I left my car key in the "on" position by mistake
overnight, the battery naturally went dead. When a road assistance
person jump-started the car, he showed me the terminals. There was
enough green/blue substance to fill a small ice cream cone and he
said it was the worst he had ever seen. It took me a long time to
finally clean it up. Is it routine for this to happen in a 2010 Ford
Fusion or any other make of automobile?
routine but not uncommon. The "yuck" buildup on the
battery terminals is usually lead sulfate caused by the battery
electrolyte ó sulfuric acid ó reacting with the lead battery
post. A poor seal between post and plastic case can lead to this
buildup, as can overcharging, loose terminal connections, dirt,
moisture and salt.
important to recognize that this buildup is toxic ó take care to
avoid ingesting, inhaling or having any contact with this corrosion.
Iíve used carbonated sugar-free soft drinks and a wire brush to
remove the corrosion. Then flush thoroughly with water to dilute and
remove all the sulfate. Clean, reassemble and solidly tighten the
battery terminals. An anticorrosion spray, paste or even petroleum
jelly can help prevent this buildup.
In the case of
your vehicle, this buildup may have simply accumulated with no
routine battery maintenance. But it might be worth having the
charging system tested to make sure the battery is not being
Q: We bought a
used 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser. We noticed that when we use the air
conditioning, it runs cold until we stop for a red light. Then we
get warm/hot air until weíre moving again. Is that a quirk with
the Cruisers or is it a problem we need to address?
A: Check the
simple things, like the refrigerant state of charge, drive belt,
cleanliness of the front of the condenser and radiator. It can be
normal for the compressor clutch to cycle the A/C compressor on and
off at idle, which will affect the outlet temperature. I donít
think this issue is a quirk of the car; itís more likely a
function of age and lack of maintenance.
passenger power windows on my 2004 Dodge Ram quad-cab operate
properly with the driverís master switches, but the window
switches in the passenger doors do not work. All fuses are good and
the driverís master switch module has been replaced, all to no
A: A careful
review of this vehicleís wiring diagrams in my Alldata database
confirms that each passenger power window has two sources of 12-volt
power to operate the windows up and down, both controlled by the
power window control module/switches in the driverís door. If the
"lockout" button is activated in this module, no power
will reach the individual passenger window switches, preventing them
from being operated independently. In this mode, only the master
switches/module on the driverís door can operate the windows.
module has been replaced, Iíd look for an open circuit in the
harness from the module, through the door jamb and into the body
Q: My 2004
Jeep Grand Cherokee with 134,568 miles runs fine, but has one scary
glitch. When driving at speeds of 60 to 65 miles per hour, if you
take your foot off the gas, the entire car lurches suddenly but
slightly to the left. When you put your foot back on the gas, the
car lurches suddenly back to the right. It seems like it is caused
by torque somehow, but my mechanic doesnít have a clue.
A: Iíd be
more suspicious of a significant wheel alignment issue or, more
seriously, a loose, worn or broken drivetrain mount or
suspension/steering component. A careful inspection of the chassis,
suspension and steering is the first step, and if nothing is found,
perhaps a four-wheel alignment would help.