Old 01-01-03, 11:12 AM
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OK, same car, different question ;-)

The Festiva wouldn't start a couple of days ago after sitting for 3 days. SO tried to start it, said it just 'clicks'. I go out, move the seat back, starts right up. Next day, same thing. I suspect it may be related to moving the seat, etc., suspecting a pinched wire or bad connection, but various combinations of moving the seat, etc. don't seem to consisently start or not start. Gets worse, I clean the battery terminals, seems to help, yesterday, same thing. I then realize this IS a serviceable battery, so I pop the covers and discover the water is about 1/2 what it should be. I fill it up, car starts fine, SO drives it around in stop and go traffic yesterday, no problems.

I drive it about 20 minutes on the highway yesterday afternoon, thinking that will charge the battery enough to get by (still started fine when I went out to start it for that trip). After the fireworks (it had been sitting about 9 hours), we go to start it, won't turn over. Give it a slight push, pop the clutch, engine roars to life easily and is fine all the way home.

I keep thinking its a lose or pinched wire, but can't explain the symptoms that way. A weak battery seems most likely, but that doesn't explain the several restarts before it failed again. The battery has lived a good life, but I'd rather not replace it unnecessarily. Am I missing something here? How long should it take to fully recharge the battery, if the real problem was the low water and it just didn't recharge enough last night? Is it worth the hassle to put the charger on it overnight?

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Old 01-01-03, 11:44 AM
darrell McCoy
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How old is this battery?? It is not good to run them low on water.
I would fill to proper level, give it a good charge and then have it checked. You need a good battery before you waste time looking for a bad connection. A bad cell will have the symptoms you describe. Bad cells will generally only take a suface charge. Start one time and not the next.
Old 01-01-03, 01:42 PM
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Thumbs up

I agree with Darrell.
Old 01-02-03, 04:30 AM
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charger results

I put the charger on the battery, even after an hour it will only charge at about 1/2 A (normally, on a good discharged battery, it would charge at 2 A to 4 A). I presume that means the battery has high resistance, indicating a bad battery. Guess it's off to the store for one of those '9 year' batteries (least expensive I can find - any car battery has more than enough CCA for a Festiva).

Anyone ever try to get coverage under the '3 year replacement + 6 year pro rata' warranties? Does anyone believe a battery would last 9 years.

Oh - the current '9 year battery' has about 6 years on it.
Old 01-02-03, 05:56 AM
fewalt's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sw VA
Posts: 3,100
NO to the nine year battery question!
You've just proved they''ll last about three years.
So, just buy a new three year battery and be on your way.
Old 01-02-03, 06:53 AM
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Batteries typically last 4 to 6 years. Depending on the warranty, after about a year or two, the warranty is prorated.

Depending on how you buy it, sometimes it's not worth it to go through warranty!

I got an 89 Cavalier from my grandfather. In 1997, I changed the original 1989 battery (8 years ), with a Delco. When I got the car in 2002, the battery was dead. I went to warranty it after charging it a few times. The owner of the store I buy wholesale from said, "Look. Going by the warranty, I would have to charge you more than you can buy it outright with your discount from me." We did the math after I looked at the battery policy, and he was right.

Buy a new battery that is the lowest cost per month. Divide the price by the warranty period in months and the battery that nets you the lowest number is the one to buy. That is taking into account that both have the same "free full replacement" (usually a year or two at most) period.

That battery sounds wasted .
Old 01-11-03, 05:47 AM
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it's fixed

Replacing the battery seems to have fixed the problem.

FWIW, the battery warranty is 3 years replacement, 6 (additional) years prorated.

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