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Starting Problem


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After searching the forums, I think I've narrowed my problem down to either the battery, the starter or the alternator. Wondering if you could provide me with some insight. :)

I had one battery for almost a year before I had problems starting the car. My mechanic told me the battery had a defective cell and they installed a new one. This was back in August of 2006 I believe. Now, I'm having more starting issues.

For about a week, temperatures here have been below zero. My car sat in the garage for about 3-4 days without being driven and when I went to go start it two days ago, it started sort of hard. I ran some errands around town and it seemed "okay." But yesterday when I tried starting it in the garage, the engine turned over a few times but then it just started clicking. We jumped it and it started fine but then when I tried starting it again a minute later, it was dead. We jumped it again and let it run for 5-10 minutes, drove it around the block, and tried starting it about 5 more times after that and all seemed okay. I also started it last night and it was fine.

Now, this morning, it wouldn't start again. I'm bringing it to the mechanic later this afternoon or tomorrow morning so I was wondering if you had some suggestions about what it might be. I really hope it won't be too expensive. Just hoping it's the battery or something. But do you think it's really likely that I got two defective batteries? It is sounding to me like something is wrong with my charging system or that something is draining the battery.

Your thoughts? Thanks!

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My first response would be you've got a faulty main ground. Without a good ground, you'll end up killing a relatively good/new battery quickly. It could also be a defective alternator and/or voltage regulator (I'm pretty sure they are integrated on nearly all new cars).

When you take your car in, those are the two main things to look at: a faulty ground (usually just a loose connection or corrosion... an easy fix), or problems with the alternator. Either way, you may have already killed your 'newish' battery with the repeated low regarging condition and need to replace that, too.

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