New battery stalling

Mazda 3, about 5 years old with regular oil changes & maintenance.

After a week of sitting in sub-zero weather our car wouldn’t start. We waited for warmer temps (20, feels like 10) we tried the trick of turning the key part way for 10 seconds before turning on the engine. It worked. We brought it to an auto repair later that day for other (tire related) issues and had them check the battery. We weren’t surprised by the advice for a new battery and so we replaced the original with a new mid-grade Die Hard.

The next time we took the car out it stalled four times when idle at red lights. Back at the same shop they were confused, but replaced the new battery after the instrument gave them a reading that the battery was no good.

Today, the next time to use it, it happened once again.

Are they installing it wrong…twice? On my return visit they said the car looked fine and wasn’t draining the battery.

The stalling and the battery are, I would guess, may be two different issues.  

Certainly a five year old battery in cold temperatures is likely to fail and it would be time to replace it.  Getting a battery off the shelf which is bad is not unheard of.

However I suspect there may be a dark drain somewhere or there is one or more bad connection or maybe even a alternator problem. 

I would start by making sure both ends of all the battery cables are making good contact (clean and tight)  I would have the battery AND charging system checked.  Many auto part stores will do this for free.  I would suggest not using the same location where you bought the battery as they may be missing something.  

 If you are not doing much driving you may not have driven enough to get that new battery charged.  You may want to use a charger or make sure you get some long drives in.  

 That does not rule out all the possibilities, but it may get the offender and doing these items is not expensive. 

Make model and year of car could be helpful.

If they installed the battery wrong, you would have much bigger problems. The only connection I can make between the battery and the stalling is that the computer may have gone back to default mode when battery power was disconnected, and needs to adjust again.

This is a stretch, I know, but there’s nothing about changing a battery that should have affected the way the engine runs. I’m wondering if there wasn’t an existing problem before the battery was installed. You said you were unable to start the car in sub-zero weather.

Is the check engine light on?

I suggest you have someone scan the computer in your Mazda3 even if the light is not on, just to see if there are any trouble codes stored. Many parts stores will do the scan free of charge.

Hi, this is exactly what happened to me last month. I have a 2005 Mazda 3, between 5 and 6 years old. One morning during a cold snap (not subzero, but cold for where we live), I came out to find I had a dead battery. We replaced the battery at our local mechanic’s shop. Since then, the car stalls (or shakes like it is about to stall) when I idle at red lights. At first I didn’t connect it to the battery and thought maybe I had a bad tank of gas. 3 tanks of premium gas later, it still happens every day. I am still not sure if it is related to the battery replacement, but reading your post makes me wonder. Did you ever find a solution to the problem?