Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
Re: How can I tell if my car is draining juice from the battery ?
You can do like Daytona Yellow 69 Z/28 (Nick) stated and if you do not find anything drawing current with the removal of battery circuit fuses in the fuse block then you could have a problem with the alternator. On this with the test light inline like on your first tests, disconnect the output wire on the stud on the back of the alternator. Most of the terminals on the fuse block should be protected by a neighboring fuse in the fuse block but if not, disconnect anything plugged into it.
If for some reason you find no current draw then it's possible the alternator even though you might be thinking it looks good with the gauge may not be charging properly. For this you will need a volt meter. With the car off measure the voltage across the battery terminals and write that figure down. Now start the car and measure it again and then at a high idle and then with things on you use like headlights, air conditioner/heater blower on high and see what it reads. You need at least one volt over what the battery reads when the car is off. If it's only 1/2 a volt or the same then the alternator is not charging the battery.
1974 Spirit Of America Nova (being restored), 1973 Nova Custom, 1968 Chevy II (Garage Find 2012)
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