Any ideas what may be wrong?


#1

I have an 06 Kia Optima. Last year, I went on vacation and left the car parked for a week and a half with the phone charger plugged in. I had always left it plugged in so didnt think it would cause a problem. Thats when it started. Every once in a while, I would go to start the car and get nothing. No noise. Nothing. It almost never takes more than three tries to get it started. I never know when it will happen but generally it happens first thing in the morning when the car has been sitting all night. About 80% of the time, it starts fine. I havent heard any unusual noises or seen any warning lights and the battery, alternator and starter were tested and are fine. For several months, it wasnt doing it and I made sure to unplug the car charger when I wasn’t using it. Then last November, I forgot to unplug it and it started happening again. I am skeptical to take it to a mechanic and end paying a ton of money and them still not be able to figure out whats wrong. Any suggestions?


#2

My first guess would be that you have a battery going south. No longer able to hold a deep charge so when it sits with any kind of load on it, it goes flat. The time when it is starting ok is maybe after its been driven a little and the alternator has given it enough of a surface charge so there are no starting problems. If its a few years old I’d just replace it but you could have a test done to determine the actual cranking amps it has compared to what it should have.


#3

When it doesn’t start, what do you do? Do you wait and later it starts? Or do you get it jumped from another car?


#4

Is the accessory plug “hot” with the ignition key out?


#5

First off, clean and tighten the battery terminals. Still happening? Ok, try an experiment, charge the battery with a battery charger for 2 hours before the first start of the day. Charge at the lowest charge rate, usually 2 amps. That should give the battery an extra 4 amp-hours of charge. Does doing that help?


#6

If the charger is still getting power when the car is off, I would keep the phone unplugged. I will also change the battery despite the test. I have lost faith in battery testing. My last few “slow cranks” have lead me to an immediate drive to the store for a new battery and another 3-5 yrs of good starts.