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Phantom energy drain

Old 04-16-2019, 07:31 PM
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Phantom energy drain

Got my car out for the first time since winter. The battery was completely drained, but I chalked it up to sitting all winter without being disconnected. My mistake, no biggie, overnight on the charger and then running the repair cycle on the charger for good measure, and it was restored to full capacity. Drove it to work and back yesterday, left it in the garage this morning because of rain, then went to take it to drive my daughter to swim practice. Deader than disco.

I hooked up the jump leads to my truck, and it turned over immediately (when I first took it out, I had to let it charge for about 20-39 minutes before I had enough charge to start). So something is eating enough juice to drain my battery in about 24 hours time. This wasn't an issue I had last year, I left it sitting for almost 2 weeks at one point and had plenty of power to start. I had to jump it last fall before storing it, but it was a cold morning and it didn't want to turn over right away. It feels to me that somehow something that wasn't causing an issue has reared its ugly head.

So, my question is if there's any known causes with these cars that I can start with. If not, does anyone have any suggestions as to the easiest way to track down a battery drain?
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:36 PM
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Re: Phantom energy drain

I'd start with a full battery charge and load test, to make sure the issue isn't there.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:41 PM
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Re: Phantom energy drain

I agree with Dave, get your battery checked. It sounds like it is going out.
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Old 04-20-2019, 01:25 PM
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Re: Phantom energy drain

Thought my battery was dead again, and went to jump it. As I connected the jump leads, suddenly the fan kicked on. Turns out the post on the battery was loose and the battery wasn't dead. So the power isn't draining as fast as I had thought, it sat for over a day and a half and still turned over.

That being said, there is something that's draining the battery over time, as it had been sucked completely dry over the winter to the point where my charger didn't even recognize I had a battery connected to it until I force fed it by connecting jump leads to my truck and letting it sit for an hour or so. For now, I guess I'll just have to keep an eye on it and maybe leave the battery tender connected to it if it's going to be left sitting for longer periods of time.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:33 PM
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Re: Phantom energy drain

I have had 2 different things happen that were hard to find. One was the trunk pull down motor. If it doesn't click at the end, the circuit is still open and draining battery. The other was the alternator. It charged when running. but some times after shutdown it would drain the battery. They have a built in part that keeps this from happening. When it goes bad it acts like a short. That's just 2 that are hard to find.
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:17 AM
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Re: Phantom energy drain

Don't forget about parasitic drains. Such as an alarm system, ECM, and radio. If you are going to leave the car sit for long periods of time get a Battery Tender.

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