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98 hyundai accent electrical battery drain?

First my battery seemed like it was being drained by the CD player and once shut off and jumped, had no problems for almost 2 weeks. Then the CD player started coming back on and car wasn't starting up again. I pulled the fuse to the CD player and it started back up. Been fine for a few days and then wouldn't start again this morning. Jumped it and let it run for a while, shut it off and then wen't to start it and it didn't want to at first but then finally did. Left it all day and started right up the two times I've tried. I also tried pulling the negative off while running and it still kept running, plus the alternator was replaced last fall. So it all seems to point to electrical like I thought but just don't know where to go from here. I'm still new in town and mechanics around here are really big into ripping people off and being a girl doesn't help. I have ended up figuring out a lot of stuff out on my cars in the past and been able to do some of my own work by looking things up and good tips so would really appreciate any tips or suggestions.

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Never, never, never (!) pull a battery cable off while the ignition is on or engine running. I know that used to be the old way to check alternators, but that was before modern electronics and computers on cars. Nowadays, you can fry the electronics, the computer, and the alternator by doing that. It causes voltage spikes in the electrical system, and very harmful to electronics. Sounds like you are still okay, just giving you a heads-up.
Sounds to me like you may have a weak battery or a short in the cd player. If your battery is 3 or 4 years old, I would try a new battery, or take yours to have tested. If it is good, you might want the charging system checked. With a voltmeter on the battery, engine running, voltage should be about 13.5 volts. That is what the alternator needs to be putting out to recharge the battery for the next start-up.
Good luck.

Posted on Jul 16, 2013


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Check the battery first, if it is ok you probably have a bad starter. If the battery is drained, you need to charge and test the battery and alternator.

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Sounds like the alternator to me.If you have an autozone nearby,they will perform a battery/alternator test for free.Another thing it could be is your serpentine belt.If the tensioner is not pulling it tight,or if it is worn and stretched,that would easily cause it but would probably cause other symptoms which may be so minor,they are barely noticeable,but nevertheless noticeable.It would be weak breaking,a little harder steering,but very rarely gets loose.At least check the belt for tightness before having the test.If you are not sure about it,simple ask the person doing the battery/alternator test if you can get it done.They have decent knowledge and will help so you keep coming back.If you want a second opinion about the belt,go to a AAA approved shop if you are in the USA.They are honest dependable shops.If you have any questions or need more help,just comment here and I will get an autolink to your post and reply ASAP.I really encourage responses so I can follow up properly as I know where you stand and asking someone else restarts all the explaining because we cannot see other 'Expert's' responses.Good luck,Greg

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Not to disparage Advanced Auto, but you should check it yourself with a voltage meter-when the car is running, voltage should be over 14 volts, measure it at the battery posts AND at the reat post on the alternator-the readings should be within .02 volts of each other. A digital meter only costs $15 (at Advanced) and is a more accurate test than an alternator that has been removed from the car-when you test it out of the car, you are not accounting for poor connections that might be causing your problem in the first place.

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Is your car parked outside the garage?If yes,try park inside and see any difference.

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you may have a bad ground, or the ignition switch needs to be replaced.

Posted on Aug 19, 2012

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