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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay guys, I come to you cause I'm lost. I've done some searching on the issue but I don't seem to come up with any specific answers. So heres the story. I'm a college student who lives on campus in NYC, my car stays with me on campus, but because I don't need to drive much it usually sits for extended periods of time. I almost always get out and drive it for about a half hour every weekend. If I had more money and the CV joint wasn't about to blow Id drive it more often. Anyway long story short the car was sitting for just over a week which is nothing new. So this weekend I hopped in to give a friend a ride home, and I turn the key and get just the dreaded clicking. I tried it a few times and got nothing but the clicking. My cd player, and dash lights turned on and worked fine. I turned the key, got the clicking (relay) but no turn over, not even trying to turn over. I figured this ment that the battery was to drained to turn over, but not to drained to run things like the cd player, etc. I went out again tonight to get something out of the car and nothing worked, no lights, no remote entry, completly fried battery. So theres def. a nice drain on the battery somewhere. Also, Battery is less than 2 months old, its a Diehard (i beleive) The previous battery was an energizer and i bought the car about 3 months ago, and i kept having problems with that battery, would charge it and it would be dead the next day, autozone said it was bad battery, alternator was checked and was fine. so i'm lost... any help would be great. I need to pick up a multi-meter and start there i know. but any suggestions as to the draw would def help. Thanks alot guys. Appreciate it.
 

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There have been several threads on something draining the battery. Search on "battery drain". This thread is one of the more recent. Turned out the Moonsoon HU was keeping the amp awake. One thing you might try is to remove the radio fuse and see if the drain goes away. There is a Technical Bulletin on the radio causing the battery to drain because the radio goes into a certain mode. Supposedly, disconnecting battery or pulling the radio fuse is suppose to reset the radio. IIRC, that didn't work in the case above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Kenblasko: I read the thread that your talking about. I flet that it was pretty specific to the HU, and one thing I should have mentioned was that I don't have a stock HU. I did search for battery drain also, and I found out how to trace the problem. But since i dont have the stock head unit i was looking to see if anyone had any other problems with other things draining the battery. Maybe you might know the answer to this: The heated mirrors, how much drain do they have on a battery? I just realized mine have always been in the "heat" portion, but I never thought they would drain that much, and do they only start heating when the car senses a certain temp? (colder nights lately maybe have been cause?) Also do you know if its possible to jump a completely depleated battery? (i know nothing about electrical...grrr...)
 

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Looked in Bentley's but did not find anything on the load of the heated mirrors. Also, it looks like the switch to control the heated mirrors goes into the door control module with the module activating the heating elements. So, don't know the logic as to how and when the heat is activated if the switch is left on. As far a jumping a dead battery, it would be better if you charged the dead battery for a few minutes prior to starting the car. So put the jumper cables on and let the other car idle for maybe 5 minutes or so while you charge your battery a bit. Then start your car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reply, I'll have to get the battery up and alive today, and then grab a multimeter and see if i cant get an idea of where the drain is coming from.
 

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I assume you lock your car. But one thing that can drain the battery is leaving your car unlocked. There's a thread here on that - when car is unlocked, the cars' electronics (ECU, etc.) are more active and put more of a drain on the battery.
 

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Its not the battery, its you.

I live in Bklyn also and I know what it is to find a parking space. I dont think theres anything wrong with you battery, just your driving habits. I dont think 1/2hr per wk of driving is enough to recharge the battery fully.

Even with a new battery, after 1 wk of the alarm being on and only driving a bit on weekend will not be enough. Also, does your car have an aftermarket alarm that draining the battery? Put a steering lock on, and take out the fuse to the radio, alarm and main engine(so nobody can steal it) and see what happens in 1 wk. I just think its under-driven and the battery is never fully charged.

Living in Bklyn, driving infrequently and with a weak battery last winter, I found that a portable battery jumper built-in air pump very valuable. Keep it charged in the house and carry it to the car incase you need a jump.

Get this taken care of before winter!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mikel, Your probably right. I know my driving habits with this car are hard on this car. I was just thinking, I had a dodge stratus here for 2 years but now that i think about it, I drove to upstate NY (3 hour drive each way) just about every weekend, so that probably helped keep the battery good. Question for you though: would disconnecting the negative on the battery do virtually the same thing as pulling those various fuses? I think i am going to pull those fuses when i get back this weekend and let it sit and see what happens. Thanks for the info.
 

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better-off disconnecting the ground

Disconnecting the ground will stop the drain 100% vs. removing the fused. You many not be aware of any other drain. Even a brand new 100% fully charged battery will go dead eventually.

Take the battery to Sears for a check-up, or drive the car every 3 days. If the battery is good, then get a portable jumper. I found a cheap one on ebay for $30 with pump and light. It saved my a$$ a number of times last winter when I had an old battery. It even helped my change my ATF.

Like sleep, the recharge cycle is cumulative. If you dont get enough sleep night after night, you're going to be weaker and weaker.

If driven only 1/wk, you'll probably always have enough juice to keep the memory for the radio and ECU, but just not enough to crank the motor.
 

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You say you don't have a stock head unit. Do you have a capacitor used to power the bass speakers? If you do, that capacitor might be wired up so it's constantly charging itself off the battery, even when the ignition is off.
 

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Maybe you need to consider getting one of these solar panels to keep your battery charged.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
deusexaethera: No, I don't have a cap. I don't have the full system in the car at this moment cause I needed the extra trunk space. So really just an aftermarket HU. Thanks for the idea though.

Altair 4: Haha good suggestion oddly enough i'm in one of the only areas of the city that has trees, and they cover our entire parking lot so even that would be pretty much useless with the lack of sun.

I think Mikel212 was correct in saying that i just need to drive it more. I did alot of driving this weekend (went upstate) and everything was fine, not even a hard start on a freezing morning. I think I just need to get out and drive the baby more often. Thanks for all the advice guys! I really appreciate it.
 

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Altair 4: Haha good suggestion oddly enough i'm in one of the only areas of the city that has trees, and they cover our entire parking lot so even that would be pretty much useless with the lack of sun.
That's too bad, because I think that would have been a good solution for you. I use one of these during the winter months, since my weekend long drives are more limited. I especially use it when parking at the airport for weeklong business travel.
 

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Altair: just outta curiousity, any idea how much and where to get one of those solar panel things?
Ebay is one source. That panel was included in some VW cars to keep the battery charged while on the dealer lot. If you ask nicely, you might be able to score one from your dealer.

I bought mine from a PW member who used to work at Liberty VW - I think it was $20 shipped. I got the old style that plugs into the power outlet in console. I see that there's a new style that plugs into the OBD port - don't know if that works with the B5/B5.5 or not.
 

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Does anybody know if the B5 has a supercapacitor built into the stock electrical system? I know there's some cylindrical thingy near the bottom of the engine bay that heavy wires attach to.
 

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Does anybody know if the B5 has a supercapacitor built into the stock electrical system? I know there's some cylindrical thingy near the bottom of the engine bay that heavy wires attach to.
No, no, no! That's the flux capacitor....;)
 

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Wouldn't a low electrolyte (aka - distilled water) level in the battery cause it to die prematurely? I checked mine at 30,000 and now just pushing 40,000 and the level was pretty low. Provided your battery isn't the "maintenence free" kind, and has the removable caps beneath the label, it migh tbe worth trying.
 
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