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richlou

Battery Drain

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Hi Guys, just joined this forum page to see if anyone can give me some advice please.

I have a S Max 2.0 Titainium 2009. I came out of work to a flat battery, key fob wouldnt open car. I opened it with the key and all the dashboard was blank, i had no lights what so ever, i tried to start the car but i didnt have anything, it wouldnt even turn over.

I called the RAC out and they checked the battery and he said it was only 3 amps in the battery meaning something had drained the battery, he eventually got the car started after using jump leads and a battery booster. The RAC man checked everything on the car was turning off and not staying on to flatten the battery everything was indeed shutting off when locked up.

RAC man also checked that the battery was holding charge and charging up, this was ok, he then did some more tests on the car and found that when the car was locked up something was draining 8.5 amps out of the battery causing the battery to go flat, he tested the alternator wasnt faulty and draining the battery by removing the alternator lead, even with the lead removed something was still draining 8.5 amps out if the battery so ruled alternator out.

RAC took me to a garage with the Ford IDS software to sort the problem out, the garage has had the car for 3 days.They have update the PCM to the latest software, removed the alarm battery backup/siren module ( apparantely a known problem for battery drain on this car), they have also removed every fuse and relay and monitored the drain to try to identify the cause of the drain, all this was not succesful in finding the drain and i have been advised to take it to Ford main dealer to try and solve it.

Anyone have any ideas or experiance of this problem please. 

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11 hours ago, richlou said:

when the car was locked up something was draining 8.5 amps out of the battery

If that is correct, it is a crazy high current. It would flatten a decent battery in just a few hours. It is also 100 watts of power, and whatever is pulling that current will be getting hot. So it should be really easy to find. Overheating stuff usually is detectable by smell. A thermal imaging camera would be handy.

If the current only starts when the car locks, it sounds like a locking motor (or window motor if auto-close) is on, perhaps because its limit switch or sensor has failed.

I would double check that current, though it is on the limits for most normal multimeters (10A range max), so might need a current shunt or clamp-on ammeter, or high current meter. If it is that high, it should be easy to find, surely?

 

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Hi Tdci-Peter

Yes that drain is huge the RAC man and garage could'nt believe it was so high, here is the report that the garage gave me after having the car for 3 days and not being able to solve the problem. I have now picked the car up from garage and (have got it booked into Main dealer next week, dreading the bill already) the battery was flat within 3 hours but obviously do not know how much power the garage had put into it before i picked it up.

warranty30007 - Copy.jpg

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I've got a similar problem... I have a 2010 S Max. One morning in November the car was completely dead. AA came out and restarted. They detected a drain from the battery when turned off - I think the drain was only about 0.6 but he said it was too high. His machine also detected that the battery should be replaced, so I got a new battery altho the drain was still there. He advised I take it to the garage. Time went on, and I still hadn't taken to garage as the new battery was running fine. Then over Christmas, one morning, it died again. AA restarted. Detected the same drain of about 0.6. Garages were all closed over Christmas but I left the car at a local garage that specialises in car electrics altho it was closed. A couple of days later, when they opened, the car had completely died again so they restarted it. But bizarrely,  they couldn't detect a drain. They kept the car for 3 days and it was fine.  When I collected it the radio had been knocked out and needed the keycode to restart. I then thought that maybe it was the radio draining it so I started the radio and took the car back to the garage. They had it for 3 more days but couldn't detect any drain. I don't understand it! I've still got it at home now and today the battery warning message has come on. I am so frustrated. I'm guessing I may have to take it to a main dealer.

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3 hours ago, Phil A said:

When I collected it the radio had been knocked out and needed the keycode to restart.

It is almost certain that tracing a current draw will reset the radio, as its fuses will probably have to be removed.

A 0.6A draw is going to be much harder to locate than 8.5A. It should be possible to detect 8.5A from outer space (not entirely a joke, a sensitive military or scientific heat sensing satellite could quite possibly do it!).

Unfortunately I have very little faith in "main dealers". They just pay Ford lots of cash in order to obtain monopolistic rights on selling & servicing new cars. They all too often know nothing.

You probably need to scan the local (and not so local) area in every way you can, to find a good garage or good auto-electrician with an established reputation for sorting out this type of problem. It can be tricky. There are an awful lot of bits on a modern car that can draw current, and even more interactions in between them. It needs a very careful and methodical approach, combined with access to the wiring diagrams.

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I bought a 2.5 SMax titanium 9 days ago. It has been fine until this morning. Dead battery, couldn't unlock door with either key & had trouble trying to unlock the door manually (still learning from the manual). Eventually got the door open & a neighbour kindly jump started it.

I needed a new car for reliability as my 20 year old Alhambra is difficult to get parts for (I miss that car, could get the doors open no matter what).

I have turned the main screen off & the automatic light switch off before turning engine off. There is nothing else I can manually turn off so keeping my fingers crossed.

It's an 06/07 plate with a Volvo engine so just wondering if this is a fault with particular years & if there are any other faults/issues I need to be aware of.

Thank you all.

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10 hours ago, JAH said:

wondering if this is a fault with particular years

I have not noticed any particular pattern of faults like this. The Mondeo / S-Max family do seem to have more wiring related problems than most other Fords, but not so many that it could be called common.

First job is to sort out if it is a battery drain, an alternator problem or just that the battery died. Batteries usually fade away, but can just die suddenly, I had one do that. In the meantime, try to keep the battery charged if possible. Car batteries are not designed for deep discharge, and every discharge will shorten its life a lot. This especially applies if the battery is replaced, and charging or current drain problems are still on the suspect list. It gets expensive to keep replacing batteries!

If you are not a fan of amps and volts and stuff, then if the sale was from a tolerably trustworthy dealer, they are the first call. If the seller was private, or a Bodgit and Leggit type (I got a car from one of those once!), then  a trustable local garage may be the best bet. Places like Halfords and many garages will just replace the battery first without any other proper tests.

 

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On 1/13/2017 at 8:21 PM, Phil A said:

I've got a similar problem... I have a 2010 S Max. One morning in November the car was completely dead. AA came out and restarted. They detected a drain from the battery when turned off - I think the drain was only about 0.6 but he said it was too high. His machine also detected that the battery should be replaced, so I got a new battery altho the drain was still there. He advised I take it to the garage. Time went on, and I still hadn't taken to garage as the new battery was running fine. Then over Christmas, one morning, it died again. AA restarted. Detected the same drain of about 0.6. Garages were all closed over Christmas but I left the car at a local garage that specialises in car electrics altho it was closed. A couple of days later, when they opened, the car had completely died again so they restarted it. But bizarrely,  they couldn't detect a drain. They kept the car for 3 days and it was fine.  When I collected it the radio had been knocked out and needed the keycode to restart. I then thought that maybe it was the radio draining it so I started the radio and took the car back to the garage. They had it for 3 more days but couldn't detect any drain. I don't understand it! I've still got it at home now and today the battery warning message has come on. I am so frustrated. I'm guessing I may have to take it to a main dealer.

The battery on my 2012 s max titanium x sport had a similar problem and kept losing its charge. I replaced the battery thinking it was that. 6 weeks later it was dead again. Took it back to the garage where I bought it from who eventually diagnosed a faulty BCM. Not a cheap job. They replaced the BCM at a cost of £1000 including parts and labour. Luckily for me they footed the bill. It has been fine ever since and this is 6 months on. Hope this helps somebody out

(Ps low battery warning message on screen is  telling you that your key fob batteries need to be replaced)

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