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Date Registered: 10-2017
TOTAL POSTS: 8
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posticon 2006 T30 Battery gets very low after several days/week of non use


Hello everyone,
I am new to the site but since I purchased my X-Trail mid last year - 2016 - the battery runs very low - almost so that it won't crank - after a week or even several days of non use. Even when I use the car regularly, the original old battery, a brand new replacement unit and then ANOTHER new replacement battery (yes the right specs) do the same thing. I have put an ammeter inline with the terminals and the current drain reads [sign in to see URL] amps. This should be the around the maximum it should be drawing I believe but obviously by the indication on the hydrometer it is too much as it starts to show red/recharge. I have methodically begun to pull out fuses and when the "room light" (second from top left on fuse panel) is removed, the current drops to [sign in to see URL] Amps. This fuse supplies at least the central locking and the interior lighting. I suspected it may also supply the radio so to ensure it wasn't the radio's memory I have completely disconnected it. It still draws [sign in to see URL] A. Can anyone point me in the right direction as to what may be causing this problem? Many thanks in advance. (I am a qualified electronics technician and have been playing with cars for over 40 years so if you have a technical answer I should be able to understand you. Ta).
10/Oct/2017, 3:22 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
Wiz Au Profile
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Date Registered: 06-2017
Location: Canberra, ACT
TOTAL POSTS: 185
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Re: 2006 T30 Battery gets very low after several days/week of non use


Any LED light upgrades in the cabin interior or door lights? Thinking it might be a faulty LED / short / wrong polarity (which you wouldn't get with an incandescent)?

Try removing all the globes, and see if you still get that [sign in to see URL] draw.

But really, [sign in to see URL] amp (70 milliamps) draw shouldn't make a 50-60Ah battery go flat in a week. That's less than 12Ah a week! Two weeks, yes, but not a few days/1 week. Come to think of it, if a battery in a car went flat in two weeks, I'd think there was a problem. emoticon

I once worked on a car (Audi) that reset the ECU every night at around 1am I think, if the engine wasn't running. We discovered this because the battery was going bad, and the alarm would go off every night for "no reason".

I wonder if it's something like that, which you wouldn't see unless you log the current draw continuously, or at least overnight. That at some point there's a big spike in the current draw for some reason.

The 'cheap' way to do that if you don't have a login meter, is to setup the meter with a video camera and record it, and then play the video back in Fast Forward the next day to see if the readings change at all over time.

---
2004 T30 series II, Ti (now sold)
JRR50 Pathfinder, QD32ETi Turbo Diesel, with 'lots o fruit'.
2012 Jeep Cherokee KK CRD Limited is current ride.
Will be looking for a white or silver 2011-2013 T31 TL (Diesel) to "pimp out".
10/Oct/2017, 5:14 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
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Date Registered: 10-2017
TOTAL POSTS: 8
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Re: 2006 T30 Battery gets very low after several days/week of non use


Thanks Wiz Au for the prompt reply...

No there is no "non-standard" gear at all, and like you, I can't fathom why the battery is going flat with this amount of drain either.

NB: the battery is not going completely flat but it is showing it needs charging and begins to crank noticeably slower. I have been putting it on charge for a day or two to put the indicator on the battery back into the green.

The monitoring idea is a good one which I may do if no-one else says they have experienced a similar problem and can suggest a solution. I'll give it a bit of time first though since the post only went up today.

Perhaps it is the ECU doing strange stuff when I am not looking. Who knows?

Thanks again
10/Oct/2017, 10:09 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
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Date Registered: 02-2004
Location: SUTHERLAND, SYDNEY
TOTAL POSTS: 29002
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I'd troubleshoot the immobiliser as well, a s faulty immobiliser would cause abnormal battery drain, so maybe try disconnecting the fuse for it and see what happens.

I presume you have already checked that the alternator is functioning correctly? If not, test that too, as bad diodes in the alternator can cause battery drain as well.

Last edited by jalalski, 11/Oct/2017, 8:07 am


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11/Oct/2017, 8:04 am Link to this post Send Private Message MSN Blog
 
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Date Registered: 10-2017
TOTAL POSTS: 8
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Re: 2006 T30 Battery gets very low after several days/week of non use


Thanks Jalalski,

I haven't yet checked the immobiliser. Good suggestion, will look into it.

As for the alternator, everything is fine there. One of the first things I did was to disconnect the plug from it and no change... Charging voltage is good also.

It is still a mystery though that as little as 70mA could cause such a quick drain. Most car batteries should be able to cope with that amount of drain for ages before it becomes an issue.
Perhaps, as suggested before, there IS a spike happening...

Thank you, and stay tuned!
11/Oct/2017, 9:03 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
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Date Registered: 10-2006
Location: Mona Vale, Sydney, AUSTRALIA
TOTAL POSTS: 5296
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Re: 2006 T30 Battery gets very low after several days/week of non use


Did you check the charging voltage in both DC and AC ?
If there is a faulty diode it could let AC through and this would easily ruin a battery.

Also, unplug your relays one at a time to see if the current drain drops as one of them might be sticking on.

Have you replaced your internal lamps with LED ?
Since they are controlled by the Timer Module which switches with electronics, there could be a slight drain as the LEDs draw a small current which does not allow the output transister to turn off completely. You can check this to see if there is a faint glow at night with all the doors closed.

---
Kev X450(c) T30 Guru
03 Titanium Ti T30 Series 1 **MODIFIED**
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11/Oct/2017, 10:07 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
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Date Registered: 10-2017
TOTAL POSTS: 8
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Re: 2006 T30 Battery gets very low after several days/week of non use


Well, Revhead Kev,
I just did as you suggested and set the Voltmeter to AC.
I got a reading of bang on 30V... Interesting to say the least.

Now I'm not too sure exactly what this signal is comprised of as I don't have an oscilloscope to actually LOOK at the frequency, shape or otherwise. Also, it is not an expensive meter and I don't know the way it senses these sort of signals. Whether or not it is sine, spikes, pulsed, square, I have no idea.

Have you encountered this before yourself? Do you know what a normal AC ripple may be on these cars - when idling - across the battery terminals?

Hoping this leads somewhere helpful!

I am very grateful for the interest and all the suggestions.
Thanks everyone.
11/Oct/2017, 10:37 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
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Date Registered: 10-2006
Location: Mona Vale, Sydney, AUSTRALIA
TOTAL POSTS: 5296
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Re: 2006 T30 Battery gets very low after several days/week of non use


There should be NO AC from the alternator as I understand it.
I would expect it to be either a full-wave rectifier bridge or worst case a half-wave rectifier bridge and I wouldn't expect a multimeter to sense output from either as AC because there would be no negative voltage swing.

There is no AC ripple spec mentioned in the service manual but it does mention a charging voltage from the alternator of 14.1 - 14.7 so you could check that to make sure you are also not overcharging the battery.

I'll measure mine tonight to see if there is any AC with my Fluke meter.

---
Kev X450(c) T30 Guru
03 Titanium Ti T30 Series 1 **MODIFIED**
My Blog
My CarPC Worklog
11/Oct/2017, 11:16 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
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Date Registered: 10-2017
TOTAL POSTS: 8
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Re: 2006 T30 Battery gets very low after several days/week of non use


Thanks again Revhead Kev for your reply.
I just made contact with a VERY experienced and Knowledgeable auto electrician in Sydney - where I used to live - and here are the main points I learned/had confirmed...

First - My charging voltage was not high enough for the new calcium batteries. As you (Kev) alluded to, it should be [sign in to see URL]. Mine was at [sign in to see URL]. I did not know about this charging voltage for new batteries. Ignorance on my part.

Second - the 30V AC is still present even with the engine switched off. Apparently this is probably from a low quality inverter for some dash circuit supplying higher than 12V supply to various components. Nothing to be done here, apparently it is not unusual. Obviously though it is not coming from the alternator since it is still present when ignition is switched off.

Third - Confirmed, there is nothing too unusual about 70 mA drain at rest.

Fourth - He suggested that one of the two wires going into the plug on top of the alternator would more than likely be a battery voltage sensing wire and that the sensing circuit was more than likely faulty limiting the charge voltage to [sign in to see URL]. (The sensing circuit is thinking the voltage is too high).
There are two wires here, one is a yellow with a red trace the other is a green with a black trace. I did some tests and the green one is in fact the sensing wire. On his recommendation this wire was cut and the engine started. The charge voltage jumped to [sign in to see URL] (probably the maximum the regulator can do). Now, this is where experience counts, he simply suggested to place a diode (Anode to battery, cathode to alternator) in line with this wire to induce an artificial extra [sign in to see URL] drop to the sensing circuit causing it increase it's output by a similar amount.
This was done and the battery is now charging around - you guessed it, 14.3/14.4 volts!

I am yet to see what happens as far as the original problem of the battery losing charge over time does, but I think it has been a good start.

Thank you to everyone who has helped here. I hope these findings can help some more people in the future not to just throw away their old alternator but try something like this instead and save hundreds of dollars in the process.

I will re-post the findings in a couple of weeks as to how things are looking for those who are interested.

All the best and thanks again to you all.
Graham - Semaphore South Australia. : - )







Last edited by texta, 11/Oct/2017, 1:30 pm
11/Oct/2017, 12:48 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
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Date Registered: 06-2017
Location: Canberra, ACT
TOTAL POSTS: 185
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Battery drain


I also recently discovered a little product that might help? A bluetooth battery monitor. Means your phone has to be in range of the car but it can actually log voltage over time and might show when the drain is happening. They are available for as little as $30 these days and are also marketed for solar power setups as well as vehicles.

Supercheap have the FM Mattson one for @$50 and it also logs cranking voltage.
eBay or Ali will get you one for @$30.

---
2004 T30 series II, Ti (now sold)
JRR50 Pathfinder, QD32ETi Turbo Diesel, with 'lots o fruit'.
2012 Jeep Cherokee KK CRD Limited is current ride.
Will be looking for a white or silver 2011-2013 T31 TL (Diesel) to "pimp out".
14/Oct/2017, 11:29 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 


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