I think I have a dying battery

batteries
alternators
starters

#1

First a little background: I have a 2004 4-cylinder Toyota Tacoma. I’ve never had a problem with its “under the hood” components until now. I’ve been a diligent sucker and have taken it in to the dealer on their recommended schedule ever since I bought it.



A couple days ago, I started it up in the morning to drive to my carpool-buddy’s house, and noticed the engine took a little longer to turn over before getting started. I drove to his house and parked (it was his week to drive). When we got back in the afternoon, my truck wouldn’t start. When I turn the key, it would click repeatedly, really fast (like, click-click-click-click-click-click), and the engine would turn over once (like, kaaa-wooom). It would then go back to clicking again.



My friend and I tried jumping to his battery, and my truck started up right away, smooth as ever. I drove it home, and left it running for a total of about 20 minutes to try and put a charge into my seemingly dead battery. The next day, I didn’t drive it at all. Then this morning I went out to start it up, and when I turned the key, it was totally dead (no clicking). I let the key back, and tried starting again, and this time I got the same clicking, followed by one pained engine turn-over.



I think I have a dead battery, but before I go to buy a new one, I wanted to run this by some other brains. I don’t think it’s my alternator, since she started up right away when the battery was jumped to my friend’s car. I don’t think it’s my starter because, well, again, it started when the battery was jumped.



Can I buy a battery tester (I’m guessing my little in-home tester isn’t enough to test my car’s battery)? Should I take this in to someone test further (like, for a short somewhere in my electrical system that might be draining my battery)? Or is it most likely my battery that’s dead?


#2

You can have both your battery and your charging system tested for free at many chain parts stores. Why guess?


#3

You have four years on your battery now, your symptons fit perfectly with a “bad” battery.

Replace the battery now, have the charging system tested.

Trying to bring a totally (or almost totally) discharged battery up to full charge cannot be accomplished using the vehicles charging system (espically with a less than perfect battery and such a short vehicle charge time)

I want my battery to be in perfect condition,just like my tires and other equipment,just my humble opinion.


#4

Sweet, there’s a Kragen right near my house. I’ll see if they’ll test my system for me.


#5

I was worried about that short 20 minute charge time I gave it, but if 4 years is well beyond the expected lifespan of a battery, I’ll see about getting a new one. Thanks!


#6

I don’t say it’s “well beyond” but it’s is at a point that if I start seeing symptons It goes.


#7

Yes, get it tested. YOu could also have a bad connection between the battery and the rest of the car. If the battery has openings to all the cells, you can get a lot of information yourself with an inexpensive battery hydrometer.