New battery wouldn't start - 2008 Rogue

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My dad asked me to help with it. The bad battery was an East Penn AAA branded battery he had installed in 2014, so it's lived a good life. Went with him to Costco to get a new battery with the old one for an immediate core exchange. Wasn't sure if the stock sized battery (group 35) was fine or if maybe it could be upsized to a group 24F. Decided to go with group 35 ($78.99 plus tax) since it would be easier. Looks like a fresh shipment with a 4/21 date code on it. He doesn't have the tools, so I brought my socket set and my 10mm deep socket.

I had a few problems installing. One was that the cap (in the center) isn't flush on the Costco Interstates and getting a socket in there for the clamp was a challenge. There wasn't much play to it where I could just rotate it.I didn't have an open ended wrench, which would have made it easier. I ended up rubbing the center cap.

Then came the fun part. The lights would turn on, the door locks would work, the headlights would turn on, and the radio worked. So far so good. Then I tried to start it. It just went click and nothing else would work. No lights, radio, etc. Keyless entry would give this weird sound like it was trying. Also a continuous clicking sound coming from the glove box - probably a relay just opening and closing. I could reset by disconnecting the battery (at least a minute I think or else it would still be in that weird state) and I got back to where I started. I did this about two more times including letting it sit longer connected before trying to start. But it would just refuse to do anything. I didn't bring a multimeter with me or even my Schumacher charger with a voltage reading when not actively charging. I did have an old 1.5A automatic maintainer in my trunk - the old fashioned analog kind with a 6/12V switch and a heavy transformer. I figured that I might just charge it for 10 minutes to see if somehow reset the thing properly. Lo and behold, I disconnected the maintainer and it started right up. Just as a sanity check I tried starting it a few more times and it started easily every time. I helped them get a 0.75A maintainer and my dad isn't looking to drive this car too much, so I hooked that thing up just in hopes that it will fully charge.

Any idea what the problem was? The last time they had it changed my parents had a AAA contractor install it in their driveway and the installer handled everything. Not sure if it's standard procedure to charge it or maybe jump it first. It just seemed like a reasonable thing to try before maybe calling for AAA.
 

y_p_w

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Sounds like a bad connection-guessing everything was clean & tight? Guess it’s possible it could have been dead from sitting, but Interstate (Costco) usually makes a pretty good battery.

Pretty sure the connection was solid. Everything that could be powered off the battery worked, but it just wouldn't start until I gave it a little push with a 10 minute charge at 1.5A.
 

y_p_w

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Having to charge a brand new battery would make me worry

Every new battery that I've purchased in the last 30 years would start the car up and fast.

I don't believe there was anything wrong with the battery. Again - the date code is this month. It's just something really funky about this particular vehicle. I recently installed one in my WRX although I did charge it first before installing. No real need but it's just something I've done a few times.
 
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I always charge a new battery before I install it but I dont think that was your problem. I would have said that the ecu had to run a test or reestablish communications with other modules before it would let the car start but you said it clicked. Did it click rapidly like an under powered solenoid or just a single click.
 

y_p_w

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I always charge a new battery before I install it but I dont think that was your problem. I would have said that the ecu had to run a test or reestablish communications with other modules before it would let the car start but you said it clicked. Did it click rapidly like an under powered solenoid or just a single click.

Like I said - all the stuff operated just fine, including the headlights, dome lights, and radio. I got a door chime with the key inserted. I could move it to accessory power. But when I turned the key to start the dome lights that were on turned off and I heard one click. But also a light continuous clicking sound coming from around the glove box until I disconnected the battery. The sound continued as long as the battery was connected, even when I removed the key.

I have no idea why it worked after I put the battery on the charger for a few minutes. It may even be coincidence.

I saw some video of someone installing a new battery in a Rogue and it measured at 11.8V. However, I suspect that wasn't the same issue with this car.
 

y_p_w

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One more thing is that the driveway is on an incline and the Rogue was pointed up. Not sure if that would make much of a difference compared to being level.
 
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I always charge a new battery with a standard taper charger. I wonder if in this no start case that, there is a bad connection, a bad solenoid or something besides the battery causing the problem. Ed
 
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Touching the battery terminals with charger clips or jumper cables etc can temporarily improve a bad connection. Get an open end wrench and make sure they are secure.
 
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You mentioned that the 2 Amp charger you used had a heavy transformer. Are you sure it only charges at 2 Amps? From here it sounds like a simple case of the new battery not being fully charged, you charged it and everything is fine.

Starters require a lot of current and a weak battery can light up the lights and run other accessories but not be strong enough to crank a starter.
 
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Like I said - all the stuff operated just fine, including the headlights, dome lights, and radio. I got a door chime with the key inserted. I could move it to accessory power. But when I turned the key to start the dome lights that were on turned off and I heard one click.
Means nothing. Headlights, dome lights and radio consume little amps. The starter on the other hand sucks many amps. Did you wire brush the battery terminals AND the cable ends? Do any of those cables have those temporary terminals. Sounds like high resistance due to corrosion somewhere between the battery and starter.
 

y_p_w

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Means nothing. Headlights, dome lights and radio consume little amps. The starter on the other hand sucks many amps. Did you wire brush the battery terminals AND the cable ends? Do any of those cables have those temporary terminals. Sounds like high resistance due to corrosion somewhere between the battery and starter.

They let it sit a week and it wouldn't start. Would slowly crank but do nothing. My dad put it on a maintainer for a half hour but that did nothing. I ended up using a toothbrush to clean off (but not necessarily thoroughly scrub) the corrosion and gunk on the positive terminal. I didn't think it was necessary to do that earlier.

I did use my charger with voltage readings when off. It was reading 12.8V connected to the terminal and to ground away from the battery. But I realize that the high impedance probably isn't going to capture what it's like under load.
 
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Put voltmeter directly on the battery posts and have someone try to start. If the battery voltage drops significantly (below 10 or 11 volts) then the battery itself is discharged or defective.

If the battery is live then check from battery - post to engine ground, it should be zero and stay close to zero while trying to start. If the voltage jumps up when trying to start there is a bad connection on the ground side. Then test the + side the same way from the battery post to the starter big terminal. After finding a voltage loss (bad connection) you can repeat the test on smaller parts of the circuit.
 
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It sounds to me, with everything going out, that you have arcing on a bad connection like the battery terminals which increases resistance when you try to start it. So after the start attempt you have nothing, until you fiddle with it again. The other suspect connections are the main engine ground, and, if another wire comes off of it, the main starter lug. You have to remove these connections to evaluate them properly.

No new battery on the shelf will have drained to a point of being unable to crank a car after three months. There is obviously no parasitic load in this scenario. My plow truck sits all summer and cranks right over in November.
 

y_p_w

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It sounds to me, with everything going out, that you have arcing on a bad connection like the battery terminals which increases resistance when you try to start it. So after the start attempt you have nothing, until you fiddle with it again. The other suspect connections are the main engine ground, and, if another wire comes off of it, the main starter lug. You have to remove these connections to evaluate them properly.

No new battery on the shelf will have drained to a point of being unable to crank a car after three months. There is obviously no parasitic load in this scenario. My plow truck sits all summer and cranks right over in November.

There could have been a parasitic load since it's been installed for about two weeks. However, it was reading an open circuit voltage (12.8) that should have represented a battery with enough charge to start it. I don't have a wire brush per se, but I have a wire bristle barbecue grill cleaning brush. Never really used it for anything, so there's no reason I couldn't use it to clean the terminal. I was thinking maybe sandpaper to scrape down any crud.

I had problems with my old Integra. I ended up replacing the ground wire from the valve cover to the front of the chassis and it worked better. I guess there are all these little things that could mess up.
 
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