Should I be driving my car?

I know that I need to replace my car battery which will probably happen tomorrow. However I need to go pick up my daughter from school. It’s only 1 mile there and one back. I struggled with turning my car on this morning so I had to charge it. When finished I checked and it started just fine but there was a smell. I also have a small oil leak but it didn’t quite smell like oil. I noticed that there’s a white powder coming out from the battery but not from the power knob things. Is it okay to be driving my daughter to school and to go get a new battery or should I try to clean it first?

10 Answers

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Let O'Reilly's check the alternator

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  • Erik
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    I would roll the dice and hope it starts one more time, and if it doesn't, walk.  One mile is not a long walk.  Also, if it starts, don't turn it off again until you're back home.

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  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Try to start.  If it starts, pick up your daughter.  Try not to turn off the car at school if that is possible.  If you have jumper  cables in the house, bring it.  Good luck

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Go get the child. When they replace the battery tomorrow, they will clean the battery terminals and grease them to stop the corrosion coming back. " Power knob things"....Battery terminals. Say that 3 times.... battery terminals.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    If you've been driving it without incident, then it's OK to milk the battery for a few days before replacing it. The white stuff that collects around batteries is lead that has dissolved in the sulfuric acid inside the battery and comes out of the vent holes in the battery. Although a byproduct inside the battery is hydrogen gas, that also comes out of the vents, it isn't a threat since the gasses have to travel through a maze to finally reach the outside of the battery is tiny quantities. 

    If the battery housing is cracked and leaking sulfuric acid then I'd get it replaced very soon and you can use something as simple as backing soda to neutralize the acid that may be on the battery tray or dripping under the hood. 

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  • Bort
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    Please take your vehicle to an auto parts store and ask them to run a diagnostics check on it and check the battery. Do not touch the white stuff coming out of the battery. It is most likely battery acid.

    If your battery is constantly dying it might not be just the battery that's the problem. An auto parts store can test these things and let you know what it is. For free.

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  • Barry
    Lv 4
    4 weeks ago

    If the car starts and runs it should be OK for short trips. After you get a new battery try to locate the source of the leak and identify it. Oil will be dark and sticky. Coolant will be like coloured water.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    If it's only a mile away, I'd suggest walking there to be safe.

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  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    I wouldn't. If it's a lead acid battery, it could potentially release hydrogen sulfide gas, which is flammable and poisonous, among other things. If your alternator is good, I would only use the battery to start  the car and then remove it and put it in your trunk.

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  • Bill
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    Disconnect the battery and clean the terminals. Tighten everything up good and see what happens. Is your battery old?  Is the alternator charging it?  

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