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Discussion Starter #1
I tried searching this forum and didn't find any information about my specific problem. I also RTFM and it didn't help either.

The battery on my 2007 has been acting weak. The little green eye is black. I purchased the car used in 2008 and it originally came from Phoenix, AZ, so I assume the heat did it in.

Based on reviews here and CR, I purchased a new Costco battery Friday. I installed it Sunday, and it was completely DEAD. No interior lights, no dash lights, no nothing.

I put it on my battery charger for 5 hours, and it never came to life. Not even a glimmer. (FWIW, my charger isn't just a trickle charger, it can and has charged other batteries for me. It has multiple settings from jump start to 6v charge.) And yes, I did have it hooked up correctly.

Did I just get a bad battery, or is this normal? I've purchased other batteries before (mostly Diehards) and I NEVER had one that wouldn't even light the interior light when I opened the door. :x

Needless to say, the original battery went right back in (thank goodness it still works!) and all is well. I'm going to be returning the Costco battery tomorrow, but I haven't decided if I want to try theirs again or just go with a Diehard that I KNOW will work.

Any advice from the experts?
 

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Get an Interstate battery. I swear by them. I've had one in my Si for 9 years now and it still cranks it over on cold 20 degree mornings. North Dakota winters haven't lived up to their hype just quite yet this year. But in the past when it was -25 it cranked perfectly.

And I don't care what people say about "blah blah blah makes those and it's the same as XXX brand battery".

IF this one ever dies, another Interstate is going in its place.
 

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It sounds as though you got a bad battery from COSTCO. Return it and if you can, have someone check the new one for you before you take it home. The problem with lead acid batteries is that you can never be certain when the electrolyte (acid) was installed to activate the battery. Most people whose job it is to activate batteries do not annotate the month and year on the battery as to when it occured. Chances are your battery just died on the shelf and cannot be revived.
 

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http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59167&page=3

Just a comment about the Costco battery. When I first got the battery home, checked it with a hydrometer. All cells were in the mid red range as well as a bit low on electrolyte so I topped it up with distilled water. Put my regular charger on it and charged for 2 days. Then it was just at the edge of the lower white, so decided to stick it in to the Element as we were going on a 600 mile trip. Since coming back and then driving it around town for the last two weeks, I checked it just before I took it back to Costco. It was barely in the green zone.

When I went to Costco initially I made sure to get the freshest battery. This battery had a date code of 09/09 and the other 51R batteries had a date code of 03/09. Batteries on the floor whether at Costco, Walmart or any dealer are supposed to be checked very 30 days and maintenance charged as well as fluid checked and date stickered. So I've learned to check the state of charge regardless of what the date is. If batteries aren't maintained properly by store staff doesn't matter where you buy them you may get one that just gets by. Wonder how many car owners just install the battery and don't bother checking the state of the battery or even whether the charging system is up to par.

My home mechanic friend told me to get a digital multimeter and showed me how to test the voltages and the alternator. He's got me thinking that I may have a bit of a surface drain and that is another ball of wax.
Thats not to say that Costco batteries are crap. Lots can go wrong when battery dealer employees don't maintain batteries properly, regardless if they are from Interstate, Walmart, Costco etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the excerpt, Mariekonkin. I did find your posts when I searched, but there was soooo much information in it that my eyes went crossed before I finished reading it, and apparently they crossed enough that I missed the Costco reference!

I'm going to get my current battery checked when I get my oil changed this weekend, and will go from there. As much as I like Costco, though, I don't think I'll buy another battery from them. (This one, like yours, had a current date-11/09. That should have been the first tip-off - I purchased it October 30 so 11/09 wasn't even a valid shelf date yet!) And quite frankly, Costco does more than just batteries so I'm not surprised that there would be batteries on the shelf that would not have been properly maintained.

As another member said recently, the wealth of knowledge from this forum's members is unrivaled in the internet world! (Plus you can't beat the cute dog pictures!):D
 

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Double check the battery posts to make sure it is reverse. The Element uses a reverse post configuration for maximum confusion.
 

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Or check the dumb stunt I pulled on the Pilot last week. I put a new battery in and connected it up, closed the hood, and then found it was dead as a doorknob just like yours. Opened the hood back up and looked at the thing and... took the neg clamp back off, removed the plastic protective cap from the battery post and replaced the clamp again.
 

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I replaced my battery with one from Costco a year and a half ago and its working fine. CHanged it in the parking lot and it was fine. Take it back, Costco will take anything back even my extra halloween candy.
se
 

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Bad Batteries

I purchased my Element brand new in Oct, 2006. The first time the battery died was March, 2008 and again in August 2008. It's pretty bad when your vehicle is only a little over a 1 to 2 years old and you have battery #3.
I've have the dealership check the alternator twice and they said that was working good. So far so good, this one is working.
 
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