Q: Why do I need to charge my car's battery ever week or two but I cannot find an obvious problem withe the electronic system.

asked by on January 06, 2017

Every week or two the battery is low and must be charged. I think all systems are working fine. The car is started in the morning, and again in the early to late afternoon and driven for a mile, about 5 minutes of running. I know when the battery is low because the car turns over very slowly. It is often driven with the air conditioner or heater on and with headlights on.

My car has 60000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

If you are starting the car and only operating it for a very short period, such short duration operation does not give the car’s charging system sufficient time to re-charge the battery. Consequently, repeated short trips, especially in cold weather conditions, can slowly discharge the battery. If the car must be used in that fashion, it is perfectly acceptable to routinely use a high quality trickle charger. I emphasize "high quality" because you don’t want a cheap charger that could damage your car’s electrical system (particularly the car’s PCM and bevy of microprocessors). If, however, this problem of slow battery drain is occurring even when you drive for extended periods, then the battery and charging system should be tested and the vehicle’s electrical system should be tested for phantom or parasitic loads, too. If you desire a conclusive diagnostic, please simply request a battery/charging diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will resolve this for you.

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