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Old 05-02-2010, 10:38 PM   #1
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Default Can a battery be fine 1 min then dead the next?

This ******* Mazda 6 is driving me ******* CRAZY!!!!

So the gf and I went to the grocery store, come back, and realize something she bought to make dinner was expired. She goes out to the car 15 minutes after we get back and comes right back in and says her car is dead. WTF

I go outside and try to start it and its acting as if it has a dead battery one second, then the lights kinda shoot back to full intensity seconds later. But if you try the key the gauges wont even function.

So I hooked up jumped cables and tried the key again. The gauges will now function, but the car still wont start. Click click click is all I'm getting. Acting how a dead battery would act.

Is it possible for the battery to be fine all day today (2 different trips out), then all of a sudden be dead minutes later?

Also the security key indicator light is flashing, and according to the manual it says "contact mazda support" if it is. So I dont know if thats caused by the dead battery or if thats the issue.

This car has been nothing but a **** since she got it and I feel bad, seeing that I recommended she move on from her honda prelude to the mazda family.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:25 PM   #2
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Sure it's not a loose cable somewhere? Ground or positive lead could be loose or covered in corrosion. I don't know the back story, what year is it?
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:28 PM   #3
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Clean the battery terminals with a wire brush
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:29 PM   #4
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I have seen a battery have a cell go bad and do this. It drains the rest of the battery very quickly as it moves all the charge over to it trying to equal out. The security thing could be just because of it thinking the battery is disconnected. I second cleaning terminals.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:04 AM   #5
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No corrosion. Engine bay is clean as ****. No loose connections either (granted I didn't crawl under the car and check the starter). Everything is good visually.

The car is a 2006 mazda 6. So far this is the 5th issue with the car since she bought it in August.

Everything in the car seems normal at first once you put the key in. Turn it to start and the gauges jump all over the ******* place and one of the fuses is vibrating making a "huum" noise. I cant tell if its a dead battery or if the security system is ******* up now.

There's also light on the dashboard that was flashing, so I checked in the manual and it says its a "security indictor light". I went on the mazda 6 forum that I'm a member at (specifically for these issues she's been having with the car) to see if anyone else had the same problem. I search "security indicator light", boom like 10 threads show up.

What a ******* forum that place is. Theres tons of people with the same issue, all asking what to do. Most of the posts are from members with only 1 post, and its this one! Months have past since the members post, but none of them have a follow up. WTF?!

I really hope the problem is a dead battery, that would be easy. However, I have a feeling that's not the case. The TCS has been acting up and I was thinking it was electronic related. Then the driver side window stopped working from the driver side controls for a couple weeks, then started to work again one day. I'm thinking this car has electrical issues and I don't know what the **** the problem could be.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:11 AM   #6
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Yes a lead acid battery can go dead with the snap of a finger. I have seen 3 or 4 cheaper batteries do that on some family members and friends cars in the last few years. A little layer of junk can build up on he bottom and bridge between cells and it will go really quickly. Not sure of the specifics of what happens, but yes, it can go bad like that.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:50 AM   #7
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Bad main relay?
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:40 AM   #8
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Some of the guys on the Mazda 6 forum were talking about the keys having to be re-registered to the car. I have no idea what kind of bullshit this is, and why it would happen out of the blue, but hopefully its not too hard if thats the case..

I'm going to test the battery today and hopefully it reads dead so I can just drop in a new one and all will be well. And its pouring rain here, so whatever it is I have to do I'll end up soaked for sure.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:03 AM   #9
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happened to an optima yellow top i had. Pretty annoying when i stopped on the way home from work to get gas and car wouldn't even crank after i just started it up and drove it several miles to the gas station.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:24 AM   #10
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I got the steps to re-program the key.

Programming the Remote

Open driver side door and leave open.

Lock and Unlock the drivers door using the power door lock switch on the door

Insert key into the ignition.

Turn Key to ON position and return to Lock (off) position. Do this 3 times within 10 seconds. LEAVE key in the ignition in Lock (off) position.

Close and open the drivers door 3 times. Leave door open after this ste

ECU should respond by locking and unlocking the doors once.

Press any button on remote #1 twice. ECU responds by locking and unlocking the car doors.

Additional remotes, repeat Step 7 for up to 3 remotes total.

Remove the key from the ignition and the ECU will respond a final time with a series (about 4) of door locks and unlocks.


I went outside to do this and the car was ******* DEAD. I mean deader than dead was last night. Now it doesn't even have power to lock or unlock the doors. Gauges are sweeping still, lights barely come on very dim, etc. So now I am thinking 9/10 chance the battery is dead. I didn't think that a battery could be fine one minute and then dead as **** the next.

Anyone recommend any brand of battery over another? I'm going to get one today locally, just not sure from where or what kind yet.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:40 AM   #11
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Just get one with a warranty so if the car eats it yo can get another...and keep the receipt with the battery. I got mine form autozone and had no problems...but I had a red top die in 2 years. Probably won't go that route again.

You should check to see if the car is draining the battery after you get the new battery. Get an ammeter (one that'll handle high amps if there is a large draw) and see if the car is in fact killing the battery. The diode in the alternator could be bad, could be a relay stuck shut, or your last battery could have had a bad cell.
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:10 AM   #12
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Did you check static voltage yet? It should be around 12.5 volts at rest with no noticeable voltage drop while testing. Mine just went bad and I could watch the voltage fall right off at a rate of about 1/2 of a volt every hour or so. 10.75 static voltage is a dead giveaway too!

Bring it up to the parts store if you have one close. Most of them will load check the battery for free these days.

I also went with the Autozone battery after reading a few threads on it. Someone said it was made by the same people that make the Westco. It very well could be. It's a OE replacement right down to the oval vent tube ports. It seems like a decent battery too. I used to see dips in my log at about 11.75-12 volts with all the accessories on at idle. Now it hovers right around 13 volts.

Good luck, Vash
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:35 PM   #13
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Well it was stupid of me to think anything other than dead battery.

I checked it with the key off and it read 12.40ish, and with the key to on it was 6.70ish. I brought the battery to autozone and had them load test it and the kid said it was no good. New battery with a 2 year warranty for $95 out the door. Put the new battery in and all is well.

It just didnt seem right to me that we were just out and 15 minutes later the battery was dead. So I freaked out and went online to see if others had this issue and all I did was get myself more confused with key calibration, corrosion on the terminals (it was clean as could be), bad relays, etc etc.

So I guess if your battery is gonna go, its gonna go whenever it feels like it. I'm just happy this happened at the house and not in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:56 PM   #14
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6.7??? Wow. Reading that got an actual jaw drop out of me.

Hope this battery lasts.
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:04 PM   #15
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Damn, my optima red top, after being charged for 24 hours, would only hold a charge of 4.7v and like 2 amps. Don't loose that receipt. Also I think you should check to make sure you don't have a problem with the electrical system before it gives you more grief.
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:22 PM   #16
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My last mazda replacement battery would only show about 6v after being trickle charged over night. This started after letting it go dead once.
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:28 PM   #17
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I want to give the car a full go around either this week or next. I want to do the brakes, change the cabin and intake filters, and poke around some to see if anything looks out of place.

I hope there's not another issue somewhere that cause the battery to go dead. I'm hoping that since the car is a 2006, this was the original battery that just finished its 4 year course.
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vashthestampede View Post
It just didnt seem right to me that we were just out and 15 minutes later the battery was dead. So I freaked out and went online to see if others had this issue and all I did was get myself more confused with key calibration, corrosion on the terminals (it was clean as could be), bad relays, etc etc.
It didn't seem right to me either. It was running good one day and then dead the next. Went to start it in the morning and nothing. I would have thought for sure it would die a slow death if anything and found myself doing the same thing, checking everything but the battery.

Glad you got it sorted out.
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:45 AM   #19
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Glad it's fixed. My last 2 batteries in the past 10 years died the same exact way: Little to no warning. As for the newest one from a few months back, It would show 12ish volts with the key off. While cranking, it would droop down to 3ish volts on the meter. IIRC the spec is no less than 9 volts.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:35 AM   #20
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Thanks guys. I was stoked that it was such an easy fix!

The guys at the shop were busting my nuts saying why would I think about changing the carburetor for a dead battery. I usually assume the worst and skip the possibilities of it just being an easy fix. I guess I'm just used to my miata giving me **** all the time....lol
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