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Old 03-13-2003, 10:48 AM   #1
MGYVER
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Help with Current/battery drain !

Hi all,
I'm hoping someone can help me with this. I have a 1988 325is. My battery died 2 months ago and it was replaced since it was very old. They tested the car and said the altenator was fine. After I got the new battery, a few weeks later the car sat in the underground parking (about 4 Celsius) for a week. When I went to start the car the battery was DEAD - I pulled the battery, but it wouldn't even charge - CAA came, tested the car, decided there was a drain somewhere and that the battery also needed to be replaced (free because of the warranty !)

My question - Does anyone know of a common problem causing a slow drain on the battery?? There were no interior or exterior lights left on, I don't have an alarm, and nothing plugged into the cigarette lighter.

Help !!
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Old 03-13-2003, 12:48 PM   #2
BMW_M52_M20
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Well, I am surprised after a weel that the battery died. I know if the car is going to be left for a couple of weeks, the car should be started a few times to keep the charge.

There is always the clock (Thats takes hardly any power), the only thing I can think of is an light was left on and you didn't realize it.....
hmmm??
Jay
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Old 03-13-2003, 12:55 PM   #3
Fernando
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battery drain?

To check battery drain you would need to hook up an ammeter to see how much current is flowing when the car is not running. You can get one pretty cheap from Radio Shack,etc.

Easiest way to hook it up is disconnect ground strap from car body and hook up ammeter between them, one side to car body, other side to cable. DO NOT START THE CAR, or you will melt the meter. Remove the trunk light so it wont be drawing current, or shut the trunk on the wires, (you have to be able to see the meter).

Now, you need to wait about 15 minutes for car to shut down, which it is supposed to do if undisturbed. If you open a door or anything, the 15 minutes starts all over again, (maybe car doesnt shut down, then that could be your problem.)

After this, the ammeter readings should be minimal. I dont know the exact number but if it's over 1 or 2 amps, there's a problem. Then you could try taking readings after removing fuses one at a time to see which circuit is causing the drain, again after the 15 min. wait. Or pull all the fuses and put them in one at a time. Time consuming I know.

Have alternator output checked also.
Cheers,

Fern
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Old 03-13-2003, 02:41 PM   #4
JeorgeBaptista
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Herb,

Check your insturment cluster. If your check alternator/battery light is burn, then this would cause the circut to remain open thus causing a drain.
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Old 03-13-2003, 08:53 PM   #5
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I have a problem with my interior light sometimes for no reason it comes on. also the battery couldn't be recharged??? I think that maybe you just got a bad battery ive drained mine completely dead cause of my stereo at least 7-8 times and it always takes a charge again even though it is real bad for the battery.
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Old 03-13-2003, 10:25 PM   #6
qwk325
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Re: battery drain?

Quote:
Originally posted by Fernando
To check battery drain you would need to hook up an ammeter to see how much current is flowing when the car is not running. You can get one pretty cheap from Radio Shack,etc.

Easiest way to hook it up is disconnect ground strap from car body and hook up ammeter between them, one side to car body, other side to cable. DO NOT START THE CAR, or you will melt the meter. Remove the trunk light so it wont be drawing current, or shut the trunk on the wires, (you have to be able to see the meter).

Now, you need to wait about 15 minutes for car to shut down, which it is supposed to do if undisturbed. If you open a door or anything, the 15 minutes starts all over again, (maybe car doesnt shut down, then that could be your problem.)

After this, the ammeter readings should be minimal. I dont know the exact number but if it's over 1 or 2 amps, there's a problem. Then you could try taking readings after removing fuses one at a time to see which circuit is causing the drain, again after the 15 min. wait. Or pull all the fuses and put them in one at a time. Time consuming I know.

Have alternator output checked also.
Cheers,

Fern

very well put u should not exceed 0.03 miiliamps. this acceptable .
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Old 03-14-2003, 12:37 AM   #7
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Fernandos right.

Check to see if your trunk light is on without you knowing it.

Pull down the ski bag armrest to look
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Old 07-25-2003, 10:52 AM   #8
notjoe
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Re: battery drain?

Quote:
Originally posted by Fernando
To check battery drain you would need to hook up an ammeter to see how much current is flowing when the car is not running. You can get one pretty cheap from Radio Shack,etc.

Easiest way to hook it up is disconnect ground strap from car body and hook up ammeter between them, one side to car body, other side to cable. DO NOT START THE CAR, or you will melt the meter. Remove the trunk light so it wont be drawing current, or shut the trunk on the wires, (you have to be able to see the meter).

Now, you need to wait about 15 minutes for car to shut down, which it is supposed to do if undisturbed. If you open a door or anything, the 15 minutes starts all over again, (maybe car doesnt shut down, then that could be your problem.)

After this, the ammeter readings should be minimal. I dont know the exact number but if it's over 1 or 2 amps, there's a problem. Then you could try taking readings after removing fuses one at a time to see which circuit is causing the drain, again after the 15 min. wait. Or pull all the fuses and put them in one at a time. Time consuming I know.

Have alternator output checked also.
Cheers,

Fern
Do you know how many amps the car would use in the on position? Knowing this might allow for me (who is having this problem) not to wait 15min to pull a single fuse.

Since i have a drain on my battery it is impossible to get the original reading.

Other than that great advice and i will be using it today!
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