I'm hoping someone can help me here, this is really starting to drive me nuts, and i'm getting close to just selling this POS.
Here's some background:
First winter I had my solstice, I just put it in the garage, and didn't touch it for a couple months. In spring it started up fine.
Second year, same thing, but when I went to start it, battery was dead. Bummer. Ok, so i get it towed, and think, next year, I will make sure i start it more often in the winter, to keep the battery alive.
So third year comes around, and I try to start it after being in garage for a month. It's already dead. UGH. So I get it towed, new battery, and off I go.
In the fall, I get a Jeep, so I'm driving that more often... I let my solstice go a month without a start, and guess what, it's dead. So I have the techs at the pontiac shop try to figure out if there's a weird battery drain or something, and the best he could do was say "Cars are meant to be driven, you just have to drive it more often!"
Anyway, on to today. My solstice is in the garage for the winter. I've been starting it every week and going for little drives to keep the battery going. Today is 9 days since I started it. And it won't start. NINE DAYS! Am I crazy, or should a car be able to sit longer than that without draining the battery?
It's odd, though, the lights and stereo come on, and the FOB works fine. When I put the key in the ignition, it doesn't even try to turn over. The little light on the dash that has a LOCK on it flashes, which I've read is a security lock out. Like somehow it unlearned my key or something? I don't know, this is so frustrating. The same thing happened last time (earlier this year) and trying to explain that to the technician was futile.
Does anyone have any ideas of what I can do? Do I really need to drive this car everyday for it to stay alive?
It seems you may have TWO problems...
First, when you let it sit for two winters without starting it, this is abuse on your part -- or at least your expectations of wanting it to start after sitting unattended for so long are waaaay too high. Per an acquaintance of mine, THE Ford battery engineer (now retired), cars are designed to nominally sit for a month and still start (and even letting it sit that long without a charge will shorten the overall life of the battery due to sulphation).
Your second problem is either that your new battery is defective or, as you suspect, you may have an excessive drain on the battery in the idle state. You do not state what year your car is, which is to say we don't know if it is warranty or not. Either way, you (or the dealer) needs to measure the current drain on the battery when it is not running. This is easy
to do (almost trivial): if under warranty, hold the dealer's feet to the fire and tell them to just do it, it will take all of five minutes. If out of warranty, you can go to one of the Chinese tool stores and buy a digital multimeter (DMM) for around 20 bucks. Lift the negative lead of the battery and put the DMM in series with it, make sure the "range" switch of the DMM is in the "DC amps" position and that the meter leads are plugged into the appropriate position for current measurement (amps). Do NOT
start the car in this configuration, just monitor the idle state current). Also, watch it for a while, as some of the idle loads are intermittent, like the tire pressure monitoring system. If you spend a few more bucks, you can get a DMM with a "peak hold" feature -- let it cook overnight and then check what the peak current draw was.
: The battery contains a LOT of energy. Be careful not to get any tools across the battery terminals. If you are uncomfortable doing this test, get a knowledgeable friend or take the car to a battery shop. If you are snowed in for awhile, get a "Battery Tender" (INTELLIGENT trickle charger) and use it until you are able to drive. Proceed with caution and at your own risk.
IMHO, it's a little harsh to call the car a "POS", especially if the problem originated by you not starting it for months. Even if there is an actual hardware defect, please name a car that is perfect and has zero failures.
Good luck and let us know the final outcome.