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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello I have a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder. I have multiple aftermarket Electronics installed such as remote car starter, drone mobile, DVD headrests. As well as some other items I turn off and on while plugged into my cigarette lighters. But recently I have been noticing that if I leave my vehicle for about 24 hours or more I don't have enough battery power to start my vehicle. My battery is only a year old and it is the recommended size for my vehicle. I asked around I was told a couple of different things for example my battery is not big enough for all the aftermarket parts I have installed and should be upgraded. As well as my alternator is not putting out enough amperage to control all the manufacturers + aftermarket parts, so it is not charging the battery to its full potential. Any ideas I need help please
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Could be your Hitachi alternator is dying and causing a drain on the battery even when the car is shut off.

Read my 'Alternator' thread and perform the parasitic current drain test (ammeter in series, ie between a battery post and the battery cable). Find out how much current is being drawn at rest, with the vehicle off...should be less than 100mA (0.1A). If it's more than that, start pulling fuses/plugs until it drops, that will identify your power hog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Could be your Hitachi alternator is dying and causing a drain on the battery even when the car is shut off.

Read my 'Alternator' thread and perform the parasitic current drain test (ammeter in series, ie between a battery post and the battery cable). Find out how much current is being drawn at rest, with the vehicle off...should be less than 100mA (0.1A). If it's more than that, start pulling fuses/plugs until it drops, that will identify your power hog.

Hello, thanks for the input. I believe something is defenitely draining it. I just went out there now and had to jump it and I drove it less than two hours ago. I will have to purchase an ammeter.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Hello, thanks for the input. I believe something is defenitely draining it. I just went out there now and had to jump it and I drove it less than two hours ago. I will have to purchase an ammeter.
Most DVM's (digital voltmeters) have a current measuring ability. You need something that handles 0-10A (just to be safe) and it usually has a 10A fuse inside the meter just incase something goes horribly wrong. If you have some money to spend, get a 'clamp' style ammeter...that way you don't have to disconnect the battery cables at all...just clip the clamp around the cable and away you go.

No need to break the bank... this will do

Digital Clamp Meter

or if you need something local (will need to go in series though)

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-Tools-Manual-Ranging-Digital-Multimeter-MM300/206517192

Or if in Canada

Mini Digital Clamp Meter | Princess Auto
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Most DVM's (digital voltmeters) have a current measuring ability. You need something that handles 0-10A (just to be safe) and it usually has a 10A fuse inside the meter just incase something goes horribly wrong. If you have some money to spend, get a 'clamp' style ammeter...that way you don't have to disconnect the battery cables at all...just clip the clamp around the cable and away you go.

No need to break the bank... this will do

Digital Clamp Meter

or if you need something local (will need to go in series though)

Klein Tools Manual Ranging Digital Multimeter-MM300 - The Home Depot

Or if in Canada

Mini Digital Clamp Meter | Princess Auto
http://m.tmart.com/Digital-LCD-Multimeter-Voltmeter-Ammeter-Ohmmeter_p112830.html

I just borrowed this one here. I've never used one before but all I need to do is just disconnect the negative terminal correct?
Thank you
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Turn off car and all accessories (shut it down as much as possible).

Red lead in the 10ADC hole, Black lead in the Common.
Select 10A DC on dial

Disconnect negative battery cable and temporarily secure away from the battery post it so it cannot move around (tape or tie wrap to something)
Press and hold black probe tip on negative battery CABLE end
Press and hold red probe tip to negative battery TERMINAL

You have now connected the battery back into all the electrical systems of the car. There will be a short spike of several amps, which after about 30-40s will die down to a steady state draw of about 70-100mA (0.07 to 0.1A). When my alternator was dying, it was causing over 2A extra draw at steady state.

If you notice elevated draw levels, you need to start disconnecting systems to figure out which is actually drawing the power. This can be done by removing fuses or plugs or disconnecting wires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Turn off car and all accessories (shut it down as much as possible).

Red lead in the 10ADC hole, Black lead in the Common.
Select 10A DC on dial

Disconnect negative battery cable and temporarily secure away from the battery post it so it cannot move around (tape or tie wrap to something)
Press and hold black probe tip on negative battery CABLE end
Press and hold red probe tip to negative battery TERMINAL

You have now connected the battery back into all the electrical systems of the car. There will be a short spike of several amps, which after about 30-40s will die down to a steady state draw of about 70-100mA (0.07 to 0.1A). When my alternator was dying, it was causing over 2A extra draw at steady state.

If you notice elevated draw levels, you need to start disconnecting systems to figure out which is actually drawing the power. This can be done by removing fuses or plugs or disconnecting wires.

Thanks a lot I am going to try that today and hope I get somewhere
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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I suggest you do one at a time and replace if no change is noticed. You don't want to end up with 30 random fuses on top of your engine cover...that might be painful to put back the right way.

This is where the clamp is handier...you don't have to disconnect the battery cable and you don't need 3rd and 4th hands to remove fuses. You may need an assistant to do this part if your meter is the in-series probe type.
 

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THIS is the ONLY way to perform this test imho! This member is dead o accurate with how to find the draw. If you cannot find it with this, you are doing something wrong...I promise you. Let us know what you find.
Turn off car and all accessories (shut it down as much as possible).

Red lead in the 10ADC hole, Black lead in the Common.
Select 10A DC on dial

Disconnect negative battery cable and temporarily secure away from the battery post it so it cannot move around (tape or tie wrap to something)
Press and hold black probe tip on negative battery CABLE end
Press and hold red probe tip to negative battery TERMINAL

You have now connected the battery back into all the electrical systems of the car. There will be a short spike of several amps, which after about 30-40s will die down to a steady state draw of about 70-100mA (0.07 to 0.1A). When my alternator was dying, it was causing over 2A extra draw at steady state.

If you notice elevated draw levels, you need to start disconnecting systems to figure out which is actually drawing the power. This can be done by removing fuses or plugs or disconnecting wires.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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I forgot to share one other useful bit of info, at least for the Altima, I was able to get the factory service manual (FSM), specifically the PG section (power/ground) which details the wiring diagram at the top level so you can see the most important electrical branches and can then decide which parts you want to eliminate first.

Again, in the case of the Altima, there are a few 'usual culprits', and so those were the ones I went after first. Basically you are looking for systems that have access to power, even when the car is off (door locks, security, lights, etc.):
- BCM (body control module, think doors and lights)
- ECM (engine computer)
- exterior lighting
- radio
- alternator

Now my Altima, it was the B terminal that as causing the draw, and the only way to remove it from the electrical system was to either disconnect the big cable at the alternator or battery end. I did it at the battery end as it's much safer to do so. That was when I noticed the big drop in static draw current.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I forgot to share one other useful bit of info, at least for the Altima, I was able to get the factory service manual (FSM), specifically the PG section (power/ground) which details the wiring diagram at the top level so you can see the most important electrical branches and can then decide which parts you want to eliminate first.

Again, in the case of the Altima, there are a few 'usual culprits', and so those were the ones I went after first. Basically you are looking for systems that have access to power, even when the car is off (door locks, security, lights, etc.):
- BCM (body control module, think doors and lights)
- ECM (engine computer)
- exterior lighting
- radio
- alternator

Now my Altima, it was the B terminal that as causing the draw, and the only way to remove it from the electrical system was to either disconnect the big cable at the alternator or battery end. I did it at the battery end as it's much safer to do so. That was when I noticed the big drop in static draw current.
Ok I did the ammeter today according to your directions. What I was averaging " exactly shown on screen" was -0.35 to about -0.50. Now according to what you stated it should be that is high readings correct? I only did the interior fuses so far with no change. Now I have recently had a car starter and a drone mobile unit installed could that be the culprit that is draining the battery
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes I just confirmed it. I'm averaging about -0.40 at a steady shut down state. I will be attempting to try each fuse under the hood tomorrow. I am alone so it takes awhile. Cause again my battery was dead and had to jump it. So drove and Had it tested, they said it was good but only had a 65% charge and this was after about 30 minutes of strait drive time. So after I try all the fuses under the hood I will let you know how I made out. Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
THIS is the ONLY way to perform this test imho! This member is dead o accurate with how to find the draw. If you cannot find it with this, you are doing something wrong...I promise you. Let us know what you find.

I attempted with just the interior fuses so far, but I am getting a reading ranging from about -0.30 to about -0.50 but I'm not sure if that's good or bad
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Ok, that is too much in my opinion. I don't have a Pathfinder, but the Altima V6 idles at 0.07...so you are 5-7x higher. AT 0.5A you have pulling the equivalent of 6W continuously, like having your trunk light on (5W bulb). If we assume 14hrs the vehicle is inactive overnight, then you have consumed about 7Ahr of the battery capacity, a good car battery should have at least 6x this capacity. In my case I was idling around 2.3A...so about 33Ahr overnight...enough to flatten my older battery.

Did you wait 30-40s after connecting the meter in for all the subsystems to go back to sleep? If you are just reading after connecting the meter, then what you are seeing would be typical.

How old is your battery? Namebrand or cheapie?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes I did wait for about that long with the meter. That was my average after it dropped down. And my battery is about 15 months old. The brand is Exide. I haven't had time to try anything else in it yet since then, but since then I have only had to jump it once
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Exide should be reasonable quality..seems a bit early for it to be sulphating or worse.

You are still 7x high on the nominal draw. Have you tried pulling the fusible links yet?
 
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