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I have a 2000 Chevrolet Impala (3.4L V6). I am not exactly a great problem solver when it comes to cars and could use some advice regarding a battery issue I've had for the past several months.

We don't actually use this car very often (once or twice a week), but several months back the car wouldn't start. I had the battery tested and sure enough it was dead.

I purchased a new one at Wal-Mart. The car then started up fine for a several weeks, then wouldn't start. I took the first replacement battery back to Wal-Mart and had it replaced under warranty after they confirmed the battery was no good.

Several weeks later, the same thing happened. The car wouldn't start. This time I had the Autozone put the battery on a charger and test it, it was bad. I also had the alternator tested at this time and it was fine. They advised me that it wasn't impossible that I would be sold two bad replacement batteries in a row, so I took it in and they replaced it again. That was replacement #3.

That was probably 6 weeks ago and here I am again with a dead battery, car won't start and wondering what might be causing this.

1. Is it fathomable that I would be sold 3 consecutive bad batteries?

2. What could be occurring electrically that would cause 3 straight batteries to die where they test no good and have to be replaced.

3. Are there common electrical problems that would "kill" batteries like that? I've never had that occur, so pardon me if this sounds stupid.

Some other things I should probably clarify:
*There are no interior lights that are staying on.
*The alternator tested fine as mentioned above.
*The car isn't driven daily, but rarely sits for more than 7 days.
*When these batteries have stopped working, they test at Autozone as not being able to hold a charge, or dead.

Any advice here would be appreciated. I can replace batteries, alternators and put on a spare, that's about the extent of my experience working with our vehicles. I also don't have a reliable electrical guy nearby that I know won't charge me an arm an a leg for repairs, so if I could get some guidance here before biting the bullet on that I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you.
 

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Batteries

I guess there is always a possibility that you could have been sold 3 bad batteries. I just don't by it. I believe something is drawing down that battery. And it has to be a pretty good draw to kill it completely. Someone needs to put a fully chaged battery in that car with a known good charging system. Then place an amp meter in series with the negative battery cable with the " iginition off " and check for a draw. I have told people about this before, and when I tell them, I also tell them to ask the person who is doing the draw test if they can do it manually a meter and factory manual so they know what the factory milliamp draw should be. If they cannot say yes to that without saying I can put it on this analyzer or this machine,they most likely don't know what they are doing so go elsewhere. This isn't rocket science.

Jeff
 

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When the car is driven, is it for longer drives, or 5 mins to the store?

My driving cycle, based on job needs, is either 5 mins to the store or an hour on the road.

I really don't think a battery will properly recharge if you only drive 5 mins to the store, especially in cold weather. I have had trouble in the past with this, and finally solved it with a battery minder

Batteryminders Specials | BatteryMinders.com

I use the battery minder on all my vehicles and even if they sit for a month, fire right up. I have also checked for parasitic drain and found none. Hope this helps.
 

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It definitely sounds like something is draining your battery. Phantom load?
 

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If a battery is chronically undercharged, it will sulphate and go bad. This can happen quickly, especially in very warm weather.

A DMM can be used to diagnose phantom loads. Set to amps, remove the negative cable, and have a helper hold it away from any vehicle ground points. Touch one lead to the neg battery post, the other lead to the neg cable. See what load reads, in mA.

Problem is, when you first apply power to a vehicle with a lot of electronics, there will be huge loads at first until things settle down. That could take 5 mins
 

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Mr. Handy
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Very unlikely getting 3 bad batteries in a row.

I am not sure what the "normal" draw is for these cars but, maybe someone on here knows

Like others have stated, test the draw of power at "key off". This will varify that "something" is drawing your battery down and killing it but, that's it. Finding the cause of the draw down will be way harder. Not worth the headaches of doing yourself if you ask me and yes, I know a good bit about electronics. Your better off getting it diagnosed by a professional.

I would however recommend starting the car every 2-3 days to maintain a charge or put a "battery tender" on it when not in use. A battery tender setup can be had for $30-40. This will likely stop the problem. These car's consume power all the time for various functions like: Security system, cig lighter plugs, etc. Just b/c something isn't "on" doesn't mean it isn't consuming power. A simple short or grounding of a power wire (not fused) could be causing the problem as well.
 

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I have a 2000 Chevrolet Impala (3.4L V6). I am not exactly a great problem solver when it comes to cars and could use some advice regarding a battery issue I've had for the past several months.

We don't actually use this car very often (once or twice a week), but several months back the car wouldn't start. I had the battery tested and sure enough it was dead.

I purchased a new one at Wal-Mart. The car then started up fine for a several weeks, then wouldn't start. I took the first replacement battery back to Wal-Mart and had it replaced under warranty after they confirmed the battery was no good.

Several weeks later, the same thing happened. The car wouldn't start. This time I had the Autozone put the battery on a charger and test it, it was bad. I also had the alternator tested at this time and it was fine. They advised me that it wasn't impossible that I would be sold two bad replacement batteries in a row, so I took it in and they replaced it again. That was replacement #3.

That was probably 6 weeks ago and here I am again with a dead battery, car won't start and wondering what might be causing this.

1. Is it fathomable that I would be sold 3 consecutive bad batteries?

2. What could be occurring electrically that would cause 3 straight batteries to die where they test no good and have to be replaced.

3. Are there common electrical problems that would "kill" batteries like that? I've never had that occur, so pardon me if this sounds stupid.

Some other things I should probably clarify:
*There are no interior lights that are staying on.
*The alternator tested fine as mentioned above.
*The car isn't driven daily, but rarely sits for more than 7 days.
*When these batteries have stopped working, they test at Autozone as not being able to hold a charge, or dead.

Any advice here would be appreciated. I can replace batteries, alternators and put on a spare, that's about the extent of my experience working with our vehicles. I also don't have a reliable electrical guy nearby that I know won't charge me an arm an a leg for repairs, so if I could get some guidance here before biting the bullet on that I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you.
dereck.benjamin,

I've been having the same issues as you in my 08' Impala SS. About every year my battery goes bad and I now need the dealership to re-charge the car battery. I've had to have GM change out the battery twice so far and now they won't honor another new battery. Instead they're re-charging it now. What the condition is they won't say.:WTF:

Durango
 

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A lot of people are unaware at how quickly a chronically undercharged battery will go bad. My daily driver will usually not need a battery tender, the one that sits for days at a time will always need a battery tender.

If you have access to a DMM, set it ti DCV and check the voltage at idle. Anything in the mid to upper 13's rules out the alternator.

I have had this issue with a few vehicles that sat a lot, or were short-trip vehicles. A chronically undercharged battery will rapidly sulphate and that kills their life, and capacity too.

I have had to use the VDC Electronics Battery Minder on one venicle that used to sit a lot, my FJ Cruiser. I now automatically use the Battery Minder on everything, just to avoid problems. I know that I can hop into the vehicle and no matter if it sat overnight or for 3 weeks, it will fire right up
 

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A lot of people are unaware at how quickly a chronically undercharged battery will go bad. My daily driver will usually not need a battery tender, the one that sits for days at a time will always need a battery tender.

If you have access to a DMM, set it ti DCV and check the voltage at idle. Anything in the mid to upper 13's rules out the alternator.

I have had this issue with a few vehicles that sat a lot, or were short-trip vehicles. A chronically undercharged battery will rapidly sulphate and that kills their life, and capacity too.

I have had to use the VDC Electronics Battery Minder on one venicle that used to sit a lot, my FJ Cruiser. I now automatically use the Battery Minder on everything, just to avoid problems. I know that I can hop into the vehicle and no matter if it sat overnight or for 3 weeks, it will fire right up
jayman,

In my case the dealership just re-charged my battery instead of replacing it with a new one. Perhaps based on your last reply my battery won't dis-charge itself so quickly. Otherwise I made up my mind to now have my battery inspected every 6 months. Besides that my battery for the SS looks unusually small for a V-8 engine.

Durango
 

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I am having a similar problem with a 2000 Impala which recently has not been driven much. Would it help to disconnect the battery when it is not being used? It is not parked where it will be convenient to use a battery-minder. If it would help, has anyone found a quick disconnect with the correct threads for a side connected battery for a 2000 Impala? So far anything I have found has threads that are too coarse so I have to unscrew the battery terminal to disconnect it.
 

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I am having a similar problem with a 2000 Impala which recently has not been driven much. Would it help to disconnect the battery when it is not being used? It is not parked where it will be convenient to use a battery-minder. If it would help, has anyone found a quick disconnect with the correct threads for a side connected battery for a 2000 Impala? So far anything I have found has threads that are too coarse so I have to unscrew the battery terminal to disconnect it.
Since I wrote this post, I have connected a solar panel placed in area in front of the back window and plugged into the cigarette lighter to keep the battery topped off, and it seems to be working fine.
 
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