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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone shed any light on this ??
I have an Alfa 146ti, and when left on the drive for 4 days or more, the battery dies. It had a new battery 8 months ago and it still does it. TBH the connection to one of the terminals (Positive I think) does not go on very well and feels a little loose. There are about 3 chunky wires coming of it and it is hard to get a good tight fit on the battery. Could this be my problem?? Or has anyone else experienced the same and could let me know their thoughts ??
Thanks ;-)
 

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Use a multimeter to measure the current drawn from the battery with the ignition switched off. The start pulling fuses one at a time until you see a substantial drop in current. That will help you pinpoint which circuit is draining the battery.

Do you still have the factory alarm system fitted or do you have an aftermarket one?

Also, some head units and CD players are known to drain the battery so you could do a test by completely disconnecting them for a week and seeing if it makes any difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey Giallo,
Sorry should of stated I tried all this with a neighbour, as it did not start after all the snow. Well we disconnected one battery term, and then as we pulled a fuse I put term back on batt to see if there was a spark. There was a spark with everyone. Thinking about it, was this the best way to test ??
As far as I know it is the Factory one, as still use the original fos and there is no paperwork to suggest a replaced one.
The CD/Radio also has an iPod attachment. I could try taking the face of and see how it goes with that.
Thanks for the advice ;-)

BTW - Love the way the yellow Beast is restrained in the gge in ur profile pic ;-) Looks ready to leap over the Alfa ;-)
 

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ive had the same problem & since ive started disconnecting the cd muliti disc its not happened since but i could just be the cold weather taking the charge out of the battery
 

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Why not start with the basics? :)

Both the battery terminals have to be tight on the battery post. There should be a little 10mm nut & bolt on the terminal so push the terminal onto the post and then tighten the nut up until the terminal doesn't turn or move up and down when you tug on it.

Next, check that the battery is charging up. Start the car (jump leads) and measure the voltage across the terminals using a volt meter. The reading should be 14.5v or thereabouts. If it's not that high, you have a problem with the alternator.

If it is charging okay (14.5v) turn the engine off and go have a cup of tea. Come back later and measure the voltage across the terminals now. It should be 12.6v or more. If it's less than that (12v or less is not enough) then the battery needs charging.

Take the beast out and charge it on the bench at the lowest ampage your charger can deliver, for 12 hours. Turn the charger off .. go have a cup of tea.. then measure the voltage. It should read 12.6v or more, because you were just charging it. If it's less than that, after 12 hours charging, the battery is knackered.

If it charged to 12.6v stick the battery back in the car and tighten the battery terminals. That should be sorted then... but if the battery doesn't hold its charge, either it is knackered or it is being drained.

If it's being drained you need to check why .. and that's where you have to measure the ampage in the circuit. If you have any current being drawn, you can identify what's drawing it by taking the fuses out one at a time until you identify what component is still "on". Best place to start is always the radio, expecially if you have a different ICE than standard.. nothing, apart from the alarm/immobilisor should be drawing current when the ignition is off... and the alarm/immob. should be negligible current.

My best punt is your battery is not being charged up (loose connectors) so it goes flat. I doubt it's a knackered battery as it's quite new... though a battery kept permanently in a low state of charge will become damaged, same as a very old one.


Ralf S.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Ralf,
Thanks for the great advice. We did check the fuses. A neighbour knows abit more than me about cars so offered to help. He trickle charged the battery overnight and the car then started fine. He then suggested we try to find out if anything was draining it. We did this by my neighbour pulling out a fuse in the car, then I put the terms on the battery to see if there was a spark. If there was a spark, he put the fuse back in and pulled the next fuse out. Two questions here now:-
1 - Should he off been puttinh the fuses back in ??
2 - If there was a spark, did this not mean something was drainin the battery. He said if something was draining the battery, we would find it by there being no spark ?? I thought at the time it would be the other way round ??

Any thoughts ??

Thankyou ;-)
 

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The fact that there is a spark only tells you there is an electrical circuit. A battery that is not being abnormally drained will still spark when you reconnect the battery terminals so the test you are doing tells you NOTHING.

You need to disconnect the positive terminal lead and measure the actual current drain by connecting a 10A multimeter between the battery terminal and that lead.

BUT, doing what Ralf S said by measuring the voltage across the terminals is the best place to start, then check the current drain after that.
 

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Aye! We all agree.. the spark only tells you there is a circuit, not whether it's drawing current when it shouldn't be.. but I can see where your neighbour is coming from (spark = a circuit).. but you're right - he would have to take ALL the fuses out if he wanted there to be no spark ...

Also, if there was a spark it only tells you that there is a drain somewhere that is bypassing the fusebox, which is not good.. but you could well have a drain that only bypasses the ignition. So his tests wouldn't necessarily help you.

Take the +tive lead off the battery terminal and connect an ammeter between the two. Look at the reading.. I think you'll have some tiny amount of draw (clock and radio memory) but that'll be less than an amp. If you have more than that, try disconnecting the radio from the power supply and see if that makes it drop.

If you have very little draw, then in theory you're good to go and the battery should stay charged up for days or weeks, even if you don't use the car.

If you don't have an ammeter, disconnect the + lead altogether and measure the battery voltage during the evening and also the next morning... if the voltage drops below 12.6v even with nothing attached to the battery, then it's no question a knackered battery (though that doesn't prove that the charging system is working properly or that you don't have draw from somewhere.. but one thing at a time! :D)

Ralf S.
 

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I was just about to post a similar message on the GTV forum when I saw this on the start page...

My battery lasts about the same as yours, and had just been replaced under warranty. When the second battery died within 3 weeks it was obvious something else was amiss.

I went to maplins and got a handy multimeter accessory - a maxi-fuse adaptor (code N50CY, about £5). This is a pair of multimeter leads terminating in a fused 'fuse' body, so that you can check the voltage/current through each fuse in turn. You can do the same thing by holding the multimeter probes against the fuse contacts but if the 146 is anything like the GTV, it is rather hard to find the contacts and check the meter at the same time.

I worked my way round the fusebox with the ignition and alarm off and found that there was a draw of about 0.2A running on the radio/alarm circuit, with all other fuses showing no draw. The only thing to change in my car since last winter was a new Alpine head unit which at the moment is fused but not switched by the ignition. The other items on that fuse - the central locking, alarm etc - were not activated when I was taking the measurement, so I suspect it's the radio causing the issue.

The GTV/Spider and 156 leave the factory with this wiring, but I'd rather have the radio switched. Does anyone reckon providing a switched line to the radio's ignition sensing terminal cut down the power draw, or should I try and feed it from a switched supply (and lose all my presets every time?).

Cheers,


Matt

edit:
Found these after replying. If your problem is the head unit, and please check it really is before you do anything, these might help:
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa...nition-by-tapping-into-cigarette-lighter.html
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa...252-ignition-switched-live-battery-drain.html
 
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