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So a few weeks ago I accidentally left my keys in my van ('04 Nissan Quest). Not only in the van, but in the ignition in the 'on' position. I didn't realize this until about 10 hours later, long after the battery had died. So the next morning we jumped it with no problems and I drove it about a mile to my destination where I stayed for a couple hours. When I got back in the van, it started with no problems and I went home. The next day: same thing. Had to jump the van when I initially left, but not when I got back in to return home. Obviously whatever I did fried the battery. We just got this battery 7 months ago and it has a warranty, so I went to Advance to get a new battery. They said the reader only showed that it needed to be charged, so they spend 45 minutes charging the battery. When we got in the van to go home, the van started fine initially, but then the engine died. This has been going on for weeks ever since. When we get in the van first thing in the morning, it starts like there are no problems at all. Every other time we start it that day we have to rev the engine slightly or it will die. Only that initial start; at red lights, stop lights, etc, it does totally fine. To me that meant that the battery was still bad (since this started happening immediately after they charged the battery), so a week after the first visit to Advance I took it back and told them I wanted the battery replaced. They tested it again and said it showed it needed to be charged. Again, if the battery is showing that it needs to be charged after just a week, to me it still needs a new battery. They also tested the alternator and said it was good. A few days later I took it to my mechanic and he said he didn't think it was the battery or alternator, either. He did say that a battery needs to be charged longer than 45 minutes or you'll ruin it. And he said the van 'forgot' how to drive when I left the key in it. Does my ECM need to be reset? When he tested it (because my service engine light had come on by this point), the code said the problem was a low idle. YEP. Makes sense...when I start the van it's not idling high enough unless I rev it. But the inconsistencies are what I don't understand. And what do I do to fix it???? I'm still not totally unconvinced that a new battery wouldn't fix it, but Advance is determined to not honor my warranty. Help!

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You need to put your battery on charge for at least 24 hours with a decent mains charger.

Once the battery has a proper charge (and 45 minutes won't do it) then you can re-evaluate the other problems . It is more than likely that they will disappear. My car model is well known for this type of issue caused by a slightly low battery voltage and they magically disappear with a good battery voltage.

If you had given the van a good run 1hour not 5 minutes then you may have been ok, but now a thorough charge is the first step.

After that, then once it is running it should re-learn how you drive etc.

  • Thanks...I am once again trying to get Advance to honor the replacement. On the phone on hold with them now. If I get a new battery, does the computer reset on its own and I drive normally? My mechanic told me to drive normally, but the problem is that it does drive normally, but doesn't start normally. In order to drive I've already repeated the 'wrong' behavior. – MDCrab Aug 3 '17 at 18:17
  • The new battery should solve most of the issues, but it will idle a little funny for the first 5-10 minutes, but that should resolve just from a little normal sitting and idling and/or driving. As Solar Mike said though, getting the battery healthy is the first step. If other issues remain, then you can troubleshoot those. – kyle_engineer Aug 3 '17 at 19:08

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