Edmunds Answers



  • karjunkie 07/27/09 6:26 pm PST

    The only thing that kills batteries on a car or truck is a bad alternator. Most auto parts stores will test your alternator for free, so swing by a major shop like NAPA, Pep Boys or AutoZone and get it tested. Good luck!

  • MrShift@Edmunds 07/27/09 6:36 pm PST

    Also for a diesel you need the right specification. Diesels need more cranking power than a gasoline engine. You need a quality HD battery.

    Another enemy of batteries, aside from the obvious ones like bad alternator (have it tested) and a low-grade battery drain, is HEAT. If your battery once had some kind of heat shielding which is now missing, that's another place to look.

  • gmctech 11/02/09 4:06 pm PST

    Despite a previous poster stating "only" a bad alternator will "kill" batteries, temperature is a factor as mentioned, vibration, and power draw are also factors. You need to check for parasitic battery drain. It is has been found that accessories can stay on drawing power when the vehicle has been shut off, causing a low/dead battery condition at the next startup. Beside having a matched set of the correct size battery is always recommended.
    An easy test with no skills required would be to disconnect both batteries for several days and see if truck starts when connected to eliminate or prove a shorted cell in one of the batteries. One bad cell in both batteries could draw down the other battery.


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