Electrical & Lights Crazy Phantom Battery Drain?

Discussion in '7th Generation (2003-2008) [Acura TSX]' started by Geoff Davies, Monday 20th Apr, 2015.

  1. Geoff Davies Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Geoff
    38
    Hi all, 2005 Accord Cdti pre-facelift.
    Problems began last September, when the car was left at the airport for 3 weeks. On return the battery was flat and a mate had to use jump leads to give me enough charge to start the car.
    When we got home, I put a new Varta Blue 74A battery on it. Through the Winter the car has been used every 3 or 4 days and sometimes I felt that it may or may not start. I bought a smart charger to keep it topped up if left any longer.
    Haven't used the car for the last 10 days and had an MOT booked today.
    When I tried to start it - flat !!!! Managed to jump charge it off my wife's Passat - which will happily sit for a month without problems.
    Over the Winter I did a load of tests on the electrics.
    Battery volt drop test - OK
    Current draw when locked and standing - 24ma with a flick to 46ma every 2 - 3 seconds, (in time with the alarm led).
    I have a digital voltmeter plugged into the cigar lighter socket and that reads 14.2 to 14.4v when running.
    The only electrical accessory fitted since I had the car is reverse sensors, but they only operate when in reverse gear with engine running.
    The alternator was replaced by Honda two years ago.
    When at the garage for the MOT, I had a chat with one of the techs - he used to work as an auto-electrician, and having told him everything I have tested, he was as bemused as me, and said it wouldn't be worth me paying to have it tested as they would only repeat what I have already done.
    The car doesn't have HFT fitted - I took the dash off to see.
    I've searched all the forum sites but not found anything that may be my problem
    If anyone has any ideas please reply as I'm getting frustrated at what is a lovely car.
    I have got breakdown cover but really, a car with supposed Honda reliability should be able to start after a couple of weeks standing.
    Best regards, Geoff
     
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  2. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard Milton Keynes
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    You need to start doing some parasitic draw tests to see what circuit is pulling the current. Assuming the battery is still fine (I appreciate you say its new last year), the current must be getting pulled from somewhere
     
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  3. ArcticFire-Account Closed Banned Getting Started

    Scotland Graham Scotland
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    What reading does the plug-in voltage gadget show when you turn the ignition on (but not start the engine) after a day of inactivity? Then two days without activity etc? This may give you an idea if there's a steady drop over time and therefore indicate a parasitic issue or if there's just a sudden drop at some point in time which may indicate some other fault?
     
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  4. Geoff Davies Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Geoff
    38
    Thanks for the quick answers, someone must be monitoring the boards. LOL
    The drain of 24ma is with a meter connected to the battery negative and the disconnected battery earth lead. So I would think that drain is the alarm/immobiliser.
    The voltage gauge, generally shows a drop of 0.2 to 0.3 volts over a 24 hour period. Same drop day after day.
    Driving me nuts.
    I feel its a parasitic issue but can't understand where if the total draw is only 24ma.
     
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  5. ArcticFire-Account Closed Banned Getting Started

    Scotland Graham Scotland
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    At some point over the course of a week the voltage must suddenly drop then?
     
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  6. Geoff Davies Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Geoff
    38
    No, it drops from the time its parked up - once the residual charge has gone.
    As I say the total draw showing coming out of the battery is 24ma plus a flick every 2 seconds or so.
    That surely can't be enough to cause the battery voltage drops I'm seeing.
    Will take the car and get the battery tested somewhere else tomorrow just in case.
    That draw of 24ma. Is that about right for the alarm/immobiliser ?
     
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  7. Geoff Davies Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Geoff
    38
    Hi again.
    Battery tested at local garage this morning, test showed battery OK but needs charging.
    That's not unexpected so its on charge now.
    Measured the voltage loss and it's 0.26 volts in 24 hours.
    No idea if 24ma drain would cause that but if it does then there's very little I can do about it.
     
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  8. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard Milton Keynes
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    What does the battery drop to when cranking?
     
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  9. ArcticFire-Account Closed Banned Getting Started

    Scotland Graham Scotland
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    At some point over the course of a week I would think that the voltage gadget would show a very low reading though when it's at the stage of being flat?
     
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  10. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard Milton Keynes
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    Remember @Geoff Davies - there is a huge difference between the charge a battery can hold over time in an idle state and the amount it dispenses and subsequently recharges up to, when placed under a load.

    How long are the trips you are doing with her? Long enough to keep it charged? What is the CCA?
     
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  11. Geoff Davies Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Geoff
    38
    Don't know the volt drop on cranking. The car is on charge now so when that's done I'll try it, although it could be difficult at it fires up very quickly.
    I haven't really watched the volts over a week of standing as usually the car is used every 2 or three days, but as I said over the last 24 hours it dropped 0.26 v.
    Usually the car does a couple of short runs and one long run a week. It did a 50 mile run the day before it stood for the 10 days.
    Didnt't use it for the 10 days because of illness.
    The CCA rating is 680 and the test this morning showed 682.
     
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  12. Beefy Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Stoke
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    maximum parasitic drain should be 30 ma. make sure the bonnet catch is flicked over when checking the drain.
     
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  13. Geoff Davies Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Geoff
    38
    Hi, and thanks.
    Thats the first time I've heard a definitive figure for maximum drain.
    As I said mine is showing 24ma with the car all closed up and alarmed so maybe I'm chasing something when it's not achievable to get less.
    Battery tested OK today so if it goes flat standing a fortnight in the airport, there's not a lot I can do about it.
     
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  14. ArcticFire-Account Closed Banned Getting Started

    Scotland Graham Scotland
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    When you say the battery goes flat after a week or ten days, is it flat as in no interior lights etc or flat as in can't crank?
     
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  15. Geoff Davies Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Geoff
    38
    When I tried yesterday, after 10 days standing dash lights came on and heaters, then it Cranked slowly about 3 or 4 times then stopped and clicked. The dash lights then went dim. 5 minutes connected to another car with jump leads and it started ok.
     
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  16. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard Milton Keynes
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    Sounds like the battery is underpowered - I have a Varta battery too, 780cca, never had an issue with it. If you have no parasitic draw and its all within Honda limits from what Beefy has suggested, then I would look at a more powerful battery.
     
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  17. Geoff Davies Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Geoff
    38
    What Varta battery do you have ?
    I thought when I bought mine that it was the highest power one that would fit in the battery tray
    74Ah 680CCA
    Thanks, Geoff
     
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  18. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard Milton Keynes
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  19. ArcticFire-Account Closed Banned Getting Started

    Scotland Graham Scotland
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    A higher cca may help but I don't think that this is the problem and may just mask the real issue. But if it solves it then that's all that matters really.

    I have the same battery as you and have the same engine and have no problems, even with a hard wired dash cam, although i do have a battery protect system in place.

    3212015232123.
     
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  20. Geoff Davies Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Geoff
    38
    Hi, sort of warming to the idea of a bigger capacity battery, at least that should give longer standing time before refusing to start, thanks for the info Nighthawk.
    That Varta E44 is definitely a step up ratings wise, at 77A and 780CCA.
    Had a quick look around this morning and there is an even higher capacity one available.
    Yuasa YBX5096. Its rated at 80Ah and 760CCA. About a tenner dearer than the E44.
    That extra 6 amp capacity should give another 10 days at 24ma draw.
    Any thoughts please.
    Geoff
     
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