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1995 Mazda Protege

I have a 95 Mazda protege. The battery went dead from leaving the lights on. We jumped it and everything was ok. Drove around, shut it off and it started again, no problem. The next day the car wouldn’t start. Had dash lights, and it clicked but this time there is a high pitched noise. It is not an engine noise. I jumped it, it started right up. Tested the alternator, its putting out 14 volts. I could not find the source of the noise. I checked that all doors were closed and that sort of thing. I shut car off to see what would happen, the tone of the noise changed but car hadn’t built up enough charge to re start.

Any clue to whats up?

Sounds like a dead or dying battery. The noise you are hearing is probably the fuel pump. When the battery was very dead the noise was likely lower pitched. Once you jumped the car and let it run for a minute the noise probably went up in pitch. How old is your battery? Killing a car battery by leaving on the lights is a sure fire way to kill an older battery. Car batteries do not handle “full discharge” cycles well. Take it to an auto parts store and have them run a battery diagnostic. If the battery is toast then you can have them replace it on the spot.

How old is the battery? If you connect the volt meter to the battery and monitor the voltage while someone attempts to start the engine you might find that the voltage drops from 12+ to below 6 when you hear the clicking. If so the battery is over the hill. Often a battery will be marginally functioning and might continue to perform adequately for many months but discharging can send it to a somewhat early grave.

Thanks, I will have the battery tested, but the sound sounds like it is coming from the dash area.

Any of several relays could be cycling and clicking due to low current crom the battery.

When batteries get toward the end of their lives…they like peace and quiet…they like to be fully charged and get very upset when they are discharged fully…sometimes they never come back after that.

Check you batt connections…they need to be clean and tight…after that…you need a new batt.


I see this all the time . Someone’s battery gets drained , they get a jump start , drive around a little & think the battery should be charged again . In my opinion after a battery has been drained it needs to be fully charged with a battery charger .
Sometimes draining a battery kills it & it won’t take a full charge & must be replaced & sometimes it will charge back up . A few minutes or a few miles of driving won’t put a proper charge back in it .

My brother’s family is EXTREMELY rough on cars

Not only are they constantly bumping into things, they also have a REALLY bad habit of letting the batteries go dead. Yup. Plural. On both of their cars

They apparently don’t make sure the dome lights are turned off and doors are closed before heading into the house.

I’ve jumpstarted their cars several times over the years

Not surprisingly, their batteries don’t tend to last more than about 4 years

Concur w /Sloepoke above. Jump starting the car and driving it around a bit won’t recharge the battery. It needs to be put on a battery charger overnight, preferably on the 2 amp range. Car batteries tend to hold about 40 amp hours of charge, so an 12 hour overnight at 2 amp should bring it to 24 amp hours. A little more than half of full charge. It should start ok at that point and will likely hold enough charge to start again the next day. But still won’t be fully charged. So put it on the battery charger again the next night, that should do the trick.

Auto shops would probably charge it up faster than that, but the slower you charge it, the less damage is done to the battery and the longer it will last.

If you make a habit of running your batteries all the way down till they are totally dead…its time to switch to a deep cycle battery… Of course there is no need for this…but that is what those batteries were designed to be able to handle more frequently.

Like I mentioned in the first reply…your battery needs to be replaced.


I disagree with the above, many times over my many years I had a jump start and it charged up fine from normal driving. Living in Concord NH in the days of Weber Carburators, that was common.

But I agree, discharge a battery a few times and it’s damaged.

@BillRussell …Nobody is saying that discharging a New Healthy battery kills it… Try that same trick with an aging unit near end of its life but otherwise performing without issue on the daily. You will sing a different tune…I promise. Sometimes it takes an event like this to discover that your battery is on its last leg. I know I have been unpleasantly surprised by this far too many times. I’ve watched way too many older batteries buy the farm after a full or near full discharge while a new battery can handle it just fine.

But dont take my word for it…this is WELL known, not opinion, there is science to back it up.

I definitely stick to my assessment…especially if the OP cannot say for sure how old the battery actually IS…that’s just about the time frame when they cannot handle a deep discharge and die for good when you cant remember when you bought the thing. Anyway…this is a simple theory to test for and move on if its incorrect…it should surely be on the list of things to check…no question about that at all. Its one of the most common battery failure modes to be honest.


I once parked my car & took a company vehicle & was out of town for 4 days . When I came back the starter barely grunted . I found I had left the park lights on for those 4 days . That battery had given me no trouble at all but wouldn’t take a charge after that & had to be replaced .

It must have been a dang good battery to begin with or I wouldn’t even have got a grunt out of it .

Yup @Sloepoke I think its one of the most common battery failure modes. Many times the discharge goes un noticed after the alternator quits (in the daytime) and the car rolls to a stop after the battery drains. Then people get all confused as to what occurred and cannot understand why a new alternator isn’t the only replacement part needed…nor do they understand why the battery cant simply be recharged…since it worked everyday. When the alternator fails and basically forces a deep discharge…old batteries just cannot handle it…new batteries can or SHOULD be able to handle this…but Ive seen new batt failures from this…probably defective though. A large number of batteries give up the ghost like this…very common