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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

I have a quite serious battery drain somewhere. I suspect a faulty Clifford 600 alarm and despite emails to Clifford they have so far failed to respond with suggestions... :roll:

So, what tools will I need to trace the leak myself? What is the correct procedure for doing it? Can anyone point me to a methodical guide written in layman's terms?! [smiley=book2.gif] :lol:

Failing that can anyone recommend a good auto electrician in the Tunbridge Wells/East Sussex/Kent borders?

I'm 90% sure it isn't the battery. It's only about two years old and a Bosch however is there a way of testing that too?

For what it's worth the voltmeter in my car is showing a health 13-14V when the car is running. I fully charged it over a 48 hour period and it was fine on Saturday. The car was not then used until Monday morning and it wouldn't even turn the starter over... [smiley=bigcry.gif]

Thanks,

Rich :p
 

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Hi, Remove negative battery cable & using a multimeter (digital is best) connect 1 lead to Neg cable & other lead to Neg battery post, set to Current/Amps, 10amp best to start with & if no reading reduce to 2 amp, 1 amp, 500Ma etc until you get a reading. Once you get a reading remove fuses until reading reduces.
Normal reading should be 100 Ma ish.

*****Set meter to current/amps 10 amp range BEFORE connecting meter.*****
Hoggy. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hoggy said:
Hi, Remove negative battery cable & using a multimeter (digital is best) connect 1 lead to Neg cable & other lead to Neg battery post, set to Current/Amps, 10amp best to start with & if no reading reduce to 2 amp, 1 amp, 500Ma etc until you get a reading. Once you get a reading remove fuses until reading reduces.
Normal reading should be 100 Ma ish.

*****Set meter to current/amps 10 amp range BEFORE connecting meter.*****
Hoggy. :D
Hoggy, thank you! :D

Battery is on charge overnight but I will do this first thing tomorrow. How do I test the battery? Also this is the Bosch I bought from that company you recommended. Can you remind me who they were just in case I need to invoke a warranty?

Thanks,

rich :p
 

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Hi Matty, Volts on a good standing battery should be 12.4 V ish, but knowing the standing volts won't tell you what is draining it.
Hoggy. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Neil said:
Have you got a Tracker? Could well be the culprit.
Yes, a tracker is fitted but not in use. Any idea where it would be located?

Thanks,

Rich :p
 

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rustyintegrale said:
Neil said:
Have you got a Tracker? Could well be the culprit.
Yes, a tracker is fitted but not in use. Any idea where it would be located?

Thanks,

Rich :p
Even if not activated it could be draining the battery, especially if old. I'm not sure there's one specific place they put them, which is kind of the point, so that anyone that nicks the car can't just go straight to that place and rip it out (but I could be wrong!). APS took mine out for me, and it was indeed the culprit - where it was I don't know (I did, but I can't remember!). Maybe Ed could help, as they "found" mine (I'll PM you my name/reg if it would be any help?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Neil said:
rustyintegrale said:
Neil said:
Have you got a Tracker? Could well be the culprit.
Yes, a tracker is fitted but not in use. Any idea where it would be located?

Thanks,

Rich :p
Even if not activated it could be draining the battery, especially if old. I'm not sure there's one specific place they put them, which is kind of the point, so that anyone that nicks the car can't just go straight to that place and rip it out (but I could be wrong!). APS took mine out for me, and it was indeed the culprit - where it was I don't know (I did, but I can't remember!). Maybe Ed could help, as they "found" mine (I'll PM you my name/reg if it would be any help?)
Neil, yes please that would be useful. I've already spoken to Ed about the problem so that could really help. Thanks!

Rich :p
 

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Its probably not appropriate to the TT, but a common fault on my Range Rover P38 was the remote entry sensor being triggered by stray RF signals from various domestic and industrial sources. The upshot is that the cars ECU keeps waking up from slumber mode, running for a fixed time, going to sleep and then being triggered again. The result was a flat battery overnight! I had it on my P38 and it took some finding.

There are fixes but wont mention them here as they apply to a different vehicle of course.

Hope this might help.

Brian
 

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By far the best way to measure current on a cars circuits is to measure across the fuses on the mV setting. I have a VW TSB somewhere which basically lists the mV reading vs. the size of the fuse (which is a set resistance) and will therefore tell you what each circuit is drawing. Just a simple ohms law calculation.

If you try and measure current in series you will just end up blowing the fuse in your meter as the peak current draw when going in series can be quite high and in my experience it just doesn't work in practice. Not when i've tried anyway. On a fluke the 10 amp scale is no good for measuring a mA loss and the only other range has a 500mA fuse which will probably blow straight away.

This is the only way to go on modern cars anyway as with CANBUS you wake up each module when you disturb the power giving you false current readings so measuring the voltage drop across the fuses is the best way.

Also bear in mind you might have to lock the car and frig the door/bonnet catch so it thinks the car is all locked so its in a condition where the alarm is armed also.
 

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Have you done a vagcom/vcds scan ?

G113 fault was the culprit for draining my battery overnight.

The code only showed up on the vcds when the air con system was in operation, when air con was switched off it still drained the battery

As always hope this may be of some help, if not for you, maybe for someone in the future

Best Regards

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
TT-TOM said:
By far the best way to measure current on a cars circuits is to measure across the fuses on the mV setting. I have a VW TSB somewhere which basically lists the mV reading vs. the size of the fuse (which is a set resistance) and will therefore tell you what each circuit is drawing. Just a simple ohms law calculation.

If you try and measure current in series you will just end up blowing the fuse in your meter as the peak current draw when going in series can be quite high and in my experience it just doesn't work in practice. Not when i've tried anyway. On a fluke the 10 amp scale is no good for measuring a mA loss and the only other range has a 500mA fuse which will probably blow straight away.

This is the only way to go on modern cars anyway as with CANBUS you wake up each module when you disturb the power giving you false current readings so measuring the voltage drop across the fuses is the best way.

Also bear in mind you might have to lock the car and frig the door/bonnet catch so it thinks the car is all locked so its in a condition where the alarm is armed also.
Thank you for that but I don't understand a word of it! I have zero experience with this so would you mind explaining in layman's terms what I do and how to do it? I have one of these at my disposal...



...but no instructions and no idea what to do with it! :lol:

Also what is the simple ohms law calculation?

The more I think about this the more I think I should get a professional to look at this... :lol:

*EDIT* Just been on YouTube and my eyes have been opened. :eek: I now know the basics of using a multimeter so will be testing my battery according to Hoggy's instructions later... [smiley=bomb.gif]
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Right battery voltage seems fine at 12.57V measured across the posts.

With the multimeter set to measure current at 10A and the red cable plugged into the 10ADC socket I'm getting a reading that fluctuates and within 10 seconds or so settles to 0.15 or 0.16. Am I right in interpreting that as a drain of 1.5 amps or not?

If I switch the sensitivity on the meter down to 200m I get no reading at all it just stays zeroed.

Thanks for any swift assistance guys - pouring with rain here!!! :lol:
 

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Hi Rich I read that as 150/60 Ma. Can't understand why you get no reading on 200Ma scale unless fuse has blown.
Are you using an analogue meter or digital meter.
Hoggy. :D
 

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TT-TOM said:
By far the best way to measure current on a cars circuits is to measure across the fuses on the mV setting. I have a VW TSB somewhere which basically lists the mV reading vs. the size of the fuse (which is a set resistance) and will therefore tell you what each circuit is drawing. Just a simple ohms law calculation.

If you try and measure current in series you will just end up blowing the fuse in your meter as the peak current draw when going in series can be quite high and in my experience it just doesn't work in practice. Not when i've tried anyway. On a fluke the 10 amp scale is no good for measuring a mA loss and the only other range has a 500mA fuse which will probably blow straight away.

This is the only way to go on modern cars anyway as with CANBUS you wake up each module when you disturb the power giving you false current readings so measuring the voltage drop across the fuses is the best way.

Also bear in mind you might have to lock the car and frig the door/bonnet catch so it thinks the car is all locked so its in a condition where the alarm is armed also.
...very interesting info, I was wondering about how to deal with a CANBUS system alright: would you be able to dig out the TSB and either post it or PM it ? I have a drain on my car now too (intermittent)....TIA, as they say.....and with dashpod now out of the car, and most of the dash - now is the time to find it !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hoggy said:
Hi Rich I read that as 150/60 Ma. Can't understand why you get no reading on 200Ma scale unless fuse has blown.
Are you using an analogue meter or digital meter.
Hoggy. :D
Hi Hoggy,

Yep, you are right. As such not a battery drain of any significance. But I think I have found the problem. The black box on top of the battery has a lead from the alternator (the furthest left) and the cable is red hot. The nut securing it is too hot to touch!

I have now found out that the alternator is not charging the battery. That of course explains the draining problem and also why the voltage was correct when I checked it across the terminals this morning (it was charged overnight via trickle charger). I have spoken to an auto electrician who is coming to take a look and reckons he can sort me out - assuming it is just the cable.

Cheers

rich :p
 

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Hi Rich, Could just be poor connection, high resistance at high amps = heat created.
Could also be diodes in Volt Reg failed.
Hoggy. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hoggy said:
Hi Rich, Could just be poor connection, high resistance at high amps = heat created.
Could also be diodes in Volt Reg failed.
Hoggy. :D
Well so far so good. He's disconnected the alternator feed to the black box, stripped the wire back and made a direct connection via a separate fused box to the positive pole on the battery. At the moment the car is charging the battery when the engine is running but the battery is so discharged that he reckons a good 24 hours on a trickle charger to complete the process.

Hopefully that will be the end of it but time will tell!

Thanks for all the advice guys, it's much appreciated. :)

Cheers

rich :p
 
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