Battery losing charge

geo
batteries
metro

#1

New battery, new terminals but my car won’t turn over if I need to make a quick stop somewhere. I must wait at least an hour for the proper amount of voltage to build up and then the car starts just fine. What is going on?


#2

We need more information. Have you had the alternator checked? Is this an automatic? If it is then try to start the vehicle in neutral. If it starts easily then you may have a bad neutral safety switch. Most batteries do not “build up” voltage. I suspect something else is wrong like a bad starter or weak battery cable.


#3

The car is a 1997 Geo Metro. A few days ago I was stuck at my parents house. The car wouldn’t turn over so we simply charged the battery with a portable charger and 10 minutes later it started. Other times I have gone to a coffee shop to wait an hour and the car then starts up.

I have not tried starting the car in neutral and I have not had the alternator checked.


#4

Do you mean that you must run the engine for at least an hour after every start to recharge the battery in order for the car to start after you have turned it off? Or do you mean that the car has to cool completely off (not running) before it will start again?

If it’s the first thing, the alternator is probably limping along with a bad diode. In this case the battery will charge slowly with the headlights and fan motor off, and will lose power while driving if the headlights or fan motor are being used. You can have the output of the alternator checked at Autozone, Sears, Advanced Auto, etc.

If you mean that the car needs to cool off after being driven, for at least one hour before it will start, then you have a shorted part or a loose connection, probably in the starter circuit. You should check every connection to make sure they are each clean and tight first, and if they all are, remove the starter and have it bench tested. Heat is building up somewhere and creating enough resistance to prevent the current from flowing until the part or cable has cooled down.


#5

When I attempt to start the car after a very recent time driving it, the car makes all the engine starting sounds but it just won’t turn over. I turn the car off, wait an hour and then it starts up just fine.


#6

“turning over” is required in order to make all the engine starting sounds.

If you mean “it sounds like it’s starting but it won’t fire” then it’s not your battery. Next time it happens try this: Loosen the gas cap, then try to start it again.


#7

“A few days ago I was stuck at my parents house. The car wouldn’t turn over so we simply charged the battery with a portable charger and 10 minutes later it started. Other times I have gone to a coffee shop to wait an hour and the car then starts up”.

“When I attempt to start the car after a very recent time driving it, the car makes all the engine starting sounds but it just won’t turn over. I turn the car off, wait an hour and then it starts up just fine”.

These are two completely different answers to what amounts to the same question, and with a new element. Now the car turns over just fine but won’t start. It just turns over at normal cranking speed but won’t start unless an hour has passed. Unless a portable charger has been used, in which case the car starts after ten minutes.


#8

In addition to that suggestion, you may have a leaky fuel injector that is flooding the engine. The next time it won’t start, try holding the gas pedal all the way to the floor and cranking while doing so. This puts the engine in clear-flood mode.