Car Starting Woes

So here’s my situation. I have a 2004 Saturn Ion-2 in decent condition. I have a battery that’s barely a year old, and yet my car sometimes doesn’t start if it’s cold outside. The interior lights, radio, and headlights still work. Even weirder, it sometimes happens when it’s not “winter cold” (think the 40s). I’ve had the battery tested as well as my starter, and Cold Crank Amps was mentioned…but how could that be with a brand new battery!

Have you had the alternator tested? If the alternator is not charging correctly, even a new battery will discharge quickly and not be strong enough to start the engine.

I have expierenced the exact same thing! I have a 2005 Ion with around 37000 on it. One time in the summer the car would not start, but the lights and radio came one. I called AAA, but they said the battery was not dead. Since them it has happened at least half a dozen times, in all seasons. I noticed that whenever it happened, it would take about 10 minutes of trying to get the car to turn over, then it would be fine. Mechanic checked it out, could not find anything wrong. The other thing the car has done is actually turn off or stall while I am driving! It was usally when the weather was cold, and when I was in a low gear making a right hand turn. I wonder if they are related. Anyway, it was suggested to me that the wiring might not be connected firmly, it has not happened in a few months. Good luck!

I’ve had a battery fail after 10 months. What are your driving conditions, lots of short trips that don’t get the battery recharged completely? Get a multimeter and check the voltage across the terminals. The voltage can range between 11.9 V (fully discharged) to 12.6/12.7 V (100% charged).

Are the battery terminals clean and tight? Side terminals have to be disconnected (negative first) to check the back/inside of the terminals. I use a Battery Tender ( on my less driven vehicles to keep the battery fully charged.

Ed B.