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Levitt's 'lectric pblm (200)

Lee --

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