the trouble of having it towed).

I even tried to find a pic of this battery on the 'net and I couldn't find anything...If I could just see what it's supposed to look like...

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. TIA,
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Okay, for anyone who's interested...

The Delco 79-6YR has screw-type terminals, not posts. The positive & negative cables on the 2K series Deville have 1/4 inch bolts that are accepted by this type of terminal. They are charged to 14.5 volts at the factory and carry a 6 year/75K mile warranty. My Caddy dealer had one for $139.00. Other options are the Delphi brand available at Autozone for $118.00, or you can fit an Optima in there too.

In my case, I had some fluid that had leaked through the positive terminal, resulting in it's eventual demise this morning. Eventually the threaded area surrounding the terminal became weak enough, until the cable fell off. I suspect the high charge rate in the Deville may have contributed to this, although it could just be the heat here...there wasn't a lot of acid on the floorpan, so it probably happened recently, and this has been a hot summer here.

I'm glad it was only the battery...I was able to switch it out in the parking lot, and it saved me a tow to the dealer and labor charges. Hope this helps someone in the future.

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Great to hear. Did you clean up the cable end or replace it?
I had the exact same problem on a (cursed) 2001 STS. The corrosion had actually eaten through the floor pan. The car had two week's worth of warranty left and as it turned out, there was a TSB regarding the problem, and a kit (including a floorpan patch) to repair it. This TSB might be applicable to your car. Otherwise is would have been an $1100 repair. The service manager (also a friend) said he'd seen this problem a number of times. Needless to say, that problem was the last; the car was sold a week later. Do you have a plastic tray under your battery to catch any acid? The STS obviously didn't. Good luck!

I had the same problem on my STS someone found this TSB reasearch and here's what I came up with--
TSB#: 04-08-61-001 Feb 2004 "Body- Floor Pan Corrosion in Battery Compartment".
I was able to clean up the cable. Actually, most of the damage was to the old battery itself, and the only damage to the cable was a little bit of corrosion on the 1/4" bolt on the cable end. I cleaned it up with a wire brush, and used a little dielectric grease when I installed the new battery.

There was a little "white dust" on the floorpan, but not a lot. I was able to vacuum that up, and there was no damage at all to the floorpan...paint even looked undamaged. Yeah, I read some posts about the STS technical bulletin the other day while I was researching...that's scary. The Deville didn't come with a tray under the battery, but you can bet that I'm going to put one in within the next few weeks. That's cheap insurance.

One interesting thing I noticed after putting the new battery in: The clip where the rear seat attaches to the body is almost directly in line with the positive battery the point where if you were to have the seat pulled out a little too far while replacing it and you pushed down on it really hard, it would hit the positive terminal, and could damage it. Anyone removing the rear seat cushion to access the fuse block or do stereo upgrades, watch out when you re-install the seat cushion. One good whack on the terminal could cause some serious damage.

Thanks for the TSB info you guys...I'm definitely going to inquire at my local dealer to see if it applies to my car...sure sounds like that's what happened.
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Maybe someone could post the text of the TSB.
I wonder if part of the problem is overcharging, causing the battery to "boil over"?
EcSTSatic said:
Maybe someone could post the text of the TSB.
I wonder if part of the problem is overcharging, causing the battery to "boil over"?
IF your vent tubes are in place, any vapors from the charge cycle will be vented under the car.

Corrosion on cable ends (and the floor pan) is usually the result of vapors or liquid electrolyte leaking from a small (microscopic) fracture in the battery case. And the most common fracture location is where the the battery terminal is sealed to the case.
Same thing just happened to my 2003 Deville DTS.
Attached are pics of the battery and cable.
Looks like the cable connector is both corroded and allmost melted !


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May I ask why your battery is behind your rear seat?
my 1995 STS acts up as well and I need help BAD!!! First off she has about 189K on her and I paid $4040.00 exactly for it two years ago, when she had 162K on her, did a tune up and new exhaust when I first got it, was told that I needed new mounts then, never got around to doing, the dogbone style ones up top are showin some wear, My tranny was acting up reving hard into second, and always wanting to slam back down to like 1500rpms right when you let up of the gas, even at interstate speeds, Im pretty sure the tranny needs some work. About a year ago, I had a problem where it wouldnt start at all, I ripped apart the steering column thinkin it was the ignition swith, wasnt that, so I had it towed up to Cadillac where the said the transmission transponder switch was messed up and the car couldnt tell wheather it was in park or drive. That was $450 right there. Now present day im stuck with the same dilema, go to start it and nothing no wanting to start or even a turn over, it just clicks from under the hood, like the something is relieving presure, (have yet to get the recall fixed on the fuel rail) Sometime though about a month ago, it would go in and out, like go on a streak where it would start for like 3 or 4 days and then go on a 2 week streak of not starting, and now its been sitting for atleast 3 weeks on its longest sitting period to date. Im pretty sure but not positive its not the starter, not the alternator, replace the battery today, and Im clueless what it could be. I can pull up trouble codes but most of them arent on the online look-up thing that everyone on here uses. If anyone can share info that will help I would appreciate it. Someone also said something about the ignition coil?? INPUT NEEDED!!
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Go back to your thread you started about this.
2001Blackdev- I have had the same problem with two "6yr" Delco batteries on my 98 Eldorado and finally said the hell with it and purchased a NAPA to see if it will provide better service. The last Delco only had two years on the six year warranty when it again leaked around the positive side terminal that is flush with the battery case, but I decided to change horses anyway. My right front engine compartment location made the replacement easy enough, but I now am starting to think that the weight and type of strain put on the battery by the heavy positive lead may have something to do with the leakage around the battery positive side terminal...........its either got to be battery design or cable strain.
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