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Discussion Starter #1
I had 2 open recalls on my car and since the airbag recall was dangerous I made an appointment for service. The alternator recall was also still open on my car. So they did them both. Everything seemed ok when they brought my car out for me to take it home. It was the last 10 minutes of the day on a Saturday appointment so I took it home. After getting home I started checking their work. I found that the light in my glovebox no longer worked. After a little fiddling with the wires it came back on, not a big deal.

Then the real fun starts. I washed the car and went to start it to pull it into the garage. Dead battery. This battery was purchased last year and was giving me no problems before. I am assuming they replaced my working alternator with a dud. They are closed the next 2 days for the holiday weekend. I have a battery charger connected at the moment. I assume once charged it will run until the battery dies again. I'm afraid to try to drive it at all. These stupid cars don't have any kind of voltmeter. There are no error messages to indicate anything is wrong. I assume I'll have to contact the dealer Tuesday and go from there. I don't even think there is anyone open to look at it to determine how bad it actually is. I don't know if there were any tests they should be running to check the replacement parts but if there was it wasn't done.
 

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This certainly sounds like a less than stellar dealer experience. Hopefully, once you get the battery charged up, you can start it, and see what is going on (or not). If the dealer is very far, and it's not charging, I would be on the phone requesting they flat bed it back to them.

I am kind of surprised you waited this long to get the alternator done. There were folks who had them catch fire. It did take them quite a while to get the new ones in, but I got mine in as soon as my dealer had them. Funny, the old one worked just fine, but you know how that goes.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The dealer is not far, less than 5 miles. I think a charge will get me there but I hope there is no fire hazard with this one. I waited because the original one had failed before they were even recalled. I wasn't sure if the replacement was also potentially defective so I went ahead and let them replace it again under recall. I figured a new one would surely meet the current specs. I have to assume the new one is bad. Too much of a coincidence for it to be anything else.

After it failed to start I pulled the negative battery terminal and reconnected it. It cranked slow but started. I'd like to wish that it was loose and would be ok now but that is probably too much to ask. I hesitate to risk going anywhere but the dealer because if it fails I'm stranded. It should be charged at this point. I may crank it up for a test but again I hope there is not a fire hazard with a defective new one.
 

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So after having charged it the car starts fine. I found a voltmeter I had lying around and checked it. The battery was 12.5 volts before starting the car. After starting it reads 14. I'm not at all sure what to think at this point. Those numbers would indicate the alternator is working. The battery isn't much more than a year old. I'll probably call the dealer tomorrow to get some thoughts. They'll probably tell me to bring it in and want to charge whatever the diagnostic fee is. I don't trust it.
 

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New(er) batteries can and do go bad. I would drive it a bit, and see how things go. I agree that the alternator is working based upon your readings. While you are at it, use the current (ma) function of your meter, and see what the draw is when everything is off.

Don
 

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Thanks for the reply. Good point. It could be bad. It just seems entirely too coincidental but it is possible. Maybe I'll take it to Autozone and have them check it. I bought it there. If it is bad already I'll be getting a different brand for a replacement. I wish Optima made a battery for these cars. I've had great luck with them in the truck.
 

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Look for loose or corroded ground wires.
 

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I'm still considering the possibility that they didn't tighten the negative terminal when they reconnected it. When I removed it there didn't seem to be a lot of force required to do so. I made sure it was good and tight when I reconnected it. I'll have Autozone check it tomorrow after work. If they can't find a problem I'll drive it a bit and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I took it to Autozone and they tested it. Couldn't find any problems. I'm hoping that terminal was actually loose and the problem is resolved. I'll drive it to work tomorrow and see if I make it. o_O
 

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After a week of no issues and a 200 mile round trip yesterday, today it had problems again. The strange thing is that it did this right after washing the car. Same as last time. I would not think washing the car would do anything. Even weirder was I pressed the brake and hit the start button, just a click, but I released the brake and then it started. I double chekced the battery teminals again. I had thightened the negative terminal last time assuming that they would not have disconnected the positive but when I put a wrench on it I was able to tighten it more than 2 full turns. I'm hoping that gets it. Battery charger says it is 100% charged.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I know it's been a while but I once again got a no start after washing the car. Still to this day I have no idea why that would matter. I threw a battery charger on it for a half hour and drove it down to Autozone to have them test it again as I was determined to figure out the problem. This time their tester said the battery was bad. They told me they would replace it. It was only about 18 months old. I loosened everything up and went to lift it out. It was soaked with battery acid. As I pulled it out I found it was cracked and leaking. Here I thought there was something wrong with the car for all this time and if I had just pulled out the battery to start with I could have avoided all of this. I guess the lesson here is not to second guess the situation and focus on the most obvious cause.

That said I know the dealer disconnected it during the recall work. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt that they didn't remove it and damage it doing so, but I'll never know for certain. Still seems a bit coincidental but it's good now so I'm moving on at this point.
 
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