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I have a 1996 camaro and I was leaving school today and had to wait for some friends. I got into my car and sat there for about 5 minutes (definitely no more than 10) with the battery on and I was listening to some music. They came over and I turned the battery off and got out of my car and talked for a little while, then got back into the car and went to start it. Normally it fires over nearly instantly, but lately it has been taking 2 or 3 seconds to to start running. I had just assumed that it was the cold weather taking its toll on the battery. It's normally about 50-60 out in the mornings, but in the afternoon its around 70-80. I was trying to start my car after it had been about 70 degrees for the last few hours. The starter cranked about 3 or times fully, then made 1 or 2 weak cranks after that, then died but it must have been just enough because about a half a second after the starter dies the engine slowly choked its way to life. You know how sometimes when you start lawnmowers it gives a few weak turns and then comes to life? Well it was pretty much the same thing. I don't know if it's the battery or alternator or what, but I need to get this fixed because I don't wanna get stranded somewhere. What does the left gauge in the dash measure? Volts or amps? When the car is running that gauge always reads just before redline. I don't think the battery would be bad because it started up great all during the summer and I drive it almost everyday so it's not like the battery has been sitting there draining for the last 5 months or something. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

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Sounds like you have a bad cell in your battery. Go to you local parts house and have them do a load test on your battery.
 

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9.6 IS acceptable when load testing at 70*F.
it should climb quickly back to 12.5 after the test.
you should be able to perform the test twice with similar results. i usually wait a minute between tests.

it does sound like you have a weak battery tho'.
 

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Originally posted by Debonair23:
did one myself, dropped to 9.6 volts
Sorry! I was under the impresion that it remained at 9.6 after the test
. Clean all your connections. But then again, after 3 days I would guess you have fixed the problem
 

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Discussion Starter #11
cleaned off the terminals even though i didnt see any signs of corrosion. battery died after about 13 minutes. there must be a drain somewhere in the system, but I have no clue where.
 

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If you suspect a drain then test, but before you do make sure you have code to radio.

Disconnect positive battery terminal, connect test light beteen terminal and battery post, if light is dim, drain is normal, if it is bright there is a drain, with test light still connected remove fuses until light is dim. The circuit that that fuse supplies has a short in it. Don't leave the door open while testing, or block door switches with something.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
nope, guess there isnt a drain. i took out all of the fuses and it stayed dim the whole time. by the way, this test light is cool! never seen one before now, i went over to autozone to pick one up real fast and its a neat idea, wish i knew about it earlier. but anyways, i have nno idea what else it could be. there isnt a drain and the battery is decent, maybe the starter or something?

[ 12-09-2003, 08:28 PM: Message edited by: Debonair23 ]
 

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As suggested by others before, disconnect all fuses, should be two for the ECM, and two for the radio. If test light is still dim, remove the large red lead on the alternator.

One question nobody has asked, How old is the battery? If its OE (original equipment, aka '96), then time for replacement of battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
already said i removed all the fuses... didnt solve it. battery is about 4 years old and its a 5 year battery. tests still show its fine so i dont think its the battery and i don't want to spend 60 bucks on something that probably isnt broke :(
 

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if it's a 5 year battery, take it to the people who sell it, and let them test it. if it's bad, they will pro-rate it, and you'll only have to pay $50 instead of $60 :rolleyes:
sometimes a battery with a bad cell will test good, and then not.
most shops will test a battery for free. autozone will too.
i dont know if autozone does starting and charging tests, but you can get that at sears or the like for around $20 if they charge you at all.
it's easy, cheap, and painless, and most likely will tell you the problem. no more guessing, and no buying the wrong part.

you also never said what voltage the battery climbed back up to. if it's fully charged, (12.4 at least) and you get rid of the surface charge, it should climb back up to full. 9.6 is okay, but it's on the bottom side of okay. at 70*, anything less than 9.6 is bad. at a lower temp, it can go a little lower, say 9.5. maybe 9.4 if it's pretty chilly out.
 

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My excellent experiences with car life.
With a fuel injected engine never expect easy cold weather starting. Did I say never? Never.
My last great treatment by the king of battery's told me I had a bad battery. Installed the die hard gold and things were great till the bad diode stack ran the second battery down.
When testing the battery on your own maybe watch the dc voltage reading and switch the prods around to see if there is much change watching the negative and postive reading if you have a good digital multimeter. At the time I dont think I thought much of the fluctuating current symbol + - when doing a quick check. I was getting ac mixed with dc from the bad stack so the battery would end up going down. Not a nice thing when the job requires you to be there.
Good luck finding whatever it is.
 

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I know this may be a little bit out there, but the only effective method in your case after all the previous attempts is to perform several voltage drop tests on the cranking circuit. This can be done using a digital volt meter. Since the battery sounds weak, the test should be done with a charger on the system, set to 12 volt low/normal. Specifications should not exceed .5 to 1 volt maximum. Peform this as follows:

Connect positive lead to battery terminal and negative lead to the opposite end of positve cable at the starter and have some one crank the engine, remember to disable the injectors for you don't want the engine to start during this test. This can be done by removing one or both PCM fuses at the I/P

Perform the same test on the negative side by connecting the positive lead to the negative cable at the battery and the negative lead to a good engine/chassis ground and again crank the engine

I do realize this test is somewhat hard to complete considering the cranking motor (starter) is in a very tight place to get to, but this will narrow the possibilities down. If no problem is found, the same test should be performed on the charging circuit just to be on the safe side, even though you suspect the battery as being GOOD!

Ps: Please remember if the battery terminal voltage is falling to or below 9.5 volts during cranking, this can cause a no start condition as the PCM (power train Control Module) will shut down at these voltage levels...Just my two cents
 

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HELLO! its a 1996 maro!! those cars have a lambasonde sensor that needs 12 volt (AND NO LESS) prior to start-up, so 9.6 volts just wont cut it!!!

Dont be cheap and just buy another battery.
 

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Originally posted by rolling-robert:
HELLO! its a 1996 maro!! those cars have a lambasonde sensor that needs 12 volt (AND NO LESS) prior to start-up, so 9.6 volts just wont cut it!!!

Dont be cheap and just buy another battery.
Are you referring to the 'lambda' sensor? If so, the 12 volts at startup argument does not apply. All electronically controlled vehicles start up in open loop mode which means the oxygen sensor isn't used. 9.6 volts should be adequate to start most electronically controlled engines I have worked with. So unless you know something I don't, I think you might be over reacting a bit.
 
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