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WAAAAY OT: Intermittent Battery Drain? Impreza

 
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eric

Since 13 Jan 2006
1251 Posts

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PostSun Apr 01, 18 5:44 pm    WAAAAY OT: Intermittent Battery Drain? Impreza Reply with quote

Came out to stone dead car. Jumped it, and everything perfect for the rest of the day. Started right up the next morning. Drove 2 miles and parked it for 40 mins while getting a workout. Stone dead--auto locks wouldn't even work. Jumped it at lunch and drove it to Greentree Auto. Dave had it for a week while we were out of town and could not get car to replicate. I drove by Greentree lot just today after it being there for a week and it fired right up. I do have an aftermarket stereo with big amp, sub woofer etc. Currently disconnected. But I am thinking that even a big amp that didn't shut off wouldn't drain a battery in 40 minutes? I feel like I have listened to music in my car with car off for almost that long, before.

Battery and charging system has tested out A-okay by both Napa and Greentree. Someone did mention that batteries can short out individual cells? Regardless, my extent of electrical knowledge is "don't lick a light socket."

Since NWkite is also NWSubie, wondering if anyone has a lead for me to follow?

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WindSki

Since 14 Dec 2012
303 Posts
Portland
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PostSun Apr 01, 18 6:41 pm     Reply with quote

How old is the battery?
If it's an older battery, this is a sign that its going bag. Its is old, say 4 year then buy a new one first.

EVEN if they test it and say its ok, if its old, 4+ then first try a new one. Their battery test is not 100% its just a volt / amp tester, not amp draining

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eric

Since 13 Jan 2006
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PostSun Apr 01, 18 7:32 pm     Reply with quote

Roger that

Off to Napa Monday

Obliged

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craz z

Since 01 Dec 2008
110 Posts
Montana
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PostMon Apr 02, 18 6:56 am     Reply with quote

The only way to test battery health is with a carbon pile load tester. I'm sure even the basic tests done included this. 100-400 amp draw needs to hold 9-10v if it drops further then the battery is weak and needs to be replaced.

I've seen batterys that hold a charge and will pull a fair test load and then out of nowhere just drop off like a rock those are the tricky ones. stress the crap out of it with the load tester. a fresh battery will blow the surface charge and should bounce back to normal or 12.7 fairly quickly a bad one will be erradict and slowly rise back to nominal voltage but even a small load will sag the voltage down to say 10v then you really know you have a bad battery.

As far as parasitic draw that you describe. 40 minutes seems a little short which could indicate a weak battery unless a high load device is sucking it down. The technician will need to perform a voltage drop test to find the culprit that is draining the battery when the key is off.

Amps and stereo equipment can cause a battery to rapidly drain even when turned off. however without proper testing with the voltage drop tests there is a million guesses and then some as to what is causing the drain.

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voy-tech

Since 08 Apr 2014
330 Posts
SE Portland
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PostMon Apr 02, 18 7:19 am     Reply with quote

I had something like that happen to my Outback - it started unfortunately with me failing to notice that the trunk light was flipped to always on (probably switched it by accident as I was moving in/out my kite or ski gear). The battery was about 4 years old around that time, after that i tried recharging overnight a couple times but it would drain back to zero every couple days (it was during last years winter which didn't help). I ended up buying a new (and bigger) battery - the Subaru service guys told me that the stock batteries Subaru put in around 2014/2015 were not that great. (I also made sure the trunk light is in the right position since then).
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eric

Since 13 Jan 2006
1251 Posts

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PostMon Apr 02, 18 7:34 am     Reply with quote

Thanks all. Having shop put in a higher quality Interstate battery this morning. I did clean off a lot of gunk on leads three weeks ago--a lot. Thinking now battery had been leaking a bit and may be culprit. got it at Les S almost 4 years ago and car does a lot of short trips. Stock Impreza battery croaked after 2.5 years, btw
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craz z

Since 01 Dec 2008
110 Posts
Montana
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PostMon Apr 02, 18 8:29 am     Reply with quote

Very Happy Was gonna ask about corrosion. Little green crusties significantly increases small amp draws.

SLA batteries are known to vent around the posts. I always recommend putting felt pads around the posts to slow the process down.

Here is an example.
https://www.amazon.com/Power-Anti-Corrosion-Fiber-Washers-12-Volt/dp/B000CQFS0O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522685997&sr=8-1&keywords=battery+felt+pads

Don't forget to maybe apply some of this also reduces the crusties.

https://www.amazon.com/NOCO-M101S-Battery-Corrosion-Preventative/dp/B004BSVZR4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522686186&sr=8-2&keywords=noco+corrosion




Both of these products can be found in the auto section at wally world for less then 5$

Don't apply noco when hooking up the battery terminals only for surface application after they are hooked up be surprised if you ever see the crusties again with these gems put on.

I'd still be looking for a parasitic draw 50Milliamps is MAX on most cars. sometimes you need to do these tests on newer vehicles an HOUR after everything goes to sleep to get an accurate reading.

Like voytech said a hidden light or switch can easily give you a dead battery.

I love the LED's they make now for all interior lights not only are they a game changer for seeing things in the dark they also have a highly reduced amp draw. Just don't get too crazy with doing turns and headlights they can be illegal and cause hyperflashing but for the interior is why didn't they come stock with them?

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wannabekiter

Since 14 May 2015
175 Posts
Hood river
Stoked



PostMon Apr 02, 18 10:02 am    Battery Reply with quote

I am assuming they used a low amp current probe to check for a draw.
Have seem several batteries load check good with a carbon pile but fail a specific gravity test on each cell. There is more then one way to test a battery.
Also they are not kiters So why are you going there?
I am a kiter Very Happy

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craz z

Since 01 Dec 2008
110 Posts
Montana
Stoked



PostMon Apr 02, 18 10:37 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
Have seem several batteries load check good with a carbon pile but fail a specific gravity test on each cell. There is more then one way to test a battery.


Very Happy Agree

and to throw some more wrenches in the gears. How bout when the stereo junkie rolls in with an agm u know the optima's no SG tests on those.

At least the crusties won't show up tho. Very Happy

I would certainly support the kiter like Wannabe that will go the extra mile thourghly testing everything rather then just throwing parts at things that might not need it.

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Bennett

Since 26 Sep 2014
15 Posts
Portland
 



PostWed Apr 11, 18 9:52 am     Reply with quote

Just wanted to mention we solved a similar problem (similar symptoms) by ripping out an after market security system a previous owner had installed. It was apparently shorting out somewhere. Only cost $25 to have it removed by a car stereo shop.

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eric

Since 13 Jan 2006
1251 Posts

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PostWed Apr 11, 18 10:26 am     Reply with quote

It appears that the most simple explanation was correct. Replaced battery two weeks ago and no issues.

Appreciate the sage advice very much

Eric

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barfly

Since 31 Mar 2005
1179 Posts
Seaside
BRACKISH



PostFri Apr 27, 18 9:45 am     Reply with quote

Looks like this was resolved.

I'd like to hijack this auto thread and see if anyone can recommend a body guy in the Portland area. I have a 2005 car that I bought for the kids, they tested the side by trying to squeeze through an alley opening that was too small. Don't need top of the line body work.

Thanks!!

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