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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son's 1995 Celica GT frequently has a dead battery. He drives it to school, sometimes only has a couple hours of classes, and the battery is completely dead when he returns. Happens about once or twice per week.
We typically leave the lights in the On position, but the car is designed so that when you turn off the key and open the driver's door that the lights turn off. Originally we thought this was a user error with him accidentally leaving the lights on, but he has been diligent about checking it lately. We are also sure that the dome light isn't being left on either.

Today when he walked up he said he could hear a rhythmic ticking sound, kinda slow, about twice per second, coming from the driver's side engine/dash area. And he got in tried the key and the battery was dead again. The ticking sound stopped after he tried starting it.

Has anyone experience something similar or know what might be going on??

The car has a new alternator and newer battery (although the battery is probably in bad shape by now with the discharges/jump starts). The key has always been out of the ignition and in his pocket. We got an ultra-capacitor for jump starts but the battery is typically too low to charge it when he needs it.

Thanks!!!
 

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Looks like a wire is shorted to the chassis ground, draining the battery.

Any accident or repair recently?

Check the alternator. Make sure all cables are secured.

Check cables around the battery. Make sure they are not touching ground.
 

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Pull fuses until the noise stops. Then focus on that circuit or system. There are videos online for checking for voltage draw. Typically you put your DVOM inline with the ground cable and measure amps. Then pull fuses to look at what is contributing to the draw. Cross off things like dome lamps cause door will be open but that will help narrow down the draw. You need to be really close to zero like 0.050 amp (50mA) or less. I don't remember anything in the Celica that would be drawing more than that when the key is off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the help! There has not been a recent accident or repair. Do you think if it's the shorted wire that could be an intermittent issue? This power drain only happens occasionally and it always seems fine after a jump start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pull fuses until the noise stops. Then focus on that circuit or system. There are videos online for checking for voltage draw. Typically you put your DVOM inline with the ground cable and measure amps. Then pull fuses to look at what is contributing to the draw. Cross off things like dome lamps cause door will be open but that will help narrow down the draw. You need to be really close to zero like 0.050 amp (50mA) or less. I don't remember anything in the Celica that would be drawing more than that when the key is off.
My only thought on something that could get triggered if the key is off would be an anti-theft system. I don't see anything aftermarket. A 1995 seems too early to have it from the factory, but I honestly don't know. Are you aware if these had something built-in?
 
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