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Battery Drain ???

 
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Old 26 Feb 2010, 01:55 pm
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Default Battery Drain ???

Hi All
I'm in the UK, I have a PT Cruiser 06, a CRD (diesel) Route 66

I recently had a problem with my battery, (which is located under the passenger seat) it was just very sluggish starting in the mornings, what with the frost and snow (okay, it werent as bad as the US)

I installed the new battery, and the first day it was fine, the next day is was dead as a door nail

I was told I had a 'battery drain' on it,
I dont think I had one before, but no problem,
I took it to my mechanics, and he put it on a booster battery, all day and over night, he said no problems, it was fine, and he showed me, starting it with the booster pack (if there was a drain, I assume it would have drained the booster pack and wouldnt have started it)

I took the battery out and put it on charge, not a problem, it charged fine, I re-installed it, it started fine, tried it every hour or so, to see if there was a drop, it started fine for the first 2-3 hours, just been out now, its dead again, the reading on my 'fluke' meter is 11.6 volts, the battery light is on the dash,
I have nothing on, no interior lights, no radio, no blower, but it just clicks and beeps away, the remote locking still works (so I guess there is still enough of a charge in it, to work that)

The alternator is fine, I checked that while I was driving with the meter connected, it read 14.8volts, when I stopped the readings dropped down to a decent 12.5 volts

Has anyone any idea how and why I should develop a battery drain and even more importantly, how do I trace it and stop it ?

At present I have to disconnect the battery overnight and reconnect in the morning to get to work (work BEFORE work )

any help/advice would really be appreciated

Thanks
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Old 26 Feb 2010, 03:31 pm
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Default Re: Battery Drain ???

Yes, you need about 11.8+ to turn over the starter. Everything else will work for a little while because as your said there's still some charge left.

See if this article helps you pinpoint the drain:

How to Find a Parasitic Battery Drain - wikiHow
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Old 26 Feb 2010, 05:52 pm
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Default Re: Battery Drain ???

hi im in uk as well and have a crd
ive found the cold has been also effecting my battery a few times
you should check for faulty door light swicth,s etc as that can drian battery over night .
i got my self a battery condtioner / automatic trickle charger and ive used it when i know its going to be very cold / are i can see getting flat
it put it on overnight
hope this helps
if you have anymore questions you can send me a pm
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Old 26 Feb 2010, 06:49 pm
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Default Re: Battery Drain ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastdel View Post
hi im in uk as well and have a crd
ive found the cold has been also effecting my battery a few times
you should check for faulty door light swicth,s etc as that can drian battery over night .
i got my self a battery condtioner / automatic trickle charger and ive used it when i know its going to be very cold / are i can see getting flat
it put it on overnight
hope this helps
if you have anymore questions you can send me a pm

Sent you a PM,


thanks
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Old 27 Feb 2010, 12:55 am
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Default Re: Battery Drain ???

A common cause is the multifunction switch - controls lights and directions - the left stalk on steering column - it turns light on by itself when it fails, usually the fog lights.
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Old 27 Feb 2010, 03:58 am
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Default Re: Battery Drain ???

I charged the battery up, left it over night, its reading 12.60 volts

Is this about right ?

(this is the 'old' battery, they took the new one away for testing
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Old 27 Feb 2010, 09:53 am
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Default Re: Battery Drain ???

Just an update

Reading of battery BEFORE I connected the battery to the car..12.60 volts

I connected the + to the car

Connected the meter to the - on the battery then to the - battery connector on the car

Turned it to MA

It read 0.03 Ma, this was a steady reading, didnt drop any more

Checked the battery it read 12.20 volts

I now just have the + connected(the - <negative, earth, is NOT connected>)

Not really sure where to go now
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Old 27 Feb 2010, 10:48 am
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Default Re: Battery Drain ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derrick View Post
Just an update

Reading of battery BEFORE I connected the battery to the car..12.60 volts

I connected the + to the car

Connected the meter to the - on the battery then to the - battery connector on the car

Turned it to MA

It read 0.03 Ma, this was a steady reading, didnt drop any more

Checked the battery it read 12.20 volts

I now just have the + connected(the - <negative, earth, is NOT connected>)

Not really sure where to go now
Making the "assumption"
you have a 300 ma draw or 3 amp draw and I just base that on the fact it does seem to draw down the battery.
I would look around for any added on systems, radio, radio amps etc.. and disconnect them. I would think there would be a fuse or a connection at the battery that isn't factory looking.

Normally you begin to pull fuses one at a time, watching the draw to drop down. Pull the fuse, look, replace the fuse and move on to another. This is the way you narrow down the circuit to a smaller electrical grid.
When Handling a problem which presents itself as a electrical problem the tests have to be done correctly, interpreted correctly or you will just be chasing your tail. This means your first assumption best be correct..
I would also add things which use electricity will create heat so if somethings warm when it should be off that's a hint..

Sorry for the disjointed rambling post..
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Old 27 Feb 2010, 11:17 am
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Default Re: Battery Drain ???

I am not getting 3amp drain I am getting 0.03 amp drain which is minimal

I have the lightrs off at the stalk, the radio is disconnected

I havent put the key in the ignition yet or tried starting it

The voltage reading at the battery is 12.57volts, so it has gone down 0.03 volts (due to the weather I think, its chilly out there)
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Old 27 Feb 2010, 12:26 pm
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Smile Re: Battery Drain ???

Hey Derrick,

Sorry to hear your having some problems here. One question I would have as far as Batteries are concerned would be, either on the top, or top sides of the Battery Casing itself, is their a Heat Stamp embedded into the casing somewhere with a specific letter, and a number on it, and if so, are their more than one stamp?

The reason I ask is, a few of the larger Battery Manufacturers like Interstate Batteries for example has a policy where as if a Battery does not sell within a specified amount of time (usually around three months), then the Battery is brought back to the Distribution Warehouse where the water levels are checked, it is re-charged for 24 hours on 2 amp's, is re-packaged, and re-distributed to the shelves of Stores all over. These are known as Rotated Batteries. Normal new inventory has one date stamp in the casing usually with a letter indicating Month (A= Jam, and so on) and a Number indicating Year. If the Battery has been rotated, it will have two dates, one being the original ship date, and second being rotation date.

The problem is, if a Battery is low on water due to evaporation from being stored in a warm Automotive Shop, or whatever, I have seen Battery Tech's re-fill Batteries with Tap Water instead of Distilled Drinking Water which will cause a chemical reaction forming a crystal like substance known as Dendrite which will short out the Battery Cells essentially killing the Battery, and is irreversible. What will happen is the Battery will go dead for no apparent reason, you can jump start it, or put it on a Battery Charger and it will burn the ends of the Dendrite off thus holding a charge for a short time ( usually a matter of hours, or days) but then will shortly die once again.

Another common problem that I have seen when rotating Batteries is over-charging. When the Batteries are Rotated, they are automatically put on a charger at 2 amps for 24 hours to make sure they are fully charged, and ready to go when bought. The problem is, when charged in a bank of 24 Batteries which is the norm, some Batteries might become slightly overcharged cutting the Batteries life by more than 3/4. The way to tell this is by examining the Battery Case to see if it is slightly bulged outward. If so, the Battery is likely no good, and should be returned.

To fully check the battery, their are 3 tests that should be performed to make sure it is good. Here are these tests.

1. Pop the caps off the top, and inspect the Water Level to make sure each Cell is full and even. If any are low, refill using only distilled drinking water. If all is well, you should then test each cell using a Hydrometer to test the Lead Acid Content, and make sure you do not have a dead cell.

2. Use a Volt Meter to check the Voltage of the Battery.

3. Use a Battery Load Tester (Usually an analog Tester with a Dial pointing Green if the Battery is good, and Red if Bad.)

BY just doing a Load Test, you may still have a good Battery, and get a False Positive Reading, or you may have good Voltage, and still have a bad Cell, so its best to do a full diagnostic when in doubt.


Next, to see if you have a parasitic drain causing a problem, you should re-install the Battery, and take a reading on a Volt Meter. Then start the car, recheck. The Voltage should slightly drop, and come back up, and stay around 11.8 - 13 .6. Slight fluctuation are normal. If all is fine, then try putting a full draw on the car by turning on the stereo, headlights, wipers, an other accesseri8es while someone watches the Volt Meter. Again, the Meter should fall for a second, and then come back up. If it doesn't, then you have a parasitic drain somewhere causing a short.

If this is the case, then with the car still running, turn all accessories off, and go one by one starting with the Stereo as an example, and go from their. again watch the Volt Meter as you turn each accessory on, and off to see if you spot the problem.

If not, then I would start checking the fuse block for any electrical issues. If you are still having problems, then I would advise you might look into finding someone to run a computer diagnostic.

That's my two cents anyways. Best od luck in figuring it out, and please let us know what you come up with.

Candyman
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