Reader Question I have a Mazda 626 (1996)LS, 4 cylinder with 112K miles on it . The car runs good. But after every 20-22 days its battery dies…I mean not exactly dies but it just doesn’t work. The moment it’s given a jump-start with a truck (not another car) it works fine again.
When its working, it works perfect for about a month but when it dies, it does not even make a single sound as I turn the key for starting the car. All the indicators get shut off. Even power lock doesn’t work then. I don’t know what to do with this intermittent weired behavior. I got my alternator, battery, and starter checked. They are working well. What can be the potential problem?
I would appreciate your input.
Thank you for your email. I think you need to start over again with the basis tests. To me it sounds like you have a weak battery and it should be replaced. You might have a small “electrical drain” a drain is some electrical component that is still on when the engine and the key are off. Some common “drains” are:
1. Trunk, glove box, or hood light staying on
2. An aftermarket radio or some other component like a radar detector, amplifier, phone charger left on
3. An electric seat motor or electric antenna motor that is drawing current from the battery with the key off
So, what should you do? Re-test the battery first. If the battery is more than 3 years old, I would just replace it regardless. Then have a QUALIFIED mechanic check your electrical system for a “drain”. The mechanic will know what this is, and you really should leave the car with them over night so they can see what if any drain occurs over the course of a few hours.
Also make darn sure your battery cables are clean and tight. You should not be able to move them on the battery with your bare hands. A loose battery cable can cause all kinds of electrical problems.
Keep me posted,