Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Car battery keeps dying

We just bought a 2008 Hyundai Accent with 35700 miles. We had it 3 days and the battery was dead and it wouldn’t start. It Dealer has performed battery recall and software recall. 1 month later it died again, they replaced the alternator, two more times died, dealer couldn’t repeat problem. the dealer is returning the car to us two weeks after the last dead battery, stumped. we are to make appt when their factory rep shows up. It has been 5 or 6 times now, any ideas??

Does the car sit for a couple of days when this happens? Or is it driven nearly every day? There is an obvious power drain somewhere. Where is the magic question. If the car battery dies from sitting just overnight, this is a large drain, like a light being left on somewhere, like the glove compartment or trunk. Most modern cars have a control module that will cut power to the lights if left on for a long period, like an hour. I know my 2000 Ford does that.

So, it is probably a bad module somewhere draining power when it shouldn’t be. With the amount of computer modules in a modern car, this can be tricky to track down. If a factory rep is coming out to look at it, it means they are trying to fix this for you, not just giving up on it.

If you bought from a dealer with a warranty, then insist that the warranty cover all needed repairs, even if the problem persists longer than the warranty.

If you bought from a third party, then stop going to the dealer and find a mechanic who is capable of diagnosing the problem. A flat battery is rarely the fault of the battery and replacing it a bunch of times is not going to solve the problem. You likely have a serious power drain caused by a short circuit or a defective piece of equipment, and it should not be too hard to narrow it down by hooking the battery up to an ammeter and pulling fuses. (Or they got a bunch of alternators from the same suppliers and they’re all defective – it’s been known to happen.)

First you need to document every thing that happens. If it drags on close to the end of the warranty, then you need to check out the rules for Lemon Law.

.Lemon Laws:

Is there any state lemon law that applies at 37,000+ miles? Are you a lawyer, and are you associated with these web sites you keep recommending?

My daughter drives it daily during the week and rarely on the weekends. It dies almost like clockwork after about four weeks, and it is always Monday morning after sitting for a day or so. we thought it was related to the auto headlight turn off switch circuit or module, but they said they checked it out and can’t find a problem. I’m sure they are looking at error codes and not actually at wires and connectors. It cost me $1000.00 to replace an A/c circuit board on my Toyota highlander, and when I got the “bad” board, there was a bad solder joint where the cable attaches to the board. I could have soldered it myself. But the dealers don’t do that. I feel like they are sincere, but we are very frustrated.

We bought it from a Ford dealer used. It is covered by the manufacturer for another 24,000 miles. They only replaced the battery the first time, since there was a recall for it anyway. They didn’t diagnose. They assumed that would fix the problem. It’s only now that it’s the 5th time that they are trying to diagnose and they can’t.

I did read what was on the A.G. website (Calif.) at best, they would owe us 30% of what we paid which was $10,200. It would cost more to hire a lawyer. What stinks is that we’ve only put about 300 miles on it, but they divide the mileage (before the repair) divided by 120,000.

You appear to be covered by Hyundai’s 5 yr/60,000 mile warranty, so keep taking it back until the fix it. And insist from the factory rep that they give you a loaner or rental until it’s fixed.

It should not be that hard to at least narrow down the location of the problem. If the battery and alternator are good, then it has to be current drain in a defective circuit or ground.

We finally asked for a loaner this last go around and they were very agreeable. That is our strategy, just keep hounding until they fix it.