Battery keeps dying in Olds 88

oldsmobile
radio
batteries
eighty-eight

#1

I’m driving a '95 Olds 88. Over the last 6 months (I’ve only had it about 9 months) the battery has died 5 times. When it dies, it TOTALLY dies - can’t even work the power locks or dome light. A jump always gets it working again though.



I did some research and found a service bulletin on this car for this very issue - the light in the trunk can short out and drain the battery. I fixed that and thought I was good to go. But yesterday, dead battery again.



The one possibility I can think of - sometimes the factory radio/cassette deck doesn’t shut off. I usually notice when it does this (as the music is still playing after I open the door) and turn it off manually. Even if I forgot though, would the radio drain the battery overnight? (the battery has only ever died overnight or longer times of sitting, never during the day)



Is there anything else cheap/easy to check on this? I’d like to correct the problem and trade cars with my wife (this one has more room for the kids) but it’s not reliable enough for her since I leave first in the morning.


#2

Yes, the radio can drain the battery overnight.

I suggest you have the battery “load tested.” A battery that has been drained repeatedly may be damaged and in need or replacement.

You also might want to have the alternator tested.

If the battery is near the end of its life the alternator will have to work extra hard to keep it charged, which is hard on the alternator.


#3

Thanks, I’ll do that.

Would never have dreamed that the radio could drain a big car battery - heck, a single AA can keep a small radio running for days. Guess the amps to run the speakers take a lot of power…