car battery problem, suggestions welcome

I bought a new battery and already it is flat. I tested it after i bought it and it was reading over 12V. I tested it again last night and it was reading around 12V so i wasnt worried. I tried to start it this morning and it wouldnt. Tested the battery again and it was reading only 5V. Any ideas how i can figure out why the battery is being drained so fast?

You probably need to take it to an auto elec. shop. It sounds like something in your elec. sys. is drawing power when the ignition is off. It shouldn’t take a pro very long to find the problem.

Either you got a bad battery (unlikely) or something is drawing power off your new battery. You sure you didn’t leave a dome light on or something when you tested it last night?

An acquaintance had the same problem and asked me to help him with it; we found a nick in the insulation of some wires was causing a short to the frame when he started it, sitting idle it was OK.

Step 1 Recharge the battery.
Step 2 Have the battery tested. Out of the box duds are not unknown in the car battery business. The last battery I bought for someone’s Volvo had sat for so long at the auto parts store it was DEAD when I got it home.
Step 3 check for a current draw. Is the glove box closed and the light off, ditto for the trunk. Does the stereo stay on after the key is off? I have also seen issues with power door lock drawing batteries flat.

Have your charging system tested.
You should be putting out 13-13.5 volts under full load(headlamps on, heater/aircond full on, whippers on, etc.)
I had a problem like that once, after a repair job(body work) the hood light only came on when it was closed. It was installed the wrong way. :smack:

First off the battery went dead while sitting, charging system has nothing to do with it.
Secondly, your voltage listings for a charging systems are not correct.

Sorry, \Not trying to start anything, as I am not an expert.
I do know that it takes a load cell to test a battery for full charge and I don’t think that was done.
What is the correct voltage to look for under load?
When i see anything over 13 volts, and under 16 I am happy.

I too bought a brand spankin new battery only to find it was dead.

Be quick often the guarantee is determined by the born date. The warranty could have been
used up before it was sold.

Yeah OP, you could start your troubleshooting with the battery itself by exchangin it for another one.
A lot of the auto places will also happily test stuff for you too, if you ask.

Thanks FoieGrasIsEvil for suggesting the simple things first. Turns out i had left an interior light on. The interior lights in my car are very dim and hard to see in daylight so i didnt spot it at first. I borrowed a booster pack from a neighbour and after 20 minutes idling the battery voltage is back to just under 13V.
Thanks also to Rick for ruling out a problem with the alternator. Nothing in the OP suggests a problem with the altenator but several people have told me to check this first.

The battery’s I buy the store etches the purchase date into it, and w/ sales slip its good for 1 year. I do believe the sales slip isn’t even nessesary for that store.