Bradley’s Auto Service in Red Bank, NJ offers professional parasitic draw testing services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!
What is Parasitic Draw?
If you purchased a brand new car battery recently and it is dying within only a few months, you might be dealing with a parasitic draw (also called parasitic drain). Parasitic drain is when your car’s electrical system continues to pull energy from the battery, even when the vehicle is completely turned off. This is not the same as leaving your headlights on overnight by accident. Parasitic drain occurs when the car is completely turned off and none of the electronics should be pulling power from the battery, but electricity continues to be pulled from the battery. Parasitic draw can kill the lifespan of a battery so it’s a good idea to diagnose the problem as soon as possible.
What Can Cause Parasitic Drain?
Modern cars have a lot of systems and parts that rely on electrical currents and each of these systems has the potential to cause parasitic draw if they continue to pull power from the battery even when the vehicle is turned off. Some of the common causes of parasitic drain include:
- Under hood lights
- Trunk lights
- Glove box lights
- Relay switches stuck in the “on” position
- Old battery
- Bad alternator diodes
- Radio or other dashboard electronics
- Bad relays
Any of the systems that draw power from the battery could be the culprit when it comes to parasitic draw.
How to Test For Parasitic Draw
While it is possible to test and diagnose parasitic draw on your own, it can be a time-consuming endeavor for someone who has never done it before. The primary tool you will need is a multimeter that measures the current draw from the battery. It will also require that you disconnect the battery and check each individual fuse to see which circuit is the culprit. Since newer car models have a variety of electrical circuits, computers, and control modules tied into everything from GPS, trackers, heated seats, and a whole slew of other gadgets, it can be a pain to diagnose the issue without experience. The team at Bradley’s Auto can help diagnose the issue quickly and easily.
How Much Parasitic Draw is Normal?
A normal amount of parasitic draw in newer cars is between 50-milliamp to 85-milliamp current draw. As for older cars, a reading of less than 50-milliamp is normal. If you are seeing numbers that far exceed these numbers, you should have a mechanic address the issue right away.
Is it Necessary to Replace Your Car Battery?
If parasitic draw is left unchecked for a long time you might end up needing to replace your battery more often than necessary. If your battery is dying only a few months after you got it, then it doesn’t necessarily mean the battery is bad, but parasitic drain is almost certainly the culprit and you should have it dealt with by a professional. Fixing the parasitic draw will save you from needing to spend more money on new batteries that should be lasting longer than they are.
Visit Our Red Bank, NJ Shop For Parasitic Draw Testing
Call or contact Bradley’s Auto Service in Red Bank, New Jersey today to schedule parasitic draw testing. Our ASE-certified mechanics have built a reputation for providing honest, professional auto services.