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Old 02-04-2007, 04:08 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 105616
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Lansing, MI
05 STi

Exclamation My 05 STi keeps dying when I turn off the car

I have an 2005 STi with the following mods:

Yellow Top Optima battery
HKS Downpipe
K&N intake
Custom ground kit
V1 Cobb Accessport Stage 2
Audiovox in dash Dvd flipout

I have installed all these parts at least over 6 months ago and car has been absolutely fine and ran well. Now whenever I shut the car off I can't start it again without boosting the battery. And when I boost the battery it takes a good few seconds for it to turn over like it's struggling. It has been getting very cold here in michigan but it started this habbit before it got really cold. Last month when I started it it would turn on and would only seldom not start but now it doesn't start at all until I kickstart the battery with a emergency charger I bought. I'm definately sure however that there is NO power getting to the rest of the car as I kept the engine off and ran my fan and my fan slowly died out as if it was being drained of power.

Also, I don't drive very much since I moved to michigan from ontario maybe drive only 3-6 miles a day, but that should be enough for the alternator to generate enough energy to store in the battery right?

There is absolutely nothing draining the energy and I suspect it could be the alternator or the yellowtop battery which is practically new as I just got it last year winter and it was working fine then. Further, i'm just 3k over my recommended oil change but that shouldn't affect the battery right?

Please let me know what you think! Anything would be helpful.
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Old 02-04-2007, 04:19 PM   #2
Scooby Guru
Member#: 94070
Join Date: Aug 2005
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Dirty South
05 LGT


Short distance drives kill batteries, you need to take your car out every now and then for a much longer drive. Compiled with the cold temps, not good.
Check you battery volts.
The oil change would have nothing to do with cranking unless your car has no oil in it.

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Old 02-04-2007, 08:48 PM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 133458
Join Date: Nov 2006
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Oregon
2007 WRX STI Limited
"urban gray metallic"


Although short drives are tough on a car, it is plenty of time torecharge the battery. If it doesnt recharge the battery enough to start the car after a 15 minute drive (aprox) then there is something wrong with your charging starting system. you either have a battery which wont take a charge, an alternator which wont give a charge (or maybe has a bad diode...in which case your alternator will charge with AC voltage, causing your battery to bubble over and slowly killing it) or a voltage draw on your system.

Given the info you wrote, I would first look at the batt/charge light on the dash. If it is off when the engine is running your alt is probably fine. The fact that you can jumpstart the car makes me suspicious of a bad battery or a draw. Use a voltmeter to check for draws(if you are in the ballpark of 50mA you are fine. Charge the batt for an extended period to see if it will take a charge.

Does the car start immediatly after shutting off? if if does, but wont start after a couple/few hours then you may have a draw...hard to diag without the correct tools. you may want to take it to a shop and ask for a complete starting charging and draw check. Should cost about a half hours labor or so.

Good luck,

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Old 02-04-2007, 08:53 PM   #4
Scooby Guru
Member#: 94070
Join Date: Aug 2005
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Dirty South
05 LGT


^^ I concurr, however if those short drives are at night you are loosing more power than you think. The OP said 6 miles one way, it doesnt take 15 minutes to drive 6 miles unless you are in a large city.
You are correct though in that it is very hard to diagnose electrical problems over the net. There are too many things that could be wrong without having wires and a tester in hand to check.
Autozone will diagnose your system for free (if I recall correctly).

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Old 02-04-2007, 10:56 PM   #5
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 102895
Join Date: Dec 2005
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Pittsburgh
'12 Forester
'17 seeing eye Outback


Autozone is definitely the way to go for $0 diagnosis + point in the right direction. It does sound like the alternator, but a free check will let you know for sure.
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Old 02-05-2007, 04:36 AM   #6
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 27136
Join Date: Oct 2002

Check for a "Parasitic Drain".

Possibly an incorrect install of the DVD headunit that is causing the drain, but you'll need to double check. Maybe a relay used during the HID install was installed on the wrong circuit? Probably not, but probe around.

Lastly I would point the finger at faulty alternator diode(s), but they usually do not go bad so soon.

Connect an ammeter between your battery positive terminal and your car side positive terminal and start pulling fuses if the current draw is higher then ~30-50mA. When you pull a fuse and the current drops, the drain is within that circuit.
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