Electrical Problems - New Car Now, or Cross My Fingers?

Bought this car new in 2012. Mostly it has been trouble-free. Only has about 46,000 miles on it.

However - from day one the headlights have flickered when braking or accelerating. Next, typically if I don’t drive the car for 5-7 days, the car won’t start and I have to use one of those “jump starter” batteries to get it going. I know that’s not normal. A couple days ago it wouldn’t start after only 3 days of sitting around. At one point out doing errands it wouldn’t even start after I drove it a mile from one place to another, even though it’d been driven for 20 minutes before that shorter trip. It has been this bad before. Last time I bought a new battery - that was only two years ago. This can’t be a series of bad batteries, what are the odds of that…

So I figure there’s some kind of voltage leak; I tried a little to find it on my own, but I know that’s a problem that’s almost impossible to diagnose and could cost $1000 or something if I try to get it fixed.

Of course this problem is really annoying, but also my gut tells me that given this history, I shouldn’t be surprised if the car develops a lot of problems starting at some point soon, especially electrical ones. The BB value is currently somewhere between $4000-$5500.

So am I right to think I should bail now, before it suddenly develops a problem that really has to be dealt with instead of a problem that’s just really annoying? I don’t like the idea of sinking hundreds or thousands into it, or having the BB value drop by a lot soon.

I’d get rid of it now. It’s a shame the problem wasn’t found in warranty. Also, I suggest trading it in rather than selling it to a private buyer. IMO, you are under no obligation to tell a dealer about this, but you must tell a private buyer.

Too late now, but this should have been taken care of when you still had your 36/36000 warranty.
But at the moment, I think your battery needs to be recharged.
From your description it appears you are not driving it far enough to recharge the battery when you do drive it.

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I really wish I’d found it when it was under warranty. Problem was, I lived in a city at the time I got it and for a few years after, and everywhere I drove there were streetlights, so I didn’t see it. I think the issue with the voltage leak or whatever it is started 4-5 years after I got the car, who knows.

Only driving about 5000 miles a year . Another vote for trading it in , life is too short to put up with some things that drive you crazy. On the next vehicle make it a point to take a nice drive at least twice a week. It does sound like you are driving enough to keep the battery fully charged .

You should recharge the battery with a battery charger, the battery would then have sufficient power for 6 to 8 weeks. Driving with a discharged battery for 20 minutes will gain very little charge, you would need to drive for 8 to 12 hours to fully charge the battery.

Google, How to find a parasitic draw. All yo need is a voltmeter that can measure amps.