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My battery drains if the car sits for more than 24 hours without running.

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Somewhere, you have a subsystem in the car with a short that is causing your battery to drain. The way to narrow this down is this:

Get a 12-volt light bulb (any bulb from a turn signal or something to that effect will work), and solder a wire onto each lug on the bottom. Disconnect the cable from the negative terminal of your battery, and place the bulb inline with it, so that it is "cable - bulb - battery" (connect one bulb wire to the neg battery cable, and the other to the neg battery terminal). The bulb should light up. This is because you have current being drawn through the car.

Now, go to the fusebox, and take out the fuses for the radio, the car's computer, and the clock (since these all have current drawn at all times). Now of the remaining fuses, remove one fuse at a time. Check the bulb each time - if it stays on, the fuse you have just pulled is not in the circuit with the drain. Put the fuse back and move to the next one. If you pull a fuse, and the bulb goes out, you've just broken the conduction circuit - you've found the system in the car that is responsible for the current draw, and have stopped it by pulling the fuse and opening the circuit. Whichever system or systems that fuse is intended to safeguard, that is where you must now troubleshoot.

I know it's only a partial solution, but it'll get you into the neighborhood of where the problem is, and once you get there, post up some more info and maybe we can take it further and figure out the problem.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008


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My battery has not been holding the charge. Is there a way of determining if its the battery or the electrical system?

Fully charge the battery, then disconnect it from the car by removing the negative battery terminal. Wait about 24 hours (or however long you state the battery won't hold a charge), then reconnect the negative terminal and try and start the car. If the battery did not drain while it was disconnectesd, then your car is draining the battery while it sits.

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I have a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. If it sits for more than 24 hours it won't start without being jump started. Has a brand new battery. Could it be the starter?

It sounds like you have a major current draw, the alternator may be draining to earth internally . Once you have the engine running you need to check the charge rate from the alternator as it is controlled by the main computer .Also make sure you don't have interior lights such as a vanity mirror or glovebox light stuck on. This will be enough to kill a battery overnight.

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Well the starter won't cause the rough running or stalling problems.
You would need to know if the starter has full battery power when it will not crank without being jumped off another battery.
It could be that the battery voltage drops low enough to affect the computer memory, and after the engine starts the computer has to re-learn the settings.

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Parasitic battery drain

A stuck relay will do this.

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Running down battery when parked for a day without usage

There's always a small amount of drain on the battery for the ECM, alarm, etc, but if draining bad within 24 hours you either have something live not wired correctly and drawing or possible short of a positive. An ASD relay that shuts off the car in case of a wreck or ECM tells it can go bad and lock into giving power to the engine nonstop and will drain that fast. Overnight it wont start the next day. This relay might also be called MFI. It has an always live 12v  on one part even when car is turned off.

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My 1996 corsica will not start once it has sat for 24 hours without being started unless I disconnect the battery

something must be draining your battery sounds like some sought of electrical issue, if you have any mods like amps or subwoofers i wud check dem

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Unable to crank after sitting

Interesting problem. There are a number of things that can contribute to these symptoms: Battery not holding charge, charging system not working, bad/corroded battery and/or starter cable connections, and of course something draining the battery when the ignition is off.

Before doing these tests, make sure the battery is fully charged by disconnecting it from the car and charging it 24 hours with an external battery charger.

Is the charging system (alternator) working? Accords have an idiot light, not an ammeter/voltmeter, so it could be your car isn’t charging and the indicator light is burned out. Connect a voltmeter to a fully charged battery and observe the voltage (should be about 13.8 volts). Now start the car and observe the voltage again, should be higher than before (around 15 volts). If the voltage doesn’t increase at least slightly either the alternator belt is loose and slipping or the alternator is bad.

Are the battery terminals tight/clean? Any corrosion on the terminals or wires? How about the end that connects to the starter? How about the ground wire to chassis? Any corrosion could produce an intermittent connection problem that acts like a dead battery.

The battery may be new…but is it good? Charge it, connect it and confirm the car starts. Then DISCONNECT the battery, let sit 24 hours, re-connect and try to start. If the battery now acts dead maybe it is bad. Exchange under warranty.

And last, something is discharging the battery. First question, do you have any non-Honda add-ons like an aftermarket audio system with a power amp? Audio power amps have a direct wire to the battery for greater power, if the amp isn’t turning off then you’ll have a drain. Try disconnecting such equipment and see if your problem goes away. If that’s not it connect an ammeter in series with the battery with the ignition OFF and start pulling fuses one by one until you find what’s causing the drain.

Hope this helps!

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crank your car leave it running and pull the hot cable off the battery tell me what happens

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