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2013 Chevy Sonic - Dying battery?

Hi Car Talk Community!

So, starting about a week ago I began to experience my car starting sluggishly at originally what seemed random starts. I figured out after a while that it was after shorter trips, say 10-15 minutes or less that it would happen. Longer than that and it starts fine. Drove to work two nights ago (35 minutes), and while I was on my break I was sitting in my car with the door open. When I left that night, car wouldn’t start. Got rapid clicking when I turned the key. Hooked up to a co-workers car with jumper cables couldn’t get it to start; just clicking. So I called roadside assistance and the guy put the battery pack on it and it started up right away. Next morning, took it to the auto parts store for a test (about a 30 minute drive). Guy at the store put the multimeter on it and said my battery was perfectly fine. Haven’t had a no-start since, but it’s still sluggish after short trips.

I’ve had some friends tell me it’s my starter, but I still am convinced it’s something with the battery.

Thanks in advance!


If you have the original battery why not put a new one in, some last a long time but at 4 years it may not have that much time left. Also has the alternator been checked.

1 Like

If the battery check did not include a load check, it’s probably the battery. Some batteries age by losing capacity, especially if they’ve been short-tripped a lot over their life and the factory alternator is not very high output.

I gotta agree with @VOLVO_V70 here. Might just be best to install a new battery and see how things go.

[quote=“mattsypek, post:1, topic:106899”]
First. Make sure the battery terminals are clean and very tight. If the “sluggishness” (whatever that means) continues, I too suggest that you have the alternator and battery tested under load, i.e starting and running the engine . It should show you whether the battery is dying or the alternator not charging properly. Then replace whatever is needed.

If you have a multimeter watch some youtube videos and DIY, it’s not rocket science.