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Today went to start my 2004 honda civic and when I put the key in the ignition I got nothing no power no sound no crank nothing..... I just replaced the battery with a good die hard battery less than 3 months ago.... But when I jumped the car it started right up and off I went....the car ran great as it usually does got to my destination did my shopping car wouldnt start this time I got multiple/rapid clicking...... What in tarnations???

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  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Aug 28, 2022 at 2:28
  • If you have a multimeter that has an ammeter function, you could measure the power draw directly (unplug "+" pole of the battery and attach multimeter between battery "+" and car "+" ... assuming chassis is "-") to exclude something sucking it empty. Second thing, charge it up and let it stand disconnected for a bit, then see if it held its charge. At this point the only part left would be the alternator.
    – Sixtyfive
    Aug 28, 2022 at 13:30
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    @Sixtyfive, easier to measure voltages first, which doesn't require disconnecting stuff. See Paulster2's answer.
    – Mathieu K.
    Sep 1, 2022 at 16:52
  • Yeah, I'd seen his answer and agree. Comment was more intended as another way. Sorry if it caused confusion.
    – Sixtyfive
    Sep 2, 2022 at 9:43

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It sounds as though the battery is dead because the alternator isn't putting out the juice needed to recharge it. You should have the voltage checked at the battery with the engine running. It should be between 13.5 to 14.1 vdc. If it is below that, let it run and check to see if it is discharging (ie: the voltage is getting lower). If it is, the alternator is probably bad. You should take it to a auto parts store to have it tested.

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  • Conversely, if the voltage is within that good range and holding steady (with the engine running), it would be another part of the system: the battery, the starter, the connections, or something draining the battery when the car's off. A multimeter or other voltage tester can tell you more about that, too: a good battery should be around 12.3 to 12.6 volts (assuming not AGM) when fully charged, with the car not running. Finally, some places (like the retailer I work at) can test the battery for you if you bring it to them loose. But work step by step. Answer Paulster2's question first.
    – Mathieu K.
    Sep 1, 2022 at 16:50

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