Won't Start: Why Ford F250 Batteries Just Click in Very Cold Weather

CaptainDan

New member
This has happened to me twice now. I went out to start my 2008 Ford F250 Super Duty pickup truck on a very cold morning and on both of these separate occasions, the truck wouldn't start. Both times, the same exact thing happened. Everything in the truck worked perfectly, meaning, all the electronics worked; the lights, fan, everything. The problem was, when I turned the key to actually start the truck, all I would hear is a "click" "click" "click" each time I turned the key. The truck wouldn't start. The engine wouldn't even turn over.

The first time this happened, I went outside and wiggled the battery terminal connections. I found that one was loose. That was an easy fix. I simply took all the connections off and cleaned any corrosion off that had built up over time. Then, I bolted everything back together and I also applied some dielectric tune up grease to the outside of the connections. I heard that this keeps the metal from corroding, but doesn't conduct electricity, so it's safe to use on batteries. The truck worked find after that. I think two years have gone by since.

During this past February, the temperature dropped again so it was very cold outside. When I went out to start the truck, I experienced the same problem as before. I didn't know what it was because I had already cleaned and tightened the connectors down to the battery posts. The strange thing is, when it got a little warmer outside, the truck started just fine. No more clicking. The engine turned over the the truck started like there was never anything wrong.

This afternoon, I went out to take a look at the battery terminals. I noticed that the grease I had applied earlier was all over the connections as well as the battery posts. I wondered if the non-conductive grease had created a barrier between the terminal and the post. I took each terminal off the corresponding post, cleaned the grease off with a shop rag, used my post wire brush cleaner on both the terminal connection as well as the post itself and then reassembled everything. I then started the truck without issue.

My conclusion is that the first time this problem occurred, it was because of a loose terminal. The second time, it was because of the grease interfering with the connection itself. I am not sure about why this happens only during cold temperatures. I seem to remember reading something out there that described the same issue, but I can't seem to locate that now. The author connected the cold weather with battery problems on these trucks. If it happens again, I'll let you know what I find.
 

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