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Battery keeps dying


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When I first got my '64, I checked the whole thing out, flipping every lever and switch I could find. In that process, I left the light on the back of the center console on. This made my battery continually get drained after it sat for a few days.

The battery that was in the car wasn't a good one to begin with and has now been replaced.

It was fine for a some ( 3-4? ) weeks, cranking very well each time I would go out to start her up. My neighbor and I were working on the driver door striker to get the door to close a little tighter and the first time I went to start it after we finished and parked it, the battery was dead.

I started it up just fine after messing with the striker when I pulled it back in the garage, so having the door open off-and-on for 20-30 minutes didn't drain the battery. And one of the things I checked before parking it was that the inside lights turned off still when the door was closed.

I charged it from my charger and it took a full charge and started up just fine. 5 days later, I went to move the 'Riv, and the battery was dead again.

I'm going on the assumption that the new battery really is a good one for now. If I can't find anything that I'm doing to drain it, I'll go have it tested or something.

So, what I'm look for is ideas on what could be draining the battery. This is a preliminary list I came up with:

1) head / parking lights left on

2) ignition key being left in the ACC spot instead of where it belongs

3) interior lights being left on

4) the switch to a power item (window, seat, antenna, etc. ) is stuck "on" and constantly drawing power

5) trunk light stuck on ( I'll test this with my phone on video record mode )

What else can you guys think of that could be causing this?

There's a chance that I turned something on and forgot about it, but I don't see anything that's on.



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Hi Brian,

Disconnect the negative cable and connect a 12 volt test light between the battery and the disconnected cable. If the light is on there is a current drain. Be sure you do not have radio memory or some other accessory which would provide an acceptable but constant drain. For instance, if the clock is working. Disconnect such items

While watching the test light remove the fuses one by one. If the light goes out you will have narrowed down the circuit which is providing the drain.

If you pull all the fuses and still have a light you may have a short in the circuits which are always hot like the alternator, starter, ignition switch. Hope this helps,

Tom Mooney

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I tried charging the battery one more time, and my charger told me that it couldn't take a charge. I really didn't believe this so I took it back to Auto Zone for them to charge and for me to get a 12-volt test light.

It turns out that the new battery actually was bad. I'm not sure that the car didn't somehow mess it up, but the Auto Zone charger also said it was bad. So, new battery for me. And I forgot to get a test light while I was there. Oops.

I do have a cheap-O multi-tester somewhere. I'll see if I can find it and do the test anyway. Also, on a good note, I figured out why my car takes so long to start. See the update here:



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