Could Your Battery Issues Be Caused by a Simple Switch?
How many car batteries have you purchased in the last few months? If you're constantly running into trouble, dealing with a dead electrical system from time to time and finding that you have to get yet another replacement, then there is clearly something else wrong. A new battery should last for several years in an ideal situation, so you need to look more closely and find out what is triggering the issue. But where should you start?
First Things First
To begin with, have a look at the cables and terminals underneath the bonnet that connect the battery to both the earth and to the ignition. If they are looking a little worse for wear then you should try cleaning them carefully, to get rid of any corrosion or dirt that may have built up around the terminals and posts. If these look okay, then there may be some form of "vampire" leak that is draining all of the power when your vehicle should be at rest.
A modern-day car has a large variety of electrical gadgets and many of them are designed to be on standby, ready for immediate action. They are controlled by a number of sensors and other components that will usually take their cue from the ECU.
While these gadgets are in hibernation, they will nevertheless use a certain amount of power until, that is, you leave the car and close the door. At that point, they are designed to switch off altogether and should only reactivate when you re-enter the car and key the ignition.
There are essentially two trigger events that control these gadgets and disconnect them from the battery. The computer will be on the lookout and will detect when you first remove the key from the ignition switch and then close the driver's door after you. Both of those events in sequence will switch everything off, unless there is a fault in that particular circuit.
Believe it or not, but some systems can be fooled at the second stage by something as simple as a blown light bulb. The second part of the sequence is monitored through the interior light and is supposed to be activated when that bulb goes out. If it is blown or it there is some other fault associated, then those vampire gadgets will continue to drain your battery all night long.
You may be able to fix this rather easily by checking the condition of the bulb and changing it if necessary. However, if all seems to be well in that department, then you should bring in an auto electrician for further advice.