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      12-19-2016, 12:05 AM   #1
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Battery Drain - Video of Parasitic Drain Test Multimeter in post

Lately, my car needs a jump start multiple times a week. The battery is a 1 year old Autocraft, 95ah, 850 CCA AGM battery found here: http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/a...tion-_-General I did register the battery and correctly program it as an AGM 90ah (closing ah setting available).

I've tried replacing the ground strap from the engine to the body but that didn't help.

I've also tried disconnecting the battery from the car for 48 hours to see if it was self draining and when I plugged it back in the battery didn't drain itself and it started right up. I've also had Advanced auto and the BMW dealership test the battery and they found nothing wrong with it. So I don't think it has an internal short.

Voltage is 14 - 15V while the engine is running so it looks like my alternator is OK.

Being that my car starts with a jump, I think the starter is fine.

I've done a parasitic drain test and the car goes to sleep quickly so I don't think its that. I'm pretty stumped.

I think, but am not sure, that the battery drains super fast with just a little load on it. I did 2 parasitic drain tests back to back so roughly 10 minutes total of the car going through the "go to sleep" cycle. Before the got to sleep cycles the battery showed 12.28 volts and after was down to 12.04 volts. But then when I measured voltage a half hour later it was actually showing 12.30 volts (car was not started or charged in that timeframe) FYI - on the first drain test I had left the OBD to USB cable connected which is why the amps didn't drop down as much on the first test, but these test were done within minutes of one another, back to back.

Is the big voltage drop after being exposed to only 10 minutes of load (while going to sleep) but then going back up my smoking gun? I'm stumped because if it is the battery its weird that 2 tests of it showed nothing wrong with it.

EDIT: The next morning my battery was down to 12.08 volts and needed a jump to start. Could some module be "waking up" overnight and further draining the battery?

If anyone has any ideas please let me know. Thanks!

Video of going to sleep 1 (with OBD hooked up):


Video of going to sleep 2 (without OBD hooked up):
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Last edited by mfish123; 12-19-2016 at 11:30 AM. Reason: Test Battery Voltage the Next Morning
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      12-19-2016, 11:48 AM   #2
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The car should start at 12 volts, even less. I've started cars in the 10 volt range.

So it sounds like the cranking amps is the issue. Something with the battery and load.

I have 2 suggestions for you at this point. Get a battery charger and charge it overnight and see if the problem persist. If it does, it's likely the battery, perhaps a dead cell?

I know you said the battery was tested, did they run a load test?
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      12-19-2016, 11:51 AM   #3
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+1 on the load test. Any auto parts store like Autozone will run it for free. Our cars are very sensitive to a weak battery.
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      12-19-2016, 12:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff@TopGearSolutions View Post
The car should start at 12 volts, even less. I've started cars in the 10 volt range.

So it sounds like the cranking amps is the issue. Something with the battery and load.

I have 2 suggestions for you at this point. Get a battery charger and charge it overnight and see if the problem persist. If it does, it's likely the battery, perhaps a dead cell?

I know you said the battery was tested, did they run a load test?
Thanks for chiming in. I actually do have a battery charger. It can either charge @ 15 amps or 3 amps (trickle charge). The battery will charge up with the charger on either setting (obviously takes longer @ 3 amps). After its charged it will start the car. But after 2-3 days it will eventually run out of juice again and need a jump. I drive it daily but being that I work from home its usually just a 2 mile round trip to drop the kids off at daycare. With my previous battery (before it died after about 5 years) and for the 1st year on this current battery the car was fine with that short trip driving habit and I never had problems with it starting. Does the fact that it takes a charge tell us something?

I'm not 100% sure if they did a load test. I know at Advanced Auto they had me physically take the battery out of the car for their test. They had to fully charge it before they could run their test. I can find out exactly what type of test they did.
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Last edited by mfish123; 12-19-2016 at 12:10 PM. Reason: Clarified verbiage
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      12-19-2016, 12:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boland01 View Post
+1 on the load test. Any auto parts store like Autozone will run it for free. Our cars are very sensitive to a weak battery.
I'll find out if Advanced Auto did or didn't do a load test and I'll either take it back to them or to Pep Boys or Autozone to get a load test done.
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      12-19-2016, 12:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfish123 View Post
Thanks for chiming in. I actually do have a battery charger. It can either charge @ 15 amps or 3 amps (trickle charge). The battery will charge up with the charger on either setting (obviously takes longer @ 3 amps). After its charged it will start the car. But after 2-3 days it will eventually run out of juice again and need a jump. I drive it daily but being that I work from home its usually just a 2 mile round trip to drop the kids off at daycare. With my previous battery (before it died after about 5 years) and for the 1st year on this current battery the car was fine with that short trip driving habit and I never had problems with it starting. Does the fact that it takes a charge tell us something?

I'm not 100% sure if they did a load test. I know at Advanced Auto they had me physically take the battery out of the car for their test. They had to fully charge it before they could run their test. I can find out exactly what type of test they did.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfish123 View Post
I'll find out if Advanced Auto did or didn't do a load test and I'll either take it back to them or to Pep Boys or Autozone to get a load test done.
I would do a 3 AMP charge for 24 Hrs. If you already did that and it still was toast after 3 days then I'd say maybe it has a dead cell and can't handle the load.

The short trips don't help but even still, if nothing has changed from your typical routines it sounds like the battery is just done. There really is no rhyme or reason to suggest anything else. It doesn't seem like that car is draining anymore then it should when the vehicle is off. My .02
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      12-19-2016, 01:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff@TopGearSolutions View Post
I would do a 3 AMP charge for 24 Hrs. If you already did that and it still was toast after 3 days then I'd say maybe it has a dead cell and can't handle the load.

The short trips don't help but even still, if nothing has changed from your typical routines it sounds like the battery is just done. There really is no rhyme or reason to suggest anything else. It doesn't seem like that car is draining anymore then it should when the vehicle is off. My .02
Thanks again Jeff. I was doing 15 amp charges a few weeks and that didn't help. I came across the same thing last week to do a nice slow trickle charge. I don't know if I quite did a full 24 hours but it was probably at least a solid 15 hours trickle charge and the charger indicated it was full charged and it showed 12.6 volts on my multi meter.

I've kind of been leaning towards a battery and it doesn't cost and arm and a leg so it would be worth throwing that part at it. Obviously I'll go back to Advanced Auto, ensure they do a load test and hopefully it fails and I can get it covered under warranty.
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      12-19-2016, 01:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfish123 View Post
I'll find out if Advanced Auto did or didn't do a load test and I'll either take it back to them or to Pep Boys or Autozone to get a load test done.
If you have multiple cars in the family, it might be worth just investing in one of these for future use:
https://smile.amazon.com/BA5-100-120...battery+tester

Mine works great! Gives just as repeatable/accurate results as the super expensive carbon pile battery "load" bench testers used at the local battery supply house. It will tell you real quick if you have a dead cell or not.
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      12-19-2016, 01:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfish123 View Post
Thanks again Jeff. I was doing 15 amp charges a few weeks and that didn't help. I came across the same thing last week to do a nice slow trickle charge. I don't know if I quite did a full 24 hours but it was probably at least a solid 15 hours trickle charge and the charger indicated it was full charged and it showed 12.6 volts on my multi meter.

I've kind of been leaning towards a battery and it doesn't cost and arm and a leg so it would be worth throwing that part at it. Obviously I'll go back to Advanced Auto, ensure they do a load test and hopefully it fails and I can get it covered under warranty.
I'd definitely press the subject that your car shows no signs of a voltage leak when off and after 2-3 days of full charge indicated the car doesn't start. Also even at 12 volts indicated the battery doesn't have the cranking amperage to start the car. That pretty much says it all that the battery is defective in some regards.

I can empathize with your situation as I've been battling battery issues for several years now. They don't make them like they used to.
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      12-20-2016, 12:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCobra94 View Post
If you have multiple cars in the family, it might be worth just investing in one of these for future use:
https://smile.amazon.com/BA5-100-120...battery+tester

Mine works great! Gives just as repeatable/accurate results as the super expensive carbon pile battery "load" bench testers used at the local battery supply house. It will tell you real quick if you have a dead cell or not.
Thanks for the tip. We do have 2 cars in the family. For the price, this is something that would make sense to buy.
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      12-20-2016, 12:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff@TopGearSolutions View Post
I'd definitely press the subject that your car shows no signs of a voltage leak when off and after 2-3 days of full charge indicated the car doesn't start. Also even at 12 volts indicated the battery doesn't have the cranking amperage to start the car. That pretty much says it all that the battery is defective in some regards.

I can empathize with your situation as I've been battling battery issues for several years now. They don't make them like they used to.
I am going to. I had them test everything yesterday (battery load test, starter and alternator) and they all passed although the print out said the battery wasn't fully charged.

I trickle charged it overnight and it had just the load test done this morning. It had a little more voltage but not fully charged per Advanced Autozone's machine. Who knows - maybe my charger is functioning properly even though it said the battery was fully charged.

The guy at Advanced Auto said if I go back later today and press the issue with his boss they'll probably give me a new battery. I'll report back how I make out.

Below are the print outs from the 2 tests. CCA is not as high as it should be but then again its not fully charged. Does this tell us anything?
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      12-20-2016, 01:37 PM   #12
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I'm not a battery expert but I'd hope if I built a battery with a CCA of 900 it would meet or exceed that at the proper 12 volts.
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      12-20-2016, 06:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff@TopGearSolutions View Post
I'm not a battery expert but I'd hope if I built a battery with a CCA of 900 it would meet or exceed that at the proper 12 volts.
I'm with ya. Its not producing the rated CCA and its above 12 volts.

So long story short, they gave me the "if our machine says the battery is good we can't replace under warranty" Of course they said some BS like - "even if its showing half the rated CCA it should still start the car" And I'm thinking well then why not just save the money and buy a battery with half the rated CCA???!! I pushed the issue and the manager and he said to see a mechanic and if the mechanic can put something in writing stating he believes the battery is the issue they'll let me exchange it for a new one free of charge. So I'll jump through that hoop with my mechanic to not have to pay for a new one.

Once I get the new battery I'll let everyone know what happens.

Below is the 3rd test they just did. Car showed 12.8 volts on my battery charger at home. Was down to 12.37 volts after driving only 10 minutes to Advance auto and only showing CCA of 644. Kind of BS that they wouldn't replace based on that. I doubt its my alternator - if I drive for a long time it always starts up again unless I wait several days to drive again.

I think even putting a slight load on the battery for a very short period of time, whether its while the engine is on or during the go to sleep process, even a little load sucks the voltage out of it way more quickly than it should.
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      12-21-2016, 12:54 AM   #14
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Of course the battery is going to read higher voltage while being charged...the only way to get an accurate voltage reading would be to completely disconnect it from the charger and let it sit idle for at least a few hours before going at it with a voltmeter.

If they're giving you the run around, just find some way to drain that turd all the way down to nothing and charge it at high amperage a few times in a row until it kills a cell or two...that should trip their tester to classify it as a "Fail."
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      12-21-2016, 08:09 AM   #15
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Drive the car to AdvanceAP and when you get in their parking lot turn the engine off, but leave everything else on, turn the high beams on, heat/AC on max.....So it puts a load on the battery for 5-10 min before going in to have them test it.
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      12-28-2016, 08:57 PM   #16
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Thanks for everyone's help. After a battle I did get Advance Auto to give me a new battery today. If my car starts up consistently over the next week then I'm in the clear and it was the battery. I'll report back.

Also, and I don't think this caused the issue. but I registered my previous batteyr and set the proper type (AGM) and ah rating with the Aarly app. setting it is 90 ah AGM worked with Carly - I double checked and when I read the battery info that's what Carly reported back.

However, it looks like the registration did not work using the Carly app (telling it a new battery was installed). When I just double checked, Carly found no record of previous registration. I went ahead and registered with both INPA and Toolset32 just be sure. I then ran the Carly app again it did read the most recent battery registration.

Tip for everyone - double check if you register with Carly. If done correctly is should report the kilometers on the odometer when the battery was last registered.
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      12-29-2016, 11:51 AM   #17
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i had a battery drain, turned out it was the PDC module that was faulty and would keep the car awake, found out after $1200 in diagnosis
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      01-10-2017, 08:21 PM   #18
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So it ended up being my battery. I've had a new battery for about 1.5 weeks. No issues with starting or battery drain.
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