2002 WRX hard starting

Hi, i've posted here before, but never for something like this. I have a 2002 WRX, with just under 80k on it. It is cranking extremely slow in the mornings
now, sometimes requiring a jump. It is fine the rest of the day (it gets driven alot, and gets turned off and on about 20-30 times a day). Once it sits overnight, same thing. I know it is getting colder (i'm in NJ), but the battery is not that old. I have checked that there are no lights or anything staying on, and checked the water level in the battery. Are these batteries just CRAP? I cant justify using my extended warrantee (with $100 deductible) for a battery, when I can get an interstate battery for $60. I am SURE they will run a "charging system diagonostic" on it, just to bump up the price. I was told NOT to "load test" it by disconnecting the battery while running to check the alternator. Should I just put a damn battery in it, or risk getting stranded somewhere?
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Bad battery? Maybe. Sounds like it's not holding/getting a charge and I doubt you'd get billed by a battery specialist to put a meter on it to check. You can also buy battery checkers for not a lot of money....ditto chargers....do it yourself. It just could be that you're not driving enough to keep it charged...you need to do at least 30 miles a week without all the electrical systems draining juice and preferably in one go particularly in winter. Starting out with an exhausted battery and then stop-starting 20-30 times a day with lights-heater-demist etc all on? No wonder you have problems.
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On Mon, 6 Dec 2004 21:37:58 -0000, "Clive"

Honey, he's got 80,000 miles on a 2002 car. Read carefully, please.
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Read the words sweetie... 30 miles in one journey...not 20-30 stop starts a day.
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NitroTrike wrote:

I figure a battery is good for 5 years, minus a year for every time it was discharged to to the point where it couldn't start the car. Does that help any?
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On 06 Dec 2004 20:40:16 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (NitroTrike) wrote:

Buy the damned $60 battery.
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Could be that something is draining the battery overnight but there's no point in speculating, the first step is: get your battery checked.
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Yes the OEM battery is crap. It's only 325CCA and as it ages the capacity drops. I was not happy with the slow cranking the first winter, so after less than a year I got rid of it and installed a Red Top Optima. Huge improvement. If you don't feel like springing for an Optima, almost any battery from the parts store will be a significant step up.
NitroTrike wrote:

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2002
mornings
driven
battery
staying
CRAP?
run
told
the
stranded
Hi
It could be the battery --- they usually last longer than that, though. Perhaps the one you have is a fluke. You could just replace the battery but could still have the same problems, so maybe try the following first:
Make sure the battery has been charged completely overnight using an AC charger. Measure the voltage across the battery, start the car and see how low the voltage goes. While starting, it may hit 10V. Any less and the battery could be your problem. If the car isn't starting and you do see more than 10V, it could be that the resistance of the wire from the battery to the starter is too high. Take that wire off and clean both sides. A while ago I had a car that had a bad starter motor causing this problem -- I am not suggesting this is your problem, but maybe start looking into the starter when all other tests are negative.
While the car is running, make sure the charging circuit is working properly. While your meter is still across the battery, the voltage across the battery should be somewhere around 14.5 volts while your car is running.
Also check the drain overnight by setting your meter to amps (make sure it indeed can measure several Amps) and hooking it in series with your battery to the rest of the car. Don't open the door and don't start the car -- basically measure the current as if you parked it overnight. You should see something in the order of milliamps if everything is ok.
Hope you find your problem. Remco
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Gee, seems like I've hit a sore spot on this subject... As far as driving the 30 miles, I do (that is usually how far my first job is away). And the car has been driven this way since the day I picked it up. I just think the battery is crap. As I said, its fine the rest of the day, and that is starting it ALOT. Tonight I will disconnect the battery, and see what happens in the morning. I've had NO other problems with the car, besides the belt tensioner pulley making noise at about 70k. BTW, when i meant the "diagnostic" charge, I was referring to the dealer, as "mom and pop" shops cant fix anything on the car that I cant do myself, and quite frankly I wouldnt trust them. I see there was not any responses about the "load" testing comment I made :)
Thanks for all the suggestions!
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but
You wouldn't happen to have any additional stereo equipment hooked in to your car? Amplifier wired to the battery? I have a vehicle that is hard to start and it has an aftermarket system installed by Circuit City and they simply drew the power for the amp right from the battery and on colder mornings it does tend to lag. I even went on vacation and came back to a dead battery. I now know to disconnect the amp when I know I won't be driving for a few days.
If you have a NAPA nearby I think they offer the free battery check.
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Go to an advanced auto parts store, they will test your battery for free to see if it's ok.Sure other stores do it too if there is none in your area. My 97 eclipse went threw 3 batteries in 5 years

2002
mornings
driven
battery
staying
CRAP?
run
told
the
stranded
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NitroTrike wrote:

Cold Cranking is when max amps are needed, what you might do is clean and recondition your battery cables and ground/starter connections.
Minimum would be to pull the battery cables off the battery and clean the cable ends and battery terminals, then coat lightly with a dialectic grease of petroleum jelly.
To go further would be to do the same where the ground strap connects to the chassis/motor and the Hot side to the starter.
TBerk
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Hmm, so Socrates has been turned into grease?
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