Battery Problem

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I know that this may not be the best group to post this question but I browse this group every day and feel certain that someone out there can help.
I have a new 2003 Infiniti QX4 (SUV). If I let it sit for 3 days or more, the battery needs to be charged .. it will not start. I took it to the dealer and he checked the battery. It checks out good on his meter showing no bad cells and a normal amp/hour rating. According to their policy, they cannot replace the battery because their test unit shows it to be OK. Obviously, by the time I drive it to the dealer it has fully recharged.
As I see it, there are two possibilities: the battery is defective and looses its charge over the 3 day period or something is drawing current over those 3 days. Can anyone advise me as how I can test for both of the above problems and convince the dealer that something is wrong. ( I prefer not to leave it with the dealer for the 3 day period.)
I could always go over to Costco and pick up another battery for under $50 which would be the easiest thing to do if it were a battery problem. However, I would like to accurately diagnose the problem since I am under warrantee.
Norm
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off when you close the hood. Sounds like it may be something like that. Or try having someone else test your battery. Dave
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If you disconnect one lead of the battery and clip a 12 volt test light between the lead and the battery, a glowing lamp will indicate a current draw. The brighter the glow, the more current is flowing. Of course finding what is causing the draw is to much for an amateur to do. You could narrow it down by pulling one fuse at a time till the light goes out and that will be the circuit doing the draw but usually there are several circuits on one fuse. There are also some circuits that will always have a very slight draw, such as the clock, computer, etc. Best leave it to a pro. However, your dealer, after checking the battery and finding it all right, he should have automatically put an ammeter in the circuit to test for current draw even though you probably went in and told them you have a 'bad battery'. Never give the shop the diagnosis. Just tell them the symptoms and let them decide which tests to run and what to test.

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Your dealer..sounds like...from your posting...an idiot. Now..granted, they probably put the newbie on it, and he knew nothing about parasitic draw.

Well, even if you do, it is Infiniti's policy to make sure you are in a loaner that is equal to what you have should you need to leave the vehicle.

Actually..you might not be. Unless you are under 12,000 miles, the battery MIGHT not be covered. Its been a while since I had to know the warranty for Infinity inside and out and alot has probably changed...but at one time not long ago, the battery was considered a wear item, and the factory installed unit was a 12-12 item.
The dealer needs to check for parasitic draw..thats something thats drawing more current than it should be..when the vehicle is off. It could be as simple as a glove box light....a short in a door jamb switch...they will need to simply pull the positive cable off, run a DMM inline with the cable and see what the amperage draw is.
If its under .6 amps....and it should be, even with the clock, computer and such, then its a no brainer....shorted cell in the battery...and if they had used a good old carbon pile load, that would have shown in moments.

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Stephen:
How did you come up with that .6amp figure. That's what I got when I checked it. The meter read .67 and then gradually dropped to .4 range. At the present time I measured the CCA and it is about 360. I am leaving the battery disconnected for 24 hours to see if the CCA drops.
Norm
On Sat, 6 Mar 2004 08:32:56 -0500, "*CBHVAC*"

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.67 amp or even .4 amp reading on a car that is off, is far too high. It will drain the battery in a few days.
Start pulling fuses to see if you can find the cuircuit that is drawing the current. John

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Sorry for the typo. It is .6x dropping to .4x.
Norm
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Have the dealer check for leakage by disconnecting the battery cable and putting an ammeter in the loop with the ignition off. Could be a defective switch or starter. Just for grins, can you take the lamp out of the glove compartment? I've seen that drain a batt. overnight too.

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What others have said is correct, but to help you locate a short when using a test lamp or meter remove the fuses one by one till you locate the circut.
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One little light won't drain a good battery over night. I have on ocassion failed to close the door completely on my Explorer and notice that the dome light was on until the following night or the 2nd following night. Starts right up.
rj wrote:

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NSN wrote:

of the cables from the battery and in three days put it back on and try to start it up.. if it starts up then something was pulling juice from the battery and a new battery will not do you any good... so that takes car of if the battery is good or bad.... next thing you need to know is what is pulling the battery down in three days??? remove one of the battery cables and with the aid of a test light (a 12 volt bulb with two pigtails on the light or socket) put one on the battery post and one on the cable.. if the light comes on its because something is pulling juice from the battery.... if the light does not come on then nothing is pulling juice from the battery.... make sure you key is off, no headlight, no trunk, interior or hood lights.... did you ever test the trunk light???/ thats the most common thing that would draw a battery down in three days??? take the bulb out and see if you have the same problems???
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jim wrote:

I agree with Jim's suggestion, however I would make two notes.
Before doing this, make sure you have any codes necessary to reactivate the radio if it uses a security system. Check your manual for instructions. Otherwise you could end up paying to have the dealer turn your radio back on.
Second, expect your car to run a little funny for a day or so after doing this. That's normal, don't worry, it is just the computer figuring out how best to run your car. Don't do it right before bringing your car in for a pollution test. ;-)
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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My wife's 2003 QX-4 will sit for weeks without discharging. You may have conductive debris on the surface of your battery. Most auto batteries that discharge are because of this. A way to see the discharge happening is to take a volt meter and place one lead on a terminal and drag the other lead along the battery case starting near the terminal you connected one lead to towards the other terminal. The voltage will increase as you progress.
Wash the battery off with hot water and baking soda (use a plastic or wooden brush) and then flush it with water.
RB Joseph Meehan wrote:

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difference across the battery, the path is pretty high resistance. If it were not the voltage would not appreciably change with the distance to the terminals. Further using a voltmeter, whether digital or analog, that responds with so little current is not an accurate measurement. This minute current would be so much less than other parasitic currents as to be meaningless.
Consider the stuff that is supposed to be on when the vehicle is shut down. For example, the keep-alive circuit for the radio presets and the clock, an alarm system, remote door locks, etc.
Charlie
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Charlie Bress wrote:

I fought this very same battle with Lexus for a year, when I discovered after early retirement that my car HAD to be driven every 2 or 3 days, or the battery would have to be charged. After many trips to their service center, and a letter to their home office, I was advised to buy a Sears battery charger. :-/ Which I did, because I was unable to determine what was wrong and they said they weren't either.
After reading this thread, I remember one day that I had charged my battery for 2 or 3 hrs, drove to my doctor's office, and being in unfamiliar territory, I forgot and set the car alarm by locking the doors. When I returned in probably an hour, my battery was dead. Is that any indication, there could be a problem with the alarm system, or would it normally draw that much power?
When answering, please bear in mind[if this is a stupid question], I'm female, and know nothing about mechanical things, other than how to charge my battery. ;) TIA for any responses. bj
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chicagofan wrote:

Security systems are a know problem with all cars. Sometimes they are drawing too much power. It is hard to say in your case. After draining the batter several times, the battery is usually damaged and will not hold a charge.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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I wonder if one of those 12V solar panels would work for your cars' problem? The ones that plug into your cig lighter socket.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik-at-kua.net
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I submit that this is a reasonable test. Of course a high input resistance meter is not the best to use, my old 1000 ohm/volt Simpson does a good job though. I've tested batteries this way for 50 years with good results. When leakage is detected I clean them as I indicated. I never have a battery problem.
RB
Charlie Bress wrote:

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sure it's not a 20,000 ohms/volt meter? What model of Simpson is it?
BTW,1000 ohms/volt means that on the 50V range,your meter resistance would be 50K ohms,not much of a load for any battery,certainly not enough load for a load test. Now if your Simpson is 20K ohms/volt like my 270-3,then you have a meter resistance of 1 Megohm for that range.
--
Jim Yanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:

RB
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