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Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.Ask follow up questions if you need to. Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions. I was having a terrible problem with the wheel bearings on my 98 Chevy Cavalier and I suspect that using this website saved me plenty of time and money. Try our new Category View for Detailed topics segregated by their topic.Now it's even easier to find the information you need. You can also receive our Detailed Auto Topics, delivered to your computer, as soon as they are written. In review and in automotive terms, a parasitic drain is an electrical load that draws current from the battery when the ignition is turned off. As noted in a typical TSB for a late model GM vehicle, the Reserve Capacity (RC) rating multiplied by 0.6 gives the approximate available ampere-hours (AH) from full charge to complete rundown. Important: If the battery begins storage at 90% of full charge, reduce the available AH accordingly. Although the maximum rule of thumb recommended parasitic drain is around 30 mA (0.030 amps) a typical drain usually falls into the 7-12 mA range, even though some luxury vehicles do approach the maximum. Testing for parasitic battery drains has changed a lot since my dad taught me to connect a test light in series with the battery cable in the 1970’s. That test was great…if the problem was present when you connected the battery cable into series with the meter…and if you had a good fuse in the meter…and you didn’t forget and leave the meter in series with the cable when you opened the door (a 2 amp dome light trying to make it’s circuit path through a ? amp meter fuse) or worse yet, tried to start the engine. Here is the solution to all of this…just connect an inline fuse into series with your meter’s leads.
If your probe is accurate down to 100 mA, then you could be a regular MacGyver and make your own current multiplier by wrapping a piece of wire around a soda can 10 times.
If you are not inclined the spend the $70 bucks for one of these from the tool truck, just bop on down to the local parts or RV store and pick up a battery disconnect switch, sometimes also referred to as a RV knife switch. Next, with the high current battery disconnect switch closed, drive the vehicle and operate as many accessories as possible in order to duplicate the conditions that might be causing the battery drain. Since the BCM is usually the bus power mode master device you may see it wake up first followed by other modules it might be waking up. Hopefully your skills are sharper from this review of parasitic battery drain testing along with these tips that maybe are brand new to you.
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Excellent post – A pleasure reading a post by someone who is technically knowledgeable on the subject. Hi, I have isolated the draw on my 1992 Buick Regal to the fuse that controls the dome light, glove compartment light and door locks. Next to our garage there are two pipes sticking out of the ground a few inches or so with wires attached to them. Attach the test switch between the negative battery cable and the battery, and then road test the vehicle. Next, connect an amp meter to the switch to determine the parasitic amperage draw, and locate the excessive electrical drain on the battery.

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How draw battery real easy shoo rayner – author, This video draw battery real easy. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.
I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.
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Somewhere between full charge and complete rundown, the battery will reach a point at which it can no power the starter. Multiply the drain (in amps) by the time (in hours) the battery sits without being recharged.
But if that battery is at only 65% of full charge it is going to last only 2 weeks before giving the customer that “click click click” complaint. Whether you’re a student, technician, service writer or shop owner we want you to succeed through further your automotive knowledge.
So rather than buy a new one I just squeezed the prongs that hold the fuse in together so it will accept a smaller automotive glass fuse. But using the 7645 with your digital amp meter takes the guesswork out of a complicated job. Now that today's trucks use electronics full time, including the extra hotel loads for driver comfort, these electrical loads (parasitic loads) increase the demands on the vehicle electrical system.
The amount of current the parasitic load is drawing.For example, a small cooler plugged into a 12V power plug could draw four amps per hourand be left on for the entire weekend (72 hours). Diagnosing repeat battery failure is easier with an understanding of how they operate.A battery is usually considered dead when it fails to crank a vehicle.
Since she is a ditz she turned the lights off to the parking light position (causing them to stay on all night instead of turning off automatically had she left well enough alone). We have parked three different vehicles on the ground near the garage and all three ended up with a drained battery shortly after they were parked there. Worse, she parked close enough to the black car so that the red car rolled slightly into the black and the two were mashed together all night. Other task include, subsidizing the alternator at low engine speed, preserving memory for the onboard computers and keeping system voltage closely regulated. Now both act like their batteries have drained and when I try to jump the red car from the handy-dandy jumping box (portable battery charger) it turns over for a few seconds & dies. There is an inline fuse along the negative cable that is used to prevent current from the electrical system from blowing the multi-meter fuse. It is not hard to do this test and when ever I get a problem like this I do a battery load test first.
The lead acid battery operates by a chemical reaction between the sulfuric acid in the electrolyte, and the metal plates.A fully charged battery has positive plates, made of lead peroxide.

As the battery discharges, oxygen (O2) molecules in the lead peroxide, are displaced by the sulfur (SO4) from the sulfuric acid. Sulfur converts the plates to lead sulfate (PbSO4) and the oxygen combines with the acid to form water (H20). And at -19°C (0°F), the days are reduced to 25 percent of the days it could have lasted in warmer temperatures. When this occurs the battery is discharged and no longer produces the needed electricity.Recharging the battery immediately after discharge reverses the process. Allowing a battery to remain discharged, even for a short period will shorten the life considerably.
Sulfates on the lead plates become extremely difficult to remove if allowed to remain in place.
If not removed, they insulate the lead from the acid and the battery loses capacity.A similar situation occurs if the electrolyte becomes low.
Most often this is the result of overcharging, as with a bad alternator or exposure to extreme heat.Temperature has a dramatic affect on a battery.
Finally, if those quick checks don’t find it you will simply have to disconnect components or legs of the courtesy light circuit one at a time to test for the absence of a battery drain. Higher temperatures will increase output, but also shorten battery life.Colder temperatures slow the chemical reaction and reduce battery output. A battery reduced to 80 percent capacity by summer heat, may fall below 50 percent on the first cold day. Even a battery with 100 percent capacity at 80 degrees, will only produce around 65 percent of its capacity at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot weather does the damage and cold weather reveals it.Parasitic draw robs life from a batteryParasitic draw is current that continues to flow, even when the vehicle is switched off.
Everyone is familiar with the result of leaving headlights on or leaving lights on inside the vehicle. If one or more computers remain on, due to a malfunction, the current draw can easily increase ten fold. If the discharge is not too severe, the alternator may restore much of the power when the vehicle is driven. This is also extremely hard on the charging system and shortens alternator life.Parasitic draws of this nature may give no outward signs other than repeat battery failure. After each circuit is disabled the process must start again, waiting for everything to power down, before another reading can be taken. With the huge number of possibilities, the process may take several hours.A much more difficult problem is an intermittent draw. Testing for such a draw is impossible, unless it is occurring at the time the vehicle is tested.Professionals use judgement, experience and a great knowledge of the system to locate parasitic draws.
It can be one of the most difficult task in auto repair.Batteries that last considerably less than three years indicate a problem.

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