Shimmmer

Electrical or Battery Issue? Super weird problem...

26 posts in this topic

Hi!  So I have a 2013 Chevy Spark 2LT.   About two weeks ago I started having a very strange issue.  I usually leave my wheel display showing me how many miles until I need gas.  Upon starting the car, I noticed that it had randomly changed to average MPG.  Weird I thought and I flipped it back to the miles to gas.  The next time I started my car the same thing happened.  This happened for a few days and got really annoying.  I was running errands one day and at my first stop I started my car and immediately after starting my car my hazards were on, my wipers swiped twice seat belt chime chimed three times, and the display had changed to MPG.  So I turned all that off and thought something funny was going on.  The next stop, same thing happened: hazards, wipers, chime, and MPG on display.  Third stop - No start.  Just three clicks but everything in the car was fine, no dim lights radio and ac etc all worked.   Called my husband to jump me and we then found out how terribly hard it was to find a battery in stock anywhere. 

 

We ended up at a autozone where they tried to shove a H5 battery in my car and after looking at the guy and showing him the battery size compared to the one he was trying to put in my car he decided it was the wrong size (like honestly lol).  Then found out after calling any auto part/repair shop etc that noone had the H4 in stock.  So he put the battery back in....and it started fine.  No weird display issue, no hazards or any of the other weird issues.  So I figured that it must have been a loose connection on the battery and maybe it was fixed by taking it out and putting it back in.  

 

It worked fine for about a week, then I was going to work and I noticed on the way, my display changed to MPG again.  Sure enough when I got to my destination and tried to start it back up, it wouldnt start.  I thought maybe it was me connecting my phone to the MyLink so this time I didnt connect my phone, and disabled blue tooth.  I cant seem to find a place where I would be leaking power as I make sure everything is off after I leave the vehicle.  Today I went to start it and I saw again - MPG on display.  When I started it.

 

I will be dropping it off at the dealer in a few days to have them look at it.  

 

Anyone have this sort of issue?  Its just super weird that it works fine until i get that weird display message.  I mean if it were the battery it would be dim lights and trouble starting correct?

 

Thanks in advance.  

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Bet is is the battery. 

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Almost sure it is the battery. Dont waste your time with the dealer, just go to the parts counter buy one amd change it in the parking lot.

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Agree with Bluer and Tozzi..most likely a new battery is needed... but it could also be that you recently had the 'Key Chime' reprogram recall done and since many are not done to specific model years features this can cause behavior such as yours. Another thing is poor battery connections on terminals or grounding..but over all if I had to bet..It would be a new battery needed. If in doubt..have your trusted non dealer mechanic do a 'load test' on the battery to determine condition.

PS: The reason I suggest a 'load test' is that if the car cranks and starts OK then it could be another issue like a corroded connection or module failure or in need of reprogramming, etc. and a battery swap that does not fix the problem is $100++ wasted..load test is cheap..under $25.

Edited by Retired old Gearhead

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I cant seem to find a cheap one?  Mr. Tozzi Suggested a "amd" one but the only one anyone has in stock is Autozone for 159 a H4 group size (they would change it out and test alternator after for free), and my dealer with theirs for the same price (no idea if they would charge labor).  I know its really easy to change the battery out but I cant find one that will fit anywhere else?  Any of you know the name or model number of a battery I could get?

 

Thanks for the reply by the way.

Edited by Shimmmer

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Well Sears is the only one offering to take a look and see what size it is and see if they have a replacement (and i have a 25% off coupon! :D ) Ill update you :)

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I bought mine at Autozone for $119. Its the only one they list for it. The battery is stamped right on it made in South Korea. So either battery prices are much higher where you live or they are quoting you the wrong battery. 

 

http://www.autozone.com/batteries-starting-and-charging/battery/duralast-battery/755655_537371_0

 

Edited by Ray Dockrey

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1 hour ago, Ray Dockrey said:

I bought mine at Autozone for $119. Its the only one they list for it. The battery is stamped right on it made in South Korea. So either battery prices are much higher where you live or they are quoting you the wrong battery. 

 

http://www.autozone.com/batteries-starting-and-charging/battery/duralast-battery/755655_537371_0

 

They had the 119 listed but no one in the area had it and couldn't order it.  

 

Sears had had one group size 121R DieHard 135.99 but 25% off coupon (code 54536) for 101.99. 

 

Thanks all for your help.  Hope this fixes my issue!

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9 hours ago, Shimmmer said:

I cant seem to find a cheap one?  Mr. Tozzi Suggested a "amd" one but the only one anyone has in stock is Autozone for 159 a H4 group size (they would change it out and test alternator after for free), and my dealer with theirs for the same price (no idea if they would charge labor).  I know its really easy to change the battery out but I cant find one that will fit anywhere else?  Any of you know the name or model number of a battery I could get?

 

Thanks for the reply by the way.

That was supposed to be and not amd, just my fat finger hitting the keyboard. I have not changed the battery on the spark yet so i got no suggestions for brands.

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On 4/3/2017 at 3:49 PM, Shimmmer said:

Hi!  So I have a 2013 Chevy Spark 2LT.   About two weeks ago I started having a very strange issue.  I usually leave my wheel display showing me how many miles until I need gas.  Upon starting the car, I noticed that it had randomly changed to average MPG.  Weird I thought and I flipped it back to the miles to gas.  The next time I started my car the same thing happened.  This happened for a few days and got really annoying.  I was running errands one day and at my first stop I started my car and immediately after starting my car my hazards were on, my wipers swiped twice seat belt chime chimed three times, and the display had changed to MPG.  So I turned all that off and thought something funny was going on.  The next stop, same thing happened: hazards, wipers, chime, and MPG on display.  Third stop - No start.  Just three clicks but everything in the car was fine, no dim lights radio and ac etc all worked.   Called my husband to jump me and we then found out how terribly hard it was to find a battery in stock anywhere. 

 

We ended up at a autozone where they tried to shove a H5 battery in my car and after looking at the guy and showing him the battery size compared to the one he was trying to put in my car he decided it was the wrong size (like honestly lol).  Then found out after calling any auto part/repair shop etc that noone had the H4 in stock.  So he put the battery back in....and it started fine.  No weird display issue, no hazards or any of the other weird issues.  So I figured that it must have been a loose connection on the battery and maybe it was fixed by taking it out and putting it back in.  

 

It worked fine for about a week, then I was going to work and I noticed on the way, my display changed to MPG again.  Sure enough when I got to my destination and tried to start it back up, it wouldnt start.  I thought maybe it was me connecting my phone to the MyLink so this time I didnt connect my phone, and disabled blue tooth.  I cant seem to find a place where I would be leaking power as I make sure everything is off after I leave the vehicle.  Today I went to start it and I saw again - MPG on display.  When I started it.

 

I will be dropping it off at the dealer in a few days to have them look at it.  

 

Anyone have this sort of issue?  Its just super weird that it works fine until i get that weird display message.  I mean if it were the battery it would be dim lights and trouble starting correct?

 

Thanks in advance.  

Hi Shimmmer,
We regret to hear that you are experiencing this concern with your Spark and would like to assist in any way that we can. We recognize that you are seeking the advice from fellow forum members, however, should you like to move forward with having this concern address at the dealership we'd be more than happy to assist. If this is something you are interested in, please send us a private message with your full contact information, VIN, current mileage, and preferred dealership. To learn more about GM's privacy policy, you can visit bit.ly/2lzGxXu 
Best,
Netty J.
Chevrolet Customer Care

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I kid you not I went through the same thing 48 hours ago. When my car didn't start on Friday afternoon when I went to leave work. My boss had to give me a jump. 

 

I have a 2013 spark too!

 

 Whatever you do, DO NOT go to the dealership, they charge like $160 for a diagnostic test. Yeah right,  I dropped mine off at our family mechanic's shop at 4:45pm  so I had to leave it overnight. Saturday morning they ran a diagnostic test and charged my battery to test it. 

 

He called me later in the morning so I can go pick up my car before 1pm. He said I need a new battery that nothing else is wrong and he'll explain everything when I get there. 

 

 So he gave me a 10% off a $45 charge for the diagnostic test. I paid $37 with tax.  As we were walking to my car I started explaining to him ALL the other things that were happening besides the car not starting and the battery draining. He explained to me that the battery for the spark only lasts about three years, it's tiny too.  I asked him how  I was going to fix it if he's telling me to take the car.  Then he explained to me that when the battery is low the computer tries to preserve the remaining battery life so the computer to the radio and dash shutdown when the car is turned off and reset to the factory setting, when you turn it on. I know that freaked me out too. Lol. You may even hear a delay when you go to turn the key in the starter. Oh and my radio would randomly turn off. The oddest part was that the radio didn't say the degrees outside. I thought there was a ghost in my car or it was possessed. 

 

 He didn't have my battery in stock so he told me  to go to advance auto parts and buy it for $155 with three years of warranty  and they install it for free, rather than being carless for three days to be charged the same. 

 

Just keep in mind it's a small battery for a small car and the life is generally three-four years. I still recommend the diagnostic test to be on the safe side about any other kinks. Mine returned clean and I refused to accept that a low battery would make all the glitches happen. Until,.. I had my new and improved battery. Everything is back to norm. 

 

 Hope this helps, and good luck!

Edited by DearKenny

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Excellent info Kenny.! Looks like as Bluer and Tozzi had it right on...New battery. I was not sure about that as my battery is original on the 2013 at about 130Kmi and still good..BTW..the test to determine if the battery is good in all respects is to run a 'load test' after charging and it seems that is exactly what they did..Very useuful info for others with the same/similar issue. Wise to go to a trusted garage/mechanic..less costly and usually more experienced senior mechanic.

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3 hours ago, Retired old Gearhead said:

Excellent info Kenny..... Wise to go to a trusted garage/mechanic..less costly and usually more experienced senior mechanic.

Exactly, the more experienced mechanics have the good mentality of finding the source of the issue, unlike most dealership techs that are not given the time to find issues and are not allowed to fix anything unless the computer gives them a code, and then go throwing parts at it until the problem seems to be gone without knowing what caused it to begin with.

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Best advise for any car owner..Find and stick with a local trusted shop/mechanic...Pays off in the long run..they get to know your car and details in the computer. Some shops let you make a deal as they want to keep your business. Experience is the big pay-off..they have seen it all before and dealing with different brands, they can spot trends and issues. I deal with a Cuban brothers run shop and their dad kept '57+ cars on the road in old Cuba for over 50 years. Wonerful, polite, and they know their stuff from old to new and have diagnostic units to help them out..but in the well over 25yrs I have been dealing with them they usually have it spot on during a phone chat...They are now poular with the high end car crowd and have a waiting list..fixed my boat many times on site..

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The original battery in my Pontiac G5 was almost 10 years old and I had it tested recently and the tester said it is good for 3 more years! 3 weeks ago I traded in the G5 for the Spark LS. Opening the hood of the Spark, first thing I noticed is how small the battery is in Spark, but worse than that it is so close to the engine! That is a hot spot!! The battery in my G5 was in the rear trunk under the loading platform. No wonder it was projected to last 13 years. It is the coolest spot in that car. 

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2 hours ago, Bobby MSME said:

The original battery in my Pontiac G5 was almost 10 years old and I had it tested recently and the tester said it is good for 3 more years! 3 weeks ago I traded in the G5 for the Spark LS. Opening the hood of the Spark, first thing I noticed is how small the battery is in Spark, but worse than that it is so close to the engine! That is a hot spot!! The battery in my G5 was in the rear trunk under the loading platform. No wonder it was projected to last 13 years. It is the coolest spot in that car. 

They just dont make batteries like they used to.

I also never changed the battery on my cobalt, i had it for 98k miles, 5years of ownership. I traded it in for a malibu and the battery on that one died 6 months after I had it.

The pontiac g5/chevy cobalt had the battery in the trunk because it had no room for it in the engine bay, it was designed with the SS supercharged trim in mind, it helped with weight distribuition and it is unsafe to track a car with the battery in the engine bay. Most cars have the battery in the engine bay.

 

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Mr Tozzi, you may be entirely correct on why the battery in G5/Cobalt is in the rear. However our other car, a Chevy HHR also has it's battery in the rear, under the floor of load area. The HHR is 5 years old, and is closer to a crossover/SUV and certainly not a sports car. That battery in HHR is also in great condition. My many in-laws who reside in Arizona are constantly changing their batteries every 2-3 years, and they blame it on the heat. I have not researched effect of temperatures on battery life, but I am inclined to believe that heat surrrounding the battery might have detrimental effect on battery life. I am wondering if it is advisable to place an insulation cover on the battery in my Spark.

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Our 2013 Spark has close to 130Kmi and the original battery is still 100% good...Just a flick of the key starts it and all functions like wipers, windows and lights work at full capacity at idle. I activate the power windows up an down several times per week to keep them from seizing that is possible after some years of not using them..particularly the rear..Do that on the Rover as well. Living in a warm climate helps as battery drain/use is much higher in colder climates since more battery power is used for cold starts and windows while the battery itself is at reduced power when cold as in 0°F or colder.

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7 hours ago, Retired old Gearhead said:

Our 2013 Spark has close to 130Kmi and the original battery is still 100% good...Just a flick of the key starts it and all functions like wipers, windows and lights work at full capacity at idle. I activate the power windows up an down several times per week to keep them from seizing that is possible after some years of not using them..particularly the rear..Do that on the Rover as well. Living in a warm climate helps as battery drain/use is much higher in colder climates since more battery power is used for cold starts and windows while the battery itself is at reduced power when cold as in 0°F or colder.

Whew...good to know in Florida's hot weather your original battery is still performing good!

Original sealed batteries have given us good durability service on several different cars, but

then we lived in the cool/moderate climate of Washington State. All original batteries lasted minimum 7 years, on GM, Ford & Chrysler cars. Now we are in Florida, so we shall see.

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1 hour ago, Bobby MSME said:

Whew...good to know in Florida's hot weather your original battery is still performing good!

Original sealed batteries have given us good durability service on several different cars, but

then we lived in the cool/moderate climate of Washington State. All original batteries lasted minimum 7 years, on GM, Ford & Chrysler cars. Now we are in Florida, so we shall see.

 That may be it but I live in Florida too and I just got my battery year and a half ago from the dealership. It had originally been drained from a weird glitch in the computer of the car. My Whole console stayed lit when I would turn off the car. I was still on the warranty when it happened so I took it to have a diagnostic test run because my car was acting up and I was afraid the battery was going to be drained. They took my car in for two hours and gave it back after telling me nothings wrong with it. The next day it wouldn't turn on. Then they told me that my car needed to have an update for the computer  and that I was gonna be notified in the mail but I would need to pay for the battery because it's not under the warranty. So I raised hell in that dealership. At first I thought he was trying to take advantage that I'm young girl and assumed I didn't know anything and wouldn't demand for them to pay for it. I literally started yelling at him in the middle of the lobby because I wanted everyone to see how much of an asshole he was being. Then when I told him I was going to make a formal complaint after writing 0000 for the survey they try to stick down your throat. I then find out he just didn't like me because I give honest reviews and they don't make money off of me since I'm not the owner. He really messed up when he snapped at me that he didnt give a shit because I always put 0000 and if I don't like it, I can leave....  He did in a room with about 15 other people. Mostly men. Some older man interrupted us and gave me the money and told the manager that he should watch the way he speaks to people. He told me that if anyone would you say to his daughter half the things this manager said to me or try to take  advantage of her he would hope someone would help. He didn't take no for an answer and walked with me to the cashier after telling the manager that he will be speaking to his regional director or region director, I don't remember the name. Before I can give the lady my name her phone rang and after she told me my bill had been compensated by Chevrolet and handed me my keys without a receipt. Of course I immediately returned the money. Come to find out from my mechanic, they gave me a used one that day. 

Edited by DearKenny

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Dearkenny...so sorry to hear about your experience at the Chevy dealer. I would try to get hold of 

CUSTOMER RELATIONS CENTER

(for Chevrolet owners)

800-222-1020

Mon-Sat, 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. (EST

Best luck, and hope they help resolve your problems.

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My 2013 factory battery went out right before the 3 year warranty. Dealer replaced it free of charge. 

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10 hours ago, bluer101 said:

My 2013 factory battery went out right before the 3 year warranty. Dealer replaced it free of charge. 

Yes battery is covered by 3 year warranty on purchase. Problem with batteries are that some are made to spec but some are not as the internals make use of very inexpensive materials and some are not properly charged or filled to spec as well as numerous suppliers to the factory that makes the battery as well as the numerous suppliers of batteries to the factory..so.. a great range of the same GM label batteries go into a single model of car..I guess mine was to spec and properly filled and charged at the production stage.

 

    Best advise I can give is to buy a good quality name brand replacement from a place like Walmart (never had an issue with their store brand) or get one with higher crank amps when replacement is needed outside of warranty..Probably much cheaper and better than the GM Delco from the dealer.

Edited by Retired old Gearhead

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15 hours ago, DearKenny said:

    Some older man interrupted us and gave me the money and told the manager that he should watch the way he speaks to people. He told me that if anyone would you say to his daughter half the things this manager said to me or try to take  advantage of her he would hope someone would help. He didn't take no for an answer and walked with me to the cashier after telling the manager that he will be speaking to his regional director or region director, I don't remember the name. Before I can give the lady my name her phone rang and after she told me my bill had been compensated by Chevrolet and handed me my keys without a receipt. Of course I immediately returned the money. Come to find out from my mechanic, they gave me a used one that day. 

Very kind of that man to offer to do that for you! Us older guys with daughters have a soft spot for younger people that are having issues like that. I have paid for groceries several times for young people having an issue at check-out where they are short $ and have no credit card..specially a single mom who can't pay for baby food or diapers. I can afford it and it makes my day and probably the younger person will walk away with more confidence that there are always people who are willing to help. I usually don't say anything because they will usually not accept it..so I just give the cashier the money and say "for her" and quickly ignore the person when they say they can't accept it, instead pretending to browse a nearby isle, etc.

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On 4/9/2017 at 9:25 PM, Bobby MSME said:

Mr Tozzi, you may be entirely correct on why the battery in G5/Cobalt is in the rear. However our other car, a Chevy HHR also has it's battery in the rear, under the floor of load area. The HHR is 5 years old, and is closer to a crossover/SUV and certainly not a sports car. That battery in HHR is also in great condition. My many in-laws who reside in Arizona are constantly changing their batteries every 2-3 years, and they blame it on the heat. I have not researched effect of temperatures on battery life, but I am inclined to believe that heat surrrounding the battery might have detrimental effect on battery life. I am wondering if it is advisable to place an insulation cover on the battery in my Spark.

Heat does have a lot to do with battery life, batteries in general hate high heat and extreme cold. I live in south florida and in 3 years I have gone trough 3 or 4 batteries in the truck that i drive for work they all go dead as soon as summer shows up. They usually last 2 or 3 years around here. The cobalt was the only car I owned and never changed the battery in it.

Now the reason your hhr has a battery in the trunk is that the hhr is built on the same platform as your g5. The g5, cobalt, saturn ion and hhr are all delta cars and basically the same car under the covers, I had to do my fair share of research as I tinkered with my cobalt a lot and used parts from all of them. 

Bobby MSME likes this

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