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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Woke up today thinking my key fob battery needed replacing, got the spare and still no joy. So opened the drivers door with the key blade and still no life from the dashboard when I got in. So diagnosed a flat battery fairly quickly. Note drivers door is the only one you can open with no voltage. I connected my 1000amp Noco jumpstarter and it wasn't enough to revive the bella? We got it started doing things the old fashioned way with a jump start from the 500x at 3500rpm. Has anyone had a similar experience I think the internal lighting caused the current drain but I don't know why? Roof lights came on when the external booster was connected? Once we got it started every fault you can imagine came up, TPMS, ATS, Hillholder, FCWs, AAC, no DNA, adaptive lighting, Jesus wants me for a sunbeam dash board! Took it for a 75 mile drive and most faults cleared except for ATS, FCWS and AAC, switched it off, at the next restart all appears to be okay. I've got it on the Alfa battery conditioner at the moment but I'm struggling to understand what happened. I did note the central console was illuminated for a long time after key off but the park brakelight switch takes about 5 minutes to go off, is this normal?
 

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Stelvio QV my20
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So humid and then snaps cold. Lots of condensation. Could be some short getting created somewhere.
let’s hope it was a one off, but the battery will
Not be the same again - deep discharge reduces capacity, so it will take less effort to get it flat now.
I’d fit a monitor to hopefully spot if you have repeating parasitic drain. Keeping it on tender could just mean you will not know and it will drain on you somewhere away from home.

if monitor shows a systematic drain could try going through a fuse box to narrow it down.
 

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Hopefully it's the battery that failed rather than some weird electrical / computer gremlin.. shame the Noco didn't start it.. I've got a similar booster that has come in handy for other vehicles including GTV 3.0.. it had no problems starting that from flat but I did find it needs someone to make sure the connections are really tight on the posts (sort of holding the clips but forcing them to grip).. I also regularly take it out the car and run it down a bit then charge it to be sure it's full..... I never considered a jump start old school as I thought these new cars didn't work like that.. the Mrs has 500x so I know where to go now if I have the same grief..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Whatever you do if faced with the same problem do not connect to the negative pole of the battery on either car. The Stelvio and Giulia for that matter has a post under the bonnet, really dissapointed the 500x didn't have a similar setup, but there's a nut on the left side of the battery box that provided a good ground. Just wish I knew what caused the issue in the first place? The internal lights are LED's so wouldn't think they would drain the battery overnight but I can't think of anything else?
 

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I think there’s some potential in the “sticky” radio knob theory since my wife recently waited in the car while I visited my mum in hospital. She wasn’t sure if she’d switched it off after switching it back on while she sat in the car then went for a stroll.
 

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Whatever you do if faced with the same problem do not connect to the negative pole of the battery on either car. The Stelvio and Giulia for that matter has a post under the bonnet, really dissapointed the 500x didn't have a similar setup, but there's a nut on the left side of the battery box that provided a good ground. Just wish I knew what caused the issue in the first place? The internal lights are LED's so wouldn't think they would drain the battery overnight but I can't think of anything else?
Good advice thanks... I've heard that the infotainment power button can be sticky leaving the unit on but I'm sure you'd see that before getting out the car.. I find myself standing outside the car waiting for the high pitch noise to stop before I go indoors... supposedly things are still shutting even after you've locked it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You both might have a point because I sat there trying to start the car thinking " Who needs the ******* radio on right now!" it kept coming back on as soon as there was enough voltage! I've noticed that the LED in the park brake switch takes about 5 minutes to go off, is this normal?
 

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Yesterday our Stelvio's battery completely died for the second time in 3 weeks. I think the battery was just shot. I was an hour away from home but was able to jump start it. Last time it happened I put it on full overnight charge with a CTEK so it's completely discharged in 3 weeks.

Didn't test for a parasitic drain but I've suspected the battery has been dodgy for a while. Ordered and fit a brand new battery today so we'll see how that fares...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have the Alfa branded CTEK charger but it is only a battery maintainer, don't think it can provide enough charge to get the car going in less than 12 hours of use but could be wrong? I've now got 2 lights on so looks like it's working, the car is only 6months old so hope the battery has a couple of years left in it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I did notice the centre console lights seemed to be on for a long time last night, but just thought that was part of the normal shutdown? Then the two lights in the boot were constantly on but dim, like old LEDs with voltage monitoring? Today they go off properly so what were they trying to tell me?
 

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Did you hear the double beep when locking? If the door is not properly closed it will not central lock and it continues to draw current. Mine goes dark pretty much straight away.
Can you also check you don’t have any leads plugged into USBs. I am not sure all USB ports go dead on shut down and with all the condensation in this weather leads could get shorted.
 

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I also would disable keyless access for a while. Handle touch wakes the car up regardless of whether it will get unlocked or not. Mine is disabled for that reason as it reacts to car being washed. I wonder if with weird moist air the door handle sensors get triggered and wake the car up.
 

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If it’s still under warranty get your local dealer to check the battery - mine was replaced under warranty because they fitted a load of lower powered batteries than the required spec accidentally.
 

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You both might have a point because I sat there trying to start the car thinking " Who needs the *** radio on right now!" it kept coming back on as soon as there was enough voltage! I've noticed that the LED in the park brake switch takes about 5 minutes to go off, is this normal?
Just checked and mine stays on after I've double tapped the locking button for about 4 - 5 minutes as well..
 

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Just checked and mine stays on after I've double tapped the locking button for about 4 - 5 minutes as well..
parking brake is normal at approx 5 minutes.... You'll also hear the sound of the brakes clunking at that time....
It's basially systems shutting down
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm thinking two possibilities caused the problem:-
Umbrella jammed in the powergate stopped it closing so car never shut down
or can you put the roof/map lights on forever and get out with them still on?
Car is working as expected today!
 

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It would not double beep and would not fold the mirrors if it refused to lock. I get that sometimes when kids don’t close the doors properly. You know smth is off even if you are not thinking - that double beep is so annoying you always cringe in expectation and when it’s not there your brain is asking what’s wrong,
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have also noticed a third beep when the bonnet is open using the charger today. Hopefully it was the Umberella stopping the powergate?
 

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I stuck mine on ctek yesterday to see how effective car charging is. It did end up with higher initial off charge voltage (12.72) - see last cycle in screen shot than from car charging (12.55) - all previous cycles.
Rectangle Slope Font Parallel Terrestrial plant

It was on ctek for 3 hours whereas my trips are fairly short (30min typically) so it just not long enough even though charging voltage from the car is higher than what ctek pumps out (and I was using higher voltage AGM charging cycle on ctek because it was sub 5c).
It is still not as high as off charge battery voltage than even from car charging in summer where I see 12.80+ and sometimes over 13v after long trips. So battery is just not taking that much charge in cold. But this difference is probably around 3-4 idle days at most and I have seen my battery happily sit there for over two weeks in the airport car park in summer whilst I was on holiday and the car was starting from 12.2v even after that.
In this weather I idled the car for 9 days recently and saw it drop to 12.07 and it sat at that voltage quite happily and there were no cranking problems. To get from 12.2 to 12.07 in summer would take another 10-15 days I’d say as voltage starts dropping really slow after about 6-7 days idle.
Slope Rectangle Font Parallel Terrestrial plant

I would say easily over a month idle in warm weather off full charge and easily three weeks in this weather off full charge. If you are short tripper like me you don’t have full charge it is still easily 2 weeks in this weather.
What is important though is that the car battery controller recognises the battery needs charge because scrolling through cold weather charging in detail I see almost never charge throttling strategy applied (charging voltage jumping around through the trip) which happens regularly in summer. It pretty much always throwing full alternator power at it.
So definitely no idle drain design issues. If battery gets knackered it is something parasitic and car specific.
 
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