Battery Drain

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 11:20
ThreadID: 96882 Views:2250 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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Just had a massive argument with a battery supplier about my cranker that lost its charge after sitting for three days. It was a warranty claim as it went south with three weeks left on the warranty.
I eventually got a replacement but only after threatening to go to the Head Office with a complaint.
I had two auto electricians test the system for a current leak and both found nothing apart from the security (0.2 of am amp).
The supplier reckons he found a 0.6 amp drain from the cable that goes to the Redarc system. Add those two and its a 1 amp drain (close to).
He reckons that is enough to drain the battery over time until it won't keep a charge.
First, is a 1 amp drain acceptable?

Second, will it eventually destroy the battery (over 12 months)?

Third, why would Redarc have such a large need of current, when the vehicle is sitting idle (no motor going)?

Thanks for your thoughts

Bill B

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Reply By: ABR - SIDEWINDER - Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 11:39

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 11:39
Hi Bill

0.6A from the Redarc would be when it is energized so it is the coil using the power, once the Redarc switches off it will be almost nothing.

I would say the battery just failed. What brand of battery was it ?


Derek from ABR
AnswerID: 491001

Reply By: Ross M - Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 12:36

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 12:36
The Redarc shouldn't be using 0.6 when it is switched off, but will use that much when on.
Apart from the normal drain of security and radio memories there should be no other draw.

It is possible the alternator diodes, at least one may have developed a reverse leak and is flattening the battery. This will reduce a charged battery to well down relatively quickly, usually overnight.
If you continue to have a problem with battery being discharged. then have the reverse flow into the alternator main terminal checked.

Ross M
AnswerID: 491007

Follow Up By: Member - bbuzz (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 14:34

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 14:34
Its a Calcium battery from Alco.
Some people don't like them for crankers but I was stuck in Murray Bridge and had to get what I could.
It lasted nearly 12 months which is the warranty so not much good complaining.

Will check the alternator drain and see if that is it.


All good ideas.

Bill B

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FollowupID: 766414

Follow Up By: Ross M - Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 16:33

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 16:33
When checking the drain into the alt, it should be zero, no back flow at all.
An LED can be used for this. If it lights up, try both ways to be sure of direction, there is a flowback. If it blows the LED then it sure is flowing back.

Your alternator may not be giving out the full voltage a Calcium battery likes, I think they like a bit higher than most alts provide.
Is the fully charged regulated voltage of the alt a bit lazy or right up there. Should be 14.2-.3-.4v perhaps a bit more for the Calcium type.
FollowupID: 766422

Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 16:46

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 16:46
bbuzz - A battery crowd who argue about a warranty claim that is still within a pretty pathetic 12mths warranty period, have little faith in the quality of their batteries, to my way of thinking.

The only way a small drain would affect battery life, would be if the vehicle isn't being used much, and only gets cranked up 4 times a year for a short run. On average vehicle useage, the small drain should pose no problem.

However, the battery supplier would have been better off pursuing the charging angle, as constant inadequate charging will shorten a batterys life.

However, if the alternator has a fault, then I would have expected you would have noticed sluggish cranking on regular occasions.

Cheers - Ron.
AnswerID: 491020

Reply By: SDG - Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 17:30

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 17:30
Now from my understanding, claiming a battery under warranty will get you a new battery, but only with the remaining time left of warranty for the new one. You had three weeks left on your warranty. Does that mean your new product (battery) is not covered for anything after next month?
Might have just been easier to buy a new one, that you know, trust, happy with etc.
AnswerID: 491025

Follow Up By: Member - Charlie M (SA) - Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 20:31

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 20:31
The answer is yes on warranty time left, as original warranty was for twelve months. The new battery is only there to complete the original warranty. You would need original invoice for your claim in the 12 month period. I would surmise any later invoice would would say claim battery replacement.
A flat battery is always said it is a claim in warranty period, from my customers but first thing I do is check all voltages to make sure all is ok, before warranty is even considered.

FollowupID: 766452

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