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Classic Car Service
Classic Car Service, Dealership Svc. Mgr.
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4950
Experience:  Over 30 years experience in the automotive field
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What Would Cause A Car Battery To Discharge? I took my van

Customer Question

What Would Cause A Car Battery To Discharge?
JA: Have you tested the battery with a voltmeter? And can you see if it's leaking or not?
Customer: I took my van to a Honda Dealership friday they checked the battery and charging system, and charged up the battery. They said they could find nothing wrong. I drove the van home and parked it. I did not use my van at all on saturday. On sunday morning I go to my van to drive it and it is completely dead.
JA: What is the model/year of your Honda?
Customer: It is a 1999 Honday Odyssey mini van
JA: Are you fixing your MINI yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I have not done anything. I am physically disabled and use an electric wheelchair, so I'm not able to perform any repairs.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Classic Car Service replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you. There are usually 3 main things that cause a battery to discharge

1) Something is left on in the car (an electrical draw)

2) The alternator has an internal failure.

3) The alternator belt is loose

1) If something is left on inside the car, this causes the battery to discharge. This may or may not be noticeable. An interior light would be easy to see, a problem with the radio amplifier or some other system. This is easily checked and should have been done by the people who 'checked' the alternator. The test is called a "parasitic draw" test. This would be recommended as the next step in their diagnosis.

2) If there is a faulty diode inside the alternator, it WILL pass a charging system test. It will also fail the parasitic draw test.

3) If the alternator belt is loose, the battery is not being charged sufficiently. This would usually include a squeal noise form the engine compartment, and dim lights.

The really sounds like you either have an unnoticed electrical draw or an internal alternator issue. I highly recommend a parasitic draw test as your next move in eliminating this condition.

Expert:  Classic Car Service replied 1 year ago.

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Expert:  Classic Car Service replied 1 year ago.

Please confirm that you have received my input; if you have any questions, please reply. Thanks