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Car needs to be jump started after car wash

I have a 2008 Mazda 3, and I have been bringing it to the same car wash for about a year now. It’s the kind where the guys take it, while I sit in the lil’ cafe and read. Eventually they drive it around front, wipe it down, clean the inside and hand it over. The last two times, the car needed to be jump started, because the battery would not start after the wash. The manager assured me this was normal, but the other guys at the car wash always seem surprised. Should I be thinking about getting a new battery? Is this really normal?


Some parts stores will do a load test on the battery to determine if it requires replacement for free. So have that done first before replacing the battery. Once a battery becomes three years old the battery performance begins to fall off.


If this car’s battery goes dead after just a few minutes of having the doors open while the car wash employees vacuum the interior and do some other tasks with the engine shut off, the battery is surely in VERY bad shape. While 4 years is fairly soon to be needing a battery, if this vehicle is used mostly in local driving, it is possible to need a new battery at this point.

Or, in other words, this is NOT normal for a battery that is in good condition.

As Tester suggested, get a load test done to confirm the battery’s condition, but don’t wait too long to do this, otherwise you will likely also be paying for a tow in addition to a battery.

The carwash manager is managing a carwash so don’t listen to any of his mechanical advice. The battery should be able to start your vehicle easily after the wash is completed. Take Tester and VDCdriver’s advice. Have your alternator load tested as well. A battery is only as good as it’s charging system.

I’m guessing this is the original battery, so it’s about 5 years old, which is around the age that batteries frequently go bad. Follow Tester’s advice and have the battery load tested.

“The manager assured me this was normal…”

What he means is that it’s normal for carwash managers to disavow any responsibility for problems with your car.

You likely have a weak battery.

HERE IS MY 2CENTS i would agree with what everone has to say its time have the battery tested.

Can you leave it in your driveway with the door open for as long as the door is open at the car wash and it restart?
If so, I’d check the cables from the battery first. Driving around with a five year old battery is pushing it, though.

The manager assured me this was normal

Just because the person has a title of MANAGER…doesn’t mean he knows what he’s talking about. Manager of a carwash giving mechanical advice…Give me a break.

Get the battery tested…I also wonder if something is getting shorted out at the car wash. Seems weird though.

5 year old battery…depends on what part of the country you live in to say that it’s too old. Here in the North East…7+ years is normal. If you live in warmer climate…then 4-5 years is normal.