New engine battery but....?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Encantador, May 6, 2012.

  1. Encantador

    Encantador Funster

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    Following on from another thread about my engine battery going flat after about 5 days.

    I have a new engine battery which I can try and send back if the old battery is not the problem.

    the new battery is slightly more powerful than the previous one, 90 something instead of 80. I was advised for a extra £10 it was worth getting the larger one.

    As far as I know there is nothing on the vehicle to charge the engine battery other then the alternator. Over the last few days the new battery has gone down about 0.1 amps per day with just the alarm on (12.7, 12.6 and today 12.5). That is what is showing on the control panel but having checked the battery in the past with a multi meter the control panel is pretty spot on.

    It is going down slower than the old one but that might be because it`s a bigger battery, so does it sound about normal or does it suggest a leak somewhere and not a battery problem??

    Thanks

    Steve
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Plenty of people report 2 or 3 weeks only with modern vehicles and all the electronics.

    Odd things like reversing cameras and radios can catch you out.

    It's crap but they spell it p-r-o-g-r-e-s-s these days.
     
  3. TheDogMan

    TheDogMan Funster

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    Get a solar panel, its the only answer if its parked away from home & EHU

    Dave:thumb:
     
  4. darklord

    darklord Read Only Funster

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    as long as you know where they all are, is it worth removing a fuse at a time to see where the drain is, especially on "add ons".

    Oh, just a question befpore all the experts appear,...what sort of alarm is it and what protection does it give you?
     
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    that seems a bit extreme........0.1v per day.

    at that rate the battery will be, technically, flat in a week or less.

    you definately have a 'Phantom' drain somewhere.

    my first stop would be to completely disconnect the dash radio at the plug/socket on the back.


    converters are known to play with the wiring to allow the radio to stay on (bypassing the ignitions accessory position) indefinitely and if done badly it could mean up to 200ma/h (1/5th amp per hour) drain even with the radio turned off at the on/off knob/button.

    i made this mistake on my car, it was draining 185ma/h (radio off)...or 31 amps per week,,,from a 65ah starter battery.
    that is a totally dead battery just one week later..
     
  6. Encantador

    Encantador Funster

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    It has a solar panel and is on ehu at home, solar does not charge engine battery and I have to press a button on control panel to send power to it.
     
  7. Encantador

    Encantador Funster

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    Thanks for the replies.

    The radio does stay on when ignition off which might have been what knackered the first battery as I left it on once. I will try disconnecting it.

    The alarm is a Sigma and i have had problems with it which were supposedly sorted a couple of weeks ago by local car alarm/aiuto electrical company. But at £42ph don`t want to just give it to them to search for this problem.

    Don`t suppose there is a way to turn off the alarm completely? having said that with the old battery, it was still going down when I locked the door manually and left alarm off. Red light on dash was still flashing though so not sure if that is for the alarm or imobiliser.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  8. darklord

    darklord Read Only Funster

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    :thumb:I can see you not wanting to pay the fee's, so its still a process of elimination. you can put the multi meter inline and see if there is any change as each fuse is removed. OK some fuses will feed a couple of items, but it will still be easier.
    The reason I asked about your alarm, is that some have been proved to be triggered into an "armed" stae by outside sources...in one case an energy monitor in someones home, the reason for this was a badly shielded fob pick up ariel which was changed for a revised model. The people you who last looked at the alarm should know how to disable it, but they probably wont tell you, they will need to do it themselves and will advise you that if your insurance relies on the alarm, it will be void if not working.
    Good luck, and keep posting:thumb:
     
  9. TheDogMan

    TheDogMan Funster

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    Thats a bugger, I am a newbie so I was going on what happens on my Hobby unless I have a self recharging battery, In that case the experts are right you have to play detective

    Dave
     
  10. Encantador

    Encantador Funster

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    I have checked the alarm and when it`s off, it is off, but as I said i don`t know why the light on the dash still flashes. Because I have had problems with the alarm, caused by it being wired incorrectly (or so they told me), I am naturally leaning towards that causing the problem with the battery.

    I have ordered a generator, so hopefully any drain won`t cause any major problems even if I can`t track it down. At least by going down by 0.1 a day, if I take a fuse out I should know within 24 hours whether that is the problem.

    Steve
     
  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    the flashing light will be the immobiliser circuit 'telltale' part of the alarm which should still work (immobiliser auto set) with the actual alarm turned off
     
  12. darklord

    darklord Read Only Funster

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    I like simplicity, and motorhomes are not simple. With a landy, I had the engine battery totally isolated from the rest. A bank of lesiure batteries powered the winch when needed, the fridge and spots, plus some incedental chargers for phones etc, no matter what happened, I could always get home. It seems to me, that MH builders tend to make the radio go off witht he ignition, and the hab area go dead witht he engine runnign, but thats it.
    I shall be looking at our new van, with a view to copying the landy system, that way, it will be easier to see how much power usage there is and how best to replenish it.......I may even explore fitting a second alternator,...but thats another story, for another post.
     
  13. Encantador

    Encantador Funster

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    Shouldn`t the habitation electrics be seperate from the engine battery?

    If it is, there are less things that can be causing the drain, or have I got it all wrong?

    Steve
     
  14. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    It should be seperate unless....

    the split charge relay has stuck closed

    the fridge relay has stuck closed.

    split relay will drain both engine and hab batteries, depending what is turned on in the hab area.

    fridge relay stuck on will flatten your engine battery in hours, not days
     
  15. Encantador

    Encantador Funster

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    Thanks, they should be OK then as hab batteries are fine.

    That leaves the radio and alarm as main possibilities.
     
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  16. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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  17. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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  18. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Because you have to remove the circuit fuse and place it in the meter for it to work so it would also need two fuse holders in parallel not just an alternative connector
     
  19. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    What a good idea badly implemented. Why on earth two meters, why not one meter and 3 heads ?

    OR, you take 3 fuses, blow them, solder 2 wires, use normal meter. You could have all 3 soldered together as long as you make sure the two not in use don't ground out.
     
  20. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Sorry mate, but you're wrong.

    you simply remove the fuse and insert the meter head into the vacant fuse holder in the box which then reads the current flow through that circuit.

    what i meant was, have just one meter and a pair of interchangable heads for different sized fuses.
     
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