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2G Frequent drained battery. Need help.

Posted by PFC_CiarlilloM, Feb 2, 2013

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  1. PFC_CiarlilloM

    PFC_CiarlilloM Proven Member

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    Euclid, Ohio
    Okay so I've been having a problem with starting my car for the last couple weeks to a month.

    It started out of no where one morning before I went to work. I came out to leave, and my car was dead. Of course, it was running perfectly the day before, and never had any issues with starting. I jumped my car, and went off to work without any problems. I started the car up on the way home, and had no issues. The next morning went to go leave, and the car was dead. I had the battery tested, and it checked out fine. It seemed to do this if it sat for 8 hours/overnight without being started.

    The next morning it wouldn't start, so I jumped it, and in the process of reversing it just died. I figured it was due to not letting it run for awhile since I was late to work, and went to go jump it, but had no luck getting her to start -didn't even turn over in fact. I had to have a friend drive me to work.

    I came home from work, went to go get the battery charged, and it came back with a dead cell. I figured okay it was probably just the battery on its way out, wasn't holding a charge, and a new one should solve the problem.

    Anyways, I bought a slightly bigger Autocraft battery with 800CCA/1000CC and got it to fit in place. I went to go start the car, and it didn't even turn over.
    After checking my fuses I noticed I blew the 20amp engine/motor fuseable link under the hood. [Maybe blew when the battery cell went?] Replaced it, and she started up without any issues.

    And that was the end of my starting issues... atleast so I thought, until now.

    Today, I went to go start my car, and it wouldn't even turn over. I tried jumping it, and it'd turn over, but wouldn't start. I went to go have it tested, and it was at 0% charge.

    I just installed the dash trim kit for the radio the other day since it was just sitting there because the radio brackets were missing, but I made sure to wire everything properly, and use electrical tape since I couldn't really solder the wires. Also I completely disconnected the radio a couple days before, and it didn't seem to have any affect.

    So my question is where would you guys start troubleshooting? Are there any common places that shorts/draws occur in our cars?

    I guess I can pull my radio again, check the wiring to my gauges, and check the wiring to my Evo 8 ecu swap. Everything I do is right, and not careless to save from doing it twice. So maybe it has something to do with a previous owner. Even though the battery is bigger I don't think it's grounding out on the hood. I mean wouldn't I be able to tell when I'm driving?

    On a side note, I want to look into replacing the alternator because when I turn my headlights on, my interior lights dim, and my RPM's will drop a few hundred as well.
     

    230  0

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  2. 99BoostedRS

    99BoostedRS Proven Member

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    Do a parasitic drain test. You'll find the problem (if its a parasitic drain) real quick like that.
     

    335  0

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    · 2G DSM
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  3. PFC_CiarlilloM

    PFC_CiarlilloM Proven Member

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    Euclid, Ohio
    I literally was just watching a video on that. I'd start on it now, but unfortunately my battery is at a parts store overnight charging. I'll get on that first thing tomorrow.
     

    230  0

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  4. Bowlesy

    Bowlesy Probationary Member

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    Gales Ferry, Connecticut
    It may also be an alternator issue. Your alternator may have a bad diode and that can drain your battery pretty quick.
     
  5. luv2rallye

    luv2rallye DSM Wiseman

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  6. silversgst

    silversgst Proven Member

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    To test the alternator diode, get a volt meter, put on AC volts. put both leads on + and - post of battery. If your getting any AC over 1/10 you need a new alternator. very fast way to test. #1 on the parasitic draw test too.
     

    428  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    · 2G DSM
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  7. Colt4G63 also

    Colt4G63 also Proven Member

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    I'm all for testing the questionable alternator first. All the symptoms point to it.
     

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  8. PFC_CiarlilloM

    PFC_CiarlilloM Proven Member

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    So I tried doing the parasitic drain test today, but it's just way too cold outside. I put the DVOM on DC 10amp setting, put the (+) lead on the negative cable, and put the (-) lead on the negative terminal post, and I got a reading of just 1. I am having a hard time thinking that I am receiving a 1 amp draw exactly for some reason. It was also very hard to keep the reading as well for some reason even though I had both leads touching bare metal. I have new terminal connectors, and a brand new battery. I bought the DVOM meter the other day so maybe it's just me.

    This is the method I am using by the way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KF1gijj03_0
     

    230  0

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  9. foxracing4500

    foxracing4500 Proven Member

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    State College, Pennsylvania
    I am done with all this bullshit parasitic drains. My DSM isnt a daily driver but mine was dead this morning, its my fault though because I dont have a Kill Switch. Once I wire that in i am flicking it every time my car off. as for stored LTFT, F-it I already get 18 mpg thanks to its heavy ass.
     

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    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    automatic · 2G DSM
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  10. 99BoostedRS

    99BoostedRS Proven Member

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    Queens, New York
    ^ ok? That rant doesn't help anybody. And it's also a dumb way to "get rid of" a parasitic draw.

    Ok since you have a draw of 1 amp you have a parasitic drain. While you have the DVOM hooked up the way you had it start pulling fuses. Once it drops really low (.1 - .5 about) you have your culprit. And from there you have to find out why it's not turning off.
     

    335  0

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    · 2G DSM
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  11. luv2rallye

    luv2rallye DSM Wiseman

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    Are you getting 1 or 1.0? Usually meters that read only 1 are indicating an out of range condition (in your case over the meters maximum - eg. 10A). You can damage the meter by trying to measure current more than the meter can handle. Re-read my article on how to use a light bulb in series if that ia the case.
     

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    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    14.200 @ 95.000 · 2G DSM
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  12. Black-Out

    Black-Out Proven Member

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    Joined May 2, 2011
    Austin, Texas
    Body draw on any car (even cars with a bodycontrol module) really shouldn't exceed .050 amps, (50 miliamps) if you have a draw of .5 amps that is still a 1/2 amp draw which can leave your cars battery dead if you were to store the vehicle in just a matter of days. The main thing you need to pin point the extent of the draw is to use a quality DVOM (think Fluke) that can read finite voltages present in any circuit that you are testing- On avaerage most vehicles will exibit a draw of about .012-.050 miliamps if the electrical system isn't problematic, and thats even on cars with the BCU.

    I agree with the above stated process for identifying the main circuit resposible for the draw which is to pull fuses till there is a significant drop in parisitic draw, however keep in mind that the limitation to finding the issue will be in the meter itself. You can pull a fuse and think that you've found your issue but still have a draw of 100 miliamps which is an above average drain that will take a toll on battery life if the vehicle is sitting longer than a 24hr period with out use....


    Will-
     

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    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    · 2G DSM
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  13. 99BoostedRS

    99BoostedRS Proven Member

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    Very well said. I wasn't too sure on the max amp draw so good job on clearing it up.
     

    335  0

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    · 2G DSM
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  14. PFC_CiarlilloM

    PFC_CiarlilloM Proven Member

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    Update: So I returned my DVOM that I picked up from a parts store because I suspected that it wasn't reading properly, and picked up a 20amp DVOM from Harbor Freight. Normally I don't trust HF ,for quality reasons, but it was the only 20amp DVOM I could find that wasn't 75 dollars or more.

    Anyways, I came back around 10pm, and it was already cold so I just tested it to see if it read right. I noticed when I took the negative cable off, and tied it in series that the prob actually sparked a little bit.

    I proceeded to set it to DC 20amps, and immediately saw a reading of 7.xx. What's funny is the reading slowly kept going down, and down until it read roughly .34-38 and stayed there for a couple seconds. After a few seconds, I heard what sounded like an audible click, and at that time the reading shot back up to 7.xx, and the proceed started all over again.

    I got inside the vehicle, closed the door, and began to listen. The click sounded like it was coming from near the pedal area, but I'm not 100% certain. Unfortunately, it was a bit to cold to perform the test. So I'll have to wait until it warms up tomorrow to start pulling fuses, and check the reading out.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2014

    230  0

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  15. luv2rallye

    luv2rallye DSM Wiseman

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    An uncharged capacitor will draw enough current to create a spark when first connecting battery cable, and then it draws less and less as it charges up. You don't have one of those farad capacitors to help power a 1000 watt amp do you? When fully charged it should not draw any more current however, and there should not be any click unless it has an internal short problem in the capacitor. Disconnect any amp and large capacitors to see effect. Also disconnect any aftermarket alarm, TT, and remote start to see effect. Otherwise follow the click.

    Know that your previous 10A meter may have blown an internal fuse (due to a current spike more than 10A). Your 20A meter usually doesn't put a fuse in the 20A current setting. It usually says on the face if the 20A jack is unfused.
     

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  16. PFC_CiarlilloM

    PFC_CiarlilloM Proven Member

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    I have no capacitors in my car or an aftermarket amp in my car as well. I only replaced the speakers, and the radio/headunit was replaced by the previous owner. I rechecked the wiring when I put in the radio brackets/dash trim kit, and everything looked good wiring wise.

    I did however find what appears to be an alarm system underneath my steering wheel up under the trim that is above the knee/leg area. I got rid of a whole slew of nasty aftermarket wires that were there, but I guess I missed some since I found a handful more just briefly looking for where the click came from.

    I actually checked the fuse on the 10 amp DVOM and it was fine, but you're right regarding the 20amp DVOM - It's unfused.

    I just find this whole ordeal odd - The starting at 7.xx amps, and then going down, hear an audible click, then go back to 7.xx amps. Any idea's? I was more shooting for a somewhat constant number, and just pulling fuses until it drops below 50mA

    okay so found the circuit causing the draw: the power windows. My question is does the power windows have a relay? because I am hearing some clicking going on under by the pedals.
     

    230  0

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  17. luv2rallye

    luv2rallye DSM Wiseman

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    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013

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    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    14.200 @ 95.000 · 2G DSM
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  18. PFC_CiarlilloM

    PFC_CiarlilloM Proven Member

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    Thanks luv2rallye for the link. I was super busy when I was at work earlier so asked rather then searched first. Either way I hope this is a simple fix. I really don't want to know what I'll find when I look underneath the driver's side leg area.
     

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    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  19. Joe' GSX

    Joe' GSX Proven Member

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    Thanks for this article going to try all the above soon. My car has been having similar issues , I have bought and warrantied like 5 Optima red top batteries by now . Car turns on then next day is dead. Alternator was replaced 3 times. What is weird is that my interior and head lights are dim on start up, id have to rev the engine to about 3k Rpm to get them to light up. Then it runs fine until the next day LOL when it is dead .
     

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    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  20. luv2rallye

    luv2rallye DSM Wiseman

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  21. Joe' GSX

    Joe' GSX Proven Member

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    Thank you , will try and find I today
     

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    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  22. Joe' GSX

    Joe' GSX Proven Member

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    So I did the drain test, connected test light clip to negative terminal and test light point to battery post, whenever I do this is normal for the fuel pump to be making noise? my fuel pump buzzes pretty loudly when doing this and key is not in and doors are closed. Will that most likely be my culprit? Tied everything else as far as moving wires pulling fuses and relays and nothing shut the light of the test light off, the high beam switch on the aftermarket head lights made the test light shine much brighter but I guessed that would be normal? Power lock button dimmed the light but didn't go off. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
     

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    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  23. luv2rallye

    luv2rallye DSM Wiseman

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    Yep sounds like you found the culpret. Was the fuel pump rewired or changed recently?
     

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    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    14.200 @ 95.000 · 2G DSM
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  24. Joe' GSX

    Joe' GSX Proven Member

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    I’ve never touched the pump, not sure if previous owner had i guess ill check it out tonight, what should I look out for besides damaged fuel pump wires?
     

    Street Build 319  3

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  25. luv2rallye

    luv2rallye DSM Wiseman

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    If it's still the stock fuel pump and wiring first pull the fuel pump relay to see if you still have the drain (light on).
     

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    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    14.200 @ 95.000 · 2G DSM
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