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Old 09-22-2011, 12:15 PM   #1
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Battery draining possibly IGNITION STARTER SWITCH, advice needed please

My battery dies after one night,

I have checked the alternator and that is charging the battery

Charged the battery fully and left for 24 hours and it didnt drop

so I put the battery back in the car removed all boot/bonnet lights and the next day the battery was tottaly flat

Bassicly can anyone answer the below

Is it ok to charge the battery fully and remove the IGNITION STARTER SWITCH over night and check if the battery stays full? to ensure this part is at fault?
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:53 PM   #2
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Normally, it takes these cars a couple of weeks to drain a good battery if the car is not used, so I would bet that your battery is weak. Suggest having the battery load tested to see if is even viable................

If the battery checks out OK, I’d get a multi meter and start looking at how much current draw there is at the battery with the engine off. Should be 40-60 mAh, if it is higher, you have a parasitic drain that needs to be located.
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:58 PM   #3
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The battery is fine as it stays charged if not connect to the car.

I think it is the ignition switch sensor but I want to disconnect it and check if this is what is draining the battery, would that be ok?
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:29 PM   #4
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The battery may stay charged if not connected to the car, but can it pass a load test (current draw over time)? A load test is always the "proof positive" test for battery condition and will single out an otherwise fine appearing battery.

Yes, you can disconnect the ignition switch if you want, but you should recognize that not all of the car's electrical circuits pass through it; you can still have a parasitic drain that by-passes it, so I am not sure what you will learn by removing it.

Not to be repetitive, but the correct diagnostic path way is to place a multi meter between the positive battery cable and the battery, then read the current draw. If it exceeds 40-60 mAh, you need to start pulling circuit fuses one at a time until you find the one pulling the power; that is your problem area............. If the current draw is in spec, your battery is likely toast…………
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:41 PM   #5
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I just went through this!



My battery would drain in a matter of a day or two. Same basic issue. The culprit turned out to be the ignition switch just as you suspect.


My mechanic put a battery meter on the car. My car was drawing something like 1800 mAh. The car is supposed to have a draw of around 30!


He was fiddling with the fuses (remove one at a time until the problem is identified).


Check out your frunk & rear trunk light. Does it go out when you close the trunk?


My problem turned out to be the very dim amber light in the cabin. It is supposed to go out after a few minutes, but it never went out. A new ignition switch (around $200 installed) did the trick.

Good luck.




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Old 09-22-2011, 07:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatmike View Post
Check out your frunk & rear trunk light. Does it go out when you close the trunk?
how do you check that...

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Originally Posted by fatmike View Post
My problem turned out to be the very dim amber light in the cabin. It is supposed to go out after a few minutes, but it never went out.

mine never goes out. the amber light on the door pulls is always on, as is the amber light over the rearview mirror. they're LEDs so i don't think they would draw that much power.

the car has sat for 4 months without draining the battery (i know i'm pushing my luck) from those lights...
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:09 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=tonycarreon;258742]how do you check that...

[QUOTE]



I would drop a video camera (phone camera, or other) into the trunk and close it. Does the light go out or not? It works like a refridgerator door, you open it and a light comes on -- close it and the light goes out. If the latch mechanism fails, then the light stays on and the battery drains out overnight...


I don't recommend it, but I have heard others use a small child (armed with a flashlight) for this task.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:06 AM   #8
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On my 2000 S, the trunk lights go out on their own, even if you leave the trunk lids open, after 2 hours. In fact I had to wait out the 2 hour period before checking my parasitic drain because I was worried that some computer must be on to perform the 2 hour countdown.

On my car the parasitic drain was only about 20 milliamps. I did not have the car locked so maybe it would be higher otherwise. My car seemed to have a weak battery because sometimes it wouldn't start in the morning. I didn't know if the charging system was bad or whether there was a drain while the car was shut down.

In my case the battery was good but the alternator was weak. It would have been easier to diagnose if the alternator had gone completely bad. Mine would put out over 13 volts. I tried a new voltage regulator but it didn't make any difference. A remanufactured alternator from O'Reily totally cured the problem. I haven't had any trouble since. Funny thing was I took the car to O'Reily before I did the replacement and they said the system checked out after they put their tester on the car.

I don't know for sure what the parasitic drain measured before the 2 hour timer countdown but it was only 21 milliamps the way I checked it.

And on my car the light under the rear view mirror (not an LED) will stay on during one peculiar circumstance. If I reach in and start the car while standing outside (my car is a Tip, so I don't have to push down the clutch) and then shut off the car and remove the key, the rear view mirror stays on. I'm not complaining but it confused me. I didn't notice whether all the interior lights were on and I don't know whether they are part of the 2 hour timer shutoff feature. The only reason I found out about the rear view mirror light staying on is that a neighbor rang the doorbell one day and mentioned that my car's interior light was on and that he noticed it because he was driving by and the garage door was open.
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:51 AM   #9
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I never checked the current draw in mine but I could hear that little fan that's inside the dash on the passenger side running all the time after I'd shut off my car. It was the ignition switch. My battery was dying all the time, being drained. It was fine after I replaced the switch.
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