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
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
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.
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.
Your dealer..sounds like...from your posting...an idiot.
Now..granted, they probably put the newbie on it, and he knew nothing about
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.
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.
On Sat, 6 Mar 2004 08:32:56 -0500, "*CBHVAC*"
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.
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.
next time you plan on not using the car for three days, just remove one
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???
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
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. ;-)
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.
Joseph Meehan wrote:
This is probably not the best test. If you even see a voltage and a
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Charlie Bress wrote:
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.
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