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I think I have a dying battery

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?

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

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.

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

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!

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

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.