Trouble keeping battery charged.

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 20:51
ThreadID: 66775 Views:2478 Replies:8 FollowUps:17
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I have a NP exceed Pajero DID auto and for a while now I have been having trouble with the battery going flat over night.

So far we have fitted new battery,new redarc to the dual battery system. Have disconnected dual battery system for a week but no change.
This week I have not been using the CD,radio system and it has started every morning but sounds like only just having enough power to crank it over.So not convinced that the radio is the cause yet.
I bought a electronic battery charger and give the battery good charge over a week end it lasts a couple days then it might start or it may not.
Anyone had this rotten problem I'm running out of ideas.

I have taken it to the dealer and a auto electrician but both could not trace the problem.It is ok one day and not the next.
Cheers Scoof :-)
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Reply By: qubert - Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 20:56

Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 20:56
starter motor ? is the air temp cooler on ' hard to start days ' . maybe its too cool for a battery to crank a bugged starter.
AnswerID: 353669

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 21:48

Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 21:48
I suggest you get a Digital Voltmeter - either permanently connected or just a multimeter.

Check the voltage after you've been driving around for half an hour at least - with the engine running a fast idle you should read at least 13.6 volts.

Next morning before turining ANY load including the Interior Light (switch it off) - It should read at least 12.8 volts.
AnswerID: 353684

Reply By: briann532 - Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 21:51

Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 21:51
Scoof,
It may be too obvious, but have you had the battery checked?
One would assume an auto sparky would have done this first, but these days you just never know.

Failing that, is the alternator charging?
Start the car, then disconnect the positive terminal.
If she conks out, its using battery power and getting nothing from the alternator.

Don't know how helpful I've been, but hope it helps.

Brian
AnswerID: 353687

Follow Up By: briann532 - Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 21:53

Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 21:53
P.S. I know you said you had a new battery put in, but its not impossible to have 2 faulty ones.
I had it happen in a marina once.
They obviously had a bad batch of batts and replaced a dud with a dud.
Long shot, I know, but worth a try.

Brian
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FollowupID: 621834

Follow Up By: briann532 - Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 21:55

Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 21:55
I know I'm now being a pain in the posterior, but you could try a clamp on ammeter around the positive battery wire and see if there is any current flow with everything turned off.
Allowing for clocks etc, it should give an indication.
Brian
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FollowupID: 621835

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 22:05

Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 22:05
"brian said,
It may be too obvious, but have you had the battery checked?
One would assume an auto sparky would have done this first, but these days you just never know.

Failing that, is the alternator charging?
Start the car, then disconnect the positive terminal.
If she conks out, its using battery power and getting nothing from the alternator.""

Hi
I would be a little cautious of removing + lead from battery with engine running, you could instantly stull some engine electronics.
A check with a volt/multimeter as posted earlier is the best way .
Connect voltmeter across battery, read voltage , start engine & read voltage while starting, let engine run @ fast idle for 15 mins or so checking voltage , does it slowly rise if so to what reading?
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FollowupID: 621838

Follow Up By: Leroy - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 08:52

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 08:52
How do you instantly stull some engine electronics?
I have started my patrol with another battery after someone left the lights on and then swapped back in the flat battery with the engine running. Of course you need someone to hold the positive lead away from ground. Now with that shorting you would have some sparks and may damage you alternator!

Leroy
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FollowupID: 621883

Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 14:11

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 14:11
A very dangerous practice - if it works, fine - if it doesn't, it's VERY expensive.
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FollowupID: 621927

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 14:54

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 14:54
Hi Leroy
Perhaps you have been lucky.!!
Modern vehicles have a range of electronics that can be easily stuffed by voltage surges.
Such surges are VERY likely if attempting to run the engine with the battery disconnected.
Perhaps you should read the recommended methods of jump starting for modern vehicles,including the need for surge suppressed leads.
IF you mean you started with your battery disconnected then reconnected your battery with the other battery STILL connected, that is a slightly differant situation in to what was suggested in the other post,ie remove the positive lead with engine running & NO battery connected..
EVEN if you did as I think , there are still risks of damage , much safer to leave the battery connected ,it is unlikely to take much /any charge out of the jump battery unless it has a shorted cell . you would see this by a substantial spark as you connected the jump battery.
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FollowupID: 621932

Reply By: happytravelers - Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 22:04

Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 22:04
You need to do a current draw test, make sure everything is switched off, keys out of ignition and doors closed. Disconnect the cars battery negative and connect a good quality multimeter which has been been switched to read amps between the negative terminal of the battery and the disconnected clamp. The reading will at first be quite high but will gradually drop after a few minutes as the various control modules shut down, to read around 0.05 amps. If you are still getting a high reading after about 5 minutes, without breaking the multimeter connection, start removing fuses one at a time until the high current disappears. The fuse that drops the current is protecting the circuit that is causing the battery drain.
Hope you find this a help.
Jon
AnswerID: 353690

Follow Up By: Member - Scoof (SA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 08:10

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 08:10
Hi HT
Yeh all that was done and it only had a current draw of .04amps which both the dealer and Auto sparker were happy with.

Things would be fine if the problem was the same every day.
Last week if I remember right it never started once with out kicking the second battery in to start it.

But this week it has started every day so far , I don't know if thats because I havent use the radio or it's because I have been working very late on the grape harvester and it hasn't been sitting as long over night.?

Cheers Scoof. :-)
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FollowupID: 621872

Reply By: GerryP - Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 22:09

Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 22:09
Hi Scoof,
Had a similar situation with my 100 series recently. For quite a while the battery would lose itself after standing for a few days. Seemed OK while away on a trip, but the caravan and auxilliary didn't really appear to get properly charged. Voltage output seemed alright, so couldn't really pin it down.

Eventually, a couple of months later, the alternator spat the dummy and whilst still putting out some charge, it became obvious there was a problem with it. Replaced with an after market job (Toyota MUCH too expensive!) and all batteries are now charged as they should be.

The point I'm making here is, that my alternator slowly failed and because of this, it was difficult to diagnose until it got to point where it almost failed completely.

Really, as suggested above, unless you have a constant discharge or leak somewhere, it can only be the battery or the alternator.

Good luck - hope you sort it soon.

Cheers
Gerry
AnswerID: 353691

Follow Up By: Member - Scoof (SA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 08:44

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 08:44
Hi Gerry ,

I recon you may have the answer , hope so anyway.

I'm dropping the Paj of to the sparky next week , I'm going to suggest he give the alternator a look at.

Thanks for the reply.

Cheers Scoof :-)
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FollowupID: 621880

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 22:50

Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 22:50
Scoof,

Place a voltmeter across the starting battery and measure the voltage with the engine running. A fast idle should show around 14.1 volts. This will indicate if the alternator is putting a charge into the primary battery.

Do the same with the auxiliary battery. If the the primary battery is holding a good charge, the dual battery controller should allow a charging current to flow into the auxiliary battery and that should also show around 14.1 volts.

I am not familiar with the Redarc isolator but if it doesn't keep the two batteries electrically separated from each other, I would chuck it and replace it with another type.

If one of your batteries is faulty and the two batteries are connected together via the controller, the otherwise good battery will be "pulled down" to the level of the flattest one.

I assume the auto electrician would know his stuff, but I would charge bother batteries with your 240 volt charger then take them to a battery reseller and ask if they can be load tested. This will place a heavy load on them and indicate if one or both are faulty.

Apart from the above, the only other possible cause could be a poor earth. Ensure both batteries have a sound earth via heavy duty battery cables to the engine block.

Bill

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AnswerID: 353707

Follow Up By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 08:42

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 08:42
The Redarc DOES isolate the aux from the main. That's the whole point of having it. The bonus is, at the push of a button, you can connect the aux to use as a jump start, feeding back through the Redarc.

Besides, Scoof already stated that he'd disconnected it for a week and it made no difference.
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FollowupID: 621879

Follow Up By: Member - Scoof (SA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 09:04

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 09:04
Hi Sand Man ,

Yeh all the load tests were done at the auto sparky's that is why we changed the original battery but it made no diff.

We first thought I didn't drive far each day to fully charge the battery.Only live 7 minutes from work.

Because I would take it to the auto sparky about 30k's away and the battery would be fully charged and couldn't find any problems.

thanks for all the reply's I also posted on the Paj web site and got no reply's so EO rocks.

Cheers Scoof :-)
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FollowupID: 621886

Follow Up By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 09:24

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 09:24
Don't recall seeing this on Paj site. What section did you post under?
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FollowupID: 621892

Follow Up By: Member - Scoof (SA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 11:37

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 11:37
Hi MrBitchi ,

I posted on the pulic forum Generation 3 Pajero.2 days ago.

I first thought I had the answer that the radio was the cause but this morning that is out the window as it didn't start this morning.

So back to the drawing board.

Had some interesting feed back so far.

Cheers Scoof :-)
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FollowupID: 621908

Follow Up By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 11:56

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 11:56
OK. Think the problem on the Paj forum is a poor choice of title for the thread. It only got 42 views as it was titled about the Nav unit etc and lot's of people (like me) don't have or aren't interested in that system. If you'd used the same title as this thread I'm sure you'd have had more takers..

FWIW I tend to agree with those that suggest the alternator is on the way out.

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FollowupID: 621912

Follow Up By: Member - Scoof (SA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 14:25

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 14:25
MrBitchi I think you are correct some heading's strike a cord some don't.

Also the Nav system is not very good and most would of thought here go's another winger. LOL

Cheers Scoof :-)
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FollowupID: 621929

Reply By: Best Off Road - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 05:37

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 05:37
Scoof,

If you have a trailer plug on the back get this checked out. It's a little known, but common problem.

A minor short in the plug will slowly, but surely, flatten your battery.

Cheers,

Jim.

AnswerID: 353728

Follow Up By: Member - Scoof (SA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 08:49

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 08:49
Hi B. O. R.

That is something not thought of thanks will suggest when I drop the Paj in next week.

Cheers Scoof. :-)
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FollowupID: 621882

Follow Up By: pojo - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 08:55

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 08:55
Had the same problem twice ,first time it mas the starter motor problem was diesel leaking on to it fixed under warranty and the second time it needed a new battery also when it went in for the 75000 service i was informed that the battery was not fully charged so i gave it a boost charge to top it up.
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FollowupID: 621884

Reply By: stevesub - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 08:52

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 08:52
I had the same problem with the Rangie. The problem turned out to be a new wireless energy moniter fitted to moniter our electricity usage at home.

What was happening is that it was broadcasting all the time on a similar frequency to the Rangie remote, the Rangie radio receiver for the remote says, I see a radio signal, lets turn the computer on and wait for the correct code from the remote.

The code never came, the computer in the Rangie was on all the time and flattening the battery.

It took 3 days of searching on the net for answers, talking to mates and pulling fuses, etc before finding the problem.

I put a ammeter in series with the battery and found it was drawing 2.4amps with the computer on and 0.02amps with it in sleep mode. I took the vehicle into the bush and did the test there with no radio anywhere close and all was OK, then went home and switched off anything radio until I found the energy moniter.

The other problem I found was that the computer would take 5 mins to go to sleep so turning off a radio transmitter, I had to wait 5 mins before I saw the effect, then turning it back on, the computer woke up instantly.

It is amazing how many radio transmitter devices I have around home incl WiFi, 2 x cordless phone systems (1 VOIP), Wireless energy moiniter, etc.

Good luck with your one and my guess it has a different problem but you never know if the dealer finds that all is OK becuase he may not have the same type of radio stuff that you may have at home.

Stevesub
AnswerID: 353745

Follow Up By: Member - Scoof (SA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 14:21

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 14:21
Hi stevesub ,

Interesting stuff.

Maybe something for me to concider if the auto sparky has no joy next week.

Thanks for you reply.

Cheers Scoof :-)
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FollowupID: 621928

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