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Old 08-09-2009, 02:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Parasitic Draw. PLEASE HELP ME!!!

I had a voltage spike and my gauge read past 20 volts. Since then I have replaced the battery and the alternator. I also have had both bench tested twice to make sure they were good.

The problem is that I can not drive my car for more than 15min without it wanting to shut off on me. Its like the alternator isn't working but from the tests, it is. The battery just doesn't wanna seem to hold a charge.

I have asked many people and they say I have a parasitic Draw or a exposed wire somewhere. I have checked and can not find one.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help me!
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Voltage with engine off and voltage at idle, as measure at the battery terminals.
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Voltage with engine off and voltage at idle, as measure at the battery terminals.
With engine off, volts are around 12.65

With engine running and accessories off its about 13volts

With engine running and accessories turned on and engine revving up and down, it reads 13.5 volts and slowly drops to 11.5 until the alternator kicks it back up to 14 volts but it only does this while idle'n, not driving.
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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should be at 14.2-14.4 at idle without load.

ELD issue?

I've never had the problem....yet.
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Old 08-09-2009, 03:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Are your battery grounds tight and clean?
what were you doing when the voltage spike occured?

Do you have a massive sound system?
or an amp with the power wire and remote wire ran next to each other?
Sometimes the power wire hooked to the amp can induce voltage into the remote wire causing the amp to stay on, even after car is off...

Strange issue, lemme dwell on this for a min
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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or an amp with the power wire and remote wire ran next to each other?
Sometimes the power wire hooked to the amp can induce voltage into the remote wire causing the amp to stay on, even after car is off...
thats a new one on me...
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by a5hatch View Post
Are your battery grounds tight and clean?
what were you doing when the voltage spike occured?

Do you have a massive sound system?
or an amp with the power wire and remote wire ran next to each other?
Sometimes the power wire hooked to the amp can induce voltage into the remote wire causing the amp to stay on, even after car is off...
Strange issue, lemme dwell on this for a min

Ill be the one to call ive installed alot of amps (well into the 1 thousand plus range)... and i have NEVER seen that happen, NEVER...


and to the OP, try bypassing the ELD with a new charge wire and see if the problem continues... i say that voltage spike jacked some stuff up...
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by a5hatch View Post
Are your battery grounds tight and clean?
what were you doing when the voltage spike occurred?
I went in and cleaned EVERY ground that I could possibly find and the problem still continues. This is stupid but some guy cut me off so I revved at him, guessing around 6k (no tach) and all of a sudden I heard a belt squeal and my volt gauge went past 18volts and kept climbing, I know it was a dumb thing to do.


[QUOTE= try bypassing the ELD with a new charge wire and see if the problem continues...[/QUOTE] Your what hurts? Sorry but I'm still a noob and have no idea what a ELD is.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Ill be the one to call ive installed alot of amps (well into the 1 thousand plus range)... and i have NEVER seen that happen, NEVER...
Ive also installed a lot of amps/stereo's, and it does happen. Not often mind you, but ive seen it 3 times.

93 dodge shadow
97 dodge ram
and an 06 350z

Remember them specifically because of this.

ELD I believe is the Electronic load detector (correct me if wrong) and it senses dips in voltage/loads on the battery and basically tells the alternator to start putting out more juice.
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Last edited by a5hatch; 08-10-2009 at 04:18 AM.
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Atomotive electronics, such as stereos, engine management etc. are design to operate at a maximum dc voltage of 18v.
Exceed this and you are very likely to blow/damage capacitors, diodes, transistors and more sensitive ic's.
I know this as I am an eletcro-mechanical engineer by trade, and I ve designed circuits such as these.

Why do you say there is a parasitic draw?
Is the battery losing charge while unloaded?

If you have a multimeter you can inspect this by hooking up the ammeter in series with the battery with no devices "on".
You would get some reading as your clock, stereo, and management does draw a small standby current.
Should not be more than about 1A or so.

Or you could disconnect the battery overnight or when the car is not in use.
If your battery keeps charge by doing this then you know there is an excessive draw of current.

If you pass this test, then theres something more involved going on.
You can also get parasitic draw from the alternator, if one or more of the 6 diodes short out.

Your immoboliser/alarm is also a suspect for parasitic draw.
Ive seen this often.

Also the stereo amplifier. You could have blown the transistor that switches the amp "on" via the remote terminal.
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:19 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The ELD does raise the output/charge voltage of the alternator when load demand increases, but this voltage should never under any normal situation be higher than 14.4v.
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:57 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Ive also installed a lot of amps/stereo's, and it does happen. Not often mind you, but ive seen it 3 times.
im still saying thats not the case man... it may seem that way but 12v doesnt just jump to another wire through mid air, ive installed amps with 20+ runs of 1/0 running right beside the remote line that transfer ~2000 amps of currnent at a time and it still doesnt happen then....

there is an underlying problem that would cause it to look that way, prolly with the amp.... refer to the end of Shane's first post
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The ELD does raise the output/charge voltage of the alternator when load demand increases, but this voltage should never under any normal situation be higher than 14.4v.
true but if it saw a voltage spike that high dont you think it could have been damage and causing the alternator to "not charge"... i say this because to my knowlege the ELd has direct control of the regulator...
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:12 AM   #14 (permalink)
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true but if it saw a voltage spike that high dont you think it could have been damage and causing the alternator to "not charge"... i say this because to my knowlege the ELd has direct control of the regulator...
If I understand what you saying correctly a5hatch..

You are saying that youve seen amps unexpectly switch "on" even though the remote is not powered?!
and that you suspect its due to the remote wire running along high current carrying power cables for that amp?!

For such a situation to occur irrespective of current carrying capacity, you would need a voltage to be induced in the remote wire.
For induction to occur, you need an alternating current/magnetic field, or a high frequency pulsed electromagnetic field, both of which are very unlikely to be anywhere near the remote wire to the amp/amps.
Such situations are usually found in industrial machinery operationg with these signals.

I would say what you could be seeing is more likely a blown remote circuit inside the amplifier, causing the amp to be switched "on" even though there is no remote signal power.!?
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:29 AM   #15 (permalink)
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true but if it saw a voltage spike that high dont you think it could have been damage and causing the alternator to "not charge"... i say this because to my knowlege the ELd has direct control of the regulator...
This is possible.

Remeber though, a blown ELD will either cause a too high charge voltage, or no charge voltage accross the battery.

You can test this by observing the battery voltage with the engine first switch "off" and then running.

Good battery voltage should not drop lower than 11.5v minimum with the engine "off".

And depending on how well charged the battery is, and on load conditions placed on the alternator, voltage should not rise higher than a loaded 14.4v maximum with engine running.

If you are getting thes figures, chances are your alternator is charging.

What it wont tell however, is if the battery was damaged by that high voltage surge.
Applying 20v to a well charged battery will overheat the cells and warp them.
The battery could be seen bulging at the sides.
This would cause the battery to lose its charge over a short time, or not charge sufficiently.

A good starting test will be to get the battery fully charged, and leave it disconnected overnight.
If its able to start the car next morning, the battery is very likely to be ok.

Then after leaving it connected, it fails to start the following morning, you would know that there is a parasitic draw.
Start looking at electrics in the car.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:12 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dmc971989 View Post
im still saying thats not the case man... it may seem that way but 12v doesnt just jump to another wire through mid air, ive installed amps with 20+ runs of 1/0 running right beside the remote line that transfer ~2000 amps of currnent at a time and it still doesnt happen then....

there is an underlying problem that would cause it to look that way, prolly with the amp.... refer to the end of Shane's first post
Right I get what your saying, its one of the first things that popped into my head to gather more info bout the set up. Wasnt trying to say that WAS the problem.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:14 AM   #17 (permalink)
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This is possible.

Remeber though, a blown ELD will either cause a too high charge voltage, or no charge voltage accross the battery.

You can test this by observing the battery voltage with the engine first switch "off" and then running.

Good battery voltage should not drop lower than 11.5v minimum with the engine "off".

And depending on how well charged the battery is, and on load conditions placed on the alternator, voltage should not rise higher than a loaded 14.4v maximum with engine running.

If you are getting thes figures, chances are your alternator is charging.

What it wont tell however, is if the battery was damaged by that high voltage surge.
Applying 20v to a well charged battery will overheat the cells and warp them.
The battery could be seen bulging at the sides.
This would cause the battery to lose its charge over a short time, or not charge sufficiently.

A good starting test will be to get the battery fully charged, and leave it disconnected overnight.
If its able to start the car next morning, the battery is very likely to be ok.

Then after leaving it connected, it fails to start the following morning, you would know that there is a parasitic draw.
Start looking at electrics in the car.

i agree that a spike that big could easily kill a few cells in the batt, but the OP said he bought a new battery after the spike....
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:04 AM   #18 (permalink)
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this is the kinda stuff i like...continue please...
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:43 AM   #19 (permalink)
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If you are sure that the battery is good, perform the overnight tests.

It would tell you if there is a high current draw when theres not suppose to be one.

One other thing!

When your motor dies after a drive, does it start up after a while?
I other words, are you sure its the battery that dies, and not your management shutting down? Dont mean to scare you here!

Ive just read up that even though the ELD would initially start charging, it could stop during a fault when it overheats.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:16 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Now I have had a custom stereo in my car for the past 2 years without any problems. Its just two 12 in pioneer subs with a 1000watt amp. Nothing special and I have turned off my stereo and the problem still occured.

Now for the battery test, I did this last week and the car started right up.
( I charged the bat without it being hooked up and let it sit 24 hours than hooked it up and the car started)


Should I start taking off wire loom to see if I have a melted wire somewhere?
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