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Old May 6th, 2007, 10:11 AM
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Scott Yates
94 D90 #639, Yellow
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 165
Thumbs down Electrical issue-dead batt overnight

Hello all. I searched the last 10 pages of "no start" threads with no luck.

As I was switching tops to the bikini it started to rain. No big deal. Drover around town in the drizzle doing errands etc and went home. No issues. Went to leave the next morning and the batt was completely dead. Jump started no problem. Went to work no problems. Came out and it started fine. Next morning, batt is completely dead. Jumped it again, drove it again. When getting in it during the day I noticed the oil light on (the engine was off and no key in the ignition). Started it and the oil light turned off. It has not come on again, but the batt is stone cold dead every morning.

No lights are out and all my switches work.

Any ideas? I am much better at turning wrenches than diagnosing, especially electrical issues (I was a line mechanic not drivability lol).

Thanks in advance,
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Old May 6th, 2007, 11:21 AM
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Dave Haynes
Ibex 240 2.8TGV
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Portsmouth, UK
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You really need a multimeter with a current range to diagnose this properly but the most likely causes are a duff battery or alternator diode pack.

Try disconnecting the battery earth terminal overnight. If it's flat in the morning, go shopping for a battery.

If it's not flat, disconnect the fat wire to the alternator overnight (beware of shorts!). I've seen a few alts go this way. They work when rotating, but draw current when stopped. EDIT - Do Not start the engine with the alternator disconnected - that'll do it no good at all!

In fact, do the alternator test even if the battery fails its test - a bad alternator can stuff a good battery and vice versa.

If you've got an ammeter, get it in line with the battery (earth line is often easier and safer) and see what current is being drawn. Then start by pulling fuses to see what reduces the draw. DO NOT try and start the engine - you'll stuff the meter.
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