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Old 02-12-2019, 11:00 AM   #1
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Engine Battery Drain

Hi All,

I've got a 07 E350 V10, and I am having a serious battery drain problem that I can't figure out. Engine battery is brand new, and if the cvan doesn't run for 2-days, it is stone cold dead. Some things that where added that I thought may have been related to this where LED off-road lights, and a 5-star live-wire tuner. I've unhooked both, charged the battery up, and two day latter it is dead. I've also disconnected my house battery to isolate (just in case it is the isolation switch that is leading to the drain) from the system and still no luck in keeping a charge.

Any thoughts on troubleshooting or where to start??

Thanks!

Nick
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:38 AM   #2
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I recommend fully disconnecting the engine (start) battery from everything, charging it, and then checking it in a couple of days. If the start battery checks out OK at that point, at least you can rule out the start battery as the culprit, regardless if its new or not. Some brand new batteries have issues (e.g. a bad cell).




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Old 02-12-2019, 03:48 PM   #3
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I recommend fully disconnecting the engine (start) battery from everything, charging it, and then checking it in a couple of days. If the start battery checks out OK at that point, at least you can rule out the start battery as the culprit, regardless if its new or not. Some brand new batteries have issues (e.g. a bad cell).




Herb
Parasitic drains are frustrating. One of the old approaches is to disconnect the ground off the battery and put a test light between the battery ground post and ground battery cable. The drain normally illuminates the test light. Pull fuses one at a time if light goes out it identifies the circuit the drain is on that gets you closer. Alternators can also cause drain if you don't find a circuit drain. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:07 PM   #4
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Is this a converted van done by SMB? There is a radio switch in a lot of SMB builds that has a bad reputation of creating battery problems.

Did you have issues prior to replacing the battery?



Hopefully you disconnected the van side of the separator so you isolate the conversion not just the house battery. Some of the separators have been known to stick in a closed position. Just make sure everything that runs off your house battery is dead. I agree with Herb, pull the starting cables off and give the battery a good charge. A good battery will generally taper down to about an amp on the charger display w/i a few hours. Monitor the charge and make sure the amperage is dropping as the battery charges up. After it's fully charged, let it sit isolated overnight on the bench and see if it looses charge by morning. If it's a wet cell with caps that come off you can test it with a Hydrometer.



Look over the battery cable connectors closely for any green or white corrosion on the lugs or cables. You might be able to borrow a load tester from an auto parts store. If not stick the battery back in. When you make the final battery connection (usually the neutral) there should be no spark when the lead touches the lug. Use an amp meter if you have one. If not just try it again.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:52 PM   #5
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Thanks all for the replies. This is not a SMB conversion but a GSRV. I first replaced the battery that was in the Van when I bought it (according to the sticker, it looked like it was purchased 2010). I had disconnected the house battery all together to ensure there wasn't some drain through the isolator. Today I started thinking Alternator, and saw that with engine on, I was only getting around 13 volts at the battery posts, so I went down to Napa store and had them hook up the tester for the charging system that said voltage regulator bad. I'd have to say for anything on the V10, the alternator has probably got to be the easiest thing to get at, so that's good. Do you think that sounds like it could be the culprit and not some other voltage leach?
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:52 AM   #6
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If something internally to the alternator fails it could indeed create a parasitic draw and subsequently drain the starter battery. If an alternator tests bad then its time to replace it---NAPA's better new alternators with the lifetime warranty are a great value, typically just under $200 exchange for the stock version.
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:44 AM   #7
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I agree if it's not alternator you'll probably then head toward which circuit the drain is on. Battery health and alternator are the most simple and basic culprits to rule out first.
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Old 02-24-2019, 01:19 PM   #8
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What's the deal with the SMB radio switch? I have one, and need to hunt down a phantom battery load, as I'm also having battery issues and have a noticeable crackle when I reattach the neg lead. Replaced the alt last summer, and it charges well. Batteries 3yrs old or so, with old style battery isolator, which could be an issue too. Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb View Post
Is this a converted van done by SMB? There is a radio switch in a lot of SMB builds that has a bad reputation of creating battery problems.

Did you have issues prior to replacing the battery?



Hopefully you disconnected the van side of the separator so you isolate the conversion not just the house battery. Some of the separators have been known to stick in a closed position. Just make sure everything that runs off your house battery is dead. I agree with Herb, pull the starting cables off and give the battery a good charge. A good battery will generally taper down to about an amp on the charger display w/i a few hours. Monitor the charge and make sure the amperage is dropping as the battery charges up. After it's fully charged, let it sit isolated overnight on the bench and see if it looses charge by morning. If it's a wet cell with caps that come off you can test it with a Hydrometer.



Look over the battery cable connectors closely for any green or white corrosion on the lugs or cables. You might be able to borrow a load tester from an auto parts store. If not stick the battery back in. When you make the final battery connection (usually the neutral) there should be no spark when the lead touches the lug. Use an amp meter if you have one. If not just try it again.
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Old 02-24-2019, 02:31 PM   #9
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Engine Battery Drain

Hi guys,
I’ve had this problem for several years! As it has turned out, the drain was caused by a faulty starter on my Chevy 2005 Express van. After replacement I’ve had no problems with any continuing drain. Just
something you might want to check into.
Goid Luck,
ConnieKat
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Old 02-24-2019, 03:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Lakefever View Post
Parasitic drains are frustrating. One of the old approaches is to disconnect the ground off the battery and put a test light between the battery ground post and ground battery cable. The drain normally illuminates the test light. Pull fuses one at a time if light goes out it identifies the circuit the drain is on that gets you closer. Alternators can also cause drain if you don't find a circuit drain. Hope this helps.

I had to track down a parasitic drain on my Ford E150 SMB. Something in the connection to the radio was the problem. I went through all of the fuses until I hit the one that showed on the Multi-Meter that there wasn't a charge going through.
Now, I just leave that fuse out unless I'm on the road for a while. I also always carry one of those small jump start backup batteries.

Good luck with this!
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