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Thread: Battery discharging overnight

  1. #1
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    Default Battery discharging overnight

    Has anyone solved this problem?

    I have read lots of threads from people with the same problem and lots of advice on how to find a current drain, but no-one seems to come back and say if or how they fixed the problem.

    For anyone who has not read these threads we are having trouble with the battery discharging overnight. We have had a new alternator and a new battery but problem remains.

    The local auto-electician says there is no drain but still the battery is flat every morning.

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    Regular Member the-wizard's Avatar
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    try feeling the end of the alternator pulley to see if its getting hot.

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    had it once on wifes car, boot light was stuck on.

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    Forum Moderator Leemarksmith's Avatar
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    If it is your boot light - look through back seats and see if bulb is permanently on... If so disconnect and reconnect the block the opposite way...

    Mines discharged a few times but its only when its been left unlocked etc, or i've left boot open and so on... when locked and parked up never had issues.

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    Buy/Borrow a multimeter.

    plug the cable into 10A unfused, and the common sockets. Turn meter to "10A"

    Pop bonnet, and close all doors, wait for all lights to turn off

    remove earth cable from battery

    attatch red lead from meter to battery.
    attatch black lead to removed cable

    Wait about 60 secs for ECU and dash to turn off
    Should read no more than about 0.05

    Anymore and you have a drain. Id assume an overnight drain to be sucking about a 5Amp current (5.0 apx on the meter)

    TO CHECK ALTERNATOR (COMMON DRAIN FAULT)

    With earth lead still removed, remove the cable from the positive terminal of the battery held in by a 13mm hex headed M8 bolt (this is the starter/alternator feed) Ensure its not touching body.

    Repeat test with meter. If reading drops to 0.0, then either alternator or starter is ******ed. Remove the 25a fuse labelled "F2" from the fusebox to the right of the battery. Re attatch M8 bolt and cable to positive terminal.

    Repeat test, if reading 0.0 apx, then starter motor broke, if reading 5.0 apx again, then looks like diode or regulator pack on alternator broke.

    Im having the same issue, and i need a refurb alternator
    Last edited by tshort2007; 15th February 2010 at 22:43. Reason: added TO CHECK ALTERNATOR (COMMON DRAIN FAULT)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tshort2007 View Post
    Buy/Borrow a multimeter.

    plug the cable into 10A unfused, and the common sockets. Turn meter to "10A"

    Pop bonnet, and close all doors, wait for all lights to turn off

    remove earth cable from battery

    attatch red lead from meter to battery.
    attatch black lead to removed cable

    Wait about 60 secs for ECU and dash to turn off
    Should read no more than about 0.05

    Anymore and you have a drain. Id assume an overnight drain to be sucking about a 5Amp current (5.0 apx on the meter)

    TO CHECK ALTERNATOR (COMMON DRAIN FAULT)

    With earth lead still removed, remove the cable from the positive terminal of the battery held in by a 13mm hex headed M8 bolt (this is the starter/alternator feed) Ensure its not touching body.

    Repeat test with meter. If reading drops to 0.0, then either alternator or starter is ******ed. Remove the 25a fuse labelled "F2" from the fusebox to the right of the battery. Re attatch M8 bolt and cable to positive terminal.

    Repeat test, if reading 0.0 apx, then starter motor broke, if reading 5.0 apx again, then looks like diode or regulator pack on alternator broke.

    Im having the same issue, and i need a refurb alternator


    Thanks for reply it is very detailed, however we got so frustrated we have left it with the local auto electician.

    He insists that if it was the new alternator (supplied and fitted by him) that it would show up as a fault on the dash.

    If he finds out problem I will post the solution so that you can check it on yours.
    We were told that it is not possible to refurb these alternators our new one cost £!70 plus fitting, the bill came to £280.

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    Following on from my past posts then reading this thread, I've had no further issues (yet ) with battery discharging overnight ( or over a couple of days) since fitting a new higher capacity battery 4/5 weeks or so ago..but have not done a 'drain' test since.Perhaps the extra capacity of the battery has enough charge left to appear to have 'solved' my problem, but plan to do "tshort 2007's" test shortly as I still believe something may be 'wrong'... Cheers.

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    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    To do a more accurate drain test, you should hold the bonnet alarm plunger down and lock the car with the key fob, then check the drain current when it has fully powered down.

    You will have to figure out how to lock the car with the battery still connected, wait for full power down and then remove a lead from a battery post and still have the multi meter connected between terminal and lead wire connector (I'd have thought you don't want to interrupt the power supply to the car at all)

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    Regular Member rushy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tshort2007 View Post
    Buy/Borrow a multimeter.

    plug the cable into 10A unfused, ..................................... and i need a refurb alternator
    Wow, thats a great bit of info, i'm having the same problem myself at the moment but I have a sneaking suspicion its the glove box switch fault (took bulb out last 2 nights and multimeter readings have been looking good).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony W View Post
    Following on from my past posts then reading this thread, I've had no further issues (yet ) with battery discharging overnight ( or over a couple of days) since fitting a new higher capacity battery 4/5 weeks or so ago..but have not done a 'drain' test since.Perhaps the extra capacity of the battery has enough charge left to appear to have 'solved' my problem, but plan to do "tshort 2007's" test shortly as I still believe something may be 'wrong'... Cheers.


    What capacity battery did you fit? We fitted a new 70 amp battery.
    This is the normal size for signum deisel 1.9L 150.

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