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2003 Corolla Battery Drain

By sealenator, December 31, 2014

Hey Folks. I have a 2003 Corolla that I have owned for about 3 or 4 months. 92k original miles. About a month ago It wouldn't crank on a cold morning. It wouldn't turn over, no lights, nothing. I jumped it off and stopped at an auto zone. They tested the battery, which tested bad. I bought a new battery, the expensive one with the 3 year warranty. Vehicle cranked right up and has been running fine until today.

Anyways, today I go outside to head to work and the car won't turn over, no lights, nothing. Checked battery on the voltage meter and it is going from 2 volts, up to 5 volts, and back down to 2 volts every 20 to 30 seconds. The key is not in the ignition. There are no obvious signs of any drains that I can see. All lights are off including the trunk.

The coincidence is that both mornings this happened it was below Zero degrees. Minus 3 this morning. Maybe in the extreme cold something is sticking causing the battery to run down overnight?

Any ideas on what to check next? Any help at all is appreciated.

When you're seeing the low voltage condition, check the battery voltage with the cables disconnected. Check the main battery cables and the tightness/cleanliness of the main chassis ground battery connection. It's not likely to be the problem, but it's a place to start.

Is there any aftermarket equipment (alarms, amplifiers) installed? I've seen some really sloppy wiring with that kind of thing.

This could be a really "fun" project... especially in the cold!

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