Q: Battery drain

asked by on November 27, 2016

Car battery has been draining after running then shutoff sitting in driveway after a period of time. Charge battery with trickle charger then battery voltage is 12.5v car starts. Car dash reads 13.5-14v while running sometimes drops to 12.5 while idling in traffic There is an ignition interlock installed for past 2 months however this issue just started the past 3 days. Dies battery need to be replaced or is the alternator failing?

Thank you in advance

My car has 80000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Battery will not hold a charge Inspection $79.99 - $89.99 Get a Quote

It sounds like your alternator may not be charging quite as effectively as it should be. The drop in amperage at idle is not necessarily unheard of but could be the beginning of it starting to fail. The voltage when running seems to be normal as 13.5 to 14 is within normal range. The battery drain while sitting may suggest that the battery is slowly beginning to fail. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose your charging system.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

I moved my truck and it started fine. Went to get back in it and it wouldn't start just a faint single click.

You may have a problem in your wires somewhere. If you have a wire short it could possibly cause this. However, you may have a faulty part. Look for wires around your starter that may be touching the frame. Is...

The ABS, Trac Off and Airbag light came on after a battery change. No lights before with engine running

You may have damaged the systems when you disconnected and connected the positive cable to the fuse block last and not using the battery ground. I would recommend disconnecting just the battery ground and then leave it off for ten...

How do I replace the front turn signal, parking light or side marker bulb?

Your car uses the same bulb for the front turn signal, parking light and side marker. Like the rest of the lights on your car, these will eventually burn out and need to be replaced. Here’s how to install a...

What does the lamps on reminder light mean?

The lamps on reminder light is located on your instrument panel. This light helps you remember that your lights are on by illuminating anytime the lights are on.

How long is the break in period?

There is not much of a break in period needed for your vehicle. But, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you start your vehicle working properly. To break in your vehicle. Do not drive...

I have a starter/solenoid/starter system failure

Hello, the whirring sound is a mechanical failure possibly created from an electrical fault. The starter solenoid controls power to and starter and moves a starter drive assembly into a ring gear (flex Plate). It is two gears that mesh...

Can't turn off antitheft system

If the anti-theft light is on then the vehicle is not going to start. You may have a defective code key. If you have another key then I would suggest you try it to see if the problem goes away....

The freeze plug failed and coolant mixed with oil. The tech says because it would be impossible to clean out all the gunk, I need

If the engine was run with coolant mixing with the oil it can damage the internal engine bearings and pistons. If it is severe enough the engine would need to be replaced or the entire engine rebuilt and all parts...

Sunroof stuck open

Hello, thank you for writing in. The first thing you should do is check your owner's manual for more information on how to close the sunroof in cases like this. To repair the issue, we need to look at the...

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Fit EV
The The 2012 Honda Fit EV is lots of fun to drive and offers a smooth ride to passengers. It is Honda’s first pure electric car, and it offers a range of 70 to 123 miles between charges. The Fit...
2012 Honda Pilot vs. 2012 Acura RDX: Which One Should I Buy?
Sport utility vehicles are fun in the sun, sand, dirt, mud, and even in the carpool line at school. Whether you’re hauling around your family or your family of pets, these SUVs are sure to make even a drive around...
What Is Key-Off Battery Drain?
Many Many things in your car continue to work even after your vehicle is turned off – radio presets, security alarms, emissions computers and clocks are just a few. They continue to draw power from your car battery, and the...