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2016 XTS4, 2010 DTS (gone), '07 STS4 (gone), '03 DHS (gone)
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689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mrs Haz and I went off to sunny California for 10 days away from the stuff that looks blue on the weather radar pictures. When we got back, my STS was really hard to start at the airport, and her Merc had totally run down in our garage, needed the CAA/AAA for a boost. The boost-guy said that due to the perpetually-on small electrical loads, cars nowadays really need to be started up every few days.

Easier said than done. So the alternative I guess is a trickle charger (where do you get one of those, BTW?) but when I'm parked at the airport, there's nowhere to plug it in.

What, other than a new battery every two years, can y'all recommend as a solution for cars that have to be left un-started for a week or more in below-zero weather?
 
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Had mine parked at Port Liberty in NJ for 15 days over the blizzard of Dec 2010. She fired right up when I got back in Jan. Course I had a 1 year old Interstate battery in her. The OEM Delco crapped out after 2 years. Put a quality battery in the car would be my recommendation. When we got home, my wife's car in the garage wouldn't start. The battery was six years old, so I put a new Interstate in it. Should have left a trickle charger on it but it needed a new battery anyway and I knew it. Caught hell for that oversight:thepan:
 

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2014 Cadillac CTS VSport
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2,318 Posts
Mrs Haz and I went off to sunny California for 10 days away from the stuff that looks blue on the weather radar pictures. When we got back, my STS was really hard to start at the airport, and her Merc had totally run down in our garage, needed the CAA/AAA for a boost. The boost-guy said that due to the perpetually-on small electrical loads, cars nowadays really need to be started up every few days.

Easier said than done. So the alternative I guess is a trickle charger (where do you get one of those, BTW?) but when I'm parked at the airport, there's nowhere to plug it in.

What, other than a new battery every two years, can y'all recommend as a solution for cars that have to be left un-started for a week or more in below-zero weather?
Do you have onstar activated? That's one of the biggest draws of power in the STS. It communicates every 15 minutes for up to 3 days before it shuts down to conserve power. I have always had a problem with mine and I am ready for a new battery myself. If I leave a radar detector or any small device plugged into the cigarette light overnight the next morning its dead.
 

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08 STS-4 N* 1SG, 08 DTS Luxury II, 04 Bonneville GXP N*
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3,215 Posts
The boost-guy said that due to the perpetually-on small electrical loads, cars nowadays really need to be started up every few days.
With all due respect to the "boost-guy", I've had a number of newer vehicles that have sat 2+ weeks in cold weather and fired right up. It's true that there are more modules in these vehicles that always provide some draw on the electrical system, but there are strategies in place within the modules and software to minimize this. I agree with KRSTS. If you have a good battery, you shouldn't have problems. This being said, as batteries age, it may still become a problem. I know a few people that swear by a battery minder (not sure if this is a trade name). I've never looked for one myself but I understand Canadian Tire may have this. Again, make sure you have a good battery as a starting point and have the charging system tested if necessary.

If you have a dead battery, boosting it and using the car to charge it is also less than desireable. This puts a heavy load on your alternator and can result in premature failure with expensive repairs. A newer generation automatic charger is a better (and reasonably easy) solution for most people when time and an electrical outlet are available. There are times that boosting is unavoidable but should not be "routine" practice for a chronic problem. Always correct the underlying problem before it reaches the point you become stranded somewhere.
 

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08 STS-4 N* 1SG, 08 DTS Luxury II, 04 Bonneville GXP N*
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3,215 Posts
Do you have onstar activated? That's one of the biggest draws of power in the STS. It communicates every 15 minutes for up to 3 days before it shuts down to conserve power. I have always had a problem with mine and I am ready for a new battery myself. If I leave a radar detector or any small device plugged into the cigarette light overnight the next morning its dead.
The power saving strategy used by OnStar varies based on a couple of parameters. There are actually four possible modes: High Power, Low Power, Sleep and Digital Standby. Digital service areas will have the least electrical draw but the most it will cycle between a sleep/standby state and low power draw is actually 48 hours. I subscribe to OnStar in both my vehicles and have never had a problem despite the fact one or the other usually sits without running for up to two weeks at a time.

There are actually well over twenty different modules in the STS, all connected to battery positive voltage all the time. I would disagree that OnStar in this case is the biggest problem. I would suggest it is the cumulative draw from all modules.
 

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If I turn off my ignition, open and close the door, I hear a ventilation blower motor running for some time after shut-down. Also, when I open the door after the car has been off and use the auto-memory for driver 1, the seat moves to position and the DVD drive spin up and starts searching the disc a few times. So it's best, IMHO to get rid of a marginal battery in these vehicles.

When the battery went on my CTS it never gave me a clue (except for its age of 4 years) and suddenly, one day it just would not even click. I put the battery charger on it in the start position and things started working, like lights, radio, etc. but after one bump of the starter they all shut down. I put it on slow charge and a hour later it started. Drove it for a while, came back home and almost wouldn't start again. The next day I came out and it wouldn't start again, even with a jump. I let it sit until I could find and order a battery and the next trip was to get the replacement.

These batteries are expensive too! The CTS and the STS, (and maybe the SRX and XLR, not sure about them) share the same proprietary battery and many place don't carry them in stock.
 

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2005 STS V8
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165 Posts
Probably would be a good idea to use a charger on the battery for half a day prior to letting it sit in a parking lot for an extended period; I don't think the alternator always charges it to its optimal level.

Group Size 78 battery fits great in place of the OEM size 101 -- I am running the Exide "NASCAR Extreme" battery that is rated at 770 CCA @ 0°F / 950 CA @32°F.
 
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If I turn off my ignition, open and close the door, I hear a ventilation blower motor running for some time after shut-down. Also, when I open the door after the car has been off and use the auto-memory for driver 1, the seat moves to position and the DVD drive spin up and starts searching the disc a few times. So it's best, IMHO to get rid of a marginal battery in these vehicles.

When the battery went on my CTS it never gave me a clue (except for its age of 4 years) and suddenly, one day it just would not even click. I put the battery charger on it in the start position and things started working, like lights, radio, etc. but after one bump of the starter they all shut down. I put it on slow charge and a hour later it started. Drove it for a while, came back home and almost wouldn't start again. The next day I came out and it wouldn't start again, even with a jump. I let it sit until I could find and order a battery and the next trip was to get the replacement.

These batteries are expensive too! The CTS and the STS, (and maybe the SRX and XLR, not sure about them) share the same proprietary battery and many place don't carry them in stock.
Batteries are not proprietary. Interstate makes an exact replacement 85 month battery (megatron plus H6) although not usually stocked but can be special ordered. I am sure there are others as well.
 

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2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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29,221 Posts
I installed a manual battery disconnect switch in my Ford pickup so it could sit for extended proiods without battery rundown.
 

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2006 STS 1SG & 2007 STS 1SE
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I kept an eye out for a booster pack and recently found on sale for $40 at Northern Tool. When one of our cars is going to sit out, I toss the charged unit in the trunk.
 
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