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My 2013 Camaro 2LS has been sitting in my garage without being driven daily for about a month now, maybe longer. I have only driven it in my driveway to move things around in my garage. The last time I've started it was December 28th and it ran perfectly fine (ran for about 1 minute and moved a few feet to make room in my garage).

Today was the first time in awhile it has been nice out, so I go to start it and I have a check engine light and a warning message saying "Service StabiliTrak". StabiliTrak looked to just be stability control, so I wanted to see if the engine would fire up; it did, but the engine ran pretty rough. I let it idle for a few seconds, 15 tops, and turned it off. I then tried to turn it back on and after 4 - 5 cranks (it usually takes 3) I decided to stop and not put too much strain on the starter. While trying to start it the second time the electronics and headlights were much dimmer while trying to start it and flashed quite a bit. I then used the built in battery voltage display while in accessory mode and it read pretty low, about 11 volts (I normally see this between 12.8 - 14.2 volts), but the lights and displays all appeared to be working. The only thing I noticed is that the oil was at the min fill line (maybe I have a leak?), but hopefully that wouldn't have caused any damage?

Also worth noting is that I live in Upstate New York where it has been between 10 - 30 degrees Fahrenheit for the majority of December.

To summarize:

  • Vehicle has been sitting for about a month.
  • Check engine light (I'm getting a reader tomorrow to get the code).
  • "Service StabiliTrak" message.
  • Low battery voltage (11 volts vs 12.8 - 14.2 volts normally).
  • Low oil level (probably an unrelated leak).
  • Vehicle started once, ran rough, and struggled to start afterwards.

Could this be due to a dying battery? Is there anything else I should check before trying to start it again to prevent worsening the situation?

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    Get the battery recharged then start the vehicle again. A weak battery can have weird effects on the car. The weak battery may be playing havoc with the electronics. You may want to get a battery tender to put on it if you aren't going to run it that often. Fill the tank to the top and put some fuel stabilizer in the tank. Should prevent a lot of your issues. You should be able to see if there are signs of engine oil in your garage if it is leaking. If not, top it off and pay attention to it. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 13 '17 at 1:44
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 It's funny because my main goal for this situation was to run the vehicle, top off the fuel with fresh fuel, and then add a fuel stabilizer with the fresh fuel. As for the battery, should I try and jump it (I have an Everstart jumper) or should I get a separate battery charger to charge up the battery? – William Jan 13 '17 at 1:59
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    Charge the battery up using a charger. – vini_i Jan 13 '17 at 2:18
  • @vini_i I'm assuming you're referring to a separate dedicated battery charger, is that correct? For example, taking the battery out of my vehicle and attaching it to a charger, etc. As opposed to jumping the battery as-is in the vehicle. – William Jan 13 '17 at 2:49
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    Get a battery tender for long term, but put a regular charger on it while in the vehicle. You don't have to take the battery out to charge it. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 13 '17 at 3:08
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Keep in mind that the starter requires vastly more power than anything else in the car. Just because the lights turn on doesn't mean the starter is going to have enough power.

Given the low voltage, it sounds like you just have a dead/dying battery. Try and jump the car and let it run for a while. If you can't get the battery charged via jumping or a charger, get a new battery. I had a 2010 Camaro that was convinced the airbags had deployed when its battery got low, so it certainly isn't impossible that yours thinks stabilitrak is broken.

The rough idle could be... a lot of things. Unless something happened recently, I would just start with the battery and see if that clears it up (I suspect it will)

Before you do anything else, do make sure that there is enough oil in the car. If it was leaking, it would be all over your garage/driveway.

  • Yup, you and @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 were correct. I charged it overnight and all of the abnormalities are gone and the engine is running a lot smoother. – William Jan 14 '17 at 15:58

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