Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 6:36 pm Posts: 24734 Location: Contemplating the meaning of life, and why god made me a Mets fan
Any car experts out there?
I am having recurring issues with the battery in my relatively new - a 2008 Rav4 car. I've had to have it jumped multiple times within the past couple weeks, but everytime AAA runs its little test on it, they say the battery itself is fine.
The first time I had to have it jumped, I assumed it was a combo of the cold weather and it not being driven for a couple weeks. I don't drive it a whole lot as is, but I was out of town for a few weeks, so it sat there undriven for awhile. And then even after it was jumped the first time, I was unable to get it out of the snowpacked parking lot it was in, so though I let it run for awhile, it was dead again within the next few days and I thought maybe it was just b/c it hadn't been driven.
Then yesterday I had it jumped again, but I noticed prior to it being fixed the alarm was acting screwy...like not really working like it should (the prior time the battery died the alarm still seemed to be working)...it wasn't going on and off, and was just making this low level clicking/beeping noise that wouldn't stop. But the AAA guy said it looked like the battery itself was fine. Then I accidentally shut the car off about 15 min later and it wouldn't turn back on, so I had to have it jumped yet again...this time by a friend. After it was finally up and running again, I called Toyota wanting to bring it in for them to test it thinking maybe the alarm was somehow shorting out the battery...but they said that I didn't need to do that, that it was probably just the cold weather and that it was probably the battery causing problems with the alarm and not the alarm causing the problems to the battery. Then later that day, I noticed that my radio wasn't shutting off when I shut the car off, and thought maybe this was causing the problems. When I got the car up and running again, earlier in the day the radio was on but the volume was off, so if this had this happened the last time I probably wouldn't have noticed. Anyway, so I then called Toyota again explained the situation, and they said yes that its likely the radio could have caused the problem, I wanted to bring it in yesterday, but they couldn't take me, so I had to schedule a time for next week. However, they said just manually shutting off the radio should prevent the problem. So I made sure to do that. But of course when I went out to test my car this afternoon, its dead yet again.
So now I have to have the car jumped again or towed within the next few days and eventually I guess they'll run their tests and figure out what could be causing the problems, but does anybody know what else could cause such issues? And how fixable/expensive these things tend to be?
You might try pulling the fuses for the radio and the alarm one at a time for a day and see if either of those systems is responsible for draining the battery when the car is 'off'. If you had a secondary amplifier installed or a CD changer in you rtrunk or something, that might draw enough power if it was wired directly to the battery to drain it if you don't drive/recharge the battery for a few days. Also check to make sure it isn't a vanity mirror light or something that doesn't turn off when the car is off.
As long as the battery is recharging when you are running the car, it doesn't seem like it would be your alternator or anything like that that would be more expensive. It's vastly more likely to be the radio or the alarm, which you could diagnose by pulling the fuses for those two systems one at a time, and seeing which one solves the problem.
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