Hard to start after sitting for a few days on 1990 Chrysler LeBaron

Installed new starter, starter relay, and battery. Seems to work fine if driven daily. Gauges appear ok. After sitting for a few days the car cranks hard or multiple clicks. When first started, check engine light appears and stays on, but engine seems to run ok. After restarting, engine cranks normal and check engine light disappears.I tried charging the battery a few times and engine cranked normal but a few days later after sitting, back to the same old hard start and check engine light.I had the alternator checked and was ok.Also new fuel pump. Would the check engine light appear if the starting system was faulty? I also disconnected the radio to see if this was draining the battery. Any solutions?

by in Ashby, MA on October 16, 2010
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1 answer 2 comments
ANSWER by , October 17, 2010
You may be having problems with an ignition-off electrical drain on the system. The check engine light will not illuminate for starter problems. It's only for engine and emissions management systems. if the check engine light has been on, there may be trouble codes and data stored in the cotroller. Try disconnecting the battery after shutting the car off after a long run. The battery should be charged and if it keeps a charge, then you probably have an electrical drain. Try checking the trunk light, the glove box light, etc for staying on when the lids are closed. if you have a digital ammeter, you could disconnect the battery and see if the ammeter reads a current. You should see the computer and other electrical modules shut down one by one, you should have less than 15 milliamps current draw with the key off.
COMMENT by , October 18, 2010
Thanks for the advice, I will try what you suggested. I have suspected right along a battery drain of some type to the extent I had the remote start and alarm system removed. This has been an ongoing problem. Could it be the ignition itself? It was replaced/repaired prior to this problem several years ago. Follow up two days later. I did what you suggested and discovered the trunk light was the apparent villain. I disconnected it and so far so good. Thanks an awful lot, you really know your stuff.
COMMENT by , December 17, 2010
dec 17th. My car has been in the shop for seven weeks and still no solution, the problem has returned. Mechanic replaced trans computer module indicating draw, but with no success. Any other suggestions? Is it possible that the alternator(internal voltage regulator) could be causing this problem even though it tests out ok? Bad diode?