Parasitic Current Drain, Suggestions Needed

Sonicflash01

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Hey guys,

I have had a drain over the last year. Comes and goes (every 3 months) , and I not sure the best way to troubleshoot it.

I've replaced the battery, and the Honda dealership couldn't find anything. I got a multimeter. Any suggestions on solving this issue? Or easy things to check?

I'd appreciate any help as this has been driving me insane.



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calonzo

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Hey guys,

I have had a drain over the last year. Comes and goes (every 3 months) , and I not sure the best way to troubleshoot it.

I've replaced the battery, and the Honda dealership couldn't find anything. I got a multimeter. Any suggestions on solving this issue? Or easy things to check?

I'd appreciate any help as this has been driving me insane.
Can you provide more details? Is it just that the car won't start one day? What is the battery voltage when it won't start? Are there other symptoms?
 
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Sonicflash01

Sonicflash01

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Can you provide more details? Is it just that the car won't start one day? What is the battery voltage when it won't start? Are there other symptoms?
Sure! Car will not start. If, I manage to get it to start, drive awhile, and let the alternator recharge it, it will have a weak start the next time.

Currently, recharging the battery, so I can't get a good reading. I apologize.

My thought was if there were ways I could check the normal current output when powered off and compare to a known good value. Perhaps create open circuits with the fuses to determine what is wrong. I haven't troubleshooted anything like this, but is it possible to do something like this?
 

jayy_swish

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Unplug everything that is connected to your car that draws power. Make sure your battery is fully charged. Use a digital multimeter. Unplugged the battery’s negative cable and move it away so that it is not touching the negative battery terminal. Touch your red lead from your multimeter on the negative battery terminal and your black lead on the negative battery cable. Set it to read Amps. You should get usually about a 20-50 milliamps reading which is normal. Anything over 50 and that’s excessive power drain. Now then begin unplugging fuses one at a time. Both inside the engine bay and inside the car. First start at the engine bay since it’s nearby the multimeter and your already there. Once you pull a fuse make sure to look at the multimeter and see which one significantly drops the amps. Once you find the the fuse that drops the milliamps the most you’ve found your problem. Read the back of the fuse panel to see what the fuse you pulled is for and then begin working from there to eliminate the problem.
 
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Sonicflash01

Sonicflash01

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Unplug everything that is connected to your car that draws power. Make sure your battery is fully charged. Use a digital multimeter. Unplugged the battery’s negative cable and move it away so that it is not touching the negative battery terminal. Touch your red lead from your multimeter on the negative battery terminal and your black lead on the negative battery cable. Set it to read Amps. You should get usually about a 20-50 milliamps reading which is normal. Anything over 50 and that’s excessive power drain. Now then begin unplugging fuses one at a time. Both inside the engine bay and inside the car. First start at the engine bay since it’s nearby the multimeter and your already there. Once you pull a fuse make sure to look at the multimeter and see which one significantly drops the amps. Once you find the the fuse that drops the milliamps the most you’ve found your problem. Read the back of the fuse panel to see what the fuse you pulled is for and then begin working from there to eliminate the problem.
Perfect! I'll give this a go tomorrow. Will update on results.
 

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Solid advice from jayy_swish.
Any modifications to electrical system, like stereo or dash cam?
I’d check there first.
 

calonzo

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Check out this video.


It's a bit tricky to test because there are always some electronic components that are on, and some components that come on when you connect the battery, and then turn off after 10-20 minutes. So, you need to connect the ammeter, then wait 20 minutes until the current draw is constant. Then you can start pulling fuses. To find out which ones cause the current draw to go down. It's also possible that when you put the fuse back in, the current draw will go up again and you will have to wait 20 minutes for it to go down.
 

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If you upgraded your audio system, added an Amplifier and using the stock head unit - that is your culprit. That is more than likely still drawing “stand by” power even when you shut the car off.
 

calonzo

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I have had 2 instances of current drain, and neither were due to upgrades or modifications.

The first was on my 2001 Mazda Tribute and was due to an issue with what I believe was called the Body Control Module. It controlled things like door locks, interior lights, etc. It was staying on constantly, instead of going to sleep after the car was shut off. I localized it to one circuit, but there were still 3 major components on this circuit, including the radio. I was lucky that this was a common issue on this vehicle, and was able to narrow it down to that one.

Second was on my 2012 Acura TSX. This one also had an issue with a sticky window button, which my wife had ignored and forgot to mention. After having a dead battery a couple of times, I finally realized this and had it replaced. Acura said it was indeed shorting out. This may have only been part of the issue, since the Acura TSX uses the same batteries as the Honda Civic, which don't last very long. But so far, I have not had any issues since the window button was fixed.
 
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Sonicflash01

Sonicflash01

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Unplug everything that is connected to your car that draws power. Make sure your battery is fully charged. Use a digital multimeter. Unplugged the battery’s negative cable and move it away so that it is not touching the negative battery terminal. Touch your red lead from your multimeter on the negative battery terminal and your black lead on the negative battery cable. Set it to read Amps. You should get usually about a 20-50 milliamps reading which is normal. Anything over 50 and that’s excessive power drain. Now then begin unplugging fuses one at a time. Both inside the engine bay and inside the car. First start at the engine bay since it’s nearby the multimeter and your already there. Once you pull a fuse make sure to look at the multimeter and see which one significantly drops the amps. Once you find the the fuse that drops the milliamps the most you’ve found your problem. Read the back of the fuse panel to see what the fuse you pulled is for and then begin working from there to eliminate the problem.
Looks like I traced the issue down to Backup. I was reading a 0.6 A, removed the fuse, was down to 0.1 A. Measured multiple times with a gap of time between each to verify. Now, I'll have to figure out what is all is in that.
 

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Must be either backup camera or backup lights.
 
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Sonicflash01

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Must be either backup camera or backup lights.
I've been trying to find some diagrams or any to give me a hint on what is within that circuit, but I am not finding much.
 

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I totally forgot to mention. This was my slip up.. how old is your battery?
 

                           
































































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