Author Topic: Battery is Draining?  (Read 7587 times)

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Offline mikeb78ta

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Battery is Draining?
« on: March 09, 2009, 12:39:55 PM »
Hey guys,
I travel a lot for work and it seems like every time I leave for a few days I have to come back and re charge the battery.  I've been to have the battery checked(only 2 months old) and also have the alternator checked.  they both check out okay.  I don't have any aftermarket accessories hooked up and I always make sure the lights, doors , trunk, stereo etc are truly off and not drawing any power.  Is there any other suggestions you can think of that may be draining the battery???? Thanks
1978 Trans Am 403 WS6, BLack, Camel Deluxe Interior

Offline Rick

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Re: Battery is Draining?
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2009, 01:09:12 PM »
Two suggestions that would help you a lot:

Get a "battery tender" and leave the car hooked up while it's parked.  A battery tender constantly measures the battery voltage and only runs a little charge into it if the level starts to drop off a bit.  Batteries self-discharge readily and will go flat from just setting, and this is hard on them.  My car sets most of the time but the tender keeps it ready to go.  My batteries also last for inordinately long times too -- as much as 3X normal lifespans because they're always in top charge condition.

You can also disconnect the battery if the car's just sitting.  Almost every car has some minor load somewhere -- the clock, for example -- that pulls it down constantly.  While it's a good idea to find excessive loads (like trunk lights that don't shut off, or a glove box light that stays on) you will always have the minor ones to deal with.  Disconnecting the battery from the car cuts you off from those loads, although it still doesn't eliminate the "self-discharge" problem described above.

Offline mikeb78ta

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Re: Battery is Draining?
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2009, 01:15:00 PM »
It's funny because I do have one.  I just tend to want to hook it up only long enough to get the car to start and take off... Probably not the best thing though.  I have looked around the car and don't see anything obvious, but either of your suggestions are better than I have been doing... Thanks!  Could a semi loose -(neg)cable on the battery adversely affect the drainage? I tightened them down just now.  The -Neg was a little loose.

1978 Trans Am 403 WS6, BLack, Camel Deluxe Interior

Offline Rick

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Re: Battery is Draining?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2009, 01:24:22 PM »
Loose cables are never a good thing, but it shouldn't *increase* the draw-down problem.  It might slow the recharge process, however.

The best thing to do with the battery tender is to just leave it on 24/7.  Mine stay on the "hobby" cars (75 TA, 86 Corvette) for a months at a time with no problems.

Offline Joker (告r茺agon)

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Re: Battery is Draining?
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2009, 01:28:30 PM »
That wouldn't cause a drain, but could cause a bad charge or hard to start condition.

also, do you have a multi-meter or even just a test light to check for a drain? To do this, disconnect the pos cable and connect either the multi-meter set to test amps, or a test light in-line between the battery and the cable. Anything over about .20 amps (at the very most) will drain the battery. The reason I say there will be some is from things like redio memory and the like. Or if it lights the test light then you have a drain. If you find that it does then start pulling fuses until you find the one that causes it to drop/turn off. That will be the circuit where your drain is.
Larry


Offline ta78w72

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Re: Battery is Draining?
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2009, 01:46:42 PM »
Your clock could be draining voltage. 

Offline mikeb78ta

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Re: Battery is Draining?
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2009, 02:48:28 PM »
I do have a meter and will try what you said Larry.

AS far as the clock draining my battery, I don't have a clock.
1978 Trans Am 403 WS6, BLack, Camel Deluxe Interior

Offline rhino33

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Re: Battery is Draining?
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2009, 02:51:57 PM »
test light and pull fuses to find the circuit

Offline 79 Rebel

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Re: Battery is Draining?
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2009, 02:58:52 PM »
my car drains
and goes dead in 2 days if i dont drive it
still havent found whats doing it
i do have 2 wires that have to be connected to the battery to make it start

Offline jjr

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Re: Battery is Draining?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2009, 03:32:48 PM »

 I'd suggest an ammeter.

 This measures current flow, sorta like the electric company
meter on the side of your house.

 "If" there's an energy thief this will indicate it.

 Once you actually "see" how much drain is occurring, one
way to isolate it would be by pulling fuses one at a time and
gauge the effect.

 Joe
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Offline Joker (告r茺agon)

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Re: Battery is Draining?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2009, 04:34:25 PM »

 I'd suggest an ammeter.

 This measures current flow, sorta like the electric company
meter on the side of your house.

 "If" there's an energy thief this will indicate it.

 Once you actually "see" how much drain is occurring, one
way to isolate it would be by pulling fuses one at a time and
gauge the effect.

 Joe

Now why didn't I think of that? ;) lol
Larry


Offline mikeb78ta

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Re: Battery is Draining?
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2009, 05:07:16 PM »
Thanks for the ideas.  I'll get on it and see how it goes.  I'll keep you posted to what I find...
1978 Trans Am 403 WS6, BLack, Camel Deluxe Interior

Offline brian c

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Re: Battery is Draining?
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2009, 07:18:33 PM »
Even without a meter you can check for obvious things like....

Worn insulation in the engine compartment
Redneck hackjob on the front light circuit
Redneck hackjob under the dash

**Mine had all 3 of the above. Once I replaced the harnesses the drain went away! But its a really good idea to have a multimeter anyways for troubleshooting other electrical issues.

1978 Y88, '70 455 HO block bored 0.060, TH350, 3.42:1 gears...Oct '08 Fbodywarehouse Calendar - Woot!
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Offline ta78w72

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Re: Battery is Draining?
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2009, 10:18:42 PM »
I do have a meter and will try what you said Larry.

AS far as the clock draining my battery, I don't have a clock.

What the heck kind of car is that?  No clock?  Don't you have rally gauges in that Trans Am?

Offline Joker (告r茺agon)

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Re: Battery is Draining?
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2009, 10:40:14 PM »
I missed that. That is weird.
Larry