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Thread: Battery or Alternator

  1. #1
    Registered Member

    Mazda 2013 CX-9 Touring

    Join Date
    May 2018
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Battery or Alternator

    So, My 2013 CX-9 out of warranty for 6 months now, would not start last night. A quick jumper cable connection and it started in a jiffy and was good to go in 2 minutes.

    I drove home for about 15 mins. This morning when I tried it started up OK. Now at work in my other car.

    So, here I am trying to evaluate the situations so that I do not get with a dead car at an unforseen location/timing. The only thing that I noticed was that it was a little slow cranking to start the 3 other times I started the car yesterday. Everything was fine with the car about a week ago when I last used it. It is my family car, I drive another for work on a daily basis.

    Now, how do I know if it is a failing battery, failing alternator, a one-off-accidental battery drain or something more diabolic. I will test and watch the car a bit more to see if things just fix themselves, but am curious for feedback, guidance and help.


  2. #2

    '16.5 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD, '05 PRIUS

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Red Bluff, CA
    Check the water level of the battery. (How old is the battery?)

    Test voltage, and load test the battery.

    Test Alternator output.

    Most likely (especially if it is the original battery), the water level has now been depleted to the point where it can no longer handle the 1 week of discharging you are demanding from it between charges. If you are handy and frugal, some batteries can be saved by properly topping off with distilled water.
    Last edited by mazdadude; 05-07-2018 at 08:49 PM.
    Mazda's I have owned over the years. (boom07)
    80' Mazda GLC SPORT MT - sold
    81' Mazda 626 DX MT - sold
    81' Mazda 626 LX AT - sold
    82' Mazda 626 DX MT - sold
    82' Mazda 626 LX AT - sold
    85' Mazda 626 LX MT - sold
    87' Mazda 626 GT Turbo MT - sold
    85' Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE MT- sold
    87' Mazda RX-7 Turbo 2 MT - sold
    91' Mazda Protege LX MT - sold
    92' Mazda MX-5 Miata MT - sold
    93' Mazda MX-3 GS-V6 Special Edition MT - sold
    00' Mazda 626 LX-V6 MT - sold
    02.5' Mazda Protege5 MT - sold
    92' Mazda MX-5 Miata MT - sold
    06' Mazda 5 Touring AT - sold
    13' Mazda CX-5 Touring AT - sold
    14' Mazda 3i Grand Touring MT - sold
    15' Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD AT - sold
    03' Mazda Protege5 AT - sold
    16.5' Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD AT - current
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  3. #3
    2008.5 MGM MS3 rsvinylgraphics's Avatar
    Donated: $5

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    If it still has the original battery, that is most likely the issue here, batteries seem to last only about 3-5 years nowadays.

    If you have a multimeter you can check your alternator voltage output, you should be getting around 14.3 volts at the battery posts with the engine running.

  4. #4
    Registered Member

    2013 CX-5 Touring FWD; 2013 BMW Z4 35i

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Santa Rosa, CA
    If it's the original battery, forget all the testing suggested here and just go go Costco and pony up $75 for a new battery.Yours is 5 years old and the odds are 99.7% that that's the problem. It was last month on my 2013 CX-5!

  5. #5
    Registered Member

    2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature

    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    SF Bay Area
    I agree that this is likely the battery. To be 100% sure, Any car parts store should be able to test your existing battery and diagnose the charging system for FREE.

    Or, simply save yourself some time and just get a new battery. Get a good quality one, not the cheapest brand/model you can find. Cheap batteries may last only 1-2 years. The quality has been going downhill progressively.
    I also had a Costco bought Interstate battery that died on me on the 5th month!!! It was not holding charge more than a day. I returned it, got a new one, Interstate again.... and so far, it's been good for the last 19 months.

    At this age, your original battery is likely dying. I would not attempt to service it (add water, etc) since most modern batteries are NOT serviceable at home. You're playing with acid. Don't do it, unless you know very well what you're doing.

  6. #6
    Registered Member

    Mazda 2013 CX-9 Touring

    Join Date
    May 2018
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Thank you all so much. I will get a new battery and have them test stuff at that time just to be sure.

  7. #7
    Registered Member Srad600's Avatar

    2016 CX-5AWD GT+Tech/ 2018 CX-9AWD GT

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Chino hills, California
    If you rarely use the car, get a trickle charger. It'll save you from some battery issues down the line. It won't do anything if you have a bad alternator though, so you should still get both the battery and alternator tested.
    I have motorcycles that sit for long periods between uses and a good trickle charger is a lifesaver.

  8. #8
    Registered Member

    Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2016

    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Washington, the state
    Are the battery cable clamps clean & tight?

    Can you use a voltmeter? Measure the battery voltage with the engine off. Start the engine. Measure the voltage with the engine running. If the voltage is higher with the engine running, the charging system is good and you need a new battery. If the voltage is lower with the engine running, you need to fix the charging system.

    I agree, highly likely you're gotten your money's worth from that battery.

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