Slightly OT - Auto Store Battery Drain Test
NEWS
 

  1. Welcome to Honda Odyssey Forum : Odyssey Minivan Forums – General discussion forum for Honda Odyssey

    Welcome to Honda Odyssey Forum : Odyssey Minivan Forums - a website dedicated to all things Honda Odyssey.

    You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, Join Honda Odyssey Forum : Odyssey Minivan Forums today!
     
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 35

Thread: Slightly OT - Auto Store Battery Drain Test

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    929

    Slightly OT - Auto Store Battery Drain Test

    There is a lot of discussion related to parasitic drain in this forum, so I have a question.

    When an auto store tests the battery and charging system, they also supposedly perform a "drain" test. One of the cables from their tester is a clamp-on ammeter which they clamp around the positive cable.

    How reliable is that test? Is a zero reading during a few second drain test something to be trusted?
    Current Ody: 2006 EX-L, 118K and climbing
    Former Ody:
    t2004 LX, 160K and holdingt

    Hidden Content

    2007 Civic LX 105K
    2003 Element EX AWD 81K

  2. Remove Advertisements
    OdyClub.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    6,480
    I think the test is valid. It simulates the load on the battery of cranking the engine. Every battery has a stated CCA rating (cold cranking amps). It's defective if it cannot deliver that many amps.

    However, I have always suspected that the measure may be under-stated to influence the customer to buy a new battery.

    Dave
    2002 Odyssey EX Fern (Granite) Green
    Honda hood protector, stainless steel flex brake lines, Honda block heater, AC condenser screen, Zymol wax
    141,000 miles/227,000 kilometres; original transmission; Amsoil MV ATF since 79,000 miles/127,000 kilometres; Magnefine aux ATF filter; Honda aux ATF cooler; 18 drain and fills

  4. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    North Potomac, Maryland
    Posts
    530
    Most vehicles take a few minutes to reach steady-state after the ignition is turned off. So if the test is just for a few seconds, it is meaningless. It will also depend on the sensitivity of the clamp-on meter, as steady-state is usually about 50ma.

  5. Remove Advertisements
    OdyClub.com
    Advertisements
     

  6. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    929
    Quote Originally Posted by davedrivesody View Post
    I think the test is valid. It simulates the load on the battery of cranking the engine. Every battery has a stated CCA rating (cold cranking amps). It's defective if it cannot deliver that many amps.

    However, I have always suspected that the measure may be under-stated to influence the customer to buy a new battery.

    Dave
    I think we may be talking about two different readings.

    On the printout I received there were 2 amperage readings:

    1 - A cranking reading taken as the vehicle was started. I believe that that is what you are talking about.
    2 - The "Drain" reading taken when the car was off. That was the reading labeled as Drain with a reading of either 0.00 or 00.0 (I don't have the printout with me.) That is the reading that I am asking about.

    I am assuming that the Drain reading is supposed to indicate whether or not there is any parasitic drain on battery when the vehicle is off.
    Current Ody: 2006 EX-L, 118K and climbing
    Former Ody:
    t2004 LX, 160K and holdingt

    Hidden Content

    2007 Civic LX 105K
    2003 Element EX AWD 81K

  7. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    929
    Quote Originally Posted by marvinstockman View Post
    Most vehicles take a few minutes to reach steady-state after the ignition is turned off. So if the test is just for a few seconds, it is meaningless. It will also depend on the sensitivity of the clamp-on meter, as steady-state is usually about 50ma.
    I understand what you are saying, although I think there may be a need for clarification. You said:

    "Most vehicles take a few minutes to reach steady-state"

    and

    "So if the test is just for a few seconds, it is meaningless"

    If the test is performed "a few minutes" after the vehicle is shut off (i.e. reached steady state) wouldn't a "few seconds" be long enough to get a reading?

    IOW, aren't you saying that when the test is run is the important factor, not for how long the test is run?

    Assuming that that is what you meant, could a reading of 0.0 right after shutdown show a higher reading a few minutes later? In other words, could a parasitic drain start a few minutes after shut down, i.e. once steady state is reached? I can see it going down as everything settles in, but could it actually go up later on?
    Current Ody: 2006 EX-L, 118K and climbing
    Former Ody:
    t2004 LX, 160K and holdingt

    Hidden Content

    2007 Civic LX 105K
    2003 Element EX AWD 81K

  8. #6
    Registered User John Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    4,612
    Usually a parasitic draw will be there 100% of the time since the car is shut off. How much draw is the question. Most newer vehicles have 200-300 mA of draw for up to 30 minutes while the PCM does various tests and monitors various sensors. After that it should go to sleep and you should have usually less than 50mA of draw which is the keep alive memory for clocks, the PCM volatile memory, etc.

    I would trust their load tests but the battery drain test will depend on the sensitivity of the meter being used. If you have "0.0" then I guess that means you have less than 0.050A (50mA) of draw assuming if it was 0.050 it would round up to 0.1. If the car was just shut off that's not going to be accurate and their equipment isn't working. If the car has been off for a while then I'd say it might be accurate. I would have liked to see the actual reading out to at least two digits.

    You also have to make sure no doors have been opened in the last few minutes, too, as often opening a door will wake up various computers and start an amp draw.
    2008 Odyssey Touring-Silver
    2011 VW Jetta SE-Black
    2002 GMC Sierra SLT LB Z71-Red
    1998 Nissan 200SX SE-Blue

  9. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    929
    Quote Originally Posted by John Clark View Post
    Usually a parasitic draw will be there 100% of the time since the car is shut off. How much draw is the question. Most newer vehicles have 200-300 mA of draw for up to 30 minutes while the PCM does various tests and monitors various sensors. After that it should go to sleep and you should have usually less than 50mA of draw which is the keep alive memory for clocks, the PCM volatile memory, etc.

    I would trust their load tests but the battery drain test will depend on the sensitivity of the meter being used. If you have "0.0" then I guess that means you have less than 0.050A (50mA) of draw assuming if it was 0.050 it would round up to 0.1. If the car was just shut off that's not going to be accurate and their equipment isn't working. If the car has been off for a while then I'd say it might be accurate. I would have liked to see the actual reading out to at least two digits.

    You also have to make sure no doors have been opened in the last few minutes, too, as often opening a door will wake up various computers and start an amp draw.
    I'll check the readout when I get home. I'm pretty sure that the Drain reading was to 2 digits but I won't swear to that. The vehicle in question is a 2003 Element. It's a pretty unsophisticated vehicle.

    If I recall correctly, the driver's door was opened after the vehicle had already been started via the remote. Once it was opened I don't believe it was ever closed during any of the subsequent shut-downs and restarts. He had me turn all accessories on for one test and then all off for another. What I don't recall is at what point(s) the vehicle was running and when it wasn't. Did I close the door so that the dome lights were off? Can't say.

    I do know that all tests were graded as "Passed. " I'll find the readout and scan it in for all to see. If there is still any confusion, I'll go to a different location and have them run the tests again, this time paying close attention to all the different variables.
    Current Ody: 2006 EX-L, 118K and climbing
    Former Ody:
    t2004 LX, 160K and holdingt

    Hidden Content

    2007 Civic LX 105K
    2003 Element EX AWD 81K

  10. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    North Potomac, Maryland
    Posts
    530
    What problem are you having? Is your battery going dead?

  11. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    929
    Quote Originally Posted by marvinstockman View Post
    What problem are you having? Is your battery going dead?
    I should start by stating that there is a reason I didn't mention any specific vehicle or the symptoms: I simply want to understand what the Drain test result means.

    That said, for anyone that is curious....

    What prompted the test is that the remote start in SWMBO's 03 Element sometimes take 2 or even 3 tries to start the vehicle. For example, it was 29° this morning, which is far from "cold". It took 3 tries for the remote to start the Element. (for those that aren't aware, most remotes will try to start the vehicle multiple times before giving up. I believe that all 4 of mine are set for 3 tries) On the other hand, there are times when the Element starts on the 1st try even with temps in the low-teens. It's hard to predict what it will do, but it always eventually starts.

    BUT! I'm not saying that there is an issue with the vehicle's electrical system. This is not a recent problem, but it seems just a little worse this year. I spoke to the installer (lifetime warranty) and he said it might be nothing more than a need to adjust the tach sensing setting. They are going to look at it later this week.

    In the meantime, I was going out the other night and SWMBO said "Hey, why don't you take the Element and have them check the battery? It can't hurt." So, I did and that's what raised my question about the
    Drain reading. Since everything checked out OK - although now I'm questioning the Drain reading of 0 - I'm not going to do anything until the installer looks at the remote start system.
    Current Ody: 2006 EX-L, 118K and climbing
    Former Ody:
    t2004 LX, 160K and holdingt

    Hidden Content

    2007 Civic LX 105K
    2003 Element EX AWD 81K

  12. #10
    Registered User John Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    4,612
    Where is the difficulty starting coming in? Is it not cranking? Cranking slow? Cranking but not starting?
    2008 Odyssey Touring-Silver
    2011 VW Jetta SE-Black
    2002 GMC Sierra SLT LB Z71-Red
    1998 Nissan 200SX SE-Blue

  13. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    929
    Short crank, no start.
    10 second pause
    Short crank, no start.
    10 second pause
    Short crank, start.

    Or

    Short crank, start

    Or

    Short crank, no start
    10 second pause
    Short crank, start

    Like I said, intermittent. Always starts with the key, but I think that may be because she/we instinctively know how long to hold the key.

    Until I have the remote start system looked at, I'm not going to start looking for other issues. If my installer (trusted guy, he's done 6 remote starts for me over the years) tells me it's not his system, I'll take the next step.

    For now, my hands are over my ears and I'm saying la-la-la-la-la. I can't hear you anymore.
    Current Ody: 2006 EX-L, 118K and climbing
    Former Ody:
    t2004 LX, 160K and holdingt

    Hidden Content

    2007 Civic LX 105K
    2003 Element EX AWD 81K

  14. #12
    Registered User John Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    4,612
    Doesn't sound like a battery issue at all. I'd be curious to know how many actual cranks it takes with the key vs. how many cranks with the remote start. I assume this is an aftermarket remote start? I've never installed one. Is there a setting in the remote start system that will extend the crank time by half a second or a second, etc.?
    2008 Odyssey Touring-Silver
    2011 VW Jetta SE-Black
    2002 GMC Sierra SLT LB Z71-Red
    1998 Nissan 200SX SE-Blue

  15. #13
    Registered User John Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    4,612
    Or does the remote start have some kind of a tach input that will disengage it as soon as the engine starts?
    2008 Odyssey Touring-Silver
    2011 VW Jetta SE-Black
    2002 GMC Sierra SLT LB Z71-Red
    1998 Nissan 200SX SE-Blue

  16. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    929
    Quote Originally Posted by John Clark View Post
    Doesn't sound like a battery issue at all.
    I know that. SWMBO asked me to have the system checked.

    My options:

    1 - Honor her request for all the obvious reasons.
    2 - Tell her she has no clue what she's talking about. "Take yourself if you want it checked out."

    Guess which option I chose?

    Once that was done, I became curious about the "Drain" reading. Remember, my question was about the usefulness of the drain reading, not about why SWMBO's Element doesn't always start with the remote starter.


    I'd be curious to know how many actual cranks it takes with the key vs. how many cranks with the remote start.
    Never counted. I'll do that.

    I assume this is an aftermarket remote start? I've never installed one. Is there a setting in the remote start system that will extend the crank time by half a second or a second, etc.?
    That's almost exactly what I asked the installer. "Can you extend the start signal?" When I explained the issue, that's when he brought up the tach signal. That's why it's going to him later this week.

    (See my answer to your next question)
    Last edited by DerbyDad03; 02-13-2017 at 09:14 PM.
    Current Ody: 2006 EX-L, 118K and climbing
    Former Ody:
    t2004 LX, 160K and holdingt

    Hidden Content

    2007 Civic LX 105K
    2003 Element EX AWD 81K

  17. #15
    Registered User John Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    4,612
    Oops! Guilty of not reading your entire post. Sorry!
    2008 Odyssey Touring-Silver
    2011 VW Jetta SE-Black
    2002 GMC Sierra SLT LB Z71-Red
    1998 Nissan 200SX SE-Blue

  18. Remove Advertisements
    OdyClub.com
    Advertisements
     

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Battery drain
    By jubei4769 in forum 2005 - 2010 Odyssey
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 02-01-2016, 06:10 PM
  2. 2006 battery drain
    By Dcl in forum 2005 - 2010 Odyssey
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-18-2015, 12:39 PM
  3. Battery drain
    By thaxman in forum 1999 - 2004 Odyssey
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-28-2015, 10:49 AM
  4. New battery drain
    By articaine in forum 2005 - 2010 Odyssey
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-19-2015, 01:55 AM
  5. Battery drain
    By jsp9999 in forum 2005 - 2010 Odyssey
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-28-2012, 11:18 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.1.2