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Here is what happened:
Friday night, terrible rain/sleet storm in Boston, I drive about an hour in
my (new) '91 200TQ. Park the car and leave it for about 3 hours. When I
come out, there is _no_ power, not even dash or interior lights. Obviously
wont start. I jump the car, and it starts right up, runs fine, no problems.
Voltage gauge is showing just over 12V.
An hour later, back in Boston, about a block from my house I run through a
huge puddle. Suddenly the Battery, Brake and Anti-Lock lights come on the
dash. Also, the Voltage gauge is now showing just under 12V. I put it on
the street and turn it off, expecting it will not start the next day.
Next day: starts right up. warning lights are still on, voltage just under
12V. I let it run awhile, and adjust the power seats quite a bit (which I
should not have done). Turn it off. Now it won't start again - barely turns
the starter, makes some very bad "stop trying that" noises.
Other than "you need a new battery", I'd like to hear people's diagnoses of
this. I'm sure I need a new battery, but also suspect there is something
greater at work here.