Reader Question I have a new battery in my car, but something keeps draining the battery down and I have to keep jump starting my car. What else could be wrong with my car besides the battery?
Thanks in advance, Kurt
Thanks for your question Kurt,
Kurt, if your new battery is going down “draining” and you have to continually jump start the battery to get the engine to start it is probably one of these problems:
• Alternator is not recharging the battery – alternator is faulty and needs to be repaired or replaced
• There is a “drain” on the battery, like something is left on…..dome light, radio, trunk light, etc. OR there is some kind of electrical item that is sucking battery power that you are unaware is running…like, a radio amplifier, an electric seat motor, electric antenna motor etc.
• A wiring problem, the electricity the alternator IS generating is not getting back to the battery, a broken “ground” wire on the back of the alternator or a faulty battery cable or battery cable end or just a loose or dirty battery cable could be the problem.
• Fuse problem, depending on what kind of car this is, some vehicles have an alternator fuse, either under the dash inside the car with the rest of the fuses or under the hood in the larger fuse and relay panel on some newer cars.
Bottom line: To properly diagnose a charging system problem, you must check all components on the vehicle. Your mechanic can test the battery “load”, the alternator “output”, and check for a voltage “draw” or something draining the battery with the engine and key off.
Austin C. Davis