I am trying to restore an old car. It is not currently running, but i am going through the different options to diagnose it.

My problem is that my battery goes flat quickly. I try fixing something, then try starting it and the battery goes flat after about 12 goes at cranking. After that happens i detach and recharge the battery. The battery is new and there is nothing wrong with it.

Is there a way i can plug the car into the house electricity? Or should i buy a couple of spare batteries to recharge and swap? Is there a better way to do this?

  • You will overheat the starter doing repeated starts (cranks), I would put a new starter on it. What does test start mean?
    – Moab
    Jul 24 '17 at 23:37
  • Test start means a short crank every now and then e.g. i would replace the spark plugs, give it a crank, clean the distributor cap, give it a crank, adjust the gap on spark plugs, give it a crank. I'm not going overboard and cranking it for more than a few seconds, but i do it frequently enough to drain the battery within a few hours.
    – timvb
    Jul 25 '17 at 7:05

To deal with the starting problem you could invest in one of the "fast charge / boost start" type chargers that will provide the starting power which will aid the battery or effectively replace it.

This will also show if the battery is turning the engine over sufficiently fast.

You don't mention if it is petrol or diesel , but a logical progression may help limit the amount of turning over you need. Do you have fuel getting to the cylinders? Is there a spark at the plug? Etc.

  • Thanks for the suggestion, i will take a look at this option. Its a petrol engine, and i have been trying to logically proceed with the diag based on what an old workshop manual suggests, but i'm still new to this. I have confirmed that petrol is getting to the engine, and the spark plugs/leads/ignition coil are okay, I am now trying to test the distributor cap.
    – timvb
    Jul 25 '17 at 7:34

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