Yesterday an interesting thing happened:
I was supposed to go to a party, and I drove home having picked up both my kids, dressed them, dressed up myself, buckled them up and.....the car that was standing there for 30 minutes would not start.
The weather was cold (NJ, 12/14/2013, about 30F ambient).
When I turned the key, I heard a relay click but nothing else would happened. Lights were bright, during the start would not dim.
I re-tried it many times.
Checked the doors (who knows.....though should not matter), this and that.
Then when it still would not start, I went to check the battery although again, the lights we not dim.
Saw lots of "snow" on negative terminal, thought for a sec that could be the problem.
Took the jump-start pack I always carry with me, fully charged, connected it PAST the oxidation (right to the wire terminal).
Same thing, nothing happened.
Tried both keys (I have a spare in a different pocket always).
Needless to say, did not go to the party and the kids were disappointed
One more thing and I do not know if it matters, when the key was turned, all the typical self-check signals disappeared except the ETC (electronic throttle control), the red "lightning bolt" sign.
Today in the morning I was fully prepared to call the dealer to tow the car, but then decided to try it...it started! I did it several times, it started every single time. Tried remote start, also worked.
Note: 3 weeks ago or so a major service was performed due to the speed sensor failure on one of the wheels. During that they performed overall checkup and said my PCV valve needs a change, so it was replaced. Again, not sure if it is related.
This was first ever repair to the car, to that point it behaved well and nothing was ever done except oil changes/transfer case fluids and such.