Car Battery Goes Down As I Drive

car battery drains downI bought a Honda Civic Si with 188K. Drove 40 miles everything fine then gauges went dead, engine started to bog in any gear (manual) then engine died. I was told to keep the battery disconnected because something is eating the battery power.

If you wait 10 min and reconnect, engine starts up again no problem, after 10 min dies again. What is this, alternator? Distributor? Or bad battery? What should I try first?

Thanks so much for your time!


Howdy Ant,

If the battery is dead/flat when the engine dies and you either have to get a jump start or get the battery recharged to get the engine running again…….I would suspect you either have a bad battery or a bad alternator.

So what can you do to start narrowing things down and ruling stuff out?

Watch this video first

The first thing I would do is run a complete electrical test on the vehicle as follows:

1. Load test of the battery – how strong is the battery

2. Check the alternator output – how much power is the alternator putting out

3. Check for a drain…is something electrical actually draining the battery of power

4. Check the battery cables and connections – are the tight and clean

5. Check the alternator belt – is the belt loose or slipping

So can you do any of those steps yourself, or can you have your mechanic check into them for you? I would recommend you at least install a new battery, clean the battery cables and see what happens with a known good battery. That might be all that is wrong with the car. I have seen many batteries just fail, out of the blue with no warnings at all.

I kinda feel you might have an alternator problem, but I would also bet your battery will not pass a load test with flying colors either.

One of the main causes of alternator failure is a weak batter, not weak enough to need a jump start just weak enough to make the poor alternator work twice as hard to keep it fully charged.

Please share this with your friends,

Austin Davis

3 Comments on "Car Battery Goes Down As I Drive"

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  1. josh evans says:

    My 99 durangos battery drains while I’m drivng somEtimes. VoltAge slowly drains the truck dies, put in new batt and checked altenator,both seem good, any help?

    • Austin Davis says:

      I would have a mechanic check the alternator output, load test the battery and do a voltage drain test. either something is draining the battery (must be a really big drain) or the alternator is just not producing enough juice to keep the battery charged.

      The battery needs volts and amps, its like a garden hose, a small restricted hose can only allow a small amount of water out, a larger sized non restricted hose allows more water to flow. The voltage regulator inside the alternator needs to allow a large amount of amps and 13+ volts to keep the battery up.
      So the alternator needs to be checked for proper voltage and amp output. Also check all battery cables and ground connections at the battery and make sure they are good and tight and clean.

  2. Anonymous says:

    In my view, in fact, doing so is right, very supportive of your point of view.
    Feel your article is very unique, great, reading your article is a pleasure.

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