Three-month-old battery does not charge (at all) on 1997 Volvo 850

I got a new battery (Interstate MT-47/H5 in mid-September 2022, however, the battery has not been keeping charge well. Earlier this week, it went dead. It has been very cold for the past week. Anyway, I put it on a trickle charger, but I get “Dead Battery” indicator on the charger. Is it possible that there is a parsitic drain on the battery, or is it more likely that a bad battery is the problem? Can the car be jump-started and driven to the battery store, essentially without a battery, if that is indeed the problem. There is a 24-month replacement warranty on the battery. Are there any other possibilities that I should explore first?


If you think you’ve got problems now?


My guess, something wrong with battery internals, will need to be replaced. Suggest to not attempt jump start. If want to try again with this battery, remove it and take it to repair shop and ask them to test and charge it for you. If they are able to get it working again, next step is to drive car (with battery) back to shop and do a full charging system/battery test. A diy’er version: Before first start of the day battery should measure about 12.6 volts; then immediately after starting engine, 13.5 - 15.5 volts.

If battery is otherwise good but completely 100% discharged, that can fool charger into thinking battery is no good. I don’t expect this is your car’s problem, but such a thing is possible.

I’ve had pretty good luck the the $50 Walmart batteries.

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NO. I would not attempt this. It is possible you got a bad battery. the Autoparts store will check it out.

Your alternator might not be charging your battery, or you could have a parasitic draw.

The BEST Way TO Perform a Parasitic Draw Test - YouTube


I think he means jump start and drive with the dead battery still in the car . At least that is what I hope he means .

You have another vehicle according to your other threads so take the battery out and take it to the store you bought it from and let them check .

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With a trickle charger on a dead battery, it will take a long time to even get a reading. I think you should leave it on overnight and see if it charged up any the next day.

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Right, that is what I meant. I do have another car. I can understand the alternator being bad, but the problem here is that the battery is not charging with the trickle charger which has the red light indicator for “Bad Battery.”

If that’s the case, the battery is probably defective.


Thanks very much to all. I think I am going to leave it on the trickle charger for a day and see if the battery recovers. If it does not, I will pull it out and take it to the Interstate Batteries shop and see if they can diagnose the problem.

Even if it does charge have it checked out. it does not cost anything.
Also, you should have the alternator checked to see if it is charging correctly. there is a reason it lost a charge that needs to be addressed. And I doubt it was the cold weather.

Thanks! I agree, can the battery shop check the alternator, or should I go to a car mechanic? Btw, I have been charging the battery while it is attached to the car. Is it possible that the parasitic drain is so much that it is drawing away more than the trickle charger can charge? I guess I am trying to figure out if I should charge the battery after disconnecting it from the car, and seeing what it does.

A trickle charger takes approximately 2 1/2 to 3 days to charge a fully-discharged battery. However, it will completely charge the battery, assuming nothing is wrong with it.

Of course, you must remove the battery from the car, and connect the trickle charger to the correct terminals.

Thank you for this. I was trying to avoid the hassle of disconnecting the battery from the car if it was not needed. It turns out that it is needed. I will do as you suggest and see what the results are.

What type of battery charger do you have where it indicates the battery is bad?

The ones I’ve seen that can do this are called smart chargers.

This is a charger that checks the condition of a battery to see if it’s even worth trying to recharge the battery.


I have a Diehard trickle charger. It is probably around 7-8 years old. It is green to indicate it is on, red, next to which it says “Bad Battery”, orange when the battery is charging (says Charging next to the light). It also has a light to indicate when the wires are crossed but I can not recall what the color of that light is (perhaps red too). I think it was probably $40 or so then, and is a fairly basic trickle charger. I dont think it is fancy at all.

Something like this?

This charger has a battery test function.


I have this one: Diehard DH-136 battery charger So sadly, not with a battery test function.

I bought a battery for my 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass that was defective from the start. My son used the car right after I installed the battery and when he brought the car back that evening, he said the engine turned over very slowly. I measured the voltage at the battery and it was less than 10 volts. I disconnected the battery cables and connected my battery charger and let it charge overnight. When I disconnected the charger, the battery voltage was 12.4. Two hours later, the voltage dropped to under 10 volts. The battery was defective.

This is the manual for your charger.

It does have a battery test function.

Section 10.


Thank you. It appears that the battery may be bad. Though I will have to disconnect it and test it to be sure. According to the Table in Section 13 (it may be that there is a drain on the battery). I will check it and see. It is strange that the charging light is not coming on with the charger/maintainer. I have never seen this in the past.