Recently (since the beginning of the winter), my car has been taking several attempts to start every time I use it.
Several factors about the car have changed, so it's hard for me to tell what's really the problem.
The car's specs are: 1996 Toyota Avalon XLS, 110k mi, V6.
Here is a link to a video of me trying to start the car: https://vid.me/CXnZ
The clacking sound in the beginning is the tape deck, I shut that off after my second attempt to start the car. After that, each click is me turning the key.
You can see the "BRAKE" light turn off/on each time I turn the key. It's hard to hear the sounds from outside the car, but after each key turn there is a quiet electrical sounding "click" sound.
Eventually, when every light in the dash turns off except for the seat-belt and a yellow sensor light, that's when the car finally turned on.
- I only use the car about once a week, and only for about 30 minutes at a time. I used to use it every day and this wasn't an issue.
- The battery is newly (within the last 2 months) replaced with a Kirkland brand battery which matches the car (775 CCA).
- This problem was an issue before I replaced the battery, but it's been progressively getting worse (takes more attempts to start each time).
- I cleaned the cable terminals which attach to the battery with a mixture of baking soda and water when I replaced it.
- The oil hasn't been changed in a bit of time (since 100k mi), but it is at a good level (I've topped it off while the engine was warm).
- Coolant levels are good as well.
- The car is stored in a heated underground garage (the temperature only gets about as low as 50 F/10 C in there).
- Once I'm out and about, after a bit of the driving, the car starts with no problems after I shut it off.
- When I turn the key, all dash lights work and I can hear the fuel pump starting.
I start my car by immediately turning the key to start, should I be letting the fuel pump work first, or waiting a bit on standby (just having the key half-turned)?
I think the issue here is that the battery just isn't getting enough use for it to remain charged. Once I am driving, there aren't any issues starting and the battery seems to charge.
Given that I only use the car once a week, it seems that each time I get back to it any charge that it had after it's last use has dissipated.
Are there any ways to mitigate this? Should I get a different battery which may hold charge longer?