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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone done the negative battery cable themselves? I remember seeing a post about the recall where someone mentioned that the cable is cheap, but I can't find it.

A little back story; My wife took the car in for a CEL about a month ago. Ithad also been turning the radio on and off on occasion and this had gone from once a week to once a day. She told them to take care of that it was the first signs of the battery cable recall.

Got the car back a couple of days later, they wanted $900 for an O2 sensor and a NOX sensor and said there were no codes so no battery cable issues. I deleted the car but had an issue getting it started. Not sure what it was but it started after I checked the fuses and the relays.

Since then the car has been to Disney and back with no issues electrical or otherwise. Tonight I did the last of the 3 oil changes on the transmission. When I went to start it I got nothing. Rolled it off the ramps, turned everything off a tried again and I still got nothing, but I noticed when I was opening the fuse box up the negative cable is noticeably warm. I'm wondering if anyone else has seen something like this? The first thing I checked after the tune was that cable and it tested good, the battery is new.

I'm wondering if that's the issue or something else is causing the computer to not open the relay and start the car. It worked flawllessly the first week it was done and I had no issues going to Disney and back, not even one radio glitch.
 

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What year is this? On my 2012, second day found the negative battery was loose, I like to coat this with silicone, screw was tight. Removed the cable and the both and hand filed that terminal so would be a gap in it with a tight screw. Somebody is putting a positive battery terminal on the negative, the negative terminals if 50 mils smaller in diameter than the positive. Only took Chevy three years to discover this. For top terminal batteries, been this way for years so you would not reverse polarity, really had problems trying to install a negative battery terminal on the positive side.

But this was not the only problem, battery cable is not pretinned and crimped into the terminal, that oxidizes causing voltage drops. I drilled mine out by the crimps, cleaned off that corrosion, and soldered it into the cable, not only the negative, but the positive battery terminal as well plus the other end of it with that eye terminal.

With those five positive battery terminal outlets, just wired brushed those and coated with silicone to help retard corrosion.

But not the only problem, ignition relay contacts, brass plated with silver that not only oxides but sparks eat holes in it. In my lab, can use a constant current source, run 30 amps of current, pulse the solenoid with a pulse generator and use my digital scope that shows both low and high voltages and really get a jagged waveform. not good for getting a clean power on reset voltage to the some odd computer circuits in the Cruze. Contacts were burnt, cleaned them at first and replaced them with a Panasonic relay. Have this thing about stuff made in China, other relay that was showing problem was the high speed radiator fan relay.

As an old time engineer with a couple of minutes of experience, would not be a problem if they used tungsten for the contacts, does have slightly greater resistance, just use a slightly larger contact.

Problems really started back in the late 80's when our lovely EPA banned electrode plating in our country, guys in the switch departments were going nuts. Clinton partially took care of this by bringing China into the picture without much though about us loosing our jobs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm at a loss to what is causing this, the car started remotely this morning before I even opened the hood. So all is well for the time being and I'll order a negative battery cable so I can rule that out if this happens again.

I do agree with you on the fuse a relay coatings, the one I have pulled don't look nice a clean like you would expect on a 2 1/2 year old car that more or less lives in the desert.
 

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I got a new negative battery cable for free from my good small town Chevy dealer, they let me install it myself. Purchase an 82 P-30 motorhome cheap ten years ago with a host of electrical problems. While still using pre-tinned wire, using bare brass Packard Electric male and female spades Back in the 60's, was able to buy a package of a 1,000 of these for around five bucks, both male and female. Finally used them all up on this motorhome.

Have the crimper and tool to remove the old terminals, firewall connector was a disaster, just saying electrical problems are not new. But their numbers sure have increased.
 

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Has anyone done the negative battery cable themselves? Tonight I did the last of the 3 oil changes on the transmission. The first thing I checked after the tune was that cable and it tested good, the battery is new.

I'm wondering if that's the issue or something else is causing the computer to not open the relay and start the car. It worked flawlessly the first week it was done and I had no issues going to Disney and back, not even one radio glitch.
But this was not the only problem, battery cable is not pretinned and crimped into the terminal, that oxidizes causing voltage drops. I drilled mine out by the crimps, cleaned off that corrosion, and soldered it into the cable, not only the negative, but the positive battery terminal as well plus the other end of it with that eye terminal.

In your post you speak about doing a lot of things to your car..."3 oil changes on the transmission". You did some kind of tune and check that cable... "I checked after the tune was that cable and it tested good". How did you check the cable??

Yes there are many here that have replaced the short negative battery cable on their own and also had dealers do it for them under the recall. Some have found that the replacement cable was defective also?

So since you appear to be a do-it-yourself type and appear to want to do it on a budget I could suggest that you do as NickD and solder the terminals. The concern I would have if the bare copper has started to corrode whether one would get a really good solder connection?? Or if you want you can do as I did and replace ALL the high current cables with #2 marine or welding grade cable and crimp, solder and heat shrink all the terminals on the cables. The nice thing about marine grade cable is that the individual copper wires are all pre-tinned to start with.

Since I did this over a year ago I've had no cable issues at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I did the emissions delete and tune on the car about 3 weeks ago, that was the first time this issue happened. Got on the phone with Fleece to determine if it was a mechanical issue or software related. They figured it was mechanical and I spent about an hour checking connections before I hooked it to a lap top so they could have a look at it on their end. Some where along the way it started and I never hooked up the laptop. The problem is I'm not sure what I did, every fuse, every relay and every wire I tested tested good. From what I understand the car doesn't have a direct connection between the starter relay and the key. When the key is turned the computer looks at various sensors and it everything is OK it sends the signal to the starter relay. Unfortunately it's not leaving a code when it won't start so I have no where specific to look. Having a ground wire that's not doing what it's supposed to could be causing the computer to see a reading it's not happy with. Since it's a $20 part it won't be a huge deal if it doesn't fix the issue, and I know it will eventually cause other issues that I'd rather not deal with.

The 3rd fluid change on the transmission is the last one because I changed it over to Amsoil. It was a week after the last because I was waiting on seals and O rings which didn't arrive until I was on vacation. I decided the way my luck has been lately that that 3rd change would probably leave me with a transmission leaking fluid. I believe after the 2nd change about 55% of the fluid is new, which I figured was OK for something Chevy initially said didn't need to have the fluid changed. 3rd change brings it up above 70% and you get diminishing returns at that point so I'll go with a drain and refill every 30000 or so from here on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh I do work on the cars, I enjoy it when I have time. The local Chevy dealer has proven they can't do more than throw parts at it and now I have to pay them to do it. I'm not intrested in having to figure out how to make a 2 hour trip to find another dealer who can work on it. So I'll do it unless it gets buggy then I'll get something else.
 

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What year is this? On my 2012, second day found the negative battery was loose, I like to coat this with silicone, screw was tight. Removed the cable and the both and hand filed that terminal so would be a gap in it with a tight screw. Somebody is putting a positive battery terminal on the negative, the negative terminals if 50 mils smaller in diameter than the positive. Only took Chevy three years to discover this. For top terminal batteries, been this way for years so you would not reverse polarity, really had problems trying to install a negative battery terminal on the positive side.

But this was not the only problem, battery cable is not pretinned and crimped into the terminal, that oxidizes causing voltage drops. I drilled mine out by the crimps, cleaned off that corrosion, and soldered it into the cable, not only the negative, but the positive battery terminal as well plus the other end of it with that eye terminal.

With those five positive battery terminal outlets, just wired brushed those and coated with silicone to help retard corrosion.

But not the only problem, ignition relay contacts, brass plated with silver that not only oxides but sparks eat holes in it. In my lab, can use a constant current source, run 30 amps of current, pulse the solenoid with a pulse generator and use my digital scope that shows both low and high voltages and really get a jagged waveform. not good for getting a clean power on reset voltage to the some odd computer circuits in the Cruze. Contacts were burnt, cleaned them at first and replaced them with a Panasonic relay. Have this thing about stuff made in China, other relay that was showing problem was the high speed radiator fan relay.

As an old time engineer with a couple of minutes of experience, would not be a problem if they used tungsten for the contacts, does have slightly greater resistance, just use a slightly larger contact.

Problems really started back in the late 80's when our lovely EPA banned electrode plating in our country, guys in the switch departments were going nuts. Clinton partially took care of this by bringing China into the picture without much though about us loosing our jobs.
You should have made a video, would be pure Gold.
Thanks for the info.
 

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This is a photo of the ignition relay.

Electronics Technology Electronic device Electronic component Circuit component

Normally, you can pop off the cover, this one is sealed, so had to cut the cover off, glued it back on, that tiny little form A contact is expected to switch up to 45 amps. One tiny speck of debris on that contact can prevent it from making good contact. Goodbye the sliding contact ignition switch, self cleaning, ignition switch just fires a high impedance voltage to the computer to switch this relay on. Burnishing the relay contact, made it good to go again.

Thought I had more photos of the negative battery cable, maybe on another computer, this one shows that gap on the crimp after I filed it.

Auto part Subcompact car Vehicle Automotive window part

That indent at the stem is where the cable is crimped, used a spur drill, just deep enough on both sides so I could pull the cable out of the terminal to clean off the corrosion, heated it with a propane torch so it could be soldered on, filed the excess solder off so it was round and air tight.

This is not a new problem, back in 1986, father-in-law purchased a new Chrysler New Yorker with an electronic dash, went blank on him during his 12 month warranty, dealer installed a new one, after a year, went blank again, wanted something like 700 bucks for a replacement. He drove up 300 miles so I could look at it, I pulled the ignition switch, was bare copper with little dimples on it, flattened those dimples for a greater contact area. Polished it to a mirror finish, his dash started working again. Wasn't the dash, was just poor contact, and with a microcontroller in it, not only requires a good voltage, but a fast rising one for that all important power on reset.

If a microcontroller does not get this reset, resets the program counter to zero, the firmware is dead lost and doesn't know what to do. This thing only had one computer, Cruze has five. All new vehicles are this way now, really need a storage oscilloscope, if the starting voltage drops below 8.5 volts, will not get proper power on reset.

Would be nice if the shop manual showed voltages and waveforms, nobody does this, just throw new parts at it, dumbest electronic field anywhere.
 

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I know this is an older post but I have a cheap easy fix. My car was having the radio randomly cut out mainly during rain. Find an electrician that has a hydraulic crimp tool and re crimp the negative cable. Did this... haven't had a problem since.
 
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