Reoccurring Dead Battery
courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man
My wife has a '97 Ford Contour. I has a brand new battery and alternator, but the something is killing the battery completely every other day or so, sometimes it will go a week before being totally dead. I have resorted to disconnecting the battery every night, but would like to solve the problem.
You are on the right track, but need to take it a little closer to the problem. Find the main fuse panel. Then, with the battery negative cable disconnected, insert a test light between the battery and the negative cable. The light should be on.
Pull one fuse at a time (taking note where the fuse came from so you know where to put it back). When the light goes out, you found your drain. Also, there should always be a little current draw for computer memory, but that should only glow the light dimly. Once you found which fuse is causing the drain, look up that circuit in your owners manual (each fuse slot is numbered, and somewhere in the manual it will tell you what fuse is for what).
Now, you will have a closer idea of what may be causing the drain. It may be a door lock or a window regulator or even a heated seat. But at least you will know what is causing the drain. Then, you can make a decision as to whether that particular component is absolutely necessary that it be fixed immediately. If it is a non-critical item, then maybe it could wait till the weather gets a little nicer before tackling the job completely.
Bob, The Auto Answer Man
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