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Old 08-04-2019, 01:07 PM   #1
Woodie1
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Default Battery Discharge

I'm going nuts trying to solve a simple battery discharge problem. I thought the cutout was sticking closed so I replaced it & had the battery checked & was told it was not good. I put a new one in about a month ago. I think I started the car about a week after the new battery went in & it spun the started good & started right up. Today it was dead. I disconnected the cable from the starter & am charging the battery now. Should I disconnect the wires at one side of the terminal box & wait to see if the battery discharges again or the cutout? I have a fuse on the starter but I don't think I will get far into the system if I remove the fuse.
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Old 08-04-2019, 01:22 PM   #2
Patrick L.
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Default Re: Battery Discharge

To check for a draw just remove a battery terminal and attach your volt meter or test light between the terminal and cable. If you show voltage on either a meter or the light then you do have a draw.

Just keep disconnecting things until the draw stops and that is your problem.

One thing that is hard to see or even think about is/are the stop light[s]. The brake light switches tend to stick on at times.
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Old 08-04-2019, 01:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Battery Discharge

I've tried the test light & meter between the cable & the mounting terminal & didn't see a light or a draw. I'm starting to wonder about the replacement cutout. More checks tomorrow I think. Thanks Pat.
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: Battery Discharge

If you didn’t see a draw, then the cut out is probably OK at this point, because if it was stuck then there would be a draw . So it sounds like it’s erratic. I would hook everything back up check your battery voltage, let it sit for a half a day and check it again and see if it’s dropping. I think the brake light switch is a very distinct possibility.
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Battery Discharge

The brake light switch will have to be checked again as well. I put a new one on 1 1/2 months ago. A panic stock pulled the old one apart.
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Old 08-04-2019, 03:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Battery Discharge

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Originally Posted by Woodie1 View Post
I'm going nuts trying to solve a simple battery discharge problem. I thought the cutout was sticking closed so I replaced it & had the battery checked & was told it was not good. I put a new one in about a month ago. I think I started the car about a week after the new battery went in & it spun the started good & started right up. Today it was dead. I disconnected the cable from the starter & am charging the battery now. Should I disconnect the wires at one side of the terminal box & wait to see if the battery discharges again or the cutout? I have a fuse on the starter but I don't think I will get far into the system if I remove the fuse.
Remove the fuse and connect a test light across the clips of the fuse holder. If it lights, you have a drain. If no light, then no drain (at that time). Wiggle and jiggle things until the light comes on.

If you remove the wires at the cutout that go to the headlight switch and come from the terminal box, you taken a lot of potential voltage drains out of the system. See if you still have a drain. If you do, look at ignition coil, terminal box, ammeter, ignition switch, dash light.

The ignition switch or ammeter can touch the gas tank inside the instrument panel and ground at times, not at others. Hard to figure out. I put electrical tape over the paint on the gas tank behind the the ignition switch.

If test light is not lit with the wires disconnected, the problem is in cutout, one of the lights, or the horn.

The wire to the horn is hot all the time and can cause a drain.

This may be an intermittent problem. One of the reasons I use a battery cut-off switch.

Good luck with it. Tell us what you find!
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Old 08-04-2019, 04:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Battery Discharge

Did you check the Ing. switch? I killed a new Optima after three starts!
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Old 08-04-2019, 06:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Battery Discharge

I have not checked the ignition switch. I hope to work through to find the problem rather then start replacing things. Thanks for the hints.
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Old 08-04-2019, 09:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Battery Discharge

With an issue like you are having, it would be best to disconnect the battery. Draining a battery down is very hard on them, plus you could have a fire, and that will be hard on a lot of things!
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: Battery Discharge

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had the battery checked & was told it was not good. I put a new one in about a month ago.
It sounds like your new battery has gone TU.
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: Battery Discharge

I charged the battery for an hour yesterday & it shows 6.28 volts this morning. So far I have wiggled a number of things & pushed on the brake multiple times & nothing shows a draw. Going back out to try some more things. I do have a brake pedal return spring on.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: Battery Discharge

So far I'm 2 days in without charging the battery & it is holding at 6.24 volts. I have not been able to produce a drain on the battery.
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:03 AM   #13
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Default Re: Battery Discharge

If you killed or nearly killed the battery, then an hour isn't enough charge.
I'd use a 6 amp charger and leave it on for at least 8 hours.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:47 AM   #14
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Default Re: Battery Discharge

Next time you go to start it, put an (analogue) voltmeter across the battery and see what the voltage dips to when you try to start it.
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