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Battery trouble again, really need advice

Hi everyone, i don’t want to tell a long and boring story but i need some advise very bad. It’s just me and my mom we don’t have any family to take us anywhere. We have a 1993 grand marquis , Back in march our car battery died, we called AAA and they put in a new one. About 2 months latter it failed so they came out and replaced it. Anyway today the car wouldn’t start so i called our neighbor he jumped the battery for us. I asked him if it could be the alternator? He said drive the car around the block so the alternator can charge up the battery then come home and turn the car off and then start it again, if it starts the alternator charged the battery and it’s not the alternator it’s the battery. If the car doesn’t start again then it’s the alternator because the alternator didn’t charge the battery. So i plan on getting another battery, any advise would be much appreciated

Since you don’t wish to divulge any information about the vehicle you’re referring to, the generic answer would be, take the vehicle to a parts store that will test the battery/charging system for free.

Then you’ll know.

Tester

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my bad, I’m a little stressed I forgot to mention the make, it’s a 1993 grand marquis

Driving around the block will not charge the battery, you need to take a 20 minute drive to put some juice back. As @Tester says go to a parts store, Advance, Autozone etc, most will check the battery for free. Make that part of your 20 minute drive

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Are you going to drive around the block for 4 hours? Recharge the battery with a battery charger.

Since you only drive this car 20 miles a month you will need to maintain the battery, the charging system won’t recharge the battery any significant amount during short trips.

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no not for 4 hours he was just telling me how to check if it’s the alternator we are going to try to have AAA come out tomorrow to check the battery and replace it if needed but we couldn’t get ahold of them today because I’m in Florida and we just had a storm with caused a lot of flooding so they are very busy.

He was wrong, look at the size of that battery, it can not be recharged in 3 minutes. As I recall your battery has been replaced twice this year, it is unlikely that you have damaged it, it should be rechargeable.

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Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems as if you keep coming back to simply replacing the battery. Have you determined that the alternator is indeed putting out sufficient voltage to keep the battery charged? If the alternator is faulty it won’t matter how many new batteries you install; they’ll all fail. Other suggestions about using a plug-in battery charger are on target, but if you need a new alternator those are all stop gap measures that won’t solve the underlying problem.

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I suggest you invest ~$20 in a digital voltmeter.
With the engine idling and headlights on, measure the battery DC voltage.
It should be 13.5 to 14.5V. If it’s lower there’s a problem with the alternator or other part of the charging system.
Next measure the AC voltage, engine idling. Should be less than 0.5V.
If more, the alternator has one or more bad rectifiers.

Once a battery is too low to start an engine it takes at least 6 hours to fully charge and make it healthy and happy.
There’s no shortcut to a full charge.
Driving around the block, or 20 minutes won’t cut it.

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Unless I missed it, you might define “no start”. That could mean…
Starter motor cranks the engine but it will not run.
Starter motor is inoperative and does not crank the engine at all.

If the latter, that could point to a faulty neutral safety switch; sometimes referred to as a range selector switch. At 27 years of age a faulty neutral switch would not be a surprise; assuming the symptom matches the latter.

Sounds like you need to ignore mechanical advice from both AAA and your neighbor.

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And it will also not drain a brand new battery enough to make the car not start if the alternator isn’t working.

I concur with @Nevada_545. You need a maintenance charger. You can get 'em for around 50 bucks at battery stores.

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If it were my car I would confirm all connections to and from the battery are good, confirm that the battery and alternator are functioning properly by testing. Check for parasitic draw. If all is good. Then use a battery maintainer if the car is seldom used or used for short distances only.

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Hi again everyone, i had a horrible day fighting with AAA to long of a story to tell. I can’t ever go through this again, i will be stuck in the house for 2 days now. i ordered a rechargeable jump starter from amazon to get the car started but can someone here please suggest a battery charger i can buy that will fully recharge my battery. Thank you

Let me guess, you asked for a warranty replacement but they told you the battery is good, only needs to be recharged.

Harbor Freight sells inexpensive battery chargers. I believe a 10 amp/2 amp automatic battery charger is $40.

No it wasn’t that, they refused to come out because we asked them to not send out the guy that came out last time with out a mask on and he seemed to not know what he was doing so the company that AAA uses said they would not come out because of our complaint, they said they would try to get another contacted company but it’s out of our area and they were very busy. Do i have to disconnect the battery to charge it?

The cars cables can remain connected to the battery while charging the battery.

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Yeah maybe it’s one of those things but the funny thing is our neighbor is having the same problem with a battery he bought from AAA but just in case maybe we should use the car more but in the past we have used the car for short trips and never had a problem so i guess we will have to go to the mechanic shop and let him check but that is a blind item

You seem to be thinking that your are at the mercy of specialists, but something like this is well within the scope of something you can check yourself. A digital voltmeter can be had for about $20 or less. And something like this battery charger can also serve your needs at a very modest price. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07W6B987F/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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You didn’t leave it out. A little hidden but still there. You may be getting bum batteries but I think the lack of driving is most of it. In the past 6 months I have usually charged up the battery on the car that just sits about every month. You can get a charger at Walmart, farm store, auto store and they aren’t that expensive. You could use a maintainer too that you would just leave plugged in all the time to keep it fully charged. It won’t have the output like a charger though but keeps it full. The other thing is you can buy a jump pack at any of the auto stores for a little over $100. That can be used to jump the battery if it is dead. It’s all stuff that you should probably have anyway to make sure you are not stuck at home.

A little word of caution on AAA though, at least the way it was 50 years ago in Minnesota. They (one guy in charge of ERS) didn’t like any more than three calls on the same problem and would cancel their membership. That meant that their auto insurance was canceled too. People would just get hopping mad but he figured that was enough chance to get the car fixed. The sales staff would beat on him but he canceled people anyway. I can still see him perched in his office with his red pen. Every club is different though. When I left them, I went with AMOCO and never had a problem.

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I have a 1982 Ford Granada that had a similar problem. Its battery died while sitting in my garage. I couldn’t figure out what drained it. I had AAA jump start the car for me. With a multimeter, I determined there was something draining it. As it turned out, I had something in the trunk of the car that pressed against the trunk light switch causing it to stay on.

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