I’m stumped with my 1973 Fiat 850 Spider. This little car has a grand total of 10 fuses, 8 below the dash board, and two in the rear where the engine is. So, it’s not that complicated, right? Wrong.
So here’s the story: I purchased this little car in Philly. Everything works, except after a few days, I noticed that the car battery was out. So I jump it and allow the alternator to recharge it. It runs fine for a few days until it goes dead again. It reaches the point where it’s completely dead, no service light, no radio, nothing.
I figured I bought a car with an old battery. I replaced it with a new one from Walmart. It runs great for a few days until gradually no charge again. I take it to a shop to fix something else, they test the battery and they tell me it’s bad, that I bought a brick. OK, bad luck, right?
I replace the Walmart battery for another one under the warranty. What can go wrong now? Well, the same symptoms appeared after a few days. By now, surely it cannot be the battery. So I know what you’re thinking. My little convertible has a parasitic draw. But remember, it has only 10 fuses, no power windows, no power locks, no computer, no software, no Bluetooth…gish, it has a push-button AM radio, for crying out loud!
So I proceed to recharge the battery. I trickle charged it for 18 hours or so. The battery is now back to new. I then connected my meter in series to the negative pole to measure the amps, expecting as you would imagine a draw of at least 4 amps. Well, the little devil has a draw of only .35 amps, well below the acceptable level for a car this type (right?).
So what gives? Does the car have gremlins or parasites? Am I going crazy? Can I be so unlucky that I have had three bad batteries in a row (even from Walmart)? Am I missing something?
Any, and I mean any guidance would be greatly appreciated. My hair will thank you.