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.
Take the Next Step
- Reduce the cost of your gasoline with a 'gas card'. You can compare them here.
Also in Home
- Cleaning coffee stains on carpeting
- Is it a DIY job? How to tell
- Don't kill your small engine!
- Choosing a new freezer
- Laundry the old-fashioned way
- Applying engineering techniques to pesky household problems
- 25 tips and tricks for an organized move
- Tiling a shower stall
- 5 ways your house can make you go broke
- 5 simple and affordable luxuries for your home
- Does staging really raise a home's price?
- 5 home renovation can raise your insurance rate -- or lead to discounts
- The right way and wrong way to pay down your mortgage
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- 3 ways (and 1 reason) to refinance a HELOC
- 6 home projects that don't pay for themselves
- Should I refinance my home equity line?
- 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
- Mortgage refinance break-even calculator
- How much money can I borrow for a mortgage?