Let me preface this with I know next to nothing about cars. About 3-4 weeks
ago I had to have the alternator changed on my car. It was toast. Today I had
to get my car jumped to start. Couple of weeks ago when I went out to start
the car it took forever to start. I could hear it trying and then suddenly it
roared into life. I've always had to hold the key all the way turned for a
little longer than usual to get it to catch except when I got the new
alternator. Today when it I first tried to get it to go it started the same
way it did 2 weeks ago but then just died. Didn't even catch this time. There
was absolutely no problem when my neighbor jumped it. So is this the battery
now? I know the alternator is new. I usually take my car out about once a
week for errands and thats about it. Any help would be appreciated before I
have to pay my mechanic for something new LOL Thanks.
How do you know the alt. was toast, is that what your mechanic said?
You probably have a parasitic drain on the battery. This would be a
courtesy light, radio or door switch or some other small electrical
switch staying on. Could be a lighted mirror in the visor or glove box
switch. Given that you only start the car once a week a parasitic
drain would leave the battery too low to work the starter. If you
started it every day and ran it for a few minutes you'd charge the
battery up some and it might not be so bad when you needed it.
Hook up an ammeter in series with the battery ground and frame and see
what reading you get in milliamps, should be about or under 100,
because the clock/radio does draw some power to keep the memory alive.
If you get more than that start pulling fuses to see which circuit is
causing the drain. Probably a door switch or courtesy lamp.
When I brought the car in I watched while they worked. The wiring was fried
he used a machine to check the volts (not sure what it's called) and it was
way below 14. I knew it was going as the sounds coming from it were loud and
bad. The belt was chewed to within a centimeter or it's life and Yes my
mechanic said it was done. LOL
It a very old car. There isn't many lights or switches that work on it
anymore. Haven't worked since I got it. But I can take it for a ride around
the neighborhood daily to see if it's just because I am not using it enough.
Oh that's the other thing my damn radio was at 6am and my stations were gone
again like when I've had to unhook the battery for other repairs and then re-
hooked it up. That's what made me think it was the battery in the first place.
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