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Battery draining almost instantly

Hey guys,

So a little backstory. A few weeks ago my Protege (2001 2.0 ES Manual) began giving intermittent starting issues. Every so often when I’d turn the key, I’d hear a click from the engine, but it wouldn’t crank. On the second or third try it would crank and start perfectly as usual. (Note: this has nothing to do with the safety switch on the clutch, since current was reaching the engine and it was a different noise). I stupidly ignored this until one day it failed to start completely.

I figured it was a starter issue since I could hear one loud click coming from the starter every time I turned the key. I replaced the starter, but when I put the battery back in, it was dead. I jump started it and it started perfectly. Problem solved, I thought. I drove it for about two hours to try and recharge the battery but when I got home, I switched it off, and when I tried to switch it back on, the battery was already dead. I figured it was either a battery or alternator issue.

I took the battery to my local auto parts store to test and charge it, and they said it was a very strong battery. When I brought it home and put it in my car, I started it and switched it off a few times to test it. On the fourth or fifth time in less than a minute, the battery was completely dead.

So my question is, does this sound like a bad battery? And if not, what could be completely draining my battery in less than a minute?


No, it sounds like a bad alternator or very dirty connections.

I thought it might be a bad alternator too, but if it was the alternator wouldn’t it make more sense that the battery would drain after a few days of not being charged by the engine? As opposed to draining after starting the car a few times.

By connections, do you mean battery connections?

The battery is probably shot, and the alternator may have been damaged when attempting to charge the dead battery with it.



I suspect that your issue is being caused by internal wire corrosion at the battery clamps. Battery acid can leach into the wire ends and cause enough corrosion issues to make this kind of thing happen. It makes it seem like the battery is discharged but it really has no problem.