Battery issues can be a drain for hardly-driven cars

Dear Car Talk:

I bought a 2002 Toyota Avalon XLS with around 120,000 miles on it for my soon-to-be 16-year-old daughter to drive. If I let it sit for a week or more without driving it, the battery will be so low that the starter just click, click, clicks, and I lose all the settings such as the date, radio presets, lock settings, compass, etc. I either jump it or put the charger on it for a few hours and then it starts right up.

So I got a new battery with a high cold cranking amps, but that didn’t help. I even took the battery back to the auto parts store where they tested it, and said it was “discharged but tested fine after they charged it back up.” I also checked the trunk light and others to make sure they weren’t on all the time.

I talked to

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