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Old 05-06-2011, 06:08 PM   #1
PanVet
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2004 VUE 3.6L
Default Dead Battery?

Drove my Astra 5dr 5sp to pick up my kid at school. Was sitting in the car rider line for about 20 minutes with the car turned off and when I went to turn it back on it would just click. All the dash lights came on and the BC was also displaying weird characters but it would not crank.

Tried several times to start it and nothing, fortunately I was on a down slope so I was able to roll it forward and pop the clutch in 1st gear to start it.

Stopped off at the Dr and the car sat for about 1 1/2hrs and again would not start. I had parked it on the down ramp just in case and again had to roll it down and jump start it.

Weird thing is I am now getting the INSP1000 and it has only been 6000 miles since I reset it and I normally get about 9000 miles before the INSP1000 comes on. I am pretty sure it was not on before this issue.

I got the car July 08 but I don't know how long it sat on the dealer lot before that.

Is 3 years an average life span of the battery? Or is there something more sinister going on? I am going to take the car to AutoZone tomorrow and have then test the battery.
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dead Battery?

I'd check your owner's manual about battery life/warranty. While testing the battery at Autozone, have them test the alternator too. Its free and worth the time to check them. And be sure the battery cables are free and clean of any corrosion.
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Old 05-07-2011, 07:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dead Battery?

Follow up with what fdryer suggested. If you have a battery tender, I would suggest that you attach it to your battery. I suspect either a battery has gone bad, or your alternator has gone weak (unlikely).

The InSP does some funky things, but has nothing to do with the battery issue. I've had mine go from displaying 1000 to 100 to 0 in a two days. Also keep in mind that I store my car for the winter. It goes by driving patterns(redline), time, and engine hours.

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Originally Posted by PanVet View Post
Drove my Astra 5dr 5sp to pick up my kid at school. Was sitting in the car rider line for about 20 minutes with the car turned off and when I went to turn it back on it would just click. All the dash lights came on and the BC was also displaying weird characters but it would not crank.

Tried several times to start it and nothing, fortunately I was on a down slope so I was able to roll it forward and pop the clutch in 1st gear to start it.

Stopped off at the Dr and the car sat for about 1 1/2hrs and again would not start. I had parked it on the down ramp just in case and again had to roll it down and jump start it.

Weird thing is I am now getting the INSP1000 and it has only been 6000 miles since I reset it and I normally get about 9000 miles before the INSP1000 comes on. I am pretty sure it was not on before this issue.

I got the car July 08 but I don't know how long it sat on the dealer lot before that.

Is 3 years an average life span of the battery? Or is there something more sinister going on? I am going to take the car to AutoZone tomorrow and have then test the battery.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: Dead Battery?

Check the clutch pedal. Make sure there is nothing preventing it from being pushed in all the way.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: Dead Battery?

Batteries, these days can last one to 5 years.
too bad the car did not have a voltage gauge. then u would know whether or not the battery was being sufficiently charged. i doubt if the alternator is defective as the car would not run at all. if u keep driving, as is, the alternator will fail. the alternator is not designed to fully charge a near dead or dying battery.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Dead Battery?

GM says batteries are warrantied 3/36000 miles.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dead Battery?

Well apparently it is something more electrical then the battery.

Replaced it with a new one same issue, just clicks when trying to start. Rolled it down the hill to jump start it let it run for a bit in case the battery needed charged, still won't start.

Also noticed the the auto down on the windows no longer works, either with the door switch or the FOB but I think that might have something to do with the battery being taken out?

Guess it is off to service center let them figure it out.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dead Battery?

Don't know what to think now. I went out to remove the roof rack before calling the service center to come get the car because I don't have locks for it yet. On a hunch I decided to jump start the car again and let it run longer then I did last time. Only ran it long enough to drive around the block last time, less then 5 minutes.

After taking off the rack and letting it run about 15 minutes shut it off and it started up again. This is more consistant with what was going on before because I did have to stop and get gas when the problem started and I was able to start the car again so I do not think it is the clutch switch.

Going to let it sit over night and see if it will start again in the AM. I guess I will still have to take it to the service center so they can tech2 the auto down on the windows because the battery was removed?
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Dead Battery?

Found the reset for the windows. Auto down works now.

1. Turn the ignition to the ON position.
2. Run all windows to the full up position.
3. Hold each power window switch on the driver door to the full up position for 5 seconds.
4. Turn OFF the ignition and remove the key.
5. Lock the doors with the FOB.
6. Unlock the doors with the FOB.
7. Verify that the express-down feature is working by holding the unlock button on the FOB, all door windows should go down.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dead Battery?

One other possibility is a bad starter motor. Starter motors use carbon brushes inside that ride on a copper commutator ring on the armature, and these brushes slowly wear down until almost nothing remains (or the surface of the commutator ring may be badly pitted due to arcing). At this point the brushes are barely making contact, and you can experience an intermittent no-start due to the poor electrical contact. The reason why your starter might have worked that one time and not others can be summed up to engine vibration and heat expansion inside the starter shifting the brushes.

What sometimes works is crawling under the car with a small hammer and tapping the side of the starter housing to jar the brushes -- shifting them ever-so-slightly to complete the circuit again. This "solution" is, of course, only temporary, as the brushes will eventually wear to the point that they will never again make proper contact.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: Dead Battery?

So it has been almost a week now since replacing the battery and not further issues so I guess I will just chalk this one up to a failed battery and a nervous driver.
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