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.

Answer
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
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