Troubleshooting a Tired Battery
courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man
My name is Kevin and I have a 1969 Olds Cutlass Supreme, and I am experiencing battery problems. First thing is that we recently purchased a new battery and the car starts fine if it is charged. I have to charge it every night to make sure it starts, after a few nights of not being charged the lights are dim and the car won't start. I can drive in it for hours on end so it can't be the alternator, what might be taking the life from my battery and what could I do to fix it?
Well, I would guess that there is a short in the system somewhere that is drawing down the battery. Here is a little trick to help find the problem. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Install a test lamp between the negative terminal and the negative cable. It will glow. Now, pull one fuse at a time until the light goes out. That last fuse is the circuit that contains the short. Now, if you get all the way to the last fuse, and the light is still glowing as bright as when you started, then you would need to look at the starter solenoid. That is probably the only unfused circuit in the system. It could also be possible that the alternator itself has a slight short to ground causing this problem (or the voltage regulator, I think that car has an external regulator unit).
Bob, The Auto Answer Man
Have a car care question? Visit our automotive center and see if we've already answered it or a similar question.
Debt is preventing me from taking a vacation this year or the vacation I'd like to take this year! Tell us: Yes, debt is affecting my vacation plans! or No, we're going exactly where we want to go but we'd love to learn make our trip as inexpensive as possible!
More Money-Saving Tips for Your Home
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- Top 10 DIY mistakes made by home 'handymen'
- How we saved $34k in interest on our mortgage before closing
- Buying an insurance-friendly car
- Tips for painting a basement floor Readers' Solutions
- This week's Readers' Tips
- Should I use a HELOC for home remodeling and repairs
- Find the best mortgage rates in your area
- 3 ways to use a mortgage calculator
- Mortgage calculator: Calculate your payment and more
- Home equity calculator: HELOC vs. line of credit
- How much can additional payments save me on my mortgage?
- Who offers the most home insurance discounts?