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Car Battery goes dead overnight - Nothing been left on

zipposusa zipposusa
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 05/08
Posted: 05/25/08
10:28 AM

Carver,  If there was a short in the battery you would be showing a current draw if you are putting your VM between the neg. post and neg. cable.  When you place the vm between these 2 points and show a draw then you have a draw externally of the battery.  You have something seriously drawing.  I just posted with a similar problem with my chevy 3500 truck.  But mine is only a 56ma draw.  And yes a 140ma draw will draw your battery dead in no time.  Mine goes dead in 2-3 days.  Keep watching and see if nick has any insight.  I have traced it a heater harness so far.  On the firewall passenger side do you have a be plastic cover that is mounted close to where the comes down and meets this black cover?  Do you have writing on this panel and says junction block?  If it does, this is how I started. Place your amp meter between the cable and battery.  Take the nut off of one post at a time and see if your draw goes down.  If it doesn't then move on to the next one.  Keep in mind though that one of those leads, (usually the biggest one or the one on the far left is the supply lead).  Mine was the 4 wire over from the left side.  That included the power lead.  

aero4000 aero4000
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 06/08
Posted: 06/12/08
01:59 PM

After a year of sporadic dead batteries and a battery replacement, I have realized that my battery only dies when the car is left outside in the SUMMER.  I've left it for a week in the winter with no problems.  But a few days in the heat and it's dead.  It's the opposite of what I'd expect. The car is a 2003 Infiniti G35.

Any ideas about this?  

1990Ford 1990Ford
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 07/08
Posted: 07/12/08
09:45 PM


I have a 1990 Ford F-150.  I replaced the battery about 8 months ago with a Sears Die Hard.  I haven't had a problem until this afternoon when I went to start it and it was dead.  I jumped started it, ran it for a while (about 20 minutes) and shut it off.  About three hours later I started it again and it fired right up.  I moved it to the fromt of my house to load it with stuff and after  being shut off for about three hours, it wouldn't start again!

Any ideas or directions?  Keep in mind I'm not very mechanically inclined... but my 23 year old son is!


73caprice513 73caprice513
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 04/09
Posted: 04/19/09
06:27 PM

I am having the same problems with my 73 caprice but not as serious as most. I drove the car from california to Ohio and never had the first trouble with anything. the car sat in the drive for a few months and the battery went dead. I replaced it and it was fine I went out a few days ago and it was dead, after only being used once in a week. I had the battery and alt checked and they said both were good so I parked it again. The next day I went out and it fired up. I thought the problems were solved. after sitting for another week it again had a dead battery. Its really frustrating as I'm sure everyone here knows. since I know little to nothing about cars do I take it to a shop and ask about this prasitic drain? if its not that or the alt. what is my worse case situation? I really like my classic car and want to enjoy it and with this being the only problem I really need a solution. thanks guys  

buyadvice buyadvice
New User | Posts: 34 | Joined: 09/08
Posted: 04/24/09
08:42 AM

Please check the alternator of the vehicle.  

440t4 440t4
Guru | Posts: 1009 | Joined: 04/09
Posted: 04/24/09
09:33 PM

Nickb .Im no ASE master certified technician but ive been a mechanic and transmission rebuilder for 20+ years.You sound like you never heard of an alternator that charges fine when running and allows the battery to drain off while inactive.I guess that wasnt on the ASE test.  

tony77 tony77
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 05/09
Posted: 05/17/09
06:22 AM

Hi Nick maybe you can get me started in the right direction, i have a 1993 Mitsu 3000 gt VR4 and have a new battery. Car is in excellent condition. Battery goes dead overnight with nothing on, starts and runs with a jump. So it sounds like i have sometype of discharge. No idiot lights or indication of what is wrong. I am very handy, so how would you suggest i go about troubleshoting this problem.
Mu thoughts, install amp meter in line with battery and check for discharge and disconnect one fuse at a time until discharge goes away.  Thansk for the help  

311panther 311panther
New User | Posts: 4 | Joined: 05/09
Posted: 05/23/09
04:20 PM

You might also need to replace the battery cables.  Look very closely at the connections.  

MerchantsTire MerchantsTire
New User | Posts: 4 | Joined: 06/09
Posted: 06/08/09
08:20 AM

My first thought is check the charger unit itself.  You may want to check out this website for future problems  

rashad94 rashad94
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 06/09
Posted: 06/16/09
03:20 AM

How you doing Nick,

I have a 99 300M. My mechanic put a brand new battery in my car for me. A few weaks later the battery light is coming on while I'm driving. Now the car won't turn over or on. NO POWER. Is it the alternator or paracitic draw?

If you can help thanks.

poi_dog poi_dog
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 08/09
Posted: 08/19/09
05:29 PM

Check your altenator  

poi_dog poi_dog
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 08/09
Posted: 08/19/09
05:30 PM

Icon QuoteAlexR:
Can anyone help with this:

My girlfriend's car battery died whilst she was at work as she left her lights on. Not a problem I thought, jump started it fine and got it home. The next morning it wouldn't start so left a charger on it all day. The charge had no effect on the battery so went out and bought a new battery. Installed that last night and this morning it was discharged again and the car wouldn't start.

There was nothing left on in the car and I am all out of ideas?

I just had this happen on my wife's 01 Ford Expedition. First I checked the voltage on the battery with the car running, 14+ volts, looked as if the alternator was working. Changed battery, and again, dead over night. Then, I checked the current draw on the battery with the car off, all doors closed, hood light disconnected. It was drawing 4.5 amps. Called a mechanic friend of mine, he said that one, or more, of the diodes in the alternator was shorted, replace the alternator. I didn't believe him at first, but as soon as I disconnected it, the current draw went from 4.5 amps to .07. I took the alternator to Napa, and it failed immediately on their tester. I replaced the alternator, and have not a problem since. The battery light never did come on, so do not use a lack of a battery light on the dash to rule out a bad alternator.  

rob505189 rob505189
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 08/09
Posted: 08/20/09
01:02 AM

sounds like maybe you got a bad battery again. Try one more then start searching for other problems.  Maybe it is time to look at seized cars by police and the government check for local auctions with this website just copy and paste the link into your address bar  

utubaking01 utubaking01
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 10/09
Posted: 10/11/09
10:07 AM


waynep7122 waynep7122
Addict | Posts: 4547 | Joined: 08/09
Posted: 10/11/09
02:02 PM

without any car information..?????  

i will take a stab at it.. the battery needs to be close to fully charged to do this...  minimum of 1 hour at 10 amps on a charger..

first... at least you will need a 12 volt test light to test the system... along with some tools to disconnect on cable..

roll down the drivers side door window.. so it is wide open... this is just in case.....  

make sure everything is off..  if you have a hood light.. as the hood is open.. follow the wire.. most have a connector you can unplug to shut the light off....

disconnect one side of the battery...    put the test light CLIP on the battery post you just took the cable off of... put the other end on the cable you just disconnected...   if the test light lights up... you have some kind of battery draw and that might be enough to discharge the battery overnight.....

next it to have somebody watch the test light... see if it blinks out when you start pulling fuses and putting them back in the exact same spot..    that would tell you what circuit has a fault..  

most cars have at least 2 fuse boxes.. one under the hood..   another inside the car.. sometimes under the dash,, in the glove box.. in the ends of the dash ...

once you identify which fuse has the circuit that is drawing power.. you can get a wiring diagram from to see what other items are on that fuse...   you do have to join and log in to access their free repair info..

when having the battery charged... be sure to wash it with Hot water...   clean the terminal posts and the ends of the cables...

if the ends of the battery are pushes out and swollen looking it might be time for a new battery...

now...   what ever you *** DO NOT pull a battery off with the engine running..  this is not a test.. this is a way to ruin the alternator...    

digital volt meters are needed to check the charging system.. they start at 5 bucks.. and you never need one that costs more that 25 or so..

with the battery fully charged... turn the headlights on for one minute..   then off..

the battery voltage with the digital volt  meter set on 20 volts DC...

12.65 volts is a 100% charged battery
12.45 volts is  a 50% charged battery
12.25 volts is a 25% charged battery...

when the engine is running .. with close to a 100% charged battery the charging system should put out just over 14.1 volts..

if it does not.. the alternator belt might be loose..   or one of the belts that drive it..

online wiring diagrams can be gotten at   you have to join and log in. to access their free repair info...  and they cover a lot of cars back to the 60's...   but stop about 3 or 4 model years back..


these last 2 have tons more info... but start at 1983 and newer ...  they have the same info that professional mechanics have..

oh... and some newer cars can have 300 different wiring diagrams..   and require a scan many 2000 and newer cars have individual systems that are operated by the computer..    and the individual circuits can set trouble codes..  

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