Okay, here's my question. I have a 02 Dodge Neon (crap, i know, but what I could afford), without warning on Friday my car refused to start. A couple of clicks, then nothing. Got a jump start, car started perfectly fine. Thought it was the battery, or corrosion on the terminals, so I cleaned the terminals, and bought a new battery. Put the new battery in on Sunday. Was perfectly fine all of Sunday, towards the end of the night it sounded like it was having problems turning over again. Definitely not the clicking sound, it definitely wanted to turn over but it seemed like it didnt have enough power to do so? Now this morning, when to start it before work and nothing but clicking. Definitely not the car person, wouldn't know where to go next from here. Any advice?
Sounds like the battery was drained. Put a voltmeter across the terminals, what have you got? Sound be 12.3 or higher to start the car. You must have had an issue before you replaced the battery. Check your alternator and all wiring again. Once you get the car running with a jumpstart, probe the battery again with engine running, should be around 14V if alternator is OK.
Going to look into that once I'm able to get it jumpstarted. Guess I should've mentioned that for about a week prior to this I was having problems with my gauges when I started the car. They went haywire for a few seconds before returning to normal.
With car off, key out, disconnect negative battery cable and put a multi meter on 12 V and set on amperage between end of negative cable and negative battery post. If it shows any amperage flow above about 0.2 to 0.3 you have a parasitic drain. A clock draws 0.02 amps and a security system also a very small amount, so there will be some flow, but anything above 0.3 amps at 12V is too much. Even That is pushing it.
I forgot to say if you do that make sure door is closed and if there is a hood light pull bulb out. No lights on or the test will be wrong
okay, that helps out tons. thank you.
Remember that an alternator is only meant to maintain a charged battery, not to charge a drained one, that will burn it up, so have your battery charged before performing any of the tests.
if you find that there is a parasitic drain on the batt with the car off follow the steps that david posted and have someone pull fuses one at a time to find out what circuit is draining the battery. once you know what circuit its much easier to diagnose
Thanks for the support and elaboration on this one Justin. You are dead on right.
Your problem is not with the battery. I've had this happen to a few of my cars. The problem is either a loose ground off the starter, or your starter is going and constantly pulling power from the battery. Check starter or selenoid. Hope this helps.
I had the same symptoms wit my 02 Neon 2L. Turned out to be a badly corroded cable from battery to starter motor. Replaced cable and problem solved. Note the fuse link on the starter side. Do not discard this, it must be there for safety reasons.
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