Common Causes for Parasitic Draw in Automotive Batteries

Parasitic draw sounds like something that would describe an illness or insect, but instead has everything to do with automotive batteries. Continue reading to what parasitic draw is and what causes it to happen in car batteries.

Car Battery Replacement 317-475-1846

Car Battery Replacement 317-475-1846

Parasitic Drain

Parasitic draw, also called drain, is the electric current that flows through a vehicle, both while it runs and after the ignition is turned off. You know how you can forget to turn off your headlights, and then your car won’t start the next day? Well, this is just one example of parasitic drain. Modern cars and trucks can easily come equipped with over 50 onboard computers tied together in a single system. This means there are numerous operations using electricity in vehicles, even when the engine is not running.

Once the engine is turned off, most cars computer systems will enter sleep mode, and reduce the amount of parasitic draw to less than 0.05 of an amp. Alarms, stereo systems, clocks, interior lights, engine management computers, GPS, Bluetooth, Wifi, charging docks, seat heating modules, and more are just a few operations that can drain a vehicle’s battery while the engine is off. Even bad instrument panels are known to cause parasitic drain. If one or more system fails to “go to sleep”, it can use up enough electricity to discharge a battery overnight.

Sometimes if the battery doesn’t discharge too much, the alternator can restore the energy when the car is driven. This process is called “deep cycling the battery”, in which the battery is deeply discharged and then restored. If a vehicle is experiencing this up and down cycle of battery problems, the issue needs to be fixed in order to make it stop. But can you stop parasitic drain? Or at least slow it down? Sure, as long as you are conservative with your car’s computer system use, and provide proper battery maintenance, you should experience the minimal standard for parasitic drain. But after a while, even the best quality car batteries die and will need to be replaced.

Proper Battery Maintenance

Talk to your local Indianapolis auto repair shop about your vehicle’s factory scheduled maintenance needs, and learn the right way to care for your battery. They can teach you what’s necessary for your vehicle’s battery life, as well as, all other areas of car maintenance. It is important to have your vehicle serviced at all the right intervals in order to increase safety, performance, and longevity.

Indianapolis Auto Service

Indianapolis Car Maintenance

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Call Northeast Auto at 317-475-1846 for affordable auto repair and routine service in Indianapolis, Indiana. We provide domestic and foreign car repair and factory scheduled maintenance for all make and model vehicles. On top of competitive prices, we also offer car repair coupons and discounts! Call 317-475-1846 to request a free estimate, today.

How to Jump Start a Car Battery

Automotive batteries are not meant to last forever; in fact, they are designed to only last three to five years before needing replaced. Even with proper maintenance, there are several circumstances that can lead to a drained car battery. This is why a dead battery is one of the leading causes of vehicular breakdowns each year. For this reason, it is wise for drivers to learn how to jump start a dead car battery in the case that it happens to them or a fellow driver. Continue reading for a step by step guide for jump starting a dead car battery, and who to call for professional car battery replacement services near you!

Dead Car Battery

There are several reasons why a car battery can drain its charge. Exposure to extreme heat or cold, leaving the interior or exterior lights on for an extended period of time, and simply not driving a vehicle for a while are just a few examples of how to drain a car battery. For whatever reason your car battery dies (unless it’s old), you can jump start it back up with a set of jumper cables and another running vehicle. You can purchase jumper cables at any local hardware store or automotive store for a low price. Some emergency roadside kits come with jumper cables as well, so these products are highly recommended to buy. Just be sure to keep the jumper cables and roadside kit in your trunk at all times in case you ever need them.

Getting Set Up

Once you are ready to jump start your dead car battery, have the other driver pull their vehicle closer to your car, engine to engine. This can be done side to side, or head to head. Just be sure the jumper cables can reach both car batteries. Now you are ready to connect the cables. Before you start, be aware that clamping jumper cables in the wrong location can damage certain electrical components. Because of this, you MUST read the owners’ manual and know exactly what you are doing before you get started. Also, never touch the two ends of the jumper cables together when one end is connected to a running vehicle. This can cause painful electrocutions and shocks.

Jump Starting a Car Battery:

1. Turn OFF both vehicles.

2. Identify the Positive (+) and Negative (-) sides of each vehicle’s battery. These are where the jumper cables will connect with clamps. Positive is usually red and negative is usually black.

3. Start at the charged battery and connect the RED clamp/cable to the Positive (+) side of the battery.

4. Now connect the other red clamp to the positive side of the dead battery.

5. While at the dead battery, connect the black clamp to the Negative (-) side of it.

6. Now connect the other black clamp to the Negative (-) side of the good car battery.

7. Double check that the clamps and cables are nowhere near any moving engine parts.

8. Turn ON the running vehicle with the good battery.

9. Wait one minute then turn on the other vehicle. If the battery is charged, the vehicle will turn on. Depending on how drained it is, some car batteries will need to stay connected to a running vehicle for 5 minutes or more.

10. Disconnect the jumper cables in reverse order to how they were connected from the start. Black cables then red cables, good battery then recharged battery.

Northeast Auto Service

Factory Scheduled Maintenance Indianapolis IN

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If you need car battery replacement in Indianapolis, call Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 today. We are ASE licensed mechanics with decades of experience and training in the automotive service industry. We service and repair all make and model vehicles at the most competitive prices in town. We also offer auto repair coupons and discounts. Call 317-475-1846 for factory scheduled maintenance and battery replacement services in Indianapolis, IN today.