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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay get ready because this is a long one.
Bought a 2000 Intrepid from someone since my car didn't make it in the move. They said that one of the windows doesnt work (okay fine) and that theres a cracked oil filter causing an oil leak. Easy fix. However about a month after purchasing my battery died, no dashboard light came on. Jumped it and the next day was dead again. Went out to buy a new battery, the old one was from Last November (2021). Negative connection cable is a piece of **** so my husband hammered the cable onto the connection. Had no issues since then. Until last Wednesday, I get into my car and nothing turns on. We had it jumped again, then went to autozone to have battery and alternator tested. Both came up as being okay. Fast foreward to saturday, i go to get into my car (has been driven once or twice since last time being jumped), all of the lights are super dim and the seatbelt warning ding is super quiet. I start my car and it clicks loudly, all of the lights on the dashboard flash, and wont turn on. I wait for a friend to come and jump it and say, look what its doing and when i go to start it again, nothing happens, not even a dashboard light. Now flash foreward to today (Tuesday) It was been driven on sunday but that was it since its last jump. Lights are very dim in the car and I dont know what to do. Battery is brand new and alternator tested as fine. This is my only car at the moment and I just dont know what to do. Please give me some guidance here
 

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"Negative connection cable is a piece of **** so my husband hammered the cable onto the connection"

A clue?
 

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(1) It is very possible that everything is OK in your car, but that it isn't getting driven enough to get keep the battery charged. Besides the large amount of energy pulled out of the battery every time you start your car, there is a small but constant drain on the battery from the "keep alive" current of the electronics in the car even when the ignition is off. If you have a good, fully charged battery, and the car sits for 3 or more weeks, the battery will discharge from that constant small current - that's a fact. Now - if for any reason it gets depleted and you get it jumped off to start it, and you only drive it for a half hour, and then don't drive it again tor another week, it's liable to go dead again because the 1/2 hour drive didn't get it charged anywhere near full, so it's not going to take anywhere near the 3 weeks for it to discharge.

Jumping it off does not charge the battery - it only gets it started, leaving you with a very low battery and depending on the alternator to charge it up, which takes e few hours of engine run time (or a battery charger).

Does that sound like what may be your oroblem?

(2) Do you have access to a battery charger and a multimeter or voltmeter? If so, put the charger on it overnight and verify that it fully charges. If so, start it up and measure the voltage across the battery (or across the positive and negative jump posts) with the engine running at between 2000 and 2500 rpm. You might need two people - one to hold the meter leads and read the meter, the other to hold the engine speed between 2000 and 2500 rpm. The meter should read between 13.5 and 14.5 volts (closer to 13.5 in summer, closer to 14.5 in winter). If it's not between 13.5 and 14.5 volts, then we'll need to talk about figuring out why and how to fix it.

If you can get the battery fully charged with a charger and verify that the alternator is properly charging it (again: 13.5 to 14.5 with engine between 2000 and 3500 rpm with battery fully charged) then the battery and charging system are probably OK, and you just need to make sure it either gets driven more than a couple of hours a week OR you'll need to put the battery charger on it and charge it up every week and a half or two weeks.

An important piece of information: The type of battery that's in our cars likes to be kept fully charged or close to it. Letting them stay low in charge (like I think has been happening with yours), and especially letting the battery get discharged periodically, greatly shortens their life. If you find that your batteries don't last more than 2 or 3 years, then that's why.

If you suspect that your "crappy" battery cable is contributing to the problem, you should replace it or get it repaired.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
(1) It is very possible that everything is OK in your car, but that it isn't getting driven enough to get keep the battery charged. Besides the large amount of energy pulled out of the battery every time you start your car, there is a small but constant drain on the battery from the "keep alive" current of the electronics in the car even when the ignition is off. If you have a good, fully charged battery, and the car sits for 3 or more weeks, the battery will discharge from that constant small current - that's a fact. Now - if for any reason it gets depleted and you get it jumped off to start it, and you only drive it for a half hour, and then don't drive it again tor another week, it's liable to go dead again because the 1/2 hour drive didn't get it charged anywhere near full, so it's not going to take anywhere near the 3 weeks for it to discharge.

Jumping it off does not charge the battery - it only gets it started, leaving you with a very low battery and depending on the alternator to charge it up, which takes e few hours of engine run time (or a battery charger).

Does that sound like what may be your oroblem?

(2) Do you have access to a battery charger and a multimeter or voltmeter? If so, put the charger on it overnight and verify that it fully charges. If so, start it up and measure the voltage across the battery (or across the positive and negative jump posts) with the engine running at between 2000 and 2500 rpm. You might need two people - one to hold the meter leads and read the meter, the other to hold the engine speed between 2000 and 2500 rpm. The meter should read between 13.5 and 14.5 volts (closer to 13.5 in summer, closer to 14.5 in winter). If it's not between 13.5 and 14.5 volts, then we'll need to talk about figuring out why and how to fix it.

If you can get the battery fully charged with a charger and verify that the alternator is properly charging it (again: 13.5 to 14.5 with engine between 2000 and 3500 rpm with battery fully charged) then the battery and charging system are probably OK, and you just need to make sure it either gets driven more than a couple of hours a week OR you'll need to put the battery charger on it and charge it up every week and a half or two weeks.

An important piece of information: The type of battery that's in our cars likes to be kept fully charged or close to it. Letting them stay low in charge (like I think has been happening with yours), and especially letting the battery get discharged periodically, greatly shortens their life. If you find that your batteries don't last more than 2 or 3 years, then that's why.

If you suspect that your "crappy" battery cable is contributing to the problem, you should replace it or get it repaired.
Hey! so I ended up getting it taken to a shop, jumping it to get it started although it had been driven about 20 miles that day was an absolute pain. The issue was that there was a parasitic draw coming from the radio at all times. Issue fixed, they unplugged the radio ( 😞) but other than that we haven’t had any issues. It’ll probably be needing a new battery soon just because of how low they said it was at the shop.
 
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