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Jonny-Jimbo
November 13, 2017, 1:13pm Report to Moderator

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Hi all,

One of 'moderns' has developed an electrical drain... What is the best way to try to identify it? Disconnect the battery at the -Ve lead and use a voltmeter to see what the draw is (if any), then pull fuses until it drops to zero? Or leave the battery on and use a voltmeter across all the fuses to see what's flowing?



62 Vitesse 1600 - Slammed & modified
67 2000 - Fitted with 2.5 o/d - 2012 RBRR, 2015 Essex Rally, 2016 HCR, 2016 RBRR
67 2000 Estate - Dormant
70 Herald 13/60 - First car, many bits
77 CZ 125 Sport - 70 miles on the clock
77 Kawasaki KM90 - Shop hack
81 Yamaha DT125 - Many bits
88 Ginetta G4/4 - Dead
88 BMW E30 320i - For Sale
89 Citroen AX GT - Rally car!
90 BMW E30 318iS - Building to FIA spec
90 Mazda Eunos 1.6 - 'Popeye'
93 BMW 530i - Donor
95 BMW E34 540i - 4L V8
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efp
November 13, 2017, 1:46pm Report to Moderator

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I’m no electrician, but think you need to measure the current draw across each fuse with an ammeter, rather than volts. Something might leap out as obviously sucking current.  It’s not simple on a modern as some circuits continually draw a little, like alarm, and some take up to 30 minutes to go to sleep after stopping.
But check the simple first? Anything you’ve fiddled with recently or has been acting strangely?  Are you sure the interior/ boot/ glove box lights go off when closed?

Went through this recently on my Merc, turned out to be the alarm siren unit in the whelarch: internal rechargeable batteries within had died and leaked, eating up the circuit board and shorting, trying to continually sound a non functioning siren..
Killed the battery and locked me out with no functioning keys. What a game that was..
Hope yours is simpler.


1967 Spitfire MkII, nearing end of restoration
1965 Land Rover S2A, awaiting MOT
2002 BMW 535i,  daily driver, 114k on the clock
2004 Mercedes CLK 200K, alternate daily driver, 143k on clock
1976 International 464 tractor....
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JohnD
November 13, 2017, 2:56pm Report to Moderator


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JJ, if you disconnect the battery there will be no volts to draw or drop!
And disconnecting the battery on moderns can cause problems with alarms etc.
Might be better to use the resistance mode, with a lead on the earth terminal, and probe the circuits looking for a low or earth.  Trouble there is knowing what the various circuit resistances should be.

To measure current needs the multimeter to be in continuity, which means breaking the circuit to do so, unless you buy a clamp meter, that puts a loop around d the wire to measure by induction.  But they are costly:  
https://www.screwfix.com/p/kew.....znu9cCFSSJ7Qod_74D5w

John


Serial Vitesse racer.

Old Blue.  1995-2001
Silverback. 2001-2007
SofS. 2007 - to date.

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RobPearce
November 13, 2017, 3:14pm Report to Moderator

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Current clamps are good but they tend to be designed for much higher currents than you're probably looking for.
As EFP says, you need an ammeter, in series, which means disconnecting things and that, as John says, can be problematic on moderns.

It's probably the central locking or alarm module, especially if it's ever been near a VAG factory. Or it could be that the battery has failed without warning, as happened to my modern last Christmas.


Current fleet
1967 Vitesse 2L conv "Tessa"
1970 Spitfire Mk3 (project) "Toby"
1972 GT6 Mk3
Not enough time or space
Recently sold:
1972 2.5 PI estate "Harry" (gone to russell on here)
1973 Toledo 2-door "Spike" (gone to a club official)
Used to have:
1968 Vitesse 2L saloon
1980 Dolomite 1500
1977 Dolomite 1850
1980 Dolomite Sprint
1982 TR7 DHC Sprint
1975 2500S saloon
1971 Herald 13/60 Estate (with 1500 Spit engine)
1975 Stag
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Jonny-Jimbo
November 13, 2017, 3:52pm Report to Moderator

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I should have put more detail in... when i say 'modern' I mean a 1994 BMW. I have not fiddled with anything, as AJ has only just bought the car - and decided she wanted a V8.

I checked it with the multi-meter in series, with the battery disconnected, and it showed no draw even down to the milli-scale.

It's a brand new battery, 2 week old Yuasa 110 Silver.


62 Vitesse 1600 - Slammed & modified
67 2000 - Fitted with 2.5 o/d - 2012 RBRR, 2015 Essex Rally, 2016 HCR, 2016 RBRR
67 2000 Estate - Dormant
70 Herald 13/60 - First car, many bits
77 CZ 125 Sport - 70 miles on the clock
77 Kawasaki KM90 - Shop hack
81 Yamaha DT125 - Many bits
88 Ginetta G4/4 - Dead
88 BMW E30 320i - For Sale
89 Citroen AX GT - Rally car!
90 BMW E30 318iS - Building to FIA spec
90 Mazda Eunos 1.6 - 'Popeye'
93 BMW 530i - Donor
95 BMW E34 540i - 4L V8
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cliftyhanger
November 13, 2017, 4:00pm Report to Moderator

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I would be checking the battery. Is the same as one of your other cars?? The timing looks about right, and although unusual a duff battery is a possibility.
Zero current doesn't sound right either, would expect something to register, maybe 2-5mA? No expert here but radio etc all have a tiny tiny draw.


Clive Senior

Location-Brighton, East Sussex
Foxy is here, 1500od tax exempt Toledo. Now has the decent engine back in Slant 4 engine bolted in, sprint box and axle.Now has fresh MoT. Needs paint though.
Spitfire Zetec project is started work progressing slooooowly on the road!
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efp
November 13, 2017, 4:03pm Report to Moderator

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Quoted from RobPearce

It's probably the central locking or alarm module, especially if it's ever been near a VAG factory. Or it could be that the battery has failed without warning, as happened to my modern last Christmas.


In my albeit limited experience of moderns, the dangers of disconnecting the battery, at least briefly, seem to have become a bit overblown and the stuff of urban legend. I’ve yet to have had any problems other than the audio losing its settings and the windows needing retraining. But the owners manual should give you an express warning if it’s an issue on your car. Maybe I’ve just been lucky..

Yes, a multimeter (on the right settings!) across the fuse base should give you the draw, which should be nothing or just a few milliamps at rest. But one fuse can be feeding several circuits so it’s only a starting point sometimes.

No help in your immediate problem JJ, but if like me you are forever juggling batteries of suspect vintage, I heartily recommend getting something like this, which can measure the actual cranking amps left in a battery, not just the voltage which is a pretty useless indicator of its health



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1967 Spitfire MkII, nearing end of restoration
1965 Land Rover S2A, awaiting MOT
2002 BMW 535i,  daily driver, 114k on the clock
2004 Mercedes CLK 200K, alternate daily driver, 143k on clock
1976 International 464 tractor....
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Jonny-Jimbo
November 13, 2017, 6:24pm Report to Moderator

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I've got a fairly good battery charger than can test the CCA of a battery.

As I said the battery is brand new and only 2 weeks old at most.

Yesterday the battery voltage was at 12.6V (parked, nothing turned on), and today was 12.5V in the same condition.

One of the problems is that the battery is under the rear seat on the drivers side, and the fuse box is in the engine bay on the passenger side between the primary and secondary bulkheads. My intention is to monitor the battery voltage over the next week or so, taking a reading each day.


62 Vitesse 1600 - Slammed & modified
67 2000 - Fitted with 2.5 o/d - 2012 RBRR, 2015 Essex Rally, 2016 HCR, 2016 RBRR
67 2000 Estate - Dormant
70 Herald 13/60 - First car, many bits
77 CZ 125 Sport - 70 miles on the clock
77 Kawasaki KM90 - Shop hack
81 Yamaha DT125 - Many bits
88 Ginetta G4/4 - Dead
88 BMW E30 320i - For Sale
89 Citroen AX GT - Rally car!
90 BMW E30 318iS - Building to FIA spec
90 Mazda Eunos 1.6 - 'Popeye'
93 BMW 530i - Donor
95 BMW E34 540i - 4L V8
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Hogie
November 13, 2017, 7:41pm Report to Moderator
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Hi JJ,
           what was the temperature around the battery overnight. Cold weather with reduce the battery volts.

Roger


TR4A 1967 daily(ish) driver
TR41962  having surgery at present
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efp
November 13, 2017, 8:39pm Report to Moderator

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Hope my responses didn't sound condescending J-J, not intended, just had a similar issue recently. I so much more prefer our ancients where few problems can't be solved without the right AF spanner and a large hammer..


1967 Spitfire MkII, nearing end of restoration
1965 Land Rover S2A, awaiting MOT
2002 BMW 535i,  daily driver, 114k on the clock
2004 Mercedes CLK 200K, alternate daily driver, 143k on clock
1976 International 464 tractor....
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sparky_spit
November 13, 2017, 10:15pm Report to Moderator

Mike Banks
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Quoted from Jonny-Jimbo


I checked it with the multi-meter in series, with the battery disconnected, and it showed no draw even down to the milli-scale.



Hi Jon - you may actually mean something a bit different to what you have written there?  If you disconnect the battery, and put a multi-meter in circuit in series, then you will see no current draw. This is because there is no battery voltage being applied to a fault/load/something switched on to create any current draw to measure.

Or am I being too literal and you actually mean something else?


Location - North Essex

1968 MkIII Spitfire - 2009, 2013, 2015 10CR. 2009, 2010 Nachtrit. 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 HCR (..and 11/14ths of the 2011 10CR)
Yamaha RS200 two stroke smoke machine.
Royal Enfield Bullet 500
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bxbodger
November 13, 2017, 10:49pm Report to Moderator

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All you need to do is disconnect the battery positive, set your meter to the amp setting (careful with the leads) and connect it between the battery and positive cable, and you should see a current draw. Some of it will be the radio, some of it will be whatever is draining the battery. You then just pull fuses one by one until you see the draw drop. That will lead you to the problem item.


'68 Mk1 Vitesse convertible boneshaker, and a somewhat more economical '89 998cc A series powered Metro.
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RedRooster
November 14, 2017, 2:18pm Report to Moderator


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Quoted from bxbodger
All you need to do is disconnect the battery positive, set your meter to the amp setting (careful with the leads) and connect it between the battery and positive cable, and you should see a current draw. Some of it will be the radio, some of it will be whatever is draining the battery. You then just pull fuses one by one until you see the draw drop. That will lead you to the problem item.


2nd that.


GT6 Mk3, the Rooster    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8W1XSjFB6g  tune on the radio the first time it broke down, 5 miles after i bought it
http://www.triumph-club-de-fra.....estauration-dune-gt6  
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Spitfire6
November 14, 2017, 7:40pm Report to Moderator


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Hi,

3rd that.

You can buy a fused current monitor that plugs in to the fuse holder in place of the fuse to measure current. Got mine from Maplin several years ago.

A 1 amp diode "plugged" into the subject fuse, the correct way round, will allow you to have battery connected and measure the current by putting a multi meter on milliamps in parallel with the diode.

Cheers,
Iain.


Me in Burnley, GB
Spitfire 6 EFI Alpha N (Emerald K3 ECU). Big fat 215/40/16's on the backside. (They fit and minimal camber change). Custom cooling system with 20% EG for winter with 2% corrosion inhibitor. LED's all round. NT 5W40 Oil. 3.27 diff with a LSD by Quaife. TR6 Transmission + J Type.

PUG 206CC 2L twin-Cam. NT 5W40 Oil
Automation and control systems engineer.
RIP Step-7 Classic. Long live Portal V14
IEEE Member
G6SBH
Yaesu FT 102 with all the extra's.

http://www.SpitFire6.UK               Main site- work in progress

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Jonny-Jimbo
November 16, 2017, 1:51pm Report to Moderator

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For the last 5 days the battery voltage has sat at 12.5 or 12.6... this would suggest to me that there is not an electrical drain and the previous owner just had a dead battery and didn't know what to do with it.


62 Vitesse 1600 - Slammed & modified
67 2000 - Fitted with 2.5 o/d - 2012 RBRR, 2015 Essex Rally, 2016 HCR, 2016 RBRR
67 2000 Estate - Dormant
70 Herald 13/60 - First car, many bits
77 CZ 125 Sport - 70 miles on the clock
77 Kawasaki KM90 - Shop hack
81 Yamaha DT125 - Many bits
88 Ginetta G4/4 - Dead
88 BMW E30 320i - For Sale
89 Citroen AX GT - Rally car!
90 BMW E30 318iS - Building to FIA spec
90 Mazda Eunos 1.6 - 'Popeye'
93 BMW 530i - Donor
95 BMW E34 540i - 4L V8
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