My car is angry with me

I bought a new SUV recently and have been driving it most of the time over my old car. I decided to drive oldie to work this morning and joked to SharkWife that the car might not start because she’s angry about not being exercised.

And . . . yup, totally dead. New battery, starter, alternator, and ignition switch done over last six months. Just pure, spiteful vehicular spite!

How long has it sat without being started?

Drive her about 35 miles a week ago. I’m going to jump the battery tomorrow and see what happens.

I had a car, a Dodge Intrepid, that ran like a top until we bought Mrs. B. A new car. I spent four months trying to get it ready to sell, and so many little things kept going wrong… two batteries, inexplicably dead every few days, windows got sticky, trunk jammed… that we finally just gave it away for the tax deduction.

Geez, what kind of shape would you be in, if someone drove an SUV over you?

If you have had several cold days, then it’s probably the battery.

Otherwise, it could be a lot of things. Does the car have a sensor that prevents it from starting if something is wrong that will damage the engine? Did you park it on a hill? It could be sensing the oil is low. Push it to a flat spot. I could sit here and list things all day, but really, I need more information. Does it crank but not turn over? Does it not rev at all, but you can hear the click of the starter relay? or is the relay not clicking? Do the lights come on? When you turn the key to the accessory position, does the radio come on?

If the lights don’t come on, or are dim, it’s the battery (albeit, the battery could still be too low to start the car, and the lights could still come on). If the relay isn’t clicking, you need a new relay, or maybe something else in the ignition system.

If it cranks but won’t turn over, it could be your fuel pump, or maybe the gas is old, or you somehow got water in the gas tank.

I’ll wait to hear about the battery.

Inspect the battery terminals ( where the big red wires connect to the big square thingy). If you see corrosion, you should disconnect these wire and clean with a wire brush and reconnect. Even if you don’t see anything like corrosion…you should disassemble and clean both the battery and the wire ends.
My experience has told me that this can be the culprit at least half of the time.

A volt meter can be very useful in directing you to the problem.
Hope this helps

Update! I bought a portable battery charger. Multimeter reads 6v, so I think (hope!) It’s just a bad battery. New battery installed 3 months ago, so under warranty.

I’m doing it the “BMW way,” which is the positive post under the hood and negative clamp grounded. ISTR this method can take hours …please think good thoughts! :smiley:

Is the battery swollen at all? that is to say, rounded or even slightly bulging on the sides? if it is, it’s toast.

BTW, this isn’t a manual is it? you know you can push-start those.

Battery looks fine, no corrosion or loose cables. The car has a no-clutch manual mode (“Steptronic”), so it’s not a true manual. I’m hoping to get enough charge to get it to garage.

This morning I didn’t even have the idiot lights flick on and couldn’t open doors with the remote; after a 15-minute charge the locks would pop.

if a “12 volt” lead-acid battery is drawn down to 6 volts, there’s a very good chance you will be unable to save it. They’re considered “fully discharged” at 11.7 volts. you may be able to charge it up to nominal voltage (12.6 volts) but its capacity will be severely limited.

Slight hijack, but on topic:

I was told by a mechanic I’ve used for years at a local repair shop that a new type/brand of battery was being aggressively marketed to auto shops in our area.
His assessment was that they were a little cheaper, but will “show a bad cell & need replacement every two years”. As he put it, “I won’t sell them in my shop because a lot of my customers live in town and too many of them are my neighbors.”

He indicated that there were some brands that were (his cost) $30 more, but that they lasted with normal use almost 8 full years.

I’m trying to remember the name of the brand he advised against. Has anyone heard anything like this?

My iX broke Tuesday.

Cheap batteries are cheap batteries. Well made ones that will last four or five years will run closer to $100 than $50. Larger series will run more.

Batteries seem to break down quickly these days. Fifty years ago you’d have a lot of warning, it would crank more and more slowly over weeks before it wouldn’t start. Now batteries go from perfect to dead in a day.

Anybody else reminded of this?

To get more current delivery capacity, modern batteries have more plates in the cells. Those plates have to be thinner, though, which makes them more fragile. Plus, as they cycle they shed material. Combine that with vibration and mechanical shock, and plates eventually either break or come in contact with each other which effectively kills the cell.

Her “end stage resistor unit” failed. The simple explanation is that a blower that stays on after car goes off wasn’t turning off and over time killed the battery. Got the part replaced and need to be more assiduous about driving her more.

Yet one more reprieve for my old girl. . .

Why did you assign your car a gender?
Your car is an “it”.

I know a lot of people who assign cars genders. Oddly, I know some people who have had one car they were sure was a girl, and another that was a boy.

I also have it from one mechanic who was once a drill sergeant that all old-school Chevy Novas are boys.

I can imagine a car would be very pissed at its (his? her?) owner if said owner assigned it the wrong gender. OP’s car might be suffering from gender dysphoria. Or perhaps OP’s car’s gender orientation is – how to say this politely? – incompatible with OP’s new car. Are they being kept indoors together in the same garage?