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Battery short?

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Hey there,
I have a 2004 Outback 3.0 VDC model that has been giving me some electrical issues lately. It has been that sometimes when I go to start the car (it's an automatic), sometimes it will not start, nor show any dash lights, until I juggle the shift a little, as in try to move it out of park, and then let it go slack, and then start it again, which until today has worked every single time. This last week, it has started resetting the stereo when I start it up, and the dash clock resets itself too, every time I start the car. I drive on a lot of dirt roads, and thought maybe the battery terminals had wiggled themselves loose. Not the case. And today, when I went to start it, my trick did not work and I needed a jump. It started easily with the jump. The battery terminals are pretty clean as well. I am not sure where to go from here, I think I will head out there with the multimeter, but I just thought I would post while I was thinking of it. For now I have the ground disconnected in case there is a drain on the battery. And when I go to put the ground back on, it sparks. I thought maybe that means there is a battery drain somewhere. Or maybe that is normal? Any ideas? Thanks so much!
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There could well be a small spark when connecting the cable -- there are functions, such as the keyless entry, that are always on, and would draw current just as the connection is being made.

The battery could be bad -- you Voltmeter reading should help here. Measure at the battery posts, no the cable connectors.

But you could have a bad cable or connection. Sometimes a cable clamp looks good, but corrosion has set in between the clamp and the wire itself. Also, a bad ground connection would result in similar symptoms.

Not sure about jiggling of the shift lever. When the car would not start, and you try the lever, have you been able to move it out of Park, say, into Neutral? Or is it stuck in Park, and you can only jiggle it there?
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