How do you test for a parasitic drain on your car battery?

What’s the best way to test for a parasitic drain on my car battery? My battery gave out a few days ago, but it’s only a few months old. My friend gave me a jumpstart and I drove around for a bit to help it recharge—but I need to make sure it’s not being constantly drained.

Parasitic drains can be frustrating, especially when you’re dealing with a new battery! Luckily, you can follow these steps to test for a parasitic battery drain:
  • Step 1: Turn off your car before you start messing with the battery. Make sure to set your multimeter to DC.
  • Step 2: Remove the negative battery cable from your car and put it in contact with one of your multimeter leads.
  • Step 3: Connect the other lead on your multimeter to the negative battery terminal. Use zip ties to keep them in place.
  • Step 4: Check your multimeter to make sure your car is using about 50 milliamps, which is standard for a normal car.
  • Step 5: Open your hood fuse panel and pull one fuse at a time while keeping your eyes on the multimeter. Make sure you put the fuses back where you found them. If you see any significant dips in amps when you pull a fuse, then you’ve found your problem!
  • Step 6: Replace the faulty fuse to stop the parasitic drain!
Congratulations, you just found and fixed a parasitic drain on your car battery. Since this process can be challenging and potentially damaging to your car, consider having a mechanic run the test.
To offset the price of mechanical help, start saving on car insurance with Jerry. A licensed broker, the Jerry app can help you find and compare quotes from over 50 top providers for free. When you find a better plan, Jerry can help you buy your new coverage and even help cancel your old policy.
Joshua Levy
Answered on Nov 18, 2021

Did this answer help you?

Ask us a question by email and we will respond within a few days.

Have a different question?

You can meet us at our office and discuss the details of your question.
Let Jerry’s experts help you find savings on your car insurance!
No long forms or spam · Get quotes from 40+ carriers
Find insurance savings (100% Free)
rating primary
4.7/5 Rating on App Store

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free