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Old 02-13-2015, 05:09 PM   #1
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engine battery draining

I'm sure there is a question and answers existing for this one, but I couldn't find the information anywhere.

My engine battery is inexplicably and draining on its own. This is a new deal, never before an issue. I put a multimeter across the positive battery terminal and the main power cord to the engine etc (red) and I see 1.2 amps drawing. WOW, yes. For full disclosure, I did install a new Pioneer Stereo with backup camera and a huge-amplifier as well. The amp is directly connected to my deep cycle system so it cant be that (?). When I pull the connector from the factory stereo inputs to the stereo (effectively disconnecting it completely) I still read 1.2 amps. So, is the best course of action to pull individual fuses from the under-steering column fuse box and check the draw, replace as they are eliminated?

I have nothing Sportsmobile-related wired to the engine battery and no lights are on.

So, has anyone dealt with this and how did it turn out?

thanks.....joe
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Old 02-13-2015, 10:11 PM   #2
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Re: engine battery draining

What year is your rig, more specifically, do you know if you have a separator or isolator, that might have gone bad, my original SMB installed isolator went bad and was stuck "open" leading to the issue of the starter always getting drained by the house side. I replaced it with a sure power battery separator. By the way, do you have solar, that's the other part of the equation that solved our battery drainage issues after we got things sorted with the separator, new batteries and a new alternator. Good luck, there are many more on the forum much more knowledgeable than I am on the subject that may be able to troubleshoot a bit more.
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:02 PM   #3
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Re: engine battery draining

Checking the fuses is a good idea. It will help you isolate the cause if it related to those circuits. Having some watch the meter while you pull fuses will help speed up the process.
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Old 02-14-2015, 07:41 AM   #4
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Re: engine battery draining

You may want to check that your separator is not stuck on, this would mean any draw from the house side would be coming through. You should be able to verify by increasing your draw on the house side and see if it goes up. Not sure what kind of separator you have, but some more detailed help could come with that. But if you manually take the house side out of the equation, then you have taken care of 50% of the possibilities.

Secondly, look back at your install of new radio, did you you do it your self or have a shop do it. It is possible that something happened from that.

If you have a Surepower Separtaor, you can pull the ground wire to disconnect, but it is very possible that the relay itself is stuck closed, which pulling the ground would not isolate. So start by physically pulling the cable off and go from there.

greg
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:36 AM   #5
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Re: engine battery draining

thanks guys....
the idea to turn on 'house stuff' was a good one. I did that and it did spike. so I pulled the SurePower model 1315-200 isolator and the current dropped to 0.20 Amps. that's still a lot, but clearly a major improvement. The isolator has continuity across the in and out, so I'm going to assume its toast. Not sure why this has happened but ill just replace it and hope for the best. Is it possible that my shore-power charger that I use when I plug into the 'house' might have done that?

Also, I have a V-10 ford van.

Another thing I saw on a ford-forum was that the remote powered door locks could have a high draw.

And----its a Kenwood stereo, not Pioneer. It does have a 'constant power" line which has to draw something but I cant believe its as high as .20 Amp.

anyway, this is much better.



joe
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:37 AM   #6
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Re: engine battery draining

The relay is most likely toast, you can just replace it by itself, look for Trombetta 114-1211-020, it would be less then half the cost of a new unit, or upgrade to a Bluesea unit. If you get the Trombetta replacement the -020 is important.

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Old 02-24-2015, 09:49 AM   #7
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Re: engine battery draining

thanks.....in case anyone cares, I replaced the separator and all seems to be fine. My deep cycles also need to be replaced, but I expected that. I'd gladly take recommendations for a brand or model that is the best value. Those AGM rigs are pretty pricey.
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Old 02-24-2015, 10:48 AM   #8
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Re: engine battery draining

I still go with you get what you pay for. I've used cheaper brands but didn't have as good of luck as I have with the higher grade batteries. I've used Odyssey starting batteries and Lifeline house batteries, but yes you're correct Joe that they are pricey. A good AGM can be taken lower than 50% more often w/o much damage to the life of the battery. A lot depends on how you use and maintain the battery systems. There might be a point that if you constantly kill your batteries that a cheap battery replaced every few years might be a better option. Couple the fact that paralleled batteries that have a partner fail usually means replacing the other, the cost can be huge with a high grade battery system. Even the Sears Platinum batteries are very expensive...I just bought a set. I don't know how Costco warranties their batteries but that might be a good solution if they hand you a brand new battery for no questions asked when you've you purchase it from them & then it takes a dive after a couple years of service.
Deka makes a pretty good battery but I actually found a place that got me a good price on 2 Lifelines. My original Lifeline from 2006 still holds a good charge. It's unreal how priced up batteries are. I got two 4-D's for just under 800 bucks. Even Sears knocked off a 100 bucks when they found how difficult it was to replace the frame mounted starting batteries I had. You can check with Northern Arizona Wind and Sun who sells one called Sun Extender IIRC which is a Lifeline that doesn't have the standard Concorde warranty. You also might check with places that go through a lot of batteries like a golf coarse or business that repairs golf carts although more than likely they are still stuck in the 6v era. More and more AGM's are becoming a favorite. Perhaps you know a person who owns an auto shop that might get you a battery for cost?
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