Electrical & Lights Battery drain with Parrot CK3100

Discussion in '7th Generation (2003-2008) [Acura TSX]' started by Serendipity, Saturday 20th Jun, 2015.

  1. Serendipity Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Simon South Bucks

    I've only had my 2nd hand Accord for a few weeks and this issue could have been masked by the fact that I would take my new toy out for a spin most days. However last weekend, when I came to unlock the car, the alarm sounded and things were obviously a little flat in the battery department. It had been standing unused for about a week.

    I jumped it with a little Noco lithium booster that I originally bought for jumping bikes, so was pleased to see it turn over the 2.4 lump, and the car comfortably recharged the battery on a 60 mile round trip to see friends.

    So yesterday, after another week standing, the battery was discharged again. It tested at a woeful 10v so I popped on a mains charger and left it for a few hours. Later, having started the car and let it idle for a few minutes the voltage at the terminals with the engine running was a healthy 14.40v so I take that to mean that the alternator is fit. With the engine off the battery was showing around 12.6v

    After standing overnight the battery was back down to 12.10v, but to my surprise was able to start the car.

    I think that the battery is a little under-spec for the car. It's a 45Ah unit with 330A cranking rating, but that doesn't explain the drain.

    Yes the battery could be dead/dying, but I thought I'd check on here for further tips before buying a new one.

    I read about the hands free telephone issue, but I don't think my one has the Honda HFT. It has an aftermarket Parrot system which seems to be functioning correctly. Are there any other smoking guns in terms of battery drain? Or is it just the way these cars operate and my battery is probably on the way out?

    I'm used to the simplicity of old bikes. Turn off the ignition and come back a year later to a fully charged battery.
    hondream likes this.
  2. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard T Milton Keynes
    It could be as simple as the battery is on its last legs anyway and unable to sustain a charge.
  3. Serendipity Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Simon South Bucks
    Bit of a thread resurrection to update this.

    Soon after buying the car in May '15 it became apparent that the battery would discharge if left for more than a few days. The charging seemed fine and as long as the car was driven regularly the battery was kept topped up. However I decided to change the battery in the summer before taking the family on holiday. I fitted a larger Yuasa 60Ah 620amp which has been great. I had to remove the plastic battery holder to shoehorn the physically larger battery into place, but it just about squeezed in.

    So even though the new battery restored the starting reliability, when tested, it was clear there was still something draining the battery faster than it should. However the Yuasa is meaty enough to take this on the chin and I was too lazy to start pulling fuses to try to identify where the power was leaking.

    Several months passed....

    Then recently I noticed that the Parrot Bluetooth unit was misbehaving. I tried to call someone and found most of my contacts missing from the menu. Like it had failed to sync properly. So I wiped my phone from the memory and re-paired them, only to have it fail with a "Memory Full" message. I checked the available memory and it had loads of free space. A quick Google revealed that this could be a symptom of a badly installed unit.

    The unit is Parrot CK3100 and one of the FAQ entries on the Parrot website said that if the red and orange power feeds are reversed the device never fully shuts down and this can lead to phantom memory full errors. It can also drain your car battery!!

    This was looking interesting.

    The Parrot is supposed to say Goodbye on the LCD when you kill the ignition, but I'd never seen this and didn't know it was supposed to behave that way. This is another indication that it's failing to shut down correctly. So all I needed to do then was dig around to find where the installer had hidden the brain box of the device. The red wire is meant to be a permanent 12v feed while the orange wire is a switched 12v. When these are accidentally reversed the unit seems to work, but doesn't know to shut down when the ignition is turned off, leading to the problems I was seeing.

    Having looked through the very helpful guides on this site I started popping off some of the fascia, starting with the gear shift surround. A bit of good luck when the first thing I saw was the blue Parrot box tucked in on the driver's side of the gear shift housing. I wiggled it out thinking this was going to be easy only to be floored when I found that there were no orange wires at all. Comparing my unit to the wiring diagrams it appeared that my "orange" wire was in fact blue. So I reversed my red and blue wires at the fuse holder and bingo my display showed a very promising goodbye as it shut down.

    At this point I thought it would be worth updating the firmware which turned into a bit of a mission. The instructions here: Support - Parrot CK3100 - UK on the Parrot website misses out a crucial detail. The order in which you connect your laptop Bluetooth to the device is important. You need to clear all paired devices from the Parrot and wipe the Parrot from the laptop if you've already added it. Then download the Parrot Software Update Tool and install it. Put the Parrot into software update mode and then, and only then, pair the laptop with the Parrot. If you pair them before placing the unit into update mode it adds to Windows as a Bluetooth headset rather than a virtual serial connection. That results in the update failing and naughty words being uttered. Get it right and the update tool does the rest. I added my phone back to the device and all functionality was restored.

    And hopefully this will have cured my parasitic battery drain. Time will tell. I've taken voltage readings and don't plan to use the car for a few days. I'll see if the voltage has dropped by the end of the week.

    Sorry this is a bit long, but as I've found this site so helpful I thought I'd add my experience in case it helps anyone who runs into the same issues.

    tl;dr Incorrectly wired Bluetooth unit diagnosed itself as the cause of my battery drain by conveniently malfunctioning.
  4. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
    Don't worry about it being a long post @Serendipity, that is some very helpful information there that may help others !