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Jake
Jake, Technician
Category: Audi
Satisfied Customers: 2398
Experience:  Over 30 years experience, 17 years with Audi, Factory trained
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Audi A3 02 Battery losing Charge. I have new battery and new

Customer Question

Audi A3 '02 Battery losing Charge. I have new battery and new stater. Mechanic said alternator is good. I've tested the load between neg term and neg lead. When I touch leads it reads 133mA after a few seconds it reads 66mA after a while longer it reads 21mA. When a door is opened it reads 296 mA( I might have a decimal place messed up there?) It starts fine when the battery is charged. It loses charge over night sometimes. It always loses charge after a few days. voltage shows 14.5 when engine is running.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Audi
Expert:  Jake replied 5 years ago.
Hello,


Thank You for choosing Just Answer for your query. Yes, I can help you.

First off let me say, I am impressed with your data, a large percentage of professional technicians do not know how to, or understand what you have done!

Your mA data is correct and right where it should be. These readings do not indicate excessive parasitic draw.

A few months ago I had a case with a RS6. That when the engine was fully warmed up, And I performed the parasitic draw test. The draw only came down to 2.6 Amps. It remained there for hours, yet once the vehicle cooled off I could do the draw test and the results were similar to yours.

I traced the cause to a failed alternator. I suggest you warm the vehicle and retest. If you do not find a parasitic draw in excess of .1 (100 mA). I would look harder at the battery, even though you say you have replaced it.

I hope I have answered your questions and addressed your concerns. Should you require further assistance on this matter, please don’t hesitate to ask. I want you t be 100% satisfied with my answer.

Positive feedback, referrals and bonuses are always appreciated! If you decide to accept this answer, please click the ACCEPT button by THIS answer.


Thank You!
Jake “The Audi Doctor”

Jake, Technician
Category: Audi
Satisfied Customers: 2398
Experience: Over 30 years experience, 17 years with Audi, Factory trained
Jake and 3 other Audi Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
HI,

thanks for the compliment.

I am going to accept your answer, I just need to understand. Are you saying that if it does draw more amps after warmed up, turned off and tested that it is likely the alternator?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I don't really know quite how this site works yet. I hope you got my reply to clarify. thanks.
Expert:  Jake replied 5 years ago.
I'm sorry, I was a bit unclear. When i found the excessive draw (260mA) I disconnected the battery cable at the alternator, and it dropped to about 20mA.

If you can not find a parasitic draw in excess of 100ma, A parasitic draw is not the cause.

The only possibilities would be a battery that would not take a charge (fully charged battery should be 12.6v minimum surface voltage). Or could not hold a load.

Hope this clears things up. Should you require further assistance just check back with me here. You can do so through this contact, just so long as you do not "close" the contact.

Thank You!
Jake
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yep. OK. I'll give it a try tomorrow. I'm in the UK. It's cold and dark now! Thanks.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi,
It took me a couple of days. I kept blowing the fuse in my meter! :) don't try to measure voltage with your meter set to 200mA.

I warmed up the car. I thought there might have been a spike in amperage when I first touched the leads, but when I measured properly, it was 132mA, dropped to 71mA, then after several seconds, down to 21mA.

The battery does not seem to lose charge when the leads are disconnected.

I'm baffled. Thanks.
Expert:  Jake replied 5 years ago.
OK, that brings you back to my previous comment "The only possibilities would be a battery that would not take a charge (fully charged battery should be 12.6v minimum surface voltage). Or could not hold a load."

Your readings confirm that there is not an excessive parasitic draw "at this time". If you had a digital multi meter with memory monitoring you could leave it set up overnight to see if you had an intermittent draw, but the only case I had was once I had a radio that had excessive intermittent draw. But it was only once a month. The customer came out to his vehicle one night and noticed it was on.

If it's a new battery, and the symptoms are the same as before the battery, I would look harder at the charging system. Is it putting out sufficient voltage and amperage to charge the battery?

For the layman without a generator tester a simple test I recommend you do would be; When you shut the vehicle off to park it, check the surface voltage, it should be more than 12.5v. Disconnect the negative cable. The next morning, check the voltage again, hook up the cable, and use the vehicle again. Repeat this sequence every time you park the vehicle for an extended time.

The two things I want you to ascertain is that the alternator and battery are properly charging, indicated by the greater than 12.v, and that there is NOT an excessive parasitic draw.

I think that will make sense to you. Keep up the good work and let me know your results.

Thanks!
Jake



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Jake,

I haven't forgot about you. I have been in Brazil and Thailand for the last five months. Hope all os well with you.

I've started the process above. I'll give you an update in a few days when I get a few more data points.

Thanks.
Expert:  Jake replied 5 years ago.

Oh, I forgot about youSmile.

 

No, worries, hope you had a great trip!

 

Jake

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
HI,

The wife only drives about once a week, so the data coming in slowly.

It charges. After every drive. 12.5-13.0 upon return.

I've kept the leads off while it is in the garage to keep it from losing charge.

So, now we know it is some kind of parasitic draw. What next? Thanks!

Michael
Expert:  Jake replied 5 years ago.

Hello Michael,

 

If the surface voltage is 12.5 yo 13v "upon return" (this is good), what is the voltage when you go to connect the battery?

 

Also, these results were "text book" results of what the draw should be. "I warmed up the car. I thought there might have been a spike in amperage when I first touched the leads, but when I measured properly, it was 132mA, dropped to 71mA, then after several seconds, down to 21mA."

 

It would be a good idea to confirm those results once again when the vehicle is FULLY warmed up when disconnecting the battery terminals. I want to be sure the alternator is not causing the draw when warm as I previously mentioned.

 

If the surface voltage is good, and there is no excessive draw, you need to either replace the battery again or swap it with a know good battery for test purposes. If it's not the battery there must be an intermittent draw you are not "catching". In which case I would try disconnecting the radio and seeing if the battery appears to loose it's charge when parked.

 

Thank You!

Jake

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
HI Again,

Turing into a long term project. It's just that my wife doesn't drive very often. Anyway,

It always charges when she is out. There is normal current draw when it is warm. When it sites over night with the battery connected, it loses about 0.1 volts per night. Sometimes a little more.

Can you give me any hints on how to disconnect the radio?



Thanks for the help. It is very much appreciated. Let me know how to pay.
Expert:  Jake replied 5 years ago.

Hello,

 

To remove the radio you will need some radio removal keys. You could get them from a dealer or eBay.

 

graphic

 

They are pushed into the slots in the corners of the radio with the points pointing outwards and then the radio is pulled out.

 

graphic

 

If you are loosing .1v per night, there is either a draw or the battery has failed (see precious answers.

 

If you accept MY answer please click on the "ACCEPT" button by THIS answer.

 

Thank You!

Jake "The Audi Doctor"

Jake, Technician
Category: Audi
Satisfied Customers: 2398
Experience: Over 30 years experience, 17 years with Audi, Factory trained
Jake and 3 other Audi Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi,

OK, I'll get the keys and give it a try.

BTW, the battery sat in our house all winter without losing charge and charges when driving as well.


I clicked accept, but it looks like it only took $3 out of my Paypal account. I think I paid a small amount in the beginning as well $15? . I must be missing something on the payment end. I put an additional $30 in as a deposit, which I will shift to you, I just don't want to have our chat closed down until we've got this figured out.

Thanks.

Best,

Michael
Expert:  Jake replied 5 years ago.

Hello Michael,

 

Check out the radio possibility. I would, it's easy enough to do, but I have a gut feeling it's the battery not being able to take an acceptable rate load (parasitic draw). 21ma parasitic draw is quite acceptable and the battery should sustain that load for quite some time.

 

The radios I have experienced with an intermittent draw were never consistant enough to "When it sites over night with the battery connected, it loses about 0.1 volts per night. Sometimes a little more."

 

If the draw consistently remains in the 21ma range, I would try a substitute battery. As a test you could even hook up a battery of a different size/configuration by simply disconnecting the battery posts and using a set of jumper wires and seeing if you still "lost" the 0.1 plus volts per night. I suspect you understand, you seem "electrically savie" based on our correspondence here. Let me know if you do not understand.

 

In regards XXXXX XXXXX I do not know how it looks on your end, but you have paid Just Answer $15 on two occasions. Any future monies you wish to "shift" to me you can simply do it as a "bonus". Regardless of any payments your contact with me will remain open on this question so long as you do not "CLOSE" the question.

 

Thank You!

Jake

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Jake,

Thanks for that.

Now the damn thing has stopped losing charge altogether. So, it's watch and wait. Could be worse.


I'll keep you updated thanks.

Best,

Michael

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