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OldSubaru1

91 Legacy NEW battery died after sitting for 4-5 days. Will a jump start fix it?

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I have a 91 Legacy wagon and I purchased a new battery in March. After purchasing the new battery I drove the car daily for awhile, but about 2 weeks ago I stopped driving it and it was sitting for about 4 or 5 days. After those 4 or 5 days I tried to start it again and it would not start and none of the lights would come on either. I do know that one of the car's back doors will not close properly, and this causes a very small dashboard light to remain lit constantly when the battery is charged. Could it be that this very small light caused the battery to drain over time?

I am guessing that doing a jump start will recharge the battery at this point since the battery is brand new. But do you think that small dashboard light is what caused the battery to die in the first place? Do you think it will eventually die again due to this light even if I am able to get it started by jumping it? If so, is there an easy way to disable this dashboard light without having an effect on the vehicle? 

I had planned to sell the vehicle since I was no longer using it, but this may not be a possibility unless I can get it started by jumping it. Even then, I would hate for the person who purchased it to have the battery die on them for any reason like it did on me.

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HI,

I'd suggest that Yes that door light can drain the battery.

 

The light on the dash is triggered by that door's sensor. You should be able to wire that sensor so the LIGHT IS  OFF all the time...but w/out seeing it I can't tell you how. I'd think this would be easier than pulling the dash cluster and removing the corresponding bulb.

 

If you can't close the door, then I'm guessing the door is already damaged, so the light working or not isn't an issue....I'd be more concerned if it can/not be locked.

 

Edit: There's likely a fuse that controls the 'door ajar' lights, but it may also control something you WANT to work....look on the fuse cover or in the Owner's Manual.

 

GL,

TD

Edited by wtdash
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OldSubaru1,

 

Yes, one lit bulb will totally drain a car battery in a couple of days. You have a parasitic drain somewhere, most likely a door switch or an interior light. Get it fixed, charge the battery up, and you're good to go.

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Subaru Nut: I looked in the owner's manual under fuse box, and I don't see anything on the list of fuses that relates to a door ajar light. The only thing on the list that I see that I think may control the light on that door is something that says "hazard light". I am considering pulling the "hazard light" fuse and seeing if that makes the door light stop coming on, but when I think hazard light I also think about the light that blinks constantly to indicate that you are having a problem when you push the triangular button, and I would not want to potentially disable this. I am not sure if there is any other fuse that I could pull or attempt to pull to get that door light to turn off, or without potentially affecting something else. It is also difficult to see or access the fuse box, because it doesn't appear that it can be removed from under the steering column.

The door can be locked, however the open door indicator light remains lit constantly when the battery is charged.

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Jump starting a vehicle does NOT recharge the battery, it simply provides enough juice to start the car in spite of the dead battery. The alternator is what keeps the battery charged while you drive and is meant for that, charging a dead battery with the alternator can damage it. The "right" thing to do is charge the battery with a plug-in charger.

 

Your battery was probably not "fine" the whole time you were driving it, it probably started out fine and over the course of driving it for however long, slowly wore it down to "barely adequate" but you never noticed because it always started. leaving it sit for a few days was enough to finish it off.

 

yes, hazard switch means the hazard flashers.

 

Either A. fix the doors or B. adjust the switches on the doors to not indicate an open door. On all door switches I've seen (normally closed (in that when the door is open and not acting on it, it's closed completing the circuit and illuminating the light)) unplugging them would be enough BUT I have not checked on Subarus.

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Unhook the battery and get it charged. Fix the problem. The battery will still work, but deep discharge, and length of time sitting discharged both shorten the life and capacity.

 

A jump does not recharge the battery. It takes a very long time to recharge a fully discharged battery while driving also, due to the various loads and rpms. Get it on a plug in charger.

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Normal current drain on the battery for your car will most likely be less than 20 milliamps. If the door warning light is the only extra current drain issue you have you could disconnect the wire going to the door switch that has the trouble. The door switch makes a connection to ground to activate the light.

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Personally I would pull the battery stick it on the charger, that's the only way to get a full charge on your battery without running the car for hours.

 

As cougar said disconnect the damaged doors door ajar indicator. It should be somewhere along the door jamb, it is a black button like thing protruding from the door jamb. Disconnect ones side and tape it up so it doesn't ground out and cause the light to come back on.

 

Reinstall the battery and give it a couple days and try starting it to see if it solved your problem.

 

If the car is going to sit for a while its always a good idea to disconnect the negative side of the battery.

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