Not every job that comes into the shop is a big complicated repair or diagnosis. Sometimes it is just customers bad luck with junk parts. This is just the case here in this video.
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Hey there viewers, Welcome back to the self-made Auto Channel There's a 2015 Nissan It's a Sentra It's got the Big One eight and apparently the battery goes dead if the vehicle sits for any period of time. I Guess even just a couple hours, they can't get it started. They jump, it starts and runs, and continues to run until they shut it off again. Customer told me they've had it on the third shot.

they're they've been to. Uh, they've on their third battery, which oddly enough, is even the wrong battery. But it's a battery. So three batteries is my understanding and one alternator.

And the shops just want to keep putting batteries and alternators on it so they want to figure out what's going on. Why do they have to jump start it every time? They you don't want to use the car? So we're going to check that out. I Brought it in before lunch, put the charger on it, set it on nuclear, and it's up to about 90 some percent charged. Like I said, it's not the correct battery for the vehicle, and we're going to kind of have to disregard the fact a little bit to a certain degree that the battery is probably not any good because it's been killed so many times you know, in this current condition.

So we're going to kind of look past that. We're going to open the driver's door. it's got the little push button. we're gonna have to keep that button shut and then we're going to hook the negative battery up and then we're going to put a meter on it and see how much current is being drawn out of the battery after we let it sit for you know, half hour, 40 minutes, whatever with the key off and then that way we can get an assessment as far as what the heck's going on, how big is this draw and then we got to start tracking it down to what circuit it's on and then find out what the heck it is so this may be fired up.

Oh I guess we better put that how it needs to be. Sorry: We're gonna use amps internal and I like using a meter running it through the meter more so than using a amp clamp simply because these are more accurate, right? Amp clamps drift over time in my experience. so I like doing it this way. we're going to set it right up on the highest scale we have right now, which is 10 amps and then we're going to unhook the charger.

Like I said, it's got to be just about done. It was up to 90 percentile. We're gonna stick the negative battery on here for just a second just to get rid of the big draw. Initial draw: There's no lights on on the inside I have both front doors opened with the door jar switch, push shut or flick shut there.

So let's see what our draw is right now. So right now our draw is 300 milliamps. Let me get the phone I'll show you you've been expecting to see something higher than it's already gone down to 140.. So right now we're at 137 Milliamps.

So I'm going to give this some time. Uh, certainly that is not going to kill the battery instantaneously. I'm going to put five minutes on the screen and then we're going to let this, uh, just sit here for a while. let that go across.
I Can't fathom that he has just another bad battery unless they've really been putting junk batteries in it. But this will tell us the truth. We should be less than 150 millionth. I'm expecting.

You know most modern cars are around 20, you know, to 30 milliamps. So I'll let this stay here for a while. We'll come back and I'll check in with you guys. All right.

Well, let's see. I think it's been well over an hour at this point I Lost track of time here. so let's see where we're at here. We'll let this thing fire back up.

It continues to draw a current through. you know, the meter, even when it's not on, obviously. So let's go back here to, uh, a graphing meter. Then we'll go to Amps Internal.

We'll see where we're at here. Oh, it's down to 40 milliamps, so there is no draw. Well, that's kind of unusual. makes for a stupid video.

I Went ahead and touched the battery even though it's not fully charged. you know? I did test it. Of course it. You know, tests bad.

It comes up at 290 cold cranking amps. Uh, but the state of charge is only 66 percent charged. so I guess we can keep that in mind. like say it is the wrong battery.

clearly for the car, it's too small. Um, but it's It's kind of suspicious that you know they say it's a third battery. So I'm gonna give it a benefit. I took the clamps off the off the doors.

Um, we're gonna take I'm gonna hook that up. The only thing I didn't do last time was have the vehicle locked. You know, as if you know the customer had it sitting in their driveway. So I'm gonna sneak this back under here, clamp this back on here.

we'll pull it back off. I've got some other work to do so I'm going to let this sit here. Where is it at here? Yeah, so it's a you know what just dropped down to 150 which I think is what it did before right? So we're at 150 milliamps. Oops.

it just went up higher 170 130 so it bounced around there a little bit. I'll let this steady out I'll try to pay attention to it to see it's uh, see, it's exactly well. we had hooked up about an hour last time. It's three o'clock right now I'll come back and you know periodically and see where this is that see how long it takes to time out? It's just I'm really suspicious that maybe something's getting overlooked.

Um, maybe we'll have to test this some more. I Think we're going to end up probably getting a battery for it, but sometimes this is the funky stuff that happens. Um, maybe we'll take and we'll check it when it's Stone Cold Uh, you know, leave it. sit outside to do another draw test on it.

Get it heated up again. Okay, I brought it in shortly after the customer dropped it off. I mean it's still, it's still warm I mean it's still warm to touch. It's probably, you know, 100 degrees or so coolant temp.
so we'll just have to keep trying here just to see. And I mean if there's no draw, there's no draw web. Get a battery for it. Go from there.

I guess Oh yeah, yeah, he lost track of time again. 45 minutes went by and I don't know what time it switched over, but we're down to 40 milliamps so that's fine. Um, I'm gonna call the customer see if we if we can get you know, see, maybe they can warranty this battery. It should have a group 35 in it.

This is a 26r, but you can see it's very tiny on the trade and it's obviously shorter than what was in it, so it's kind of frustrating. but this is life. So I got a hold of the customer just to find out the story and so this battery May potentially have not have been changed three times. It may have been changed the original one and this one and took it to a shop and they were going to put one in it, so on and so forth.

Anyhow, long story short, as they say, got it from the Advance Auto it's a Die Hard the date code's 5 at 22. I Call down to the Advance Auto Apparently this this particular battery is their cheapest battery they sell. It's a 12 month warranty so you know it's probably not the best of construction. Plus it's the wrong way.

Like they should have a group 35 in it. so we're going to take this out. I Called them I gave Advance Auto the customer's name. He looked it up.

The guy bought it six of 22. it's now one of 23. So it's only you know, six months old. So I think this is what we're gonna do.

They're gonna send me the better battery. They're top of the line one. They called it in a group 35. We're going to put the correct battery in it.

The customer is just going to pay me the difference between the warranty of this one and whatever heals. Advance Auto for the exchange. So that's what we're gonna do. We're going to warm it up.

We're going to fiddle with some stuff on the inside. We're going to double check it for a draw if there's no draw I'm going to give it back to the customer and say top buddy, no we'll just give it back to him and see what happens. I'm thinking we got a case of the Dale cheapos here so it's kind of a strange video but this is what happens. This is part of your day-to-day in the shop you know? um I just show it how we oh how it comes my way folks I Guess miles to see it I Did ask the customer about these washers and stuff and he did admit that he did that because when he looked the battery up they you know this is what they told them was the correct battery.

However when he said when he went to Advance Auto to pick it up they told him that if if you wanted to fit he's got to buy the spacer all this other stuff so it doesn't really sound like a like a real OEM fit to me. but whatever, let's get a screwdriver and wedge them washers up out of there. and then when I called the Advance Auto because I was pretty sure it takes a 35. when I call Advanced Auto he told me it took a group 21.
I've never even heard of a 21 and then he admittedly never heard of a 21 either. nor could he get it. It's not like, well, it's kind of weird dude. Fortunately, he was cool enough to send me the the 35 which should fill the trade should fill up the tray correctly.

Foreign. We still have good enough Hardware here. Yep, and then that'll fit. You know, because the one that's in there is only taking up this much of the tray.

so we'll get the new one that'll fit in there. Good. Pull some of this junk out of there. But the other things to think about are what can intermittently cause a draw? so a relay that gets latched on? you know, but that's not real common on these.

I even looked, uh, looked for some silver bullets on Identifix to see and there's not a common denominator here. Okay, I think they had six or seven cases on the radios. uh, going bad on these causing a draw. But the more I Talk to this customer I'm pretty sure we're just having battery issues because apparently it's been a little while since it acted up.

They put the battery in and it was fine for a long time now. We're back to being bad again. I think I see what's going on here? All right let's see here. we got our group 35.

I can see they just charge just the difference for this battery. Look at this baby put in here. my fingers work here that thing off. figure out how our trade goes on.

Let's see this is the shorter bolt over here. Oh now you did it. There we go All right. Hang on to it.

This actually has an arrow on it so we'll get it point in the right direction here. like so stick on the nuts on it so we don't lose it. All right. we should be able to get this one on here.

in the back and your spot I believe. So it seems like a lot of threads sticking up. Let me get a light here so make sure we're doing it right. That's it.

The only slot back there, so it has to be right there where it needs to be. We'll snugger up just a little bit that'll keep our battery stationary positive up on there. I Thought they were hit a Gold Series Battery but apparently this is their better battery so there's that. geez, ain't nobody's stealing it dude getting all excited.

but we'll set up a little bit more. make sure it's seated out on there all the way on that little guy up Spritz them with a little fluid film and I'm about 99 certain we're going to be done with this little pillow after talking to the customer some more. If we're just dealing with junk batteries here. remember some of the film.

keep it from getting crusty, keep them from getting stuck. I Think that's it folks. it's complicated. Sometimes we think things are.

sometimes. Well, it's as simple as that. At the end of it all, folks, we just need to follow our facts. and that's what we did here.

You know we did a draw test on it essentially a couple times, two three times I think it was that we did one and it never came up with anything. You know we're drawing. you know 40 milliamps or whatever with some you know into insignificant amount of draw. you know so less than 50 milliamps.
So most cars that are good that you test would be somewhere between you know 20 and 65 we'll say. but usually on the low end of things you know in the 20s or 30s and they'll last. you know a long time Like that you can do the math if I don't see a draw. if the charging system's working, everything's good.

You know the battery test junk. It is what it is. Could there be an intermittent draw? There could be these vehicles aren't you know, really notorious for it. So I'm going to take and just give it the benefit of the doubt.

we're just. You know we're going to warm it up and make sure your charging system works. I'll check it again while it's hot. check it again while it's cold and you can only check it so many times and at some point you got to just you know Let it go back to the customer I believe that they just had a junk battery.

you know hey it was the wrong battery and B it was the cheapest battery you could buy and see Even the guy that Vance Auto says those batteries are junk. So no big surprise and after talking with a customer discussing with them, they don't think that the last shot they were actually warranted the battery out like you said because the date code and stuff didn't match. So there's some misinformation there. I'm not going to misinform you guys.

so if he comes back in a month or two months or six months and so that was wrong and I'll let you know, we'll do a follow-up video if that's the case. But anyways I want you guys to follow up with me down in that comment section questions, comments, concerns Institute Facebook And just remember here: if I can do it, you can do it. Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “Sometimes it’s just that easy….”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Robert La Cob says:

    Been there, done that! Hope a lot of normal drivers watch this video to clear up misconceptions! Sometimes IT REALLY is that easy a fix! Abattery in today's vehicles is the main ingredient for all electronic to work correctly and should always be checked first when diagnosing.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars five0pd310 says:

    Just so you're aware, your horn scared the shit out of me.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars James Guzman II says:

    I have had more crap with Diehard batteries lately. I just did this exact thing on a Chevy Sonic, battery was roughly 8 months old and it would need a jump after sitting for a day and a half. I could not find any unwanted draw so I had the battery warrantied. So far the customer says everything is working as intended.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars capnskiddies says:

    I haven't replaced many batteries in my cars but when I did I always bought the biggest that'd fit, with the most CCAs and longest warranty. Not cheap, but maybe that's part of the reason I've changed them so seldom. Better to spend €150 on one battery than €90 twice

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Anthony Giovannetti says:

    Thank you for the video! Learn a lot from your electrical troubleshooting. I do wonder though, when you received the new battery, did you happen to test it? Or charge the old one and retest? Just curious because it was not mentioned. Thanks again for another great video, always look forward to your content.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Wind Ward says:

    Eric, some of the reference books for battery replacement cross reference list the wrong replacement battery for a given vehicle, a good example are listings from AAA, who at the roadside, will replace the battery over and over again with the wrong battery because that is what the book lists, even though you can clearly see it is way too small for the tray. Then, as with this customer, the owner will eventually seek out professional help because the stand time is ridiculously short and will get shorter when it gets colder.

    However, you stated in the video, the customer has been to two shops before you, which is hard to believe. Most mechanics will quickly recognize that the battery is not filling out the tray and is way too short for the hold down hardware where someone has put washers in to keep the battery in place.

    Do not trust the SOC calculation from the battery charger / maintainer, it gave 90%, where the internal impedance meter gave about 63%. For nuclear charging in the shop, if the battery is not damaged, like a shorted cell, set the bulk charge amperage at C/10 amp rate (C in Ah, stay below the max charging voltage for the battery type flooded or AGM) if the battery is disconnected from the car you can max out the voltage.

    Charging when connected to the vehicle (sometimes the battery is buried in the trunk) you have to be mindful that a manual fast rate does not produce significant noise on the system (even if charged at the battery or very near for the NEG lead) if below the maximum charging voltage but at a high charging amperage. The majority of newer chargers on high current will produce a lot of switching noise due to their design. The switching approach can get very strange with peak-to-peak noise of 1 or 2 volts.

    Batteries can fail when charging, for flooded batteries the battery electrolyte should be at the full level or slightly below. It is best to monitor the battery temperature if possible, and if it is getting hot while charging, disconnect the charger and replace the battery.

    The best you will be able to do in the winter in the PRNY, where most lead acid starting batteries are chronically undercharged and abused by the cold, is to fast bulk charge which will take perhaps 4 hours for a dead battery. To do a proper full charge (bulk (usually constant current), absorption (usually constant voltage, float (low noise constant voltage)) it will take something like 12 hours when the battery is at room temperature, which is a huge amount of time for a shop with limited space. You could charge outside, but the equipment should not be unattended, which also is not workable for a small shop. The sad truth is, it takes a considerable amount of time to fully charge a dead lead-acid starting battery.

    When receiving a new battery for replacement, I like to do the following:

    1) Take an open battery terminal voltage measurement with your DMM. What you are looking for is a dead or damaged battery voltage. If the battery is bad or completely dead, your done, get a replacement.
    2) Clean the battery posts (if a top post battery) and fully charge the battery. Which should be relatively quick if it is new and charged from the supplier.
    3) If fully charged use an internal battery impedance tester (like the one you have, I have one from Midtronics which for an out of vehicle test is very reliable) and if fully charged, print out the test results for the customer as proof that it is new and charged. If not fully charged try charging again, rarely will a new battery not take a charge. It can happen if the battery has been abused.
    4) Inspect the vehicle battery cables for corrosion and/or damage and clean the vehicle battery lugs, also clean any acid residue present in the tray.
    5) Install the battery and attach the battery to the vehicle negative last. Then test the vehicle for parasitic draw, starting and alternator charging.

    After battery installation you can also seal the battery connections if you want. I use NOCO brush on sealant its much more controllable than the spray. If I use a spray I use a paper shop towel around the post so as to not get is on the battery. For the hold down hardware corrosion I have been using Liquid Wrench Penetrant+Lubricant I use it to free up the hardware, and then use it to soak the hardware in a plastic tray while I swap the battery, then I remove any excess and install in the vehicle.

    I tend not to use the battery terminal protectors (the round felt disks) much anymore because the newer battery plastic post design seems to be very short, and if you install a pad it can interfere with the lug seating properly.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars joe smith says:

    Even if it's a cheap battery it would last longer then6 months! probably the battery was defective!or wrong battery!

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars jimmy aber says:

    I had a similar complaint on a Volvo. Mom and teen daughter drove the car and battery would die with mom.and she drove shorter trips but daughter drove 20 miles to comm. College. My testing found a broken exciter/warning light wire behind alternator. The alternator on most makes needs that feed to start charging at low revs on start. With no exciter feed the alternator has to see 3000 or more engine revs for the faint residual magnetism of rotor to push a little current in stator. Once that ever happens the alternator functions normal until engine is stopped. Daughter drove sporty and mom was poky. Mom was wearing out jumper cables and daughter blew it out on every drive and all was good.

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Cam R says:

    Hard to figure things out with out the real story. Honda civics common to have fused AC clutch relays.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Troy Belding says:

    Pretty much all batteries are now coming with garbage warranties. They make the batteries where you can't maintain them, then shorten the warranties. I spent extra for a NAPA Triple-A branded battery that can be maintained, as well as has a solid warranty, and comes from a slightly better build company. (There are only two companies building them in the US)

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Scott Rittenhouse says:

    Walmarts best battery is the best battery, and usually alot cheaper.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars randy beard says:

    Sometimes you get what you Paid For, Cheap Battery and too Small for Car-not Good…I Love the NAPA Sealed Batteries, never any Corrosion/Battery acid on Posts…

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Steven Edgecomb says:

    So classic the customer bought the cheapest part possible

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars J Lancaster says:

    I guess my question is, if that battery is too small to crank a flipping 1.8 Sentra, what’s it made for??

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Clearanceman2 says:

    I'm sure you checked the alternator first thing?

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rich's Mobile Auto Repair says:

    Two kinds of " parasites " one drains batteries the OTHER drains wallets.

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rich's Mobile Auto Repair says:

    A professional doing what they get hired to do.

    Fix the problem the customer hired you to fix.

    Do what's in their best interest.

    That's what they hired you to do.

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Unknown says:

    Whoever said the customer is never wrong has NOT worked in auto mechanics.

  19. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jonathan Rees says:

    Friends car had similar symptoms – was not the battery or draw. Car would usually restart shortly after driving, while hot etc. After being parked might or might not start. Turned out alternator belt had been replaced with 1 slightly to long. Fully adjusted was almost right – but not tight enough. Depending on (electrical) load while driving the battery would actually be discharging (no belt noise). Car kept going, no charging error. Figured it out when we realized issue always showed up after night driving – when head lights were being used. Changed belt and correct adjustment solved the problem.

  20. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars tbbainter777 says:

    Car was simply never properly diagnosed until arrived your shop. Happens alot

  21. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Patrick Zadd says:


    you are the Cardiologist of car repair

  22. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars 73 Maverick says:

    Back in the day when I was an ASE certified parts person I had a guy come in and asked if the F24 would fit his Ford truck. I informed him yes, but it is the wrong battery because it didn't have enough CCA to start it in the winter, but might start it in the summer. I recommended the correct CCA battery, he refused. It was like 400 CCA for $29.99 in the 90's.

    So the first cold day the guy comes back and said the battery was defective and he wanted his money back. I said well let me test it. The battery tested fine for the rated output. I informed the customer the battery is fine and that he bought a battery not powerful enough to start his truck in the winter. I was not going to exchange or refund the battery.

    After whining to the manager he ended up getting a refund. I don't agree with that myself, but I guess it is not my money, it is corporates. I just feel that all the knowledge I learned about automotive and their systems, umm, why did I waste my time to learn anything since no one cares anyway and they get their way.

    Rant over.

  23. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars mike berry says:

    That battery had been a battery for tp long , 6 months , the supplier should be embarrassed at selling such junk , over the pond we dont have many batteries held by those style of clamps , most just held down by a clamp on the centre of the base of the battery , only some Japanese type vehicles with rod style clamps , great video showing your professional approach to diagnostic faults , great approach with the suppliers to pay the difference to get the upgrade on the battery 👍👍👍👍👍👍

  24. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bruce Frencham says:

    never thought an undersized battery would set a code?

  25. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Doug Kubash says:

    my zero turn mower takes a 26R.

  26. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Andrew White says:

    The autumn leaves in the engine bay also point to battery issues as the temperature drops

  27. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Baxrok2 says:

    Thanks Dr. O!

  28. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars LMacNeill says:

    Car batteries these days are ALL junk. They're all manufactured with the acid in them from day one, instead of like the old days where you had to add the acid to the battery when you bought it new. So they sit on a shelf, with the acid slowly destroying the lead, not being charged, for months at a time — it's no wonder so many of them fail after only a few months in the car. But people these days don't want to buy a battery, then have to put acid in it, then have to charge it for a couple of hours — they just want to buy a battery and go RIGHT NOW! So this is what we get. Junk batteries everywhere.

  29. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jay Finke says:

    Jay the Florida pool pump motor repair guy. When Service Calls Longwood approved ! that was good info 2 see& know👨‍🔧good job !!SMAR

  30. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars LEOPOLDO MENDOZA says:

    Good video!.Sometimes with short life battery, having just very shorts trips back a forth makes it worse.

  31. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars chuck smalfus says:

    I love how he didn’t even flinch when the horn started blowing as he hooked the neg cable 😮 nerves of steel lol

  32. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars HouseCallAutoRepair says:

    @12.43 Loud Car Alarm!
    Wow…never fails… Always makes me jump.

  33. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Sakara123 says:

    I didn't even know they made batteries with 12 month warranties lmao. With the shitty canadian winters around here I've never seen anything with less than 3 years and typically up to 5.

  34. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Sakara123 says:

    I have had days where i've spent upwards of 30 minutes lining up those battery tie-downs. Get it juuust right, and torque it a little too hard and it turns and slips out. I went out of my way to weld up an adapter plate & box for mine. I absolutely abhor the stock one.

  35. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Travis Flander says:

    I amazed you don't become a interstate battery dealer, then you could have batteries on hand

  36. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gerry Dunne says:

    I had a ford van Do the exact same thing Never found out why Oh put the meat on it 40 milliamps when it went to sleep Next day would start Give it back to the customer come back and complain it wouldn't start again I tested a battery for you it was wrongGive it back to the customer come back and complain it wouldn't start again I tested a battery it was run down but not flash Do the exact same thing again no draw the only thing I think I think of the What's the customer's leaving something on

  37. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars bush master says:

    Doing a shot every time Eric says "wrong battery", I've gotten pretty wasted in the last 15 minutes !!

  38. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars BG 45 says:

    I bought a brand new AC Delco battery from a dealer. Only option I had late in the day. I put it in myself and got it started with a jump system used at work for prototype vehicles. I charged it all night and it would not start the next morning. Dealer installed new battery at no charge.

  39. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Peter Somma says:

    I know most manufacturers have top and bottom line products, but when I was a kid, Diehard was a good battery when Sears sold them. What happened?

  40. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Payne says:

    Interesting comments below about battery life. The first car that I had (bought second hand) in 1971 had two batteries in the 27 years that I had that vehicle. One that came with it and just one replacement. And the car was used daily !!!