Need advice ASAP

I have a battery pack, and it should be good for a few jumps before it needs to be recharged overnight.

My current driving situation is similar to yours. I drive to a store once per week and it takes about the same time. My car started every time but once. To avoid the problem, I take the long way to the store, usually a 20 minute drive. That keeps the battery charged without using a charger or battery pack.

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Good advise above on using battery charger to get your battery charged to the top.
Indeed, driving the short distance infrequently may be not enough to keep battery charged by the car’s alternator.

Batteries last the longest when they are kept fully charged, keeping lead-acid battery in under-charged condition over prolonged time reduces its useful life-span.

I would also consider checking if you have any kind of power-draw when car if turned off.
Sometimes it may be from the aftermarket car radio, but I would bet far more often it may come from the phone charger plugged into the power outlet, which is still active when car is turned off.
Such slow electricity drain sources might no be noticeable if you drove often and for longer distances, but making infrequent short trips, it may be the root cause of the issue in the first place.


That is my strategy also. The supermarket is only ~4 miles away, but by taking the long, “scenic” route, I wind up driving for about 20 minutes each way, and this is good for both me and my vehicle.

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You are driving infrequently and only for a short distance. Do you drive with your headlights on? Do you have the fan motor in the car on high all the time? Is the driving at a slow speed with lots of stops?

Driving a short distance in city traffic with low speeds, lots of stops and the headlights on and fan on high can actually cause the charging system to not keep up. One thing that can also aggravate that would be an alternator that is no longer working at 100%. An alternator is a three phase generator with a full wave rectifier bridge. The rectifiers used are diodes. One diode can open up (burn out) and the alternator still looks good, but is only putting out about 70% of what it should be putting out.

One way to check an alternator is a full capacity test or a test for ripple. It may be cheaper to just replace the alternator with a new heavy duty, high output model to keep the battery charged when the engine is operating at low speed, the kind the cops use in their vehicles.

As for battery charger vs battery pack. A battery pack will just save you a call to AAA, it will not solve the underlying problem If you go with a trickle charger, make sure it is a “Maintainer” type or it could damage your battery. A maintainer will shut off when the battery is fully charged so it doesn’t overcharge it, plus it will turn on automatically if the battery charge goes down and charge it back up.

The issue with the charger/maintainer is that you have to protect the maintainer, i.e park in a garage and you have to remember to hook it up and unhook it when you go for a drive, and you do not want to get the leads reversed. A good maintainer will have a protection circuit to prevent any damage if hooked up wrong and will light up a light to let you know. I would go for a high output alternator if you drive under the conditions above, or at least turn down the fan.

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Few months ago I bough the “maintainer” like this with up to 5 Amps charging current, so it is quite usable even for charging purposes.
The set of wires it came with has quite long wire from maintainer to mid-point connector, then it connects either to the harness you connect directly to battery terminals and let it hang around grille or to the one going into “always on” power outlet in the car.
Wires are enough length to keep car outside next to a garage and connect it properly.
Mid-point connector had rubber protection cap and has positive lead protected by plastic (negative protruding), so it is safe to let it be connected to the battery at all times and route to the grill area.
All “happy pack” was something like $30, additional 25 feet run of extended wire would be another $15 or so.

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ok thank you letting me know

Thank you for all the information, i appreciate it. Our AC doesn’t work, but we do drive with our head lights on. We did replace our Alternator in 2016 and about 5 moths ago we changed the Alternator bands, they said they would break soon. I can’t help but wonder if that has something to do with the battery giving us a problem.

What does that mean ?

I meant alternator belt.

the simple test for your alternator will be to turn your lights and any electrics you regularly use on and to measure the voltage on the bettery at idle with a multimeter

if you get 14 volts or more as you engine idles and electric load is on - then your charging system is OK and your trouble is in short driving distance AND/OR some slow battery drain

if you get under 14 volts - you have to figure our why your charging system is not keeping up

Don’t follow @Rod_Knox, but do follow his advice.