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This summer I had to replace a year old battery (tested, dead) because my 2003 sable wouldn’t start, even after jumping. Now here I am, about 6 months later and I find myself needing to jump my car to get it started all the time. I last drove it 3 days ago and once again today it wouldn’t start again. 3 days isn’t even abnormally long to go without starting it. Never in my life have I had so many problems just starting a car. Is there something that could be pulling electricity all the time causing the battery to drain and prematurely die?
 

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The battery is a storage device. It charges, and discharges. If it does not stay up, it is either, not charging, or something is draining it. Some diagnose is needed.
There is a shopping list of things that drain the battery when it is not running and charging.
-chart-
 

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To add to what others have said, some digging may be in order. A few biggies are bad alternator diodes which will drain a battery. The draw you are describing sounds low. My family once had a car that had automatically adjusting shocks and it was killing the battery. I found it by pure luck. I put a meter in series with the battery and happen to catch the relay click and saw the power spike. Fixed it be pulling the fuse. You may need to get a meter and check incoming voltage from ALT. while car is running, and general voltage draw when car is turned off. You will be using the meter both in parallel and series.
--if you don't know what those expressions mean--please find a friend that does.
The fact it takes 'month's to kill the battery tells me the problem may be intermittent. Also, most batteries that are purchased new come with at least a 36 month warrenty...that first one from a year ago if totally killed should have been under warranty of some kind.
 

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This true. What is odd is that it takes months for the battery to die, unless when the car is turned off the alt only draws when stopped in a certain position for so long. I'm not sure about how the electrical connections are made inside. Depending on the car you can get a pulled ALT for under 40 bucks and swap it out in 30 minutes to at lease eliminate that possiblity. At worst, the OP will have a back up ALT in the garage for any future need. I look on Ebay and when I find one for the right place, I buy and just inventory it. That kind of thing has helped me out on early Sunday mornings when no store is open for 3 hours. LOL...
 

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Be aware that to correctly measure parasitic drain on the battery you must wait 30+ minutes after putting the ammeter in series with the battery without opening any door, turning the key on, etc to give all the modules time to go to sleep. Once all the modules have gone to sleep, drain should be 50 mA or less. Before modules all go to sleep drain can be up to 1 amp.
 
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+1 for the alternator. I know there's a way to check the amperes of the alternator. It's main purpose is to regulate the electricity flow and keep your battery charged from draining. do a test, normal ampere should be 40-60. (not sure though)
 

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If you change the alternator make sure you get a much higher amp alternator I would start with 150 amp I put a 200 amp in my car 6 years ago with the battery and I haven't had to change it yet.
 

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If you change the alternator make sure you get a much higher amp alternator I would start with 150 amp I put a 200 amp in my car 6 years ago with the battery and I haven't had to change it yet.
Factory Alt works for 99.9% of the users. Depends on rpm and temperature. This time of year high temperature is not an issue. If you want higher output, use a smaller pulley and change the belt length. If your belt is slipping, the PS is the first to show the signs. If the volts running is 13.8-14.2 your Alt is not the issue. Volts depend on air temperature, and how long the engine is running. Measure is easy and cheap. First thing first. Of course bad cables muddy the water.
-chart-
 

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Adding my $0.02 for checking the Alternator .My 2001 Taurus wagon was going through batteries, I swear I had it checked before but had the Alt checked at Advance Auto and it showed a bad diode. Changed the Alt and was surprised this summer When I changed the battery that it had been 7 years ago.
 

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Was your alt with the bad diode making a fairly high pitched RPM dependent noise (like a high pitched hum? Every time I had a bad ant diode I had the high pitched hum.

FYI, if the rest of the alt is in good shape, you can buy a new diode pack to replace the failed diode pack for way cheaper than a new alt. Replacing the diode pack is pretty easy if you have basic soldering skills.
 

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No noise that I remember, just going through batteries. Didn't know about the diode pack.
 

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Folks, look like we solved some of the problems on the thread: Parasitic Battery Drain. To get a try idea of the drain, you have so set up your multi-meter in series with the battery to measure the drain, but you have to set it up and then wait around 40 minutes to let the modules go into the "sleep" mode, then you'll have an accurate drain amperage.
 
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