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Old 07-14-2007, 02:15 PM   #1
ligardner
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Question What is draining my battery??

I posted this a few hours ago in the Tchnical chat but got no help so I'm trying again:

This 02 Focus has developed a battery draining problem that I cannot solve. Back in early May I installed A1Electric keyless entry on this car. It took about 4 weeks because I worked on it part time, and had to install a horn relay and remote trunk relay. So the car sat without being run for better part of a month. But the battery is only about 1 yr. old.

Then about 3 weeks ago I tried to start the car and it was 100% dead--no clicking, no power doors, nothing. I thought maybe a light had been on so didn't worry too much. Then it happened again, and then again, even though the car was being driven. I bought a digital voltmeter on Monday to see if I had a "parasitic" drain problem. Hooked up the 10 amp side of the DVOM in series to the unhooked neg. battery terminal and read 4.7 A (this might be 470 mA?). In any case, this is 3 times the reading I get on my 2005 Focus, which is about 1.2 to 1.4.

So I followed the suggestions from some of the parasitic drain posts that recommended pulling out fuses to see what electrical component is pulling power from the battery. I have pulled out every single fuse in the fusebox and in the engine compartment fusebox and with fuses removed (in groups of 4 to 8) NOTHING CHANGED the parasitic drain reading. Then I pulled the power connector from the A1electric main relay, and connector to the keyless electronic brain box--and with these removed, the result again is NO CHANGE.

I am stumped. the alternator seems fine. Autozone checked both it and the battery on their machine--said they were good. When I run the car for 10 min. the battery pumps up to about 12.4 volts. Then left overnight, it drops down to 11.5 volts or lower. I pulled the neg. battery cable off last night and let car sit overnight like that--and it did not drain down (duh!).

Any ideas on what to try now?
- is there a piece of test equipment that would help?
- battery saver relay be checked or replaced?

Any suggestions that would help isolate this maddening problem would be appreciated. Even something as basic as determining whether the problem is under the hood or in passenger compartment would help.


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Old 07-14-2007, 02:29 PM   #2
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maybe u wired one of those relays wrong and they are constantly running power through them...not sure how a little relay would drain a car battery, but might be worth checking out...i have no idea
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:16 PM   #3
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Hmm, you may be onto something. I forgot..., there is a weird in-line fuse that came with the A1Electric stuff. I forgot about that one. It is on the main hot lead& think it safeguards the A1Electric components. I'll pull that one out and see what changes. Can't remeber if the two relays have hot leads that pair off that fused lead. Damn--wish I had drawn a complete wiring diragram of that A1 locks installation This probably serves me right.
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:19 PM   #4
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put up a post once u figure it out...im curious how close i was, haha
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:49 PM   #5
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Well, I pulled that in-line fuse that controls the A1Electric power door locks. NO CHANGE. But I do not know for sure that the hot leads to the 2 relays (horn&trunk) are downstream from that fuse. Will look under the dash and trace the hot leads to those relays.
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Old 07-14-2007, 04:18 PM   #6
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AARGH, I undid the one remaining relay for the power door locks and NOTHING CHANGED.
Am I missing something about how to deal with a parasitic drain? Is there a better way to diagnose it than pulling fuses????
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:13 PM   #7
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leave ur car like that with everything out and see if the battery still runs dead...idk
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Old 07-22-2007, 03:31 PM   #8
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UPDATE: the problem was the alternator. I got a suggestion on the Technical Chat that pointed me in that direction. When I pulled the big red lead off the alternator the problem went away.

Diodes gone bad is apparently the cause; not sure why they died.
Have a new alternator now and the car is back in business...
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