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Levitt's 'lectric pblm (200)
A new battery *shouldn't* go flat that quick, but it sure can. S'appened
to me and my past (H*n*a) customers. Here's some things to check:
- Prolly not your new trunk switch; yer right, the bulb shouldda been hot
to the touch (*assuming* it hasn't burned out from being *lit* alla
time!). Check the fuse to make sure it hasn't blown and check the bulb
to make sure it's still a live one.
-Prolly not a short, else a fuse'd blown (well, it likely would've; I'd
check 'em anyway...with a continuity tester, since some crack after
stress, rather than blow).
You're on the right track so far, so now check:
-A bad ground connection at the starter or on the return path through the
block. If you can get to the connections easily, disassemble, clean 'em
up, and reassemble with high-dielectric silicone grease.
-A poor ground /or/ hot lead at the battery, indicating a battery cable
in poor condition or a loose terminal. Try cleaning the terminals and
coating them with high-dielectric grease (official) or Vaseline (unofficial).
You should see a pattern here; I suspect the battery isn't getting a full
charge from the alternator and is being drained-down through accessory
use. Doesn't take long. If you can, run by the local K-Mart, Sears, or
Wards & get a quick check of the charging system. Might be there, but I
suspect a poor mechanical lead/connection. If you can, check running,
starting (cranking), and static voltage/amperage at the battery and
alternator with a tester.
One other possibility to check out: A bad cell in the battery. When I
did this regularly, it seemed most likely to happen on newer batteries
(go figure). Sometimes an autopsy showed a crack in a plate, but
dissection is a messy job, so don't ("Where did I get all these moth
These were just the most obvious/frequent causes I ran into. YMMV. You
just *may* have something coming on when it shouldn't, but it'd have to
be a pretty steady drain at fairly high current draw to pull the battery
down like that with regular running (though a stuck backup-light
switch'll do it, especially if the car is run regularly, but not for long
at a time).
Hope this helps,
P.S. 'Couldn't let you go without one last possibility (I think I've
seen 'em all): Some batteries are stored dry or nearly dry at the
dealerships/vendors until *just* before they're installed/sold. *If* the
battery wasn't topped off initially (new or not), there'll be
insufficient electrolyte to cover the plates--even on a
"maintenance-free" battery (a contradiction in terms in almost any
climate, but especially where it's hot with low humidity or where you
have high underhood temps near the battery). --DBW