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Author Topic: Most likely items for battery draining.  (Read 630 times)

Offline johners1949

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Most likely items for battery draining.
« on: December 29, 2020, 04:08:59 PM »
Hi all, hope everyone is well in this difficult time.
      My battery drains over a period of about 4-5 days, not completely flat but enough to prevent starting, and
because we are restricted in our mileage under Covid and have to shop online I am using a small battery charger on a weekly basis. I have had the battery tested at my local garage and they think it is fine. I am not prepared to leave the car for prolonged investigation as I know this could run into a lot of money.

  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
    A johnson

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2020, 04:12:02 PM »
If you are using the car infrequently then I would say the battery never really recovers its charge from starting the engine. Also if the battery is getting on a bit it will have less capacity anyway. I would continue with using the charger for now and once you start using car more assess if you need to replace the battery

Offline brianh

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2020, 05:51:05 PM »
An easy thing to check for, is broken wires in the door gaiters including the boot. A short on those may be draining the battery by powering something you can't notice (common failure point on the Galaxy/Sharan mk1 and mk2)

To tell beyond that you really need to see whats being drained from the battery when the car is sat with the doors closed. If you can borrow a clamp on multimeter which will do DC amps and monitor what is being used once the car has been left for a few minutes, that might indicate if anything excessive is being used.

As said above, if you can get away with charging it for now, I'd be inclined to do so if it is just a tired battery. Might be worth seeing if you can find anything on the battery to show how old it is, the colder weather will give the battery a harder time as well.

If you do manage to borrow a suitable multimeter or already have a normal one, it would be an idea to check the battery is actually being charged as well - Set to DC voltage and testing across the battery terminals with the engine running will give an idea if its getting charged.

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2020, 05:51:39 PM »
Good advice. Also it would be worth finding out if the garage did a proper load test on the battery or if they just checked its voltage. A lot of garages have no idea - and I mean are utterly clueless - about how batteries work. Just because it was showing 12.8v or whatever 5 minutes after you rolled into the shop, doesn’t mean the battery is any good.

How old is the battery? If it’s more than 5 years, it’s probably time to change it anyway. Duff batteries generally start showing their shortcomings at this time of year, when there’s more electrical load on the car and when the starter motor had to work harder.
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline Stevie t

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2020, 01:05:14 PM »
May be worth checking that the battery is the correct one for your particular model ie ampage.Mine had an incorrect new one fitted when i bought the car and when the temp dropped it couldn't handle it.Some of the on line suppliers also suggest an inadequate one,worth checking first before spending any money.

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2020, 01:27:43 PM »
I always buy the biggest battery I can find, it always works out better in the long term in my experience

 woohoo
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline johners1949

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2020, 03:40:28 PM »
Many thanks to everyone for your help. The battery 31/2 years old and has been no problem until lockdown started.

     Regards
     A Johnson

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2020, 05:55:18 PM »
You are very welcome!!

At 3.5 years old and problems emerging just as the cold weather is setting in, I would be inclined to start wondering if the battery itself might be in need of replacement. Obviously it's a bit of a gamble but could be a place to start? Load testing and checking floating voltages probably won't tell you much about whether the battery is holding a good charge.

If the battery is a rubbishy no-name make, or if it looks a bit small for the car, I'd be inclined to get myself a voucher for Euros and try a new one.

I see that most car batteries have 3 or 4 year warranties, so it wouldn't be surprising if the battery has had its time.

But could it simply be that lots of short journeys with no opportunity to charge properly are causing it to go flat?

Maybe also check if someone has left the heated seats on or if you're constantly hammering the thing with headlights, heated windows, powerful stereo and so on despite doing lots of short journeys.

Perhaps even you might have fancy phone chargers or dash cams that are draining the battery when not in use?

A wise man once said, "Always think about your battery ahead of a cold winter, for a reliable battery will give you a more reliable motoring experience on those chilly, frosty mornings when the last thing you want is a car that won't start".

 [GJ]

I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline Chrispb

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2020, 07:13:18 PM »
Also something to check is the battery fusebox for overheating and meltdown.
2016 Vauxhall Insignia Elite Nav in White 2.0CDTI Manual.
2009 Kia Sedona GS In Black 2.9CRDI 183PS. 5 Speed Manual WAV.
2003 MK2 Galaxy Ghia In Solid Black 1.9 TDI 115PS. 5 Speed Automatic.

Upgraded Eberspaecher booster heater  to independent heating with 7 day timer.

With VCDS lite (full version) need a code clearing or want to scan for faults in the north kent area, PM me.
All for a pint of Strongbow.

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Offline regw

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2020, 07:30:51 PM »
This time of year the jump leads do tend to come out a lot.
Any battery will degrade over time and low ambient temperatures will soon show
up a failing battery, especially one that has to crank a cold deisel engine.
Add on low usage and possible charging and parasitic drain issues which few check
for until the car wont start and you're on a losing streak.

I've a few multimeters but an onboard voltmeter to help to keep an eye on the
charging system and give clues to pending faults car or bike,is a must have to me.
I have a combined VM and USB thing that fits in an unused switch socket which
is pretty accurate compared to my meter readings.
similar to this

Offline regw

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2020, 07:32:54 PM »
aaaand I cant edit the post to get a working picture

you'll just have to imagine it

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2020, 08:58:07 AM »
Thank you very much for the lovely idea and picture of the combined volt meter and usb sockets. It looks like a very nice device amd very handy too. Please may I ask what you connect it up to behind the scenes as it were and also where u got it (ebays?). Thank you very much indeed.
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2020, 10:28:30 AM »
That’s just fits in a switch blank and is wired in to a 12v feed,most likely a switched feed so it’s not powered constantly.

Offline regw

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2020, 01:45:28 PM »
Dunno if this pic will work but here goes with a quick crappy phone pic.
I've added extra USB, ACC sockets and stuff for lappy/tablet charging,
sat nav power, phones etc patched into the rarely used cigar lighter socket near the ashtray.
The white thing bottom left is the isolator switch for when the car isnt in use much
such as at present.



Had a quick look on Ebay and they're not as common as I thought but you
can get them from a china seller for £5.95

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-Dual-USB-Charger-Socket-LED-Voltage-Voltmeter-Rocker-Switch-Panel-Car-Boat/293234709418?_trkparms=ispr%3D1&hash=item44462693aa:g:~ToAAOSwA~ddgFBz&amdata=enc%3AAQAFAAACgBaobrjLl8XobRIiIML1V4Imu%252Fn%252BzU5L90Z278x5ickkvjzWOStkxwnlDuxSI1PVVrU11c%252FNdCSolBOZ1m0aOcgYn3t4yj49PaHVQP0yN8uAHAC8PLuy9UYLNiQcZ9QPyEz%252FwyBbnMWgbN0OM3A4I9kA9rKi%252BIc3tMI3c6qOBQgNQR7P2CAQRIqNtoIk639ztTWE1YqwOIMGkHNppeRnltQ3WjrgLhirbuJK9%252BffDGg%252FqBOIYtcfI2v6It%252BC4bZUJJIHCkNVwxehKbnjPaYNK3mwYPFWxKCrOiBkGpFpWA3rfL5EFrdemRm8AVh%252BWVtCIJJX%252FMrwBmszwJDPVNIJGg49I21JBFjzv1Cl7F6oqGUy90iobuj6IZ%252BULMEqtiv4etOAN0bYNuJLL3ua0WAgotmvKsh64Zxt75hz6Jar9R7ou7QGyqUd5ozHo5xrmQvuJZK0EC9fZa5pT26nqr4kmKL9oA9j6k3rQQgPyD%252FoeTA4nvQIuV%252BHREKrqX78%252F%252B8eUN0hNyTbk3qXP%252FA3gUnNPwgw3kGMUdW1qxM6kL3DFQ%252B9rO8P5R89ol1OYrxWozHR7mDx7HyTSzo0X98qa3rt32gSrPxEeYRUwezILp5nzeW5F22%252FdamuVt7o3OutMBofva6SKqFU%252FKf8NP%252BNmWygzXyBpPu8Rdn%252Bvu24k3ZPjfNuYwZJ8V4xFMK3IZ%252FeJjP%252BQY%252FbiODi4rfZ1HQGpSGTXNq6IETkngI%252FPcfJwzHyuFHGFxYMiRJv%252BQ507i6yGO0J%252F7dn4DNjKcrt%252BCI2N4UyEMKBMAMvdnK3NYXvo0e74S2cyVO2AuYpy4IM6G73Lhj%252BD96YwuI%252BerMwiGo0hhei0BE%253D%7Ccksum%3A2932347094181763f1cc259f43cca147d5f92bdfbe78%7Campid%3APL_CLK%7Cclp%3A2334524

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2020, 02:43:47 PM »
Thank you very much Reg!!

And may I say, what a lovely car you have there. The control console looks so well equipped and it looks like you have done a really nice job of adding in all those useful extra features and that lovely radio.

I will order one of those lovely usb and voltmeter port gadgets straight away and look forward to fitting it in my own Alhamb.

I think I will also listen to some Radio 5 Live, very soothing

 [coolpic]
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline barlidge

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2021, 10:04:35 AM »
To confirm if its a drain you will really need to put a mustimeter in current mode in line with the positive terminal of the battery and the positive lead.  If your seeing an excessive draw then you can pull the fuses one at a time to narrow it down.  My old Galaxy suffered with this at one point, was fine if used daily but if left for several days was drained enough to not turn over - turned out to be the the CD multichanger in the back drawing current.

If doing the above I'd recommend also putting a low amperage fuse inline also, some mustimeters, especially cheaper ones don't have onboard fuses and have a max current rating, very easy to kill one if accidentally over loaded.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2021, 10:08:48 AM by barlidge »

Offline YelloM0nkey

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2021, 10:52:25 PM »
Word of caution, even a new battery will fail to start if the car is not used for days on end, more now at 0 or minus Celsius. If you manage charging the battery now while it gets little use, leave it for a little longer, at least untill you drive it properly. If still fails on daily-ish use, then you need a new one. For these 1.9 tdi engines you need a battery of at least 75amps and 650 Acc (cold crank power). To measure with the voltmeter, use 20 volts setting, and with engine running the charging ( alternator that is ) should be over 12.45 volts. If less, you have a bad alternator/connection somewhere. To check battery health, with engine not running and cold (first start up of the day, for example, have your volt meter on 20volts again and crank. If goes under 10 volts while cranking battery is worn/weak/faulty. I buy/repair/sell these Alhambra/Galaxy/Sharan, and if, for example i have a car for sale, sitting outside, unnused, i take the battery off and keep it on charge (220v charger no name from Aldi, £20) because after a week unused a good battery will fail.

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2021, 11:14:56 PM »
I would want considerably more than 12.45 volts from alternator,anything less than  13.8 and I would be looking at a faulty alternator. A good alternator should be putting out approx 1.5-2.0v above battery voltage at idle.

Offline insanitybeard

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2021, 03:32:22 PM »
For reference, on a recent test my OE 120amp Bosch alternator was putting out about 14.3v at idle. Even then I'm not convinced that I don't have some issue with my charging system or some parasitic drain going on. I drove at least 30 miles yesterday and even then a quick check on my battery prior to cranking today only showed 12.2v, I know it's cold but even so I would have expected a bit more than that. The battery is a decent Varta one which was fitted last winter. Even though the charging voltage appears ok, I was debating buying one of those DC clamp ammeters to see what sort of amperage the alternator was putting out when the battery was charging- though I'm assuming because the heated front screen, headlights etc are all ok with the engine running it must be putting out a healthy amperage.

One thing I have noticed before when driving on a motorway at night is a subtle (as in barely perceptible) 'flickering' of the headlights on the road surface which I thought may indicate some issue with the rectifier/ regulator on the alternator, so perhaps I need to do a bit more investigation. Anybody know other than alternator voltage/ current output checks if there is a more definitive test to check for faults with the rectifier/ regulator?
Always learning..... Often by mistakes!

Offline SilverBeast

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2021, 10:10:09 PM »
Also check that your Battery Junction Box (Fuse box near the battery in the engine compartment) isn't showing signs of overheating.

If the crimps on the high current (bigger) wires to this are failing they will go high resistance and warm up when the car is run.  This damages them further and can melt the Battery Junction Box.  The top right wire (Alternator to BJB) has the highest current draw and will be most likely to fail, this will also mean not as high a voltage to the battery when charging.

Offline insanitybeard

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2021, 10:40:59 AM »
Yes indeed, the ol' battery junction always worth a check in these circumstances. Unfortunately it's not a contributing factor in my case as I replaced the alternator- battery junction box cable a few years back when I noticed evidence of it getting hot at the junction box end.
Always learning..... Often by mistakes!

Offline SilverBeast

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2021, 11:24:35 AM »
I haven't been particularly active on the Forum recently, though the Galaxy is still plodding on - Dual air-con still working 7/8 years after repair with no re-gas!

I got a Lotus Europa (oldest car I've ever bought and also the most expensive) so have been more active on the Forum for that over the last year or so.

Offline insanitybeard

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Re: Most likely items for battery draining.
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2021, 08:37:23 PM »
Likewise I've not been as active on the forum these last few years but the Galaxy is still plodding on, up to 162k now (it was at 83k when I bought it in 2013). I hope it'll serve me for a couple more years but I can see issues with rust starting to cause trouble then. With the general anti-diesel trend and ultra low emissions zones starting to rear their head my next vehicle is unlikely to be a diesel. And with all the crap they have to put on them now to make them emissions compliant in the form of DPF's and adblue, they're probably more complex than an equivalent petrol engine anyway.

Have fun in your Lotus! [drive] Sadly I don't have anything as exotic as that as second transport but I would like to get another motorbike one day!
Always learning..... Often by mistakes!

 

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