Disco Tdi, battery keeps dying overnight - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old August 26th, 2012, 01:30 PM
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Disco Tdi, battery keeps dying overnight

Hello All,
I was hoping you guys might have some insight. I've got a Disco TDi that the battery (4 months old as per sticker on it) keeps dying overnight. Its driving me crazy. I've tried pulling the alarm, power locks, horn/hazards fuse overnight to see if that helps, disconnected the winch, nothing. I fear that the battery itself might be damaged now (or have a bad cell) makign this harder to diagnose if I don't also replace the battery itself first. Driving aroudn during the day has no issues which leads me to believe its a slow drain that only effects it over a number of hours. Any ideas? I'm getting sick of push starting it and popping the clutch in work clothes...
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  #2  
Old August 26th, 2012, 04:05 PM
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Hi Danny,
Do you have access to a multimeter? this would allow you to measure the discharge current when the ign is off & allow you to measure the static voltage and any self discharge.
however, try charging the batt or take it for a good run then leave it overnight with the batt lead disconnected if the batt is self discharging then it will fail to start or be slow to turn over.

If it starts then you know you have a drain, in my experience aftermarket audio systems are the main culprits for battery drain issues.

regards
Gren
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  #3  
Old August 27th, 2012, 07:27 AM
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J. Michael McCaig
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Diodes in the alternator could be bad. Use a multimeter as suggested to check for current flow or disconnect and see if the battery goes flat overnight.
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  #4  
Old August 27th, 2012, 09:01 AM
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Agree alternator very suspect. Exactly what I went thru for months before it officially died.
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  #5  
Old August 27th, 2012, 09:55 AM
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I'm not sure if the cooling fans on that motor are electric but if they are check to see if they stay running for an extended period after the car is off, my diesel jetta would do that and kill my battery. It really just a shot in the dark here though, I no nothing about your motor.
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  #6  
Old August 27th, 2012, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gren_T View Post
Hi Danny,
Do you have access to a multimeter? this would allow you to measure the discharge current when the ign is off & allow you to measure the static voltage and any self discharge.
however, try charging the batt or take it for a good run then leave it overnight with the batt lead disconnected if the batt is self discharging then it will fail to start or be slow to turn over.

If it starts then you know you have a drain, in my experience aftermarket audio systems are the main culprits for battery drain issues.

regards
Gren
Quote:
Originally Posted by LRover View Post
Diodes in the alternator could be bad. Use a multimeter as suggested to check for current flow or disconnect and see if the battery goes flat overnight.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
Agree alternator very suspect. Exactly what I went thru for months before it officially died.
Update: left it overnight fully charged with the battery disconnected, reconnected it and it started right up. I've already pulled the fuses for the horn/flashers and alarm/keyless entry overnight which didn't help. I'm going to use the multimeter now and try to target this.

I'll hook up the multimeter (with it off) and one by one pull fuses until I find the culprit.
I'll post back with what I find.

If it ends up being the alternator, can I replace the diode without replacing the whole unit?
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  #7  
Old August 27th, 2012, 01:51 PM
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Keith Armstrong
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My experience...granted, V8 only...just replace the alternator.

Yes, you can theoretically find the diodes and replace them one at a time, but what a PITA.



Oh yeah... '08 GTi too
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  #8  
Old August 27th, 2012, 08:00 PM
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My father in law and I worked with the multimeter for 2 hours today.

We think we've narrowed it down to the horn relay. Its the only circuit (that shouldn't) that appears to have a slight draw with the ignition off, plus using that circuit (by blowing the horn), pulling the fuse all effect the amount of voltage shown.

Related question, where the hell is the horn relay? I could hear it clicking but couldn't see it.
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  #9  
Old August 27th, 2012, 08:50 PM
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Discos don't have the same idiot alarm antennas that RRCs have that drain batteries, do they?
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  #10  
Old August 27th, 2012, 09:05 PM
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Have you checked the alarm relay?
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  #11  
Old August 27th, 2012, 09:08 PM
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Disconnect the alternator and let it sit overnight?
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  #12  
Old August 27th, 2012, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrooks View Post
Discos don't have the same idiot alarm antennas that RRCs have that drain batteries, do they?
If the answer is yes for the love of god tell me what to disconnect. I'll gladly give up an alarm and keyless entry for the ability to start it in the morning

Quote:
Originally Posted by MC22958 View Post
Have you checked the alarm relay?
A few days ago I pulled both of the fuses labeled alarm (security system) and it still died

Quote:
Originally Posted by crown14 View Post
Disconnect the alternator and let it sit overnight?
Haven't done that one yet, but the current draw when it was sitting today didn't stop when the alternator was completely disconnected.
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  #13  
Old August 29th, 2012, 11:49 AM
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new issues

Windows won't go up, going to pull the window ECU tonight.

All of this has to be related...
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  #14  
Old August 29th, 2012, 02:40 PM
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a lot of your relays have a constant power feed so if you do not pull the relay, not the fuse, then you will not stop a potential power drain. not that it is what is going on mind you. I would double check the KISS rule. It is probably something pretty simple.
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  #15  
Old August 29th, 2012, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC22958 View Post
a lot of your relays have a constant power feed so if you do not pull the relay, not the fuse, then you will not stop a potential power drain. not that it is what is going on mind you. I would double check the KISS rule. It is probably something pretty simple.
I'm betting (more like hoping) on a bad ground somewhere and a bad relay (in addition the the window ECU). I'm just curious as to how much of the original wiring loom was being used, eg the spider, etc.
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  #16  
Old August 30th, 2012, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstrubl View Post
I'm betting (more like hoping) on a bad ground somewhere and a bad relay (in addition the the window ECU). I'm just curious as to how much of the original wiring loom was being used, eg the spider, etc.
Window ECU needs replacing, I tried to resolder and only made it worse.

sidenote: the battery was connected all night, but the ECU wasn't, started right up...
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  #17  
Old August 31st, 2012, 12:24 AM
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What ECu?

------ Follow up post added August 31st, 2012 12:30 AM ------

The spider shouldnt be connected to anything, there is no engine ECU for it to connect too... Is there?
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  #18  
Old August 31st, 2012, 12:49 PM
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Let me know when you are ready, I've got it
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  #19  
Old August 31st, 2012, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
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What ECu?

------ Follow up post added August 31st, 2012 12:30 AM ------

The spider shouldnt be connected to anything, there is no engine ECU for it to connect too... Is there?
Window ECU.

Honestly I'm not sure how much of the original harness remains. I know what you mean that far less wiring is required now with teh TDi, but the alarm/CDL/etc does arm/disarm, so I know that controller is still attached. I wonder if they disconnected the spider immobilizer portion, or if its technically connected but there is nothing to "listen" to its signal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crown14 View Post
Let me know when you are ready, I've got it
I'm actually going to bring it to Trevor at British 4x4 next week, I'll see if he needs a spare Window ECU to try (I assume he has a few, haha). If not maybe I'll just have you ship it to him?

Thanks everybody for all your help. I'll post back once I have more news about it.
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  #20  
Old August 31st, 2012, 01:39 PM
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I know nothing about discoveries but when I converted my defender to a disco 200tdi I had some wires crossed at the alternator that caused the same issue. Seems like there was an extra connection at the alternator as compared to the 2.5TD I had previously but I dont remember the details. Drove me nuts trying to figure it out...
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