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I have a 2013 Hyundai Accent Hatchback.

I have had a recurring issue with either my battery or alternator. Here is the history of the problem:

About a year and a half ago, the battery died while parked in a parking lot in the summer. The battery was about 3-4 years old at the time. I jumped the car (with another car) and took it to an auto-parts store. I bought a replacement battery.

Note: I recalled later that day that when I got out of the car before it died, I had my wife take the keys out of the car after I was out. This resulted in me not opening the driver-side door after shutting the car off. When I do not open the driver-side door after shutting the car off the lights stay on.

About a day later the car died again. I also did the same mistake as above where I did not open the driver side door after shutting the car off. I jumped the car and took the car battery back in to the store for a replacement. They deemed that the battery was bad(not sure if my car "made" it bad or if it was just bad) and they gave me a new one. Then, 2 days later, the car was dead again.(I could not recall doing the "not opening the driver-side door) I jumped the car and took it into the dealership.

The first dealership tested everything, said everything was fine, and told me the battery was to blame. They said they even put a new battery in the car and everything checked out. They said get a replacement battery and that will fix it. I had my suspicions so I took the car into a different dealership(a much better one in my opinion) and they looked everything over and said they found a "could-be" bad connection with the air-conditioner and had fixed it. I have not had any problems since then.

Now today, I accidentally left my keys in the car in my garage(with the engine off) for about 10-15 minutes. When I went to start the car it was dead. I took the car to an Autozone to have the battery tested. The employee who tested it said the battery and alternator both "Failed". I tried asking him a few more questions but he didn't seem to be Autozone's employee of the month so I left.

  1. Has anyone encountered anything like this before?
  2. Is this really an alternator problem as the person at Autozone described?
  3. Should a battery die within 10-15 minutes of being left on without the engine on?

Some notes:

  • The lights on the car do not flicker when sitting at a stop sign or revving the engine.
  • The car starts every time when jumped
  • The car does not have any noticeable issues once started
  • Everytime this has happened I recall not turning the power off "properly"(i.e. leaving the keys in the car or not opening the driver side door before taking the keys out)
  • Can you measure the voltage across the battery terminal both when the car is shut off and when it is running? – Daniel Sep 27 '18 at 8:09
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    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 27 '18 at 12:30

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