Something Is Draining My Car Battery

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Driving Habits Influence When To Replace A Car Battery

How to Test and Find a Parasitic Battery Drain (Key Off)

How you use your car over a long period of time can affect how often you need to replace your battery. If you consistently take short trips like daily drives to the office and the grocery store, for instance, your battery doesnt have enough time to get fully charged between trips. This can lead to decreased performance.

Also, if your car sits in the garage or driveway for extended periods of time, its battery continues to drain passively even when the engine isnt on. The good news is that these battery-draining habits make for great excuses to take your ride on a good ole’ fashioned road trip.

How Long Does It Take For A Bad Alternator To Drain A Battery

In this situation, the battery could last as little as 30 minutes. If you are lucky and could get up to two hours. Note: In case you have to start the car without an alternator, dont turn off the engine once youre going. Starting the car flattens the battery down quickly.

Do A Battery Terminal Test

The battery terminal test helps you check whether your terminals are making good contact with the battery posts. Basically, the test measures voltage drop between the battery post and its terminal.A high voltage drop indicates that the charging system has difficulty supplying adequate charging voltage to the battery. This means in turn that the battery has difficulty supplying power to the starting and fuel injection systems and other circuits during cranking and start up time.

  • First, disable the fuel system by removing the fuel pump fuse. To find the fuse, look for the fuse box or the power box . Removing the fuse will prevent the vehicle from starting during the test. On vehicle models with a distributor, you can keep the engine from starting by disconnecting the ignition coil wire from the distributor. Then you can use a jumper wire to connect the cable to a good ground on the engine .
  • Set your digital voltmeter to a low setting on the DC Volts scale.
  • Connect the negative voltmeter lead to the cable terminal of the positive battery post .
  • Connect the positive voltmeter lead to the positive battery post.
  • Ask an assistant to set the parking brake, put the transmission in or Neutral , and crank the engine for a few seconds, just enough to get a good voltage reading but less than 30 seconds. If you have to crank the engine again, let the starter motor rest for a minute or more before cranking the engine again.
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    How To Keep Your Battery From Repeatedly Dying

    While its true that every single battery has to die eventually, the key to prolonging the life of a lead-acid battery like the one in your car is to keep it well maintained and in good working order. If youre dealing with a situation where your battery goes dead over and over, theres a good chance that every time it dies like that, the ultimate lifespan of the battery is shortened.

    By keeping on top of corrosion, making sure that the battery connections are tight and secure, and not allowing the electrolyte in a non-sealed battery to drop, you can actually help your battery last much longer.

    There may not be a lot you can do to avoid other issues, like a sudden parasitic drain, but dealing with that type of problem in a timely manner can also help prolong the life of your battery. A battery tender can also help in the winter if it gets especially cold where you live, or if you dont plan on driving your car for an extended period of time.

    Perform An Alternator Diode Test

    Battery Drain: I Have Something Draining the Battery. When I Got ...

    Alternators use diodes to direct current flow out of the alternator and prevent that current from flowing back.But diodes can go bad. Usually when this happens, you’ll see the headlights, dashboard lights and stereo lights dim or flicker during engine operation. And the problem may cause battery power to drain back into the alternator when the engine has been shut off, leaving you with a discharged battery.

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    It Keeps Your Car Running

    The car battery provides a steady stream of voltage to keep your engine and accessories running .

    When your battery is too weak or old, it can’t do either of these things. You might need to charge your car battery if your engine is sluggish or slow to start, or if your battery is completely dead.

    Beyond starting your car, charging your battery can help clue you in to whether or not it’s time for a new one. For example, leaving an interior light on overnight will drain your battery, but if the battery is “healthy” then it should quickly recharge. A battery that needs to be replaced, however, won’t hold a charge or will need to be recharged multiple times.

    Check The Draw Across The Negative Cable And Battery Post

    Turn on your multimeter and select the Amps and make sure its set for DC . You should see a symbol like a solid line, with dashes underneath. You Dont want AC , this is for your homes electric. You will probably have the option for Amps or mA , so choose the Amps to start with, preferably 10A or 20A. Make sure your wire leads are in the correct location, on the multimeter. There should be a diagram on the multimeter, showing you where to put the test lead wires.

    Youre going to be putting your multimeter in series of the battery drain or current draw. This means the current draw will be passing through the multimeter. In our case, we had a 4.4 Amp draw, so that power was flowing through the multimeter. Be certain your leads and dial are in their correct locations.

    Place one of the wire leads from the multimeter on the negative battery post and the other on the disconnected battery cable. You should see the multimeter display the number of Amps that are actively causing your battery drain. Use zip ties or small clamps to keep the multimeter leads connected to the battery terminal and battery wire.

    Tip: A normal operating vehicle will have about 50 milliamps of Amp draw on the battery.

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    What To Consider When Buying A New Battery

    Car batteries are designed to last anywhere from two to five years. While you might see car batteries sitting in your favorite big box store, it still takes a little knowledge to buy the right one and install it without a problem. Car batteries are determined by:

    Size car batteries are divided into several groups, which indicate the length, width, and height of the battery. The one your vehicle needs is determined by the space allotted for it. Check your owners manual to find out what group your vehicle needs.

    Freshness yes, there is an expiration date on a car battery. Especially for batteries that arent as popular as others, it can sit on the shelf indefinitely. Why put in a battery that already has six months or more in age?

    Power requirement this refers to the cold cranking amps and cranking amps . This is the amount of energy required to start the battery in extreme conditions.

    Warranties the car batteries with the longest warranties are also some of the more popular manufacturers in the marketplace. Dont go with obscurity to save a little money. This is one area you should stick with popularity.

    Battery life stop by one of our service bays, were happy to check the battery life of your current battery. This will help you determine if its time for a new one, or a little maintenance can keep it going.

    Who can you trust?

    Have a question about your car battery? Were just a phone call away.

    Filed Under: Tips & TricksTagged With: Draining Car Battery

    Reasons Your Car Battery Is Draining Super Fast

    Car Battery Drains Overnight Or After Days Of No Use! PARASITIC DRAIN

    Is your car battery draining super fast? Your car battery is the most important equipment needed in starting and driving your car. It sends power from the starter motor to the spark plugs, igniting your car fuels and giving power to other systems like lights, radio, airconditioning, etc.

    The problem, however, is that most car batteries drain fast, really really fast. And we are going to be dealing with that in this post because I can assure you your battery drains for so many reasons, even the ones we consider mundane. Before we delve into it, I will tell you this once and for all: NOTHING BEATS BUYING A GOOD BATTERY. If battery is the life of your car, you must invest in really good ones.

    So, I will list out various reasons for your battery drain.

    1.Human error 2.Parasitic draw or drain4.Corroded or loose battery cable5.Defective alternator6.Extreme temperature

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    How Long Does It Take A Car Battery To Drain

    How long it takes a car battery to drain is completely dependent upon the circumstance in which the battery finds itself.

    If you leave your car battery connected inside your car it will last for about 2 to 6 weeks in your vehicle and still be able to start it . Much of the charge is taken out of the battery due to what is known as a parasitic draw.

    All of your electronics in your car even when your key is turned off are still active to a degree. Theyre mostly in sleep mode but they are still drawing small currents to stay properly programmed. Your anti-theft system, your clock radio, and more all draw a little bit of current, and the newer your car the more likely you have a higher parasitic draw since it will be outfitted with more electronics.

    If you intend to leave your vehicle for longer than 2 to 3 weeks, I highly recommend getting a float charger like this one seen here on Amazon. This is by far my favorite float charger and Ive used it daily for over 4 years without any issues. It is a simple, set it and forget it type of charger and can be left on your battery indefinitely. That way when you come back from a vacation your car will be ready to go.

    Im going afield, back to the topic!

    A lead-acid battery typically loses about 5% of its charge per week just by sitting.

    If youre draining a car battery by powering a device, just keep in mind that a car battery will likely have about 600-720 watt-hours .

    So Look After Your Battery

    Charging your car battery at least once a month prolongs its life by up to three times, so buying a reliable battery charger, and getting yourself into a regular battery maintenance routine, makes perfect sense, year round. And, as battery failure can damage or compromise a vehicles electronics, a charger is most certainly a worthwhile investment.

    Investing in a charger like the MXS 5.0 from CTEK, with built-in functionality for both maintenance and troubleshooting, is the smart choice for drivers. With the MXS 5.0s patented technology, you can also recondition your battery and remove sulphation to restore battery health.


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    Why Is My Battery Affecting My Car Starting

    There are lots of components that contribute to your vehicles engine starting, your battery being one of them. Here are a few reasons your car battery may impact your car starting.

    Your cars battery is old and doesnt hold its charge as well as it used to. Youve only used your car for short runs for the last few months. For example, a weekly trip to the supermarket. This can mean you cars battery hasnt had enough time to charge. Your vehicles battery is drained. Accessories such as dash cams can drain your battery if theyre left plugged in. Likewise with immobilisers, your radio and interior lights.

    How Do You Find Out Whats Draining Your Car Battery

    Something is draining my battery overnight...

    One effective way to find out whats draining your car battery is to use an ammeter. This device allows you to measure the current that is going in and out of any given circuit.

    To use it, simply attach the negative lead of your ammeter to a good ground and then connect the positive lead to the batterys terminal. Next, start your car and leave the ammeter plugged in while youre driving around.

    The needle of the ammeter will move as you use different electrical components on your car . When it stops moving, that means there are no electrical loads left on your battery.

    From then on, you can tell that everything under the hood is running fine. On the other hand, if your ammeter keeps on moving, it means theres still something draining your battery even when your car isnt running.

    One alternative method for finding out whats draining your car battery is to use a voltmeter. This device allows you to measure how much charge is left in your battery.

    Simply attach the negative lead of the voltmeter to the negative terminal of your battery and the positive lead to each individual electrical component until you find one that draws too much current.

    Once youve identified which part is draining your battery, you can either repair or replace it as needed to prevent further problems. Remember that its always a good idea to consult your cars owners manual or a professional mechanic before performing any repairs on your car.

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    Reasons For A Car Battery To Drain

    There could be more than one reason for a car battery to drain. The most common problems however are:

  • Parasitic Drain – If the electrical devices in your car or the lights on your car are left running even when your ignition is off, they will suck the juice out of your battery slowly but dramatically. This is often eerily described as parasitic drain.
  • Defective charging system – A car battery drains quickly if something called the alternator on your charging system fails to push out enough voltage, ideally between 13.5 – 14.5 volts. In this case, the battery will continue to drain even while the car is running.
  • Defective alternator diodes – Alternatively, the alternator could have defective diodes which would drain the life out of your battery.
  • Extreme weather – If its too hot or too cold your car battery could be damaged. Leaving your car in either condition for a long time would cause sulfate to accumulate, leading to a shorter battery lifespan.
  • Old battery – The average lifespan of a car battery is about 4-5 years, so it may be that your car battery is too old to hold a full charge.
  • What Do I Get For My Diagnostic Fee

    When your Check Engine light comes on, a trouble code will be stored in one or more of your vehicle’s computers. There are certain conditions that have to be met for a trouble code to set, and it is vitally important that the technician who is diagnosing your car checks all of them before he/she makes a repair decision.

    The diagnostic trouble code is effectively the tip of the iceberg. The trouble code takes you to an area for further testing to properly determine where the real fault is. The diagnostic fee allows us the time to thoroughly test and accurately determine the real cause of the warning light using the professional test equipment we have invested in.

    As a company, we subscribe to a professional auto repair information system as well as the most thorough database in the industry of proven experience-based repairs from the best technical experts in the auto industry. Our engine diagnostic services help us to provide you with an accurate diagnosis of your vehicle’s engine problem and a repair that is done correctly the first time.

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    Why Is My Car Stereo Killing My Battery

    This is a common problem that can have a few different causes. The most likely cause is that your car stereo is drawing too much power from your battery, causing it to drain faster than it can recharge.

    This can be caused by a number of things, including having the volume turned up too high, or by having the stereo on for extended periods of time. If your battery is repeatedly dying, its a good idea to take your car to a mechanic to have it checked out. There are a few other potential causes of this problem, so be sure to rule those out as well.

    Some Other Method To Fix A Car Stereo Draining Battery

    Here’s Why Your Car Battery Keeps Draining

    1. Check all of your cars electrical connections and make sure they are clean and secure. Corroded battery terminals or loose wiring may be contributing to the problem.

    2. Install an in-line fuse on your stereos power cable to protect it from drawing too much power. This is a more advanced solution, and will require some basic wiring skills.

    3. Have your car battery tested by a professional to see if it is fully charged and functioning properly. If your battery is draining due to an issue with the battery itself, a professional can help you resolve this issue as well.

    4. Consider investing in a high-quality car charger that can keep your battery charged while youre using your car stereo. This is a great solution if you frequently use your car stereo for long periods of time, and can help prevent battery drain issues.

    5. If you have an aftermarket car stereo, make sure that it is properly grounded. An improperly grounded stereo can cause electrical issues that can drain your battery.

    6. Check all of the connections on your car stereo, and make sure that they are tight and secure. Loose or damaged connections can cause electrical issues that can lead to battery drain.

    7. Make sure that your car stereo is turned off when youre not using it. Even if your stereo is turned off, it can still draw power from the battery if it is left on.

    Please check our latest posts, if you are looking to upgrade your car stereo

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