I live in Atlanta, GA and have a 1999 Chevy Venture van. It is not used very frequently (maybe once a month). I recently replaced the battery (about 3 mos ago) after numerous jumps that finally quit working altogether. It seemed OK for a few weeks, but now it’s dead again. A few dash lights will come on, but it won’t crank. Is this most likely the alternator?
My suggestion is to use the van more often and run it up to highway speed for about 30 to 45 minutes when you do.
Ensure all the battery cable (both) connections (including the ones at the starter) are clean and wrench tight.
Pop the red cover off the positive (+) post and clean well. There may be two connectors there, so remember to remove both before cleaning the recessed battery connection.
Make certain all ground connections are clean and wrench tight as well. (engine to chassis included)
There MAY be a parasitic drain on the battery causing it to go dead.
Does your van (a 1999) have the battery saver system as my 2000 Silhouette does?
If so, your battery won’t go flat from lights being left on as the system shuts everything down after 20 minutes.
UNLESS, the battery saver system isn’t working,in which case the computer may need a boot to reactivate it.
Have (or do yourself) a full load test done on the charging system.
A fully charged new battery on a working charging system should keep the battery up, even after sitting for a month.
I don’t believe the 1999 Venture has the battery saver system. I’ll check all the connections again. It has been unusually cold and the van just sits in the garage. It could be it’s just not getting enough use, but with the new battery, I was surprised it was dead again so quickly.
Thanks for the advice.
A month is close to the point where a battery will discharge from the “key-off” current. this is the current drawn from the battery when the car is turned off. It’s used to keep the computer alive, radio memory alive, etc. Varies from car to car.
you might consider a small trickle charger for the battery when you are not using it. they make ones that plug into the cigarette lighter socket for about $25. Somewhat more expensive ones use solar cells and thus free you from having to plug it into a wall socket.
PS, every time you do a deep discharge on a battery, you damage it. It only takes a few of these before the battery is useless.
It will go dead under those conditions. I suggest running it every two days or selling it.