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Ok so I'm driving a pretty old car right now, my dad's actually, and after about 2 weeks of not starting it (exams + a weird situation with the parking garage), it wouldn't start anymore. I'd turn the key and the lights in the car would grow dimmer and there'd be this clicking sound from the engine. So my dad brings his car around to jump start mine and he's convinced that it's just the long period of not being used that caused the battery to lose its charge. So once it's started, he takes it and drives onto a nearby highway for about half an hour, to help get its charge back. Then he returns it to me and I figure things are cool.
2 days later I go to the car, looking to do some practice time on highways. Well it won't start again. But my dad gave me this portable battery used to jump start cars so I hook it up properly and give the key another go. This time it goes about halfway through the ignition sequence (some rumbling and turning) but ultimately can't make it over the hump. I let my dad know again and he tells me he'll take it to the mechanic.
So yesterday what he does is he drives again on the highway for about half an hour and then takes it to the mechanic to get the battery measured(?). Mechanic says the readings are fine and my dad drops the car back off in the visitor parking area of the condo and takes off. About 20 minutes after he drops it off, I go down to move the car back to the residential parking garage and it starts strongly, giving no indications of weakness. I figure, again, me and the car have an understanding and again, I'm wrong. I just went down to the car and it won't start again.
What's up the battery? It seems like it won't hold a charge. Does that mean it's time to get a new battery or what? I ask because I'm concerned my dad will be convinced that all it needs is another drive on the highway and if it is the battery's time to die, that he'll just be wasting time which is problematic because I really need the car on Tuesday.
tl;dr: car won't start, battery "charged" numerous times, if left for more than a few hours after "charging", goes back to being dead. Time for new battery or is it something else?