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Handyman: Car Battery - Why it Dies

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haighr
Laurel, DE
(Zone 7a)

September 16, 2008
11:14 PM

Post #5560622

We have a 1964 jeep at our cabin and it eats batteries. We put in a new battery this spring and it is a good one from Napa.
The jeep starts by doing the following, turn on the ignition key, turn on the kill switch (which shuts off power to the battery) and then push a start button. When the kill switch is in the off position, nothing works including the lights. There is no radio, no windows, just a basic jeep.
Here is the lead in to what happened. Steve took the jeep into the woods, not unusual, to put a bag of corn at the feeder. He stopped, parked and shut all off, key, kill switch. Then when he tried to start it up would not start. There is no gas gauge so you have to use a dip stick in the tuel tank. It was low on gas so Steve though he was too low to start so he walked back to the cabin and got some gas. So when we fill it with gas, still will not turn over. There was gas in the fuel pump and line but the battery tried twice to start and then completely died. We put the charger on it and it started right up and we drove back to the cabin. Next morning, completely dead as a doornail.
Any idea what could be making it drain when it isn't powering anything when off?
Thanks,
Candee

Edited to say - Terri put me onto the Cars and Trucks forum so I cross posted there.

This message was edited Sep 16, 2008 7:50 PM

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Methodical
Clinton, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 23, 2008
1:49 AM

Post #5821001

How is the alternator? You need to test it. Take a digital meter and with it set to DC voltage start the car and put the black lead on the - side of the battery and the red lead on the + side of the battery. It should read at least 14 volts. If less the alternator is bad and is draining the battery. Also check to see if there's a fusible link or some sort of fuse inline with the cable that goes from the battery to the alternator - make sure its good.

Didn't realize this was posted in September. How is the car? BTW cool little jeep.

This message was edited Nov 22, 2008 8:50 PM
haighr
Laurel, DE
(Zone 7a)

November 23, 2008
7:28 PM

Post #5823053

Thanks methodical, yep it was the alternator and we found the weird one that we needed. Runnin fine now!
Methodical
Clinton, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 24, 2008
8:08 PM

Post #5826929

Cool

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