Troubleshooting: Battery dies if car sits for 2+ days - Drive Accord Honda Forums | radio-pro.ru
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post #1 of 46 Old 07-13-2010, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Troubleshooting: Battery dies if car sits for 1 day

This one has me stumped, and it also has Honda stumped too. '03 Accord EX V6 Coupe. This problem has been an issue for the past month or so. Not sure what is causing it. If the car sits for 1 day, the battery will be dead and I have to jump start it. If I drive the car daily, the battery has enough juice to start the car. So of course when I take the car to Honda, the battery has a positive output reading and they say there is nothing wrong with the alternator, charging system, and no excessive power draw. If I don't drive the car over the weekend, it will be dead Monday morning. Not exactly convenient.

Last week I went on vacation and left the Accord at home, and disconnected the battery. The car sat with no power from Sunday morning to Wednesday night. Reconnected the battery and it started right up. Drove the car Thursday morning and then did not drive it until Sunday night. Battery was dead.

Since the battery was disconnected for 4 days and still had power to start, then the battery appears to be ok. The moment I reconnected the battery, the unknown power draw killed it after three days.

The only electrical third party accessory is the LED tail lights and those are obviously not on while parked. Plus they have been installed for a year, and the problem recently became an issue a month ago. I removed the LED interior lights, but that had no effect. The only Honda accessory installed is the external CD changer, which has power with the key off, but that has also been installed for over a year without an issue. The vehicle has LoJack, but I think that is self contained without power from the vehicle. The Dice Silverline has been installed for years, and the XPressRC XM Radio is tapped into the 12v accessory which has no power when you turn off the key.

So any ideas what might be causing the power draw to kill the battery?

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post #2 of 46 Old 07-13-2010, 08:39 PM
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bad battery probably - you can try checking it with a fancy battery charger that has diagnostics.

If you are 100% sure its not the battery, measure the current draw when the car is off with a digital multimeter and make sure its in the low mA zone.


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post #3 of 46 Old 07-13-2010, 08:47 PM
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These types of unknown current drains can be really nasty to figure out. It could literally be any circuit in the car. If it was me, I'd do the following:

1) Disconnect the battery, so you can install an ammeter in line. Then reconnect so you can see what the current draw is. The amount of current drain might also be a clue.

2) Start pulling fuses one by one and monitor the current flow. Hopefully one of them will cause the current draw to become (efectively) zero. If this happens, then you can try and figure out what is wrong with this one circuit.
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post #4 of 46 Old 07-13-2010, 09:02 PM
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since you have probably already eliminated the most likely power draw items such as interior lights, think of things that have be left on by accident. what about trunk light? perhaps something is wrong with the trunk latch that it keeps the light inside on and doesnt turn it off. just a guess, but might be worth checking.

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post #5 of 46 Old 07-13-2010, 09:21 PM
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I agree with paperboy42190. My sister in law had an old honda that had a lightbulb wired under the hood. Light was supposed to go off when hood is shut. her battery kept dying after a few days when not driven. replaced the battery a few times. one night when i was sitting outside, i saw a faint glow coming from under the hood. turns out that switch was bad and the light no longer turns off.

Not saying that you have a light under the hood but you might start looking at hidden places like the trunk, glove box etc. if all fails, then you got to start isolating circuits. may help if you have one of those clamp amp meters.

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post #6 of 46 Old 07-13-2010, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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There are no interior lights on. No hood light, and the trunk light goes off when the trunk is closed, verified that tonight with the rear seats down.

So I should disconnect the positive and negative cables from the battery and connect a multimeter to the two cables to see if it shows a draw of power? Will it show that without a battery connected? When the battery is connected, the multimeter obviously shows 14V output (duh) when the battery is good.

I don't think it is the battery because it still had a charge after being disconnected for 4 days. Only after I reconnect the battery, it dies.
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post #7 of 46 Old 07-13-2010, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringer004 View Post
These types of unknown current drains can be really nasty to figure out. It could literally be any circuit in the car. If it was me, I'd do the following:

1) Disconnect the battery, so you can install an ammeter in line. Then reconnect so you can see what the current draw is. The amount of current drain might also be a clue.

2) Start pulling fuses one by one and monitor the current flow. Hopefully one of them will cause the current draw to become (efectively) zero. If this happens, then you can try and figure out what is wrong with this one circuit.
I was about to suggest this, you may want to use the 10A setting to start just in case the current draw is too high to damage the meter in the lower rating current reading setting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paperboy42190 View Post
since you have probably already eliminated the most likely power draw items such as interior lights, think of things that have be left on by accident. what about trunk light? perhaps something is wrong with the trunk latch that it keeps the light inside on and doesnt turn it off. just a guess, but might be worth checking.
This is also a good suggestion too, I also wonder if there is a partial short somewhere in the wiring from chaffed insulation and is drawing current but not enough to blow a fuse. Pulling the fuse one by one while observing if the abnormal current draw stops will help you narrow down the circuit where the problem is at.

At least this problem seems to be consistent so it makes it a little easier to track down, a friend had a Ford Probe that suddenly started blowing a particular fuse, but it wouldn't do that consistently, it took some time but a local auto electical shop eventually traced it to a partially damaged fuel pump inside the tank that would blow the fuse if the car hit a bump just right, I still don't know how the shop managed to track this one down, they must be really good!

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post #8 of 46 Old 07-13-2010, 10:20 PM
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any amplifiers/sound systems? Those drain batteries too. When I turn off my car, and my iPod is left plugged in, the battery is being drained. Most likely just a battery getting old. Is it the original battery that came with the car, hence it is a 2003.

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post #9 of 46 Old 07-14-2010, 03:13 AM
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Just a thought, have you checked the glove box light?

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post #10 of 46 Old 07-14-2010, 04:09 AM
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How about just buying a new battery (save receipt) just to be 100% sure its not the battery.

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post #11 of 46 Old 07-14-2010, 06:33 AM
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Just a thought, have you checked the glove box light?
Only works with when headlights are on and is not regulated by a glovebox door switch.

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post #12 of 46 Old 07-14-2010, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post
So I should disconnect the positive and negative cables from the battery and connect a multimeter to the two cables to see if it shows a draw of power? Will it show that without a battery connected? When the battery is connected, the multimeter obviously shows 14V output (duh) when the battery is good.
You won't read anything by just hooking up a meter to the cables without a battery. What you need to do is connect the volt meter in SERIES with the battery and the car and check the amperage.

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(+ Batt Lead)--multimeter wire--(Amp Meter)--multimeter wire--(Vehicle + cable)

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post #13 of 46 Old 07-14-2010, 11:05 AM
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Check out this post.
Although this is not exactly your car but it had similar symptom.

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post #14 of 46 Old 07-14-2010, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AznAccord08 View Post
any amplifiers/sound systems? Those drain batteries too. When I turn off my car, and my iPod is left plugged in, the battery is being drained. Most likely just a battery getting old. Is it the original battery that came with the car, hence it is a 2003.
No, and No. Battery is less than a year old. I disconnected the battery for 4 days while on vacation, still had full charge. When reconnected, it was drained in 3 days.
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post #15 of 46 Old 07-14-2010, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by drozzin View Post
Check out this post.
Although this is not exactly your car but it had similar symptom.
That is some interesting information. I will give that a try and see if I hear anything out of the ordinary. I did a google search and found many posts describing the same problem...the battery mysteriously draining after a few days. None of the posts had any solutions to the sudden power draw. Some had aftermarket equipment (stereos and alarms) that were connected directly to the battery draining them. Duh. However, others had no upgrades at all and the battery was still draining mysteriously. Electrical issues are the worst to troubleshoot.

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