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Old 01-08-2013, 11:57 AM
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Default Car problem question...

I currently drive a 2009 Pontiac G3 with less than 30,000 miles on it. I've never had any problems, it's never had work done.

The other night, it was really cold out, and I went to start my car. The battery (lights, radio) came on, but the engine did not start. It didn't make any unusual noises. Just didn't start. I tried a handful of times, nothing.

My dad tried to look at it a little while later. Still wouldn't start, but when he turned the radio off and then tried again, it started.

Since then, I've started it multiple times (radio on and off) with ZERO problems. My dad thinks it could be an electrical problem.

Does anyone know what could have caused this, or if I need it looked at or the fact that it was a on-time thing and nothing else is wrong means I shouldn't worry about it?
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:07 PM
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Funny, I just had to give my son a jump start yesterday.....he drives a 2007 pontiac G6 and has never had issues with it yet. The radio still came on, but it was just too cold for the battery to crank it over.........it was like in the low 20's!

If you live where it's really cold I would STILL suspect the battery first. Radio and lights can still work with a low battery.......but it takes a LOT of juice to turn over a really cold engine so if your battery is low/getting old, I'd start with that. Then I personally would move on to the alternator if need be.

EDIT: I know autozone will check your battery for free.........at least they used to. You don't want to drive it around the rest of the winter on a potential bad battery....hard telling where you may get stranded!
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:20 PM
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Oh Coop, that's interesting, I just assumed if the battery was going on it wasn't the battery!

It was below freezing and the car hadn't been started in about two days, so it probably was the battery. I have plenty of experience jumping my car (I'm notorious for killing car batteries. It's a special talent.)
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:24 PM
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Well if it was below freezing and the car hadn't been started in a couple days, I DEFINITELY say battery! And what's more, the battery might not even be 'bad'.......it's just cold is very hard on them and they really need a good daily charge from the alternator in this kind of weather

Be sure to start her up daily even if you don't want to go anywhere, LOL
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:32 PM
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If it's got less than 30,000 miles on it, it should still be under warranty - in which case I'd take it in just in case if it continues to happen, BEFORE the warranty runs out.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:41 PM
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For grins, if it happens again, move the gear selector from "Park" to "Neutral" and try again. If you have a bad/intermittent contact in the neutral safety switch, that could cause random starting issues. Your dad could have bumped the gear selector when messing with the radio causing the contacts to close better.

Just a thought.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:59 PM
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Same thing happened to me yesterday. Got in the Impala and turned the key - radio came on but engine didn't start. Tried again - nope. Hit the button to turn the radio off and ta-da! No problem.

It has been a little touchy starting up with it being so cold even though I drive it every day. I would also suspect battery before worrying about an electrical problem, especially if it doesn't continue to happen.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milos_mommy View Post
Oh Coop, that's interesting, I just assumed if the battery was going on it wasn't the battery!

It was below freezing and the car hadn't been started in about two days, so it probably was the battery. I have plenty of experience jumping my car (I'm notorious for killing car batteries. It's a special talent.)
Battery is my first thought, especially if you have killed it a few times becasue that does take it's toll on them. In cold weather it is always advised to turn off the radio/stereo before you turn the vehicle off when shutting it down. I really wish lights would come on manually like they used to or on a delay after starting for this very reason
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:40 PM
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I had an old truck that was a doozy to start when it was cold (& I am in south tx, so it doesnt get COLD cold here, the coldest we get is in the 20's) the battery was fine, but it was like hell to get the engine to start & if you crank it a few times unsuccessfully you risk draining the battery.

I vote for a battery problem, my truck has 130,000 mi on it & I have replaced a few batteries because its not the running of the car its the starting of the car esp in cold weather that drains juice.

unrelated: I was driving along on the HW & everything was fine, (it was hot, I had the radio/AC going) then my truck started to sputter, then it just upped & died. it turned out to be the fuel pump, when you run your AC the compressor runs off the engine, the fuel pump was wearing out & couldnt supply the engine with the extra fuel nessessary to run the compressor & the engine/truck. so I turned off the AC & was able to get to a mechanics shop.

do you park your car in a garage? if not, can you? maybe put a heater on it to help the ole battery? thats what I did with my old truck, just put a heater on it so the engine wasnt so cold.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:49 PM
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Eddie, I did try that just to see if it wasn't fully in park...didn't help.

Ado, I've actually never killed this car battery. (The lights go off automatically). I'm gonna go with battery and not worry unless it happens again
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