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Help Battery gone.....or is it..?

Right, looking for guidance with battery problems.

Over the last couple of months since its been cold, the car cranks slower on first startup in the mornings. I have attributed this to it being a 4 year old battery and it being on the way out. If i have done a long trip (30+ miles) it starts fine the next couple of days.

If the Mrs. has been pootling to work (2 miles) and back a few days in a row, the trouble starts. The car cranks slower each morning.

This morning, it cranks slowly and then dies and hasnt got enough charge to start. I call the AA and they send a contractor who tries a battery booster. No joy. So, he jumps it off of his battery. I tell him i have parts insurance through the AA and believe the battery if on the way out and he tells me i need a patrol van to inspect it before they replace parts....

So, i meet up with the patrol van 25 miles away and he puts on his battery tester and is gets good results He then tells me i have a small voltage drain and thats the problem....but i dont think i have as every time i have seen the AA on battery issues they start the old "you have a voltage drain mate" saga's. I can also leave the car 2-3 days and it starts fine if it had a run before i turned it off.

So, as they refuse to change the battery, i took it to my indy to stick his battery tester on it and it got a good pass too. So he thinks as its only in the morning when cold it may be a problem with the starter motor.

This never used to be a problem and the short journeys have always been there so whats going wrong?

Anyone want to add to this?

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I understand the original batteries are expected to die after around 4-5 years. Mine started to get a bit sluggish on cold mornings just before Christmas so I had it replaced with a Platinum Prestige Plus 4019 12V Battery from Kwik Fit (yes, I know) - the web page claims it has a lifetime guarantee so I reckon you can't go far wrong. The windows and clock needed resetting (hold down the window down switch for 3+ seconds after the window has reached the end of its travel) but the radio still worked and kept its presets. YMMV.
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If the Mrs. has been pootling to work (2 miles) and back a few days in a row, the trouble starts. The car cranks slower each morning.
I would suspect that this is the root cause. 2 miles is barely enough to put the cranking effort back in the battery. In the winter, that 2 miles is probably done with the heated window on, the lights on, etc etc - every time, you take a bit more out of the battery and don't drive for long enough to put it back in.

Let the missus take it to work and bring it home. If the battery takes charge, then you have the problem. If the battery doesn't take charge (i.e. it thinks it is full), then start to suspect the battery.

Your battery may be weak as well, which is compounding the short journey issue.
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You might have an earth fault, even with a new battery my car cranked quite slowly, untill I had the earth cable fail, with a new one in place it now spins over and starts much better.
It was the body to engine cable which is under the battery, as a quick test put a jump lead between the battery negative directly to the engine lifting eye and see if it cranks faster
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