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Battery Draining or Dead

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10 Feb 2014, 10:14 am
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Fruita, CO
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Default Battery Draining or Dead

Hey Guys I posted this in the Tech Forum, but I believe that was the wrong section, so I am posting it here too. Sorry for the double post.

I have a 2001 PT Cruiser that I bought for my daughter's first car. It has @126,000 miles on it. I have been using the Forum to help find and fix most of the normal issues with this car over the last couple of months and it's been a huge help Thanks!

We have owned the car since mid December and since then I have done 2 engine mounts, plugs, wires, belts, battery cable ends, and new battery. The car runs and drives great and normally has been a terrific car for my daughter.

The issue is that if the car sits for more than 24 hours or so the battery is dead or too weak to start the car. I have cleaned and checked the connections at the starter, the fuse box, and the grounds. Both cable ends were replaced with new early on due to corrosion. The battery is a Walmart Everstart that I have had checked twice now and load tests fine. I have replaced the multifunction headlight switch and the fog lamps fuse is currently pulled since even the new switch only turns the fog lamps off ever other time.
I have double checked to make sure that none of the interior lights are left on, etc. I also had the alternator checked and it is working just fine and charging.

If she drives the car every day, most of the time there is no issue, but she came home Saturday at 12 noon and didn't drive or start the car until 7 am this Monday morning and the battery was completely dead. I know the cold of Colorado is tough on batteries, but even with a jump start box it wouldn't even turn over. Unfortunately it was pouring down rain today, so I didn't take the time to check the actual battery voltage.

So after the long intro, my question is what is causing the battery to drain or lose voltage over a 24-36 hour period? I forgot to mention I also did the ground wiring on the underside of the steering column in hopes that could be part of the issue. The car still has the stock radio, and although I have never seen it when I checked it, my daughter has mentioned that the radio appeared to stay on after the vehicle was turned off and a door opened a time or two. Most of the time she just leaves the radio off, but maybe it's the issue?

Thanks in advance for any help and advice.
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Old 10 Feb 2014, 10:38 am
randyincctx's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Corpus Christi,Tx.
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Lightbulb Re: Battery Draining or Dead

Sounds like you definately have a parasitic draw somewhere....What you may want to try,is with a fully charged battery,pull the IOD fuse from the PDC,wait 24-48 hours,then check the battery;Although some have reported a 'No-Start' issue with as low as 12.4v.
Another thing you may consider is,that even with the 'Fog Light' fuse pulled,a faulty MFS,or wiring & connectors to the MFS that have gotten hot/melted,can also result in a parasitic draw.
See also:
Battery Draw Down, intermitant Parasitic?
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Old 10 Feb 2014, 10:43 am
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Join Date: Sep 2001
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Default Re: Battery Draining or Dead

Welcome to the forum.

I know you said it's a new battery so you wouldn't think it could be bad but a bad cell would not hold a charge for very long. Have the battery checked when you get a chance. Your problem might not be in the car itself.

I've also deleted your other thread as we don't want to have people answering up on both.
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Old 10 Feb 2014, 11:19 am
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Fruita, CO
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Default Re: Battery Draining or Dead

Quote:
Originally Posted by CREWZIN View Post
Welcome to the forum.

I know you said it's a new battery so you wouldn't think it could be bad but a bad cell would not hold a charge for very long. Have the battery checked when you get a chance. Your problem might not be in the car itself.

I've also deleted your other thread as we don't want to have people answering up on both.
I understand the battery issues. We had essentially the same issue with the previous battery and I replaced it. Then the issue continued, so I had that battery tested and it showed to be good too. I am still suspect on the battery, but I am looking for any options to try and sort this out.

Thanks for deleting the other thread! Sorry for the mistake.
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Old 10 Feb 2014, 11:25 am
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Default Re: Battery Draining or Dead

Quote:
Originally Posted by randyincctx View Post
Sounds like you definately have a parasitic draw somewhere....What you may want to try,is with a fully charged battery,pull the IOD fuse from the PDC,wait 24-48 hours,then check the battery;Although some have reported a 'No-Start' issue with as low as 12.4v.
Another thing you may consider is,that even with the 'Fog Light' fuse pulled,a faulty MFS,or wiring & connectors to the MFS that have gotten hot/melted,can also result in a parasitic draw.
See also:
Battery Draw Down, intermitant Parasitic?
Thanks for the reply. I will give your suggestion a try. The MFS wiring and connectors are fine at the MFS. The MFS works everything properly except the Fog lamps are the issue. One time they shut off, then the next they don't. So until I could do the repair/fix shown here on the site, I pulled the fuse so my daughter wouldn't have the possibility of the fog lamps draining the battery.

Thanks!
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Old 11 Feb 2014, 06:46 am
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Default Re: Battery Draining or Dead

Wraith; I have an 06 which has a different type of electrical system. There is an adjustable time delay for the radio and power windows, etc. After the car is shut off the radio and windows continue to operate. Then, when the time delay runs out, the radio shuts off and the windows stop working. However, when the door is opened before that, they shut off immediately and do not come back on.

To test for parasitic loss [car closed and locked, wait 2 minutes], just disconnect the negative battery cable and test it for amperage. I think it should be under 30 ma. Somebody wrote the correct amperage on another post.
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Old 11 Feb 2014, 10:15 am
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Default Re: Battery Draining or Dead

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Originally Posted by pt06 View Post
Wraith; I have an 06 which has a different type of electrical system. There is an adjustable time delay for the radio and power windows, etc. After the car is shut off the radio and windows continue to operate. Then, when the time delay runs out, the radio shuts off and the windows stop working. However, when the door is opened before that, they shut off immediately and do not come back on.

To test for parasitic loss [car closed and locked, wait 2 minutes], just disconnect the negative battery cable and test it for amperage. I think it should be under 30 ma. Somebody wrote the correct amperage on another post.
Thanks for the reply. I couldn't remember if the 01 had the delayed interior electronics or not. I know on all my Ford's that do, once one of the front doors is opened they turn off. My daughter swears the radio was still on even after she opened the door. But she is a 16yr that sometimes doesn't relate information as well as needed.

I charged the battery up last night and did a quick parasitic loss test this morning and it showed @ 6ma. She drove it to school today and I am going to do another test when she gets home and see what it shows.

I am still suspect on the battery being good even though it has tested fine twice now. I charged it up yesterday to 13.2 volts out of the vehicle on a 2 amp trickle. I disconnect the charger so the battery was not connected to anything at all sitting inside the house at 65 degrees or warmer. This morning after @ 9 hours of sitting the battery was at 12.7 volts. That seems like too much of a discharge for 9 hours with nothing connected to the battery. Yes, it's technically fully charged, but . . .

I am going to check more later today when she gets home and we will see how things go.

Thanks!
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Old 14 Feb 2014, 06:01 am
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Default Re: Battery Draining or Dead

Wraith; 13.2 volts sounds high. Could you have tested it with the charger on? ----- 12.7 is good!

On a 2006, the power outlet inside the console [under the second lid] is always powered. The other(s) are powered only when the ignition switch is on.

Keep us posted.
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Old 14 Feb 2014, 09:15 am
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Default Re: Battery Draining or Dead

Quote:
Originally Posted by wraithracing View Post
Thanks for the reply. I couldn't remember if the 01 had the delayed interior electronics or not. I know on all my Ford's that do, once one of the front doors is opened they turn off. My daughter swears the radio was still on even after she opened the door. But she is a 16yr that sometimes doesn't relate information as well as needed.

I charged the battery up last night and did a quick parasitic loss test this morning and it showed @ 6ma. She drove it to school today and I am going to do another test when she gets home and see what it shows.

I am still suspect on the battery being good even though it has tested fine twice now. I charged it up yesterday to 13.2 volts out of the vehicle on a 2 amp trickle. I disconnect the charger so the battery was not connected to anything at all sitting inside the house at 65 degrees or warmer. This morning after @ 9 hours of sitting the battery was at 12.7 volts. That seems like too much of a discharge for 9 hours with nothing connected to the battery. Yes, it's technically fully charged, but . . .

I am going to check more later today when she gets home and we will see how things go.

Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by pt06 View Post
Wraith; 13.2 volts sounds high. Could you have tested it with the charger on? ----- 12.7 is good!

On a 2006, the power outlet inside the console [under the second lid] is always powered. The other(s) are powered only when the ignition switch is on.

Keep us posted.
A lot of times a battery will charge up to these readings and will quickly fall back to the 12s but it should maintain the 12.5 range from there if not connected to anything. They will not stay in the 13s per my experience. I think you need to get some one that can talk you through checking for power pull from the car.
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Old 14 Feb 2014, 11:08 am
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Default Re: Battery Draining or Dead

You seem to be on the right track. The tests you are doing should help you narrow down the possible causes. And when the cause is not immediately obvious, re-checking and re-testing. I hope it's not your charging system which would be a bigger project and bigger bucks.
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