My commuter car is a 2000 VW Jetta GLX. It has a little over 190,000 km on the odometer. It’s been reliable for most of its life and I’ve taken excellent care of it. Recently I’ve noticed odd electrical gremlins. Something is draining the battery while the car is sitting parked. I’m absolutely anal about turning off everything before I shut off the engine so it’s not like I’m leaving the lights or radio on overnight. I had the battery replaced last year. The car has been starting and operating fine until about a month ago. I notice that it hesitates slightly before starting on a cold morning. Starting through the day after that is not an issue. So the alternator is charging the battery just fine, I assume. Had the car in for service last week and asked them to test the battery… test came back A-OK. Parked the car for the weekend and this morning came out to find the car completely dead. Even the LCD clock was dead. Battery completely drained. Didn’t bother trying to boost it because I didn’t have time. But once I get it started and let it charge the battery, I’m pretty sure it will be drained again a day or two later.
I assume there is parasitic draw that’s killing the battery. Is that a safe assumption? What’s the correct method of identifying the source of the draw? Is a standard handheld electrical multi-meter sufficient to monitor the current?