2004 Accord starting problem?

I went on vacation 2 weeks ago, and while I was gone my 2004 Accord LX V6 with 55,000 miles sat in the driveway. I got back on a Monday, and didn't try starting the car until I went to work on Tuesday morning.
The car cranked slowly, as if the battery were low, and took a few tries before it started. Ran fine once it started. I figured that maybe the battery had discharged a bit while sitting for a week, although that seems like too short a period of time to really make a difference.
On Thursday, there was a very bad storm here in the midwest with a threat of hail. While at work, I pulled my car into a covered warehouse area to avoid any damage in case it did hail. When I went to leave, I turned the key and got the "clicking" noise you get when the battery isn't supplying enough power to the starter. Tried the key a second time and the car turned right over and ran fine. Made a mental note to have this checked out.
Very busy on Friday.
On Saturday, I had 3 episodes where I went to start the car and either got the clicking noise again, or else no response at all, as in a dead battery. Each time, the car started fine on the second or third try and ran fine once it started. I wanted to take it in to my mechanic, but the storm had knocked out the power and he was closed for 3 days.
On Sunday, I removed the battery from the car, cleaned the terminals and connectors, checked the ground wire, and put the battery on a charger all day. When I first connected the charger, the meter in the charger read 4 amps. After a couple hours, it went to 2 amps, but would go no lower after 8 hours of charging. At this point I'm thinking it's time for a new battery. Original battery is in the car and is 3 years old.
Later on Sunday, I was filing away some papers and came across a reciept for service (power seat wire harness recall & oil change) that I had done at the dealer on June 4. On the reciept was printed the results of the electrical test they routinely do on all cars brought in for service, and it noted that the battery base voltage and cold-cranking amperage were within factory specifications (425 IPS???).
Sunday evening and all day Monday the car has started and run just fine.
And I forgot to mention, my model Accord does not have an electrical gauge in the dashboard, and the red warning light has never come on. Assuming that it is functioning properly, that would rule out an alternator problem - correct?
Does anybody have any thoughts on this starting problem? I certainly have no objections to replacing the battery, but the dealers test showed OK just 2 months ago. Is there something else I should be looking into? Thanks for taking the time to read and for any advice you can offer.
G
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Take it to Autozone or Advance Auto Parts. They will check your charging system and battery for free.
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bbtaco wrote:

The trustworthiness of the parts store testing and their employees is highly variable!
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Batteries are cheap. I'd start by just replacing it. I had a flaky battery once. It tested fine, but like you, at times it would just not crank. Seems I had a shorted cell that worked off/on intermittently.
G-Man
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G-Man, do you work in a battery shop? I see you always suggest to replace battery.
I am not saying, the battery is not a suspect. Autozone can check it out.
When you turn the key and car does not start, try jiggling the key. If it is due to ignition key problem, car might start up.
Also try jigling gear (in park) to rule out safety switch problem.
Hope this helps.
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More than once I had the battery checked and deemed worthy, only to find out it was still the battery. After three years, if I even suspected there might be a problem, it's the cheapest fix I can think of. This is not just cars, but I had a motorcycle do the same damn thing.
So far three cars have done this and one bike. No, I'm not jinxed, I have had a lot of cars and motorcycles. This happens when you are old :-)
G-Man
Just my opinion, your mileage may vary, void where prohibited by law!
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PS, I don't work in a battery shop, and no matter what, I would still have the alternator checked.
G-Man
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G-Man wrote:

And if it ISN'T the battery? Just set the new one aside (on a block of wood to keep it off the concrete floor of the garage) until you DO need it - and you WILL soon need it when dealing with a three year old battery.
If you're starting woes are THAT persnickety (technical term<g>) it will likely cost you more than the cost of a new juice box to sort it out. A new battery is often the cheapest diagnostic tool, if not cure, in cases such as these.
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Unquestionably Confused wrote:r old battery.

If YOUR starting woes are...
Had it right the first time, that'll teach me to proof read before hitting send<g>
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I'm going with the explanation that it is cracked inter-cell connections that do that. Actually, I think it is usually where the post connects to an electrode at one end or the other. A great majority of the time I've been able to get it going again by whacking each post smartly (stupidly?) with a hammer. The battery still needs to be replaced, but the car can be moved. One of the moments that make me proud was that after I taught my then-teen aged daughter that trick she was with my wife when I was out of town. The car died in traffic and had no electrical. Daughter found a hammer in the trunk, popped the hood and had them on the road in no time. BTW - bad connections on the clamps react differently. Being exposed to air, they form a layer of oxide that gets worse as more current flows. Internal connections seem to weld together a bit as more current flows, producing a weird increase in starter speed as the starter is held on.
I never saw this failure mode before the mid-'80s. At that time it was associated with the new-at-the-time side post batteries, but I saw it on even top-post batteries. I've replaced probably a dozen that have failed that way since then.
Mike
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Get a new battery. Even one deep discharge event can kill a battery's capacity.
Also have the dealer make sure that the charging voltage is correct. There is a TSB out for a situation which makes the car run an abnormally high charging voltage, which can kill batteries.
The TSB is # 05-034, Headlights Dim or DTC P1298 Is Stored in the ECM/PCM. It happened to our 2003 Accord and the dealer replace the fuse box to correct it. Even though our car was out of warranty Honda covered the cost 100% because it was a known defect.
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