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Ask Dodgerench Your Own Question
Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 3406
Experience:  30+ years Dodge/Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
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1999 DODGE INTREPID: new battery..alternator okay, starter okay

Customer Question

1999 DODGE INTREPID - Something is draining new battery. alternator okay, starter okay, no lights left on. Mechanic has checked everything possible and can not find anything wrong. Car will start and run for 2 days and then go dead. Please help
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 7 years ago.
Hi buckles 25, welcome to Just Answer!.

Does the car go dead overnight while sitting?
Or does it go dead while driving?

Talk shortly,
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
goes dead after as soon as its turned off
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 7 years ago.
Are you noticing any dimming of the electrical system as you drive?
Headlights or interior lights dim?
Is there a battery icon or CHECK ENGINE lamp illumination in the dash?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 7 years ago.
Does it restart and stay running with a jump start?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It does restart and stay running when jumped, but it does not restart when shut off. I was put on a diagnostic machine (found nonthing wrong) alternator check (ok) starter tested (ok) new battery installed and something is still draining battery. I will run for 1 to 2 days and then will not restart after that until it is jump start.
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 7 years ago.

If it fails to restart after the third day immediately after being shut off, the battery does not appear to be getting, holding a charge or not connecting its power to the car.

For it to STAY running after a jump start, it strongly infers that the charging system is indeed working. I'm inclined to believe your battery is becoming isolated from the vehicle's electrical system on those times when it won't restart.

This could be something as simple as a bad cable or cable connection at the battery or at the jump start posts on the passenger side underhood. To be sure, a voltage test would need to be done during a time when it's not able to start itself to see where the voltage went.

Start at the battery, checking the centers of the battery posts for power. Turn headlights on to load the system and start moving the test leads outward until a voltage drop is found, either on the positive or negative side of the electrical system. It MAY simply be a bad battery... internal breaks are possible between individual cell connectors but rare in new units... but that's something that can only be found by testing.

If you have a voltmeter (preferred) or test light, I'd be happy to help you with this once it breaks down again and you have time.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
this all has been done already, the testing was good
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 7 years ago.
I have to disagree... something is NOT good, it was just missed. I'm afraid I have no better advice than to catch it in the act. Testing is what you need and all I can do is to guess at this point. Remember that I can help with testing if you can arrange a date with a digital multimeter... It won't be that complicated.