Battery or Starter Motor or Both?



On 5/28/08, my mechanic replaced the battery in my 2002 Buick Century. It had 19154 miles on it then. Since I got nothing in writing about the battery, I questioned the mechanic and he said it was an 84 month battery.

On 2/12/10, the same mechanic replaced the battery again, saying it would not take a charge. It had refused to start, but I had jump started it with no problem after allowing it to charge for a few minutes. The car had 29476 miles on it.

The mechanic also replaced the starter motor, telling me that it was bad. Until the morning when I had to jump start the car, it had never hesitated to start at the first try.

So, my question is five-fold: 1) How likely is it that a 22 month old battery was totally bad? 2) Shouldn’t I have gotten some sort of rebate or credit? 3)How likely is it that the starter motor had to be replaced? 4) How can I tell if it was actually replaced? and finally, (5) Has my trust in this guy over the last 16 years been ill-founded?


Depending on the brand of battery installed, many of them come with a 24-36 (but some come with as little as 3 or 12, too) month free replacement warranty. That would imply that you should not have been charged for the battery replacement, but possibly incurred a mechanics’s labor charge. I would identify the battery brand and model/brand line, and go to their website to find out what the real battery warranty is.


It seems that your battery is getting deep-discharged–possibly from a battery drain. You could have some shop find the battery drain; or, put a trickle charger on the battery. It may be several days apart when you drive the car, isn’t it? If the battery is draining ("…when I get a jump start…"), it could be be discharging enough to shorten the battery life.


You need to have your alternator checked. It’s probably not charging the battery enough to keep it alive or to start the engine. It’s the heart of your charging/starting system.