Battery drains while driving but will recharge if left off

Tiny
GKRACKA187
  • MEMBER
  • SUBARU
1995 Subaru Legacy 195,000 1.8

The other night I was driving my car and the battery began to fail. I had just replaced the alternator six months ago, and so I suspected a bad battery. After I turned the car off, it would not start. However, I attempted again after an hour, and it did turn over. The problem, though, quickly repeated and so I ended up at Walmart. I replaced the battery and everything seemed fine, until today, when the same thing happened. I again turned the car off and it wouldnt start, but after letting it sit for an hour, was able to get it to turn over, and again, the problem repeated. Please help.
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Thursday, February 22nd, 2007 AT 2:05 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
KIN CHAN
  • MEMBER
What u've got here sounds like either a parasitic drain, bad battery or a power and ground issue. U need a mechanic to help u nail down what it is causing the no start. Can't teach u how to be a mechanic overnite just to fix this particular problem. Good luck
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Thursday, February 22nd, 2007 AT 6:49 PM
Tiny
GKRACKA187
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He says it has a bad alternator and two belts that need replaced. The belts and the alternator are less than half a year old. If the battery goes dead, why does it regain life if it is left to sit for a while?
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Friday, February 23rd, 2007 AT 9:27 AM
Tiny
BRENDONR
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Haven't you ever had a battery powered flashlight?

The battery dies - and turns off the bulb - 20 minutes later you can turn it on again for 5 seconds?

Your car battery is not magically regaining a charge - it's just a little bit of residual juice - enough to crank the starter - but not keep anything running.

It SOUNDS like an alternator to me as well - however I'd have somebody else test your charging system. (Canadian tire can do it, walmart, most places can do it for $50) Sometimes unfortuantely you just get a 'bum' alternator. If it's still only 6 months old - you should be able to get it replaced (depending where you got it) for free.

The belts are a little less likely - they're 6 months old? There should be no reason they'd be gone, I suspect your mechanic is trying to hose you outa a couple extra bucks.

The key here is get a THIRD party - not the first mechanic - but someplace else to test your charging system.

Let us know how it goes.
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Friday, February 23rd, 2007 AT 9:44 AM
Tiny
SCUBARU
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Subaru had an alternator recall a while back. It affected some of the 95 legacy platform but mostly 96 to 99. Unfortunatley if you get a reman alternator from an aftermarket source it may have the style regulator that subaru updated in the new Subaru alternators. Next most shops dont really put enough time into an alternator test. Based on your description I would say the vehicle should be ran with every possible light, and acc. On for a period of now less than 30 min. With the hood shut then the alternator output should be retested. Most of the time after the above conditions are met you will find that excess heat will cause the internal regulator in the alternator to fail. But if it is only attacked from the normal pass and fail test at the time of testing you may miss a regulator that fails under "heated conditions"I would strongly suggest an o.E. Reman and not an aftermarket one. Also are you sure your 95 legacy isnt a 2.2l and or a 95 impreza 1.8l
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Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 AT 2:59 PM
Tiny
PSYLOSYFER
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Battery is more efficient when cool
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Sunday, March 18th, 2007 AT 3:11 AM

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