Toyota battery drain - 2000 camry solara

Hi - I drive my solara pretty infrequently, but even so I am surprised (aka ranting and raving mad) by the way the battery drains to completely dead if I don’t drive the thing for a week. 1 year old battery, presumably good per the folks at Schucks and its place in the price range, but if I don’t actively drive the car - dead. It seems like there must be a bunch of electrical drain even when turned off, Also, when jumping (which is far too common an event) it doesn’t work well unless I put the negative cord on the negative terminal instead of grounding it on the chassis like I typically do. Any suggestions or ideas would be very much appreciated.


There is a procedure to figure out the culprit. But I should start by asking you if there is anything in the car that didn’t come from the factory? Any electronic devices? Any obvious reasons? Like the interior lights? The glove box light being on when its closed? The way to tell is to open the glovey and feel the bulb…is it hot? If so, then it was on while closed… Same thing with the trunk… And possibly under the hood if there is a light under there?

Aside from the obvious… the alternator is a common culprit, however to really figure it out you need to go thru a procedure of removing the pos or neg batt clamp…and putting a meter in between the Batt post and the batt clamp… You will be measuring Amp draw…and pulling fuses from the fuse box to see when the Amp draw abates… This is a common procedure to perform…any mechanic worth his salt will know what to do to diagnose this…


Cliff notes version of what Honda Blackbird is saying:
‘Test for parasitic drain’ is what you want to ask the mechanic to do.

Ya… My posts usually could do with Cliff Notes…LOL

Thanks for the advice! Definitely no obvious things like lights, nonstandard plugins, etc. I did take it to the shop to have the alternator tested and it was reported as fine, but my sense was that the issue is not what’s going in to the battery, but rather what’s being pulled out from it - i.e. battery seems to recharge fine after a little trip on the highway, This method of metering the battery and then testing fuse-at-a-time makes perfect sense, and will look for tapeworms, ticks, and long lost family members :wink: . Should have thought of it myself and disappointed that the fellow at Toyota garage didn’t. Thank you

Here is a link for you to refer to on how to check things out. Be sure the battery has a full charge on it by using a battery charger on it and not depend on the alternator to charge up a low battery. Normal current draw on a a battery should be around 20 milliamps when things are in the sleep mode. You should be able to park the car for at least several weeks and not have a starting problem if things are ok.