Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show


My 2007 escalade purchased with 8000 miles has had the battery replaced four times in 15 months. Last week I found a penny in the cigarette lighter. Could this have caused my battery problem

Yes. If the penny completed the circuit in the cigarette lighter, this would be the same as constantly holding the cigarette lighter in drawing current from the battery.


Most certainly it could. I’m surprised it didn’t blow the fuse. All you can do is remove the penny and see what happens. If you plug something into the socket, does it provide power? If not, perhaps the fuse is blown.

I doubt the penny is your problem. If the penny made contact with the center and shell of the cigar lighter socket, it would have blown the fuse. Either you have a bad voltage regulator and it’s overcharging and damaging your batteries, or you’re replacing good batteries because you have a bad alternator or regulator that’s undercharging the battery.

I agree with DoctorPinto. Have the alternator checked out. Make sure they test for AC voltage across the battery while the engine is running. If there is more than .1 volt AC across the battery then the alternator has some bad diodes inside it. The shop also needs to check for proper DC voltage regulation.

The penny inside the lighter sure isn’t good but as was mentioned it should have blown a fuse if it was making connection to power.

Thank ;you

Thank ;you

Thank you

Nope, the penny won’t do it. YOu would have a blown fuse and burn marks on the penny and on the lighter contacts

I have to agree with Tester. If the connection over the penny is not a good one it’s possible for the battery to be runnning down constantly but not create a dead short which should in theory pop the fuse.

You need to find someone else to service the vehicle. Anyone who replaces a battery 4 times is not trustworthy.
Whenver an electrical problem exists a complete electrical system check should be performed. A check would uncover things like this rather than blindly flinging a wheelbarrow full of batteries at the problem.

Guess these guys don’t know how to test a battery before replacing it?

Find a shop that knows what a parasitic load test is and ask them to perform this test…I don’t think it’s the penny for reasons other posters mentioned…