Due to all the unnecessary computers on your car, the memory circuits put such a load on the battery, you can only guarantee the car will start after sitting for three weeks. Once run down, it will take from 20 - 30 minutes on a charger just to make the battery acid conductive. After 30 minutes, the current increases and the battery will start to charge.
At idle, the alternator is not spinning fast enough to produce sufficient output to run the car AND charge the battery. 15 - 30 minutes of normal driving will be enough to recharge the battery enough for cranking.
Once the battery is charged, you might notice the engine stalling at stop signs. That's a sign the engine computer lost its memory, and minimum throttle must be relearned. You do that by driving at highway speed, then coasting for at least seven seconds without touching the brake or gas pedals.
A likely explanation of the grinding noise is rust buildup on the brake drums and rotors from humidity in the air. I park three cars for the winter, and they all make noise during the first drive in the spring.
Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 AT 9:43 PM