find small battery drain

I left my truck sit in the barn all winter. I went to start it four days ago
and found out that the battery had froze and busted. (Batteries only freeze
if discharged.)So, I put a new battery in. Last night, I found out the truck
needed a charger to start.
There must be something slowly draining power out of the battery. How do I
go about finding the problem?
BTW, I compared notes with my neighbor who had also just came back from a
winter down south. His septic tank and drain field froze up - guess my
little problem is not so bad.
Reply to
Karl Townsend
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Hi Karl, the techo way is to use an ammeter. If you dont have one, disconnect the black (neg) lead from the battery, connect a small 12v bulb between the (neg) terminal of the battery and the now stray earth (neg) lead. If there is external current drain, the bulb will light up. Progressively pull fuses, one at a time, till it goes out. The fuse that causes it to go out is the faulty circuit. Look in the service manual, trace the wiring through, progressively disconnect things until you find the fault.
The above assumes that 1=2EYour charging circuit is working (is there a ammeter on the dashboard?) 2=2EThe (new) battery you put in was fully charged and in good condition 3=2E The truck motor was run for a while to get a charge into the battery.... 4=2E My incredible talent for completely stuffing tech explanations, even for things I am pretty good at, does... not strike again.
In return - can you tell me when apples are ready to pick to eat - yeh, stupid question, obvious answer is to pick one and eat it - but its a miniature tree, its first crop, it has five apples on it - don't want to get a picking team in until I am sure they are ripe......
Andrew VK3BFA.
Reply to
Andrew VK3BFA
Thanks for the quick reply. Sounds like a plan - I'm off to the shop to figure out how to clobber in a 12 volt light.
Actually, I tell everyone that's my biggest job. Every morning during harvest, I walk the entire orchard and judge ripeness. Proper maturity had a HUGE impact on fruit quality. I look first at estimated harvest date DAFB (days after full bloom), then fruit background color - each variety has a different spec. , then slice an apple at the equator to judge seed cavity maturity;flesh color; starch content. FINALLY- I just take a bite. (I really ham this whole explanation up for my school tours - the kids just love it when I show them the real last test) Seriously though, you're evaluating acidity, sugar level, starch level, and crispness with the taste test.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
Basically, put an ammeter in series with the battery and check for current as you remove fuses. A light bulb would be safer than an ammeter until you get the current very low. Committees of Correspondence Web page:- tinyurl.com/y7th2c
Reply to
Nick Hull
I'm up the crick without a paddle... "The Kid" took our car to the cities for his new job - the truck is my only transportation. And, damn, its cold outside, 10 degrees is hard to work in when you've lived in 70 - 85 all day for the last two months.
Anyway, I put truck on a charger - it indictated full charge on battery. Tried to start it - no joy. It just makes a big CLICK when you hit the key.
I tried the standard headlight test. Turn lights on, they are full brightness. Hit key - lights completely die. Does this mean, "install new starter"? I'm really going to hate installing a starter on top of the ice and dirt floor in the frozen barn.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
Karl sez:
" Hit key - lights completely die. Does this mean, "install new
IMO, your starter is the least likely culprit. If you don't want to wait until you can get into town to pick up a 12 V light bulb, take out one of the turn signal bulbs and solder on some clip leads. Good luck,
Bob (still waiting on my sack of apples) Swinney
Reply to
Robert Swinney
Sounds like you may have a couple problems floating around: one is the parasitic drain, the other is the no start.
If the battery charger says it's full, the headlights work fine, and the starter kills the lights, says you have a bad battery cable or ground cable. And it's usually the ground cable since it tends to get flexed more. Inspect the cables, espeically at the crimp where the wire goes into the clamp. Hold the starter switch down for a minute or so, feel each of the cable ends to see if one is warm, if so, replace. Or just use a voltmeter with one end clamped to the neg battery terminal. Hold down the key, start checking voltages on the various cables. Somewhere you will find a cable with 0 volts on one end and 12 volts on the other.
The parasitic drain has already been discussed: I have a $3 Horrible Freight digital voltmeter/ammeter that works great for this: hook in series with the battery, start pulling fuses. Be sure to pull the fat wire to the alternator, a blown diode will give you a several amp draw, it is NOT protected by any fuse.
Karl Townsend wrote:
Reply to
RoyJ
Not likely the starter. Most likely it's a bad connection on the battery cables somewhere. Either at the battery or the starter. Be sure and check the crimps on the cable lugs as well as the connections themselves.
Reply to
Wayne Cook
Karl,
If the battery is fully charged, as indicated by the charger's ampere meter, and subsequently the starter motor solenoid only 'clicks', it probably means that you have a high resistance connection between the battery and the starter, or the starter motor needs servicing.
First check all connections between the battery and the starter.....make sure they are clean and tight. If still no joy you will have to pull out the starter motor, check/clean the solenoid contacts, check/clean the brushes and brush springs, check/clean the armature and commutator, etc.
BTW what is the weight of the oil in the engine? If too heavy weight it acts like glue in cold weather. In which case throw a tarp over the engine and heat it up with a couple of big light bulbs or box heater.
Good luck.
Wolfgang
Reply to
wfhabicher
On 5 Mar 2007 03:02:10 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm, "Andrew VK3BFA" quickly quoth:
That was an excellent discourse, despite #4 looming in the distance, Andrew. ;)
I'm not Karl, but...
Yes, when they look/smell/feel ripe, harvest 'em! I'm the proud new owner of 2 apples (golden delicious) and 1 plum (Santa Rosa) tree as of 5 years ago when I moved up here. I've learned that they're ripe when they look large enough and some of the skin has browned to the sun. They also give off a slight apple scent at that time. I get what the worms don't, and I learned last year that I should really be better in pruning and thinning because I lost 5 branches due to a total overburden of fruit. Some of the branches were 2-1/2" in diameter where they broke in two. I cut the top third of the tree off at about 12' up. I sure wish the original planter had gone with dwarf varieties. I harvested (SWAG) 500 lbs of fruit and lost 800 to worms and the ground from one tree alone last year.
Anyway, my size/look/scent guesstimate of ripe is pretty good now. Give 'er a try. Pick one a week after you think it's ripe. At worst, you could lose a mere 20% of your crop this year, though eating a not-quite-ripe apple is no real loss.
Yes, the premature harvesting of such a vast crop could result in your financial ruin!
Reply to
Larry Jaques
On Mon, 05 Mar 2007 13:38:24 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm, "Karl Townsend" quickly quoth:
It sure points to that if you have a known good battery. Have you installed a real battery in it to see, or used _good_ jumper cables to no avail with the same light dimming? That indicates an extreme current draw which seriously drops the voltage from the battery, but a bad battery will give the same indication.
What brand of truck are you dealing with? You can "hotwire" (aka: arc welding) a starter with a screwdriver (old Searz brand best, because they're unusable anyway) by shorting the solenoid terminals to see if it turns at all. Sometimes Chebby starters get stuck engaged and loosening the holddown bolts disengages the drive.
If all else fails, drop the starter and take it into an AutoZone. They'll do a run test for you (free) to verify that it's bad. Just rule out bad cables, loose/dirty connections, bad grounds, bad battery, and bad solenoid (If separate; If integral, replace both as a set.) first.
G'luck.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Clock, CD/radio with memory ?
The CD/radio in my caravan regularly discharges the battery if left for a couple of weeks.
I would much prefer to work in 39C conditions, as it was today, while unloading my lathe than have a frozen posterior. VBG Alan, in Gosnells, Western Oz. VK6 YAB VKS 737 - W 6174
Reply to
alan200
Make sure the battery leads and terminals are clean and tight, hit them with a wire brush or special terminal cleaner ( about $4 at auto store)
I regularly have to clean the terminals on the tractor, usually just loosening the bolt and twisting the terminal will fix it.
Starter motor draws about 600 amps and any corrosion at the terminals will prevent the maximum current flowing, enough to light headlamps will flow ( about 20 amps ), that is why the relay only clicks and starter motor doesn't go
HTH Alan, in Gosnells, Western Oz. VK6 YAB VKS 737 - W 6174
Reply to
alan200
"Karl Townsend" wrote in message news:d_RGh.9485$ snipped-for-privacy@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
Get a small hand-held compass. Hold it close to any wire/circuit. Needle will deflect on the slightest current.
Ken.
Reply to
Ken Davey
Take your basic volt meter..set it on AMPs and put it in line with your hot lead (+) from the battery to the rest of the vehicles electrical system. Read the drain. Then start pulling fuses until it goes to zero.
Bear in mind that most modern radios, clocks and so forth all have circuitry that remains in operation, even if the device is turned off.
Gunner
Reply to
Gunner
Does your starter have a solenoid mounted on it? If so..hook a jumper cable to the positive post of the battery and touch it to the big copper stud on the starter. If that still doesnt turn the starter over..either the starter is toast, or the engine is frozen solid.
If you have the seperate starter relay, mounted usually on the fender well, jumper the two big studs with the jumper cable (real men use chinese vise-grip handles )
Gunner
Reply to
Gunner
"Karl Townsend" wrote in message news:d_RGh.9485$ snipped-for-privacy@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
Farther north in MN we have been without snow this winter till last week and frozen sewers have been quite common. First the drainfeild freezes then the tank fills up and backs up the line which in turn also freezes. About the only thing to do is have the tank pumped frequently till Spring comes. BTW there is a special nozzle available for cleaning sewer lines clogged with ice and other fun stuff. It has one orifice facing forward three facing rearward and the pressure will pull the pressure washer hose down the sewer line. Don't ask how I know this info. Steve
Reply to
Up North
Thanks for all the tips. "The Kid" is going to help me get the truck rolled into a warm shop. Its packed with 100 lbs. of ice from driving in the blizzard a few days ago. This old fart can't bear to work on it where it sits. Plus, my fee for giving out the new car and leaving us high and dry will be changing out the starter if that's called for.
Reply to
Karl Townsend

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