Reader Question: Hey Austin,
Hope you are doing well.
I have a 1999 Honda Accord, which has been serviced always at a Honda Dealer with regular oil changes, maintenance, etc. Of course, I may probably have spent more money than doing it myself. Here is what happened a couple of days back.
I parked the car at night in the garage and it would not start up in the morning. It would give me a sound as if it was grinding something, but the car would not start. I was afraid to break it, left the car at home, and drove my other car to work. It has been around zero degree temperatures here in Chicago. Not sure if that was a reason. I asked my wife to call AAA as I was hoping that it just needs a jump-start. AAA jump-started the car and it worked fine that day. My wife took it to work and returned in it without a problem.
The next day, it was the same problem. Being a weekend, I jump started the car with my other one, let it run for about 20 minutes, shut it off and then could not start it back up. The interior lights come on without a problem.
My conclusion was that this is a battery problem and I need a new battery as jump-starting always works. Therefore, there could not be any other problem.
Question: Does it sound that I need to replace my battery? The battery was last replaced in September of 2004.
Thanks again for your help!
I would concur with your diagnosis of a bad or weak battery, which I am assuming you have replaced by now.
The low voltage from the battery causes the starter motor to make a clicking/clacking noise when the key is turned to the start position. 3 years for a car battery in severe condition is about normal as well.