2 Dead Batteries? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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2 Dead Batteries?

Hi all,

I have my bella (1999 2.5 v6 ) in storage due to driving something else at the moment and was intending to give it to my better half to drive for a while but have run into a few snags.

1.. After leaving the car garaged for a few months I found it needed a jump-start and the battery never seemed to recover ... I replaced the battery around christmas and the car worked fin for about the week that I drove it then... I haven't driven it with the new battery since December.

2. When taking the car out of the garage this week I found the (new)battery dead - it doesn't seem capable of accepting ANY charge at all, and I've had trouble with the trip computer resetting to zero while driving, and other weird electric issues.

3. The car is VERY 'breathy' - there are flat-spots where the engine seems to almost 'cough' at certain rev ranges (noted that it appears to vary depending on the gear?)

No.2 above worries me, especially when coupled with no.1 as I am concerned that buying another battery will simply result in another dead battery soon, and I'll still need to have someone look at the car. I'm not anxious to spend a lot as the last thing I did before putting the car in storage was drop about 3 grand on new rear suspension and new clutch, so I'd prefer to avoid going to a garage unless I NEED to.

In this vein, does anyone know EXACTLY how I would use a digital multimeter to check

i) whether the alternator/power system is generating the correct amount of current to charge the battery correctly
ii) how to check how much current is being drawn from the battery when the car is parked with the engine and alarm off (why does the battery die in these circumstances?)
iii) if possible to determine using a multimeter, whether there is an 'earth leak' somewhere? (and what this IS would be good to know too!)

no.3 above sounds like a dirty or broken MAF sensor from what I've heard on the site ... the car is very dusty all over after being in storage so long, is it possible that the MAF is simply dirty rather than needing to be replaced? If so is this a job a mechanically challenged person could do?

Thanks in advance for your help...

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Re: 2 Dead Batteries?

Put a new battery on before you worry about any of the other problems mine was pulling allsorts of strange tricks whilst the battery was dying even my LPG was playing up I changed the battery& it was like nothing had ever been wrong very strange as it should pretty much be running off the alternator once started
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Re: 2 Dead Batteries?

battery should be 12.6v at rest (test after leaving 12 hours since use, or 10 mins of front lights on after charging.

should be 14-14.5v when charging (ie engine running).

parasitic current is more difficult to check, but involves putting the multimeter in series with the car (ie battery terminal to multimeter to battery cable) - need to know capability of multimeter before doing this.
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Re: 2 Dead Batteries?

Easier if you have access to a clip on ammeter, or clamp meter as I think they are known as. You just clamp around each live in turn to try to see what one is "leaking" current.

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