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Battery dies on new 2017 Malibu after 10 days

We went on vacation for 16 days and left my 2017 Malibu at a nearby long term parking lot. When we got back, we discovered the car battery was dead. AAA gave us a boost and I drove home 16 miles taking about 30 minutes. The next morning my battery was again completely dead.

I was told by Onstar and the dealer that the Malibu battery can go in to hibernation after 10 days. After 15 days, itis possible to completely drain. This doesn’t sound right because there could be many occasions where my car won’t be driven for 2 weeks. Is this a defect? I can’t believe a car battery can completely go dead in 2 weeks. They explained that there are so many electonics being maintained while the car is parked, that the battery will slowly drain and it needs to be started during that time to keep it charged.

I towed the car to the dealer the next day and they recharged the battery and it is running normally on a daily basis. I worry on my next vacation or business trip I will return to a dead battery, again. Is the only option to disconnect the battery while away on vacation for two weeks or more?

Is this normal for new cars?


I call BS on this myself.

If you were leaving the car stored for a month or more, maybe I’d expect a dead battery. But 16 days ought not to be an issue, unless you’re leaving something plugged in (phone charger, etc.). And on a brand new car this really ought not to be happening.

Seems to me you either have a parasitic drain somewhere, or a bad battery. Either way this is why you have a new car warranty. If the first dealer is blowing you off, take it to another Chevrolet dealer. Worst case, I’d buy a new battery out of my own pocket, since I don’t like being stranded, myself.

Good luck

I thought is was totally BS when they told me that, too. To give that
as an explanation would be a good reason not to buy this car.

I’d say bad battery, probably caused by sitting on the dealer lot too long.

This is nowhere near enough time to fully recharge a dead battery. With a moderate drain going on, this would explain why it was dead again the next day. The drain problem needs to be resolved and that can easily be verified. But just so you’re aware, the amount of energy contained in your battery can’t be fully restored by a 30 minute drive. If it happens again, it should be put on a dedicated, external charger and will likely take overnight to fully recharge…

I think I agree. Bad battery or a drain somewhere. They are supposed to shut down after a period of drain so that the battery does not drain down. Never heard of a battery going into hibernation so that it would be completely dead. I agree this would be a reason to not buy the car and doubt this is a feature designed in. Maybe they can show you that page in the factory service manual that says its normal for a battery to drain in two weeks.

Where to go though? I dunno. Sounds like the dealer is a dead end. They will replace the battery if they can show its defective, but don’t think any battery testers are going to show that. I doubt whether they’ll do a drain test without some screaming too. I guess myself, I’d buy a new battery, then have a drain test done somewhere, then back to the dealer to be compensated if they find anything. Kind of a chicken way out but the bottom line is you want the car fixed instead of spending all the time yelling at the dealer.

That is what AAA told me to driving at least 30 minutes to re-charge the battery. Thanks for the information.

That’s hard to believe. I have had my vw parked for 4 weeks while I went to vacation. My car was totally working fine and started just normal being four years old.

I suggest you check the issue with the other trust worthy mechanic apart from the dealer.

I agree. That was a ridiculous excuse by Chevrolet. If it is true, that is a fatal flaw. No car battery should go dead in two week and especially not a car less than 10 months old.