Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My car will not stay charged

asked by on

I've replaced the battery and alternator. But still dies. I have to jump off.

Hello. It sounds like something in your car’s electrical system is continuing to use power after the vehicle is shut off. This problem can be diagnosed with an ammeter. After shutting the vehicle off, connect an ammeter to the positive (red) battery cable and observe the current drain. Then, one at a time, remove each fuse in the fuse box (and fusible links) and check to see if the current drain has dropped to near 0. Then, reinsert the fuse. When removing a fuse on a single circuit reduces the current drain as measured by the ammeter, you have narrowed down the problem to the electrical components on that circuit. I would recommend having a your car inspected by a professional technician, like one from YourMechanic, to diagnose your charging problem and identify which component on that circuit is drawing the current.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. My car will not stay charged

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

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Won't crank over start

Hello there. Thanks for writing in about your 1998 Plymouth Breeze. Many different things can cause the vehicle to not start like this. The most common would be the battery, ignition switch, starter, fuel pump, fuel filter, battery cable, starter,...

Q: i upgraded from 28.9 in tire to 32.4 in tires. a week later transmission went out, what should i change to relieve strain on trans

The change in shift points generates added heat in terms of operation. Increasing the tire tire diameter more than a percent or two affects the transmission shift points, as the shift points were programmed based on the vehicle's original tire...

Q: My headlights and dash lights flicker

Hi Andrew. Thanks for contacting us tonight. What you are describing is incredibly rare - but in many cases is caused by an electrical system short or a stored error code triggered by - believe it or not; a security...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...