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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, lets start back when I got my second 6 back in Feb.

Got married, let the car sit for about a week and I go out and its dead. Got jumped, took it in, got a replacment battery.

And to make a long story short, the car has had a dead battery 3 more times between then and now, I just got it back from the dealership right now, they said they recharged my battery, took 1hour 13 min. to charge it, and tested it and its fine again.

Im sick and tired of getting jump starts about every 3 months cuz of this bullshit, and I cant for the life of me figure out why my battery is going dead??

As of now, i have NOTHING electronic thats aftermarket hooked up to the car. No alarm, no system, no fogs, no hids, nada! Only thing I have is my cell phone charger in the center console, and my radar thats hardwired to my radio fuse, so they are both on switched power. And before anyone mentions it, no I do not leave the dome light on, or leave a door cracked or anything like that.

Anyone have any ideas why this would be happening? only seems to happen after the car sits for a few days. And this last time they had to bring a flatbed and tow it cuz it wouldnt even take a jumpstart!
 

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Bad diode in the alternator? This lets power trickle from the battery, but is many times intermittent, so it is hard to find. These kinds of problems can be a complete PITA to find.
 

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hmm i guess there must be some connection error or something, i know that car's battery will drain slowly if it's not started couple of days due to the clock, memory, radio blablabla... it's tiny... but it will trickle the battery... i left my car for like 2 weeks without starting the car, and when i got back, the voltage on my dist block read 9V... and yes i know.. i forgot to take out the ground for the dist block...

but anyway, try and see if your alternator is working properly... 1 way of testing it is prob using multimeter... try to measure ur car battery when the engine is off, and start the engine for like 5 mins, then check the battery again when the engine is running, see if it's 14 V and over..
 

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heres my 2 cents

first, i think it might be a bad alnternator. 2nd, theres some sort of unusual parasitic draw when the car is at rest.

check the 2nd first:
test by undoing your negative battery terminal. probe the ground wire and the battery in series with your digital multi meter. set yor DMM to measure amperage. a normal system should only have mila amps of current draw, very little. If its pulling more than an amp of current, something in the car is not right.

1st guess:
if your alternator is pushing for than 14 volts, than that is a sign its working properly, but only a sign. the other possibilty is the retification process in the charging system is failing.

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK..

After having to jump start my car twice again this week alone, I went and said F*** IT to Mazda's replacement battery and got a Optima Red Top...

Now, if this dies on me, im going to go up to Mazda and raise hell and demand some kind of full out diagnostic about this issue, since it obviously isn't battery related.

Oh, after the car was jumped this morning, a test showed the battery was fine, fully charged, and the alternator was fine as well...

Now I'm really stumped, so well see what happens with this new battery.
 

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OK..

After having to jump start my car twice again this week alone, I went and said F*** IT to Mazda's replacement battery and got a Optima Red Top...

Now, if this dies on me, im going to go up to Mazda and raise hell and demand some kind of full out diagnostic about this issue, since it obviously isn't battery related.

Oh, after the car was jumped this morning, a test showed the battery was fine, fully charged, and the alternator was fine as well...

Now I'm really stumped, so well see what happens with this new battery. [/b]

If a KNOWN good battery keeps going flat, its NOT the battery. Either your alternator isnt charging properly or there is a drain on the system when the car is shut off. The suggestion to diagnose it with a multimeter is a good one, but having the entire electrical/charging system tested is really the best suggestion. You're just throwing money away to keep buying new batteries, and the Optima isnt exactly a cheap battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not throwing money away, As many times as I have been to the dealer and had the replacement battery either replaced again, or recharged is getting really old, and since they won't do anything other than that to solve the issue, thats why I went and got the new battery finally.

It has a 4 or 5 year full replacement so thats fine with me, and money well spent in my book for the amount of stuff I have laying around waiting to install still. And like I said, if this one dies now, it's proof that its a problem OTHER than the battery, so I will take that up with Mazda, but hopfully I won't have to now..
 

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a few questions you need to ask, do you have an aftermarket alarm or stereo? If so look there, also check the alternator, you can put a volt meter on the battery when the car is on and off, the reading should be higher if the car is running, that means the alternator is working. also, make sure your belts aren't slipping, that would make the alternator not turn enough and may be not charging the battery as a result.
 

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a few questions you need to ask, do you have an aftermarket alarm or stereo? I
[/b]

If properly installed, it wont drain the battery even when off. If improperly installed, the battery would have died within the week of the install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
a few questions you need to ask, do you have an aftermarket alarm or stereo? If so look there, also check the alternator, you can put a volt meter on the battery when the car is on and off, the reading should be higher if the car is running, that means the alternator is working. also, make sure your belts aren't slipping, that would make the alternator not turn enough and may be not charging the battery as a result.
[/b]

As stated before none of my aftermarket stuff, including my system is installed at the moment. As also stated, the alternator is working and charging just fine, dealership and new battery shop both confirmed that. The belts also look fine, I was watching them earlier when they were checking the above..



cell phone chargers = aftermarket. They aint covering you under warranty ;)
[/b]

Cell charger and radar have both been off and in the wifes jeep since the 12th, just as a test and turns out it wasn't either one of those things either.
 

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ok, but wires come loose, people fiddle with stuff their not supposed to. It's a valid question...
[/b]

yeah i know :D
 

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alternator, or a drain as everyone had suggested, most likely the alternator
 

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Not throwing money away, As many times as I have been to the dealer and had the replacement battery either replaced again, or recharged is getting really old, and since they won't do anything other than that to solve the issue, thats why I went and got the new battery finally.

It has a 4 or 5 year full replacement so thats fine with me, and money well spent in my book for the amount of stuff I have laying around waiting to install still. And like I said, if this one dies now, it's proof that its a problem OTHER than the battery, so I will take that up with Mazda, but hopfully I won't have to now.. [/b]
I think I misunderstood you. It sounded like Mazda had also replaced the battery and then you went and bought an Optima after that, my mistake. The Optima is a great battery, if just a bit expensive, and if that solves the problem then you're home free. The dealership SHOULD have been able to load test the battery to determine its condition, sorta bothersome if they just charged it and never did any further testing.
 

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Ya did they load test the car? That would be my first question. Next would be to look for power drains. That can be hard to do. Good luck.
 

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My first thought would be your alternator, though I would think that unlikely, because the problem would be getting worse over time. I understand that you have no aftermarket electronics (radar detector and cell charger would take about a month to kill a battery) but did you buy the car used? If so, the previous owner could have had such toys, and it's real easy to screw up. It happened in my blazer, it was a competition show vehicle with a ton of electronics. I had a Tsunami alternator, so i know that wasn't bad, but i also started to go through batteries every few months. Like you, i got sick of it and bought an Optima (Yellow Top). This too would die on me after a few months, the only repreive being that it wouldn't deep cycle, so i could just keep recharging it. I and my friend, who was a proffesional car audio/video installer for 12 years, could not figure it out. Wires could have been kinked, something may have grounded out, the dealership may have screwed up when they rewired the car after it got shot in the fusebox and the wiring harness melted (don't ask).

A bit long winded, but that's my two cents. or four. whatever.

In any case, electrical problems are a PITA to track down, it takes a lot of money to get someone else to do it, and they might not get it right, or you can get out your multimeter and clear your calender for a few weeks and do it yourself. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Car seems to be fine so far with the Optima, I'm going to chance it and get my system put back in on Wednesday, so we shall see what happens. As far as load testing, I guess the dealership is lazy, and now that I think about it.. all the previous trips I'm willing to bet they just kept recharging the battery which was probably bad to begin with.

The car was bought brand new, had 300 miles on it but it sat on the lot for about 6 months. When the battery went out the very first time, thats when my dealership told me I had the replacement battery already installed so that worries me a little.

The other night my dad and I were checking under the hood just bs'n, and noticed the ground clamp on the neg. terminal was REALLY close to my strut tower bar, and has been moved away, would that have been one of the reasons my old battery(s) were going out?
 

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Car seems to be fine so far with the Optima, I'm going to chance it and get my system put back in on Wednesday, so we shall see what happens. As far as load testing, I guess the dealership is lazy, and now that I think about it.. all the previous trips I'm willing to bet they just kept recharging the battery which was probably bad to begin with.

The car was bought brand new, had 300 miles on it but it sat on the lot for about 6 months. When the battery went out the very first time, thats when my dealership told me I had the replacement battery already installed so that worries me a little.

The other night my dad and I were checking under the hood just bs'n, and noticed the ground clamp on the neg. terminal was REALLY close to my strut tower bar, and has been moved away, would that have been one of the reasons my old battery(s) were going out?
[/b]

I would check for something in your stereo system grounding out.
Unless your strut tower bar is hooked up to the positive terminal (which by the way would be a problem) it shouldn't matter if it touches the ground terminal.
 

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The other night my dad and I were checking under the hood just bs'n, and noticed the ground clamp on the neg. terminal was REALLY close to my strut tower bar, and has been moved away, would that have been one of the reasons my old battery(s) were going out?

[/b]

nope
 
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