Battery draining

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I posted on the Volvo forum, but its not as active as this one, so I thought I would post here too.
Recent rebuild on this 85 Volvo 240 DL, 300000kms. Auto Trannie, B230F motor. Sedan. 3 spd trannie.
The battery goes dead after about 10 hours of not running. Put my multimeter on it, when running the voltage is 14 volts, which rules out the alternator. When not running, I can observe the voltage dropping from 12.75 to about 12.30 or so. It may go lower, but this occured over about a minute or so after the car was stopped.
Amperage drawn when the car is not running is 0.8 to 0.87 Amps, which shouldn't be enough to drain the battery in 10 hours. This was done by removing the positive battery cable, and putting my multimeter between the cable and the positive post.
The battery is brand new, and I realize it could be a dud. However, are there any other things I should be checking? Cables appear to be in good shape. The clamps on the posts are good too.
Thanks t
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Well, this is a honda group so this post really doesn't belong here but there's no sense leaving you stranded since you are a regular poster, I think. I've owned a volvo and know a little here and there about that car.
How about your keep the multimeter in line and pull one fuse at a time to see what's causing the problem? One fuse should make it drop to near zero -- It will at least narrow it down because the problem could be anywhere. It is not a dead short so most likely something is on that is normally off. (how about the radio or final amplifier? - they are notorious for doing weird things like this). 800 mA/hr is not normal and may get your battery drained sufficiently enough to not start the next day.
Remco
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Occasional OT posts occur in other groups as well. Typically the poster has not received a satisfactory answer in the proper group for his vehicle and is posting in an OT group as a last resort.
An excellent group for posting fairly general questions (such as this) is rec.autos.tech. There are quite a number of very knowledgeable posters there, some of whom would be perfect to ask this question of.

That's the best way. An immediate drop upon pulling a fuse will reveal your culprit. Remember to pull ALL the fuses and fusible links, including any big fat ones that are bolted in (unless your culprit is flushed out early).
Is your alternator fused?
--
TeGGeR®

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
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This particular question does get pretty model-specific, though. I have a 765T instead of a 240, but same year, engine (except the turbo version) and tranny. One of the important issues regarding the mid-80s Volvos is that the wiring was made in France and has a reputation for insulation crumbling. I've heard it called "biodegradable" but I don't know if that was a design thing or is an epithet. I have already replaced my engine harness but have had to reinsulate dozens of other wires - and many of them can cause the drain the OP experiences.
'disallow', since the fuel pump fuse seems to be carrying the current, have you tried pulling the fuel pump relay to see if it disappears? I'm thinking you may have a wiring short on the other side of one of the relay coils. That is a lot of current for a fuel pump relay coil, but it sounds about right for the in-tank pump, which is controlled by one part of that relay.
Mike
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Yes, the wiring harnesses have a really bad reputation. Volvo went through an exercise to remove all PVC plastics from their cars, and switched to ABS. ABS has different properties, yes it is more environmentally friendly. But I gotta wonder, what has more impact, a wire harness burning up, or junking an entire vehicle becuase of a bad wire harness? Cuz I have seen a couple volvos at the wrecker where thats all that appears wrong with them. I guess it can get pretty cost prohibitive to replace the harness on an older vehicle, the harness for the 240 DL was over $500 Canandian!
So the ECU wire harness was replaced. The Transmission CU wire harness was not replaced, but we did try to reinsulate all of the exposed wires.
Thanks for the tips Mike. I will try to see if the fuel pump relay is the culprit. If it isn't then an examination of the wires after the relay is in order.
I love this group, so many knowledgable people!
t
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Just got this info from a guy on the Volvo group, in case anyone is interested:

only
Mike F. Thornhill ON
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Super! Mike F is the top guru on Volvos.
Mike
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On 2005-05-17 snipped-for-privacy@THISyahoo.com said: >Newsgroups: alt.autos.honda
> >>. I posted on the Volvo forum, but its not as active >> as this one, so I thought I would post here too. >> Recent rebuild on this 85 Volvo 240 DL, >> 300000kms. Auto Trannie, B230F motor. Sedan. 3 spd trannie. >> The battery goes dead after about 10 hours of not running. Put my >> multimeter on it, when running the voltage is 14 volts, which 14 V is a bit low. IIRC, my old Civics run 14.3 V, and that little bit extra is critical to giving the battery a full charge. >>rules out the alternator. When not running, I can observe >> the voltage dropping from 12.75 to about 12.30 >> or so. It may go lower, but this occured over >> about a minute or so after the car was stopped. >> Amperage drawn when the car is not running is >> 0.8 to 0.87 Amps, which shouldn't be enough to drain the battery >>in 10 hours. This was done >> by removing the positive battery cable, and >> putting my multimeter between the cable and >> the positive post. >> The battery is brand new, and I realize it could >> be a dud. However, are there any other things >> I should be checking? Cables appear to be in good >> shape. The clamps on the posts are good too. >> Thanks I run a 1 KW solar power set-up using a 24 V, 550 AH storage battery as my main power source. Before putting a new battery into service, it is essential to give it a proper initial charge, or service life will suffer.
The voltage you measure suggests your new battery came to you seriously self-discharged from sitting on the dealer's shelf. Since it is probably sealed ("maintenance free"), I recommend using a "smart charger" to prevent excessive gassing from overcharge, and possible damage.
A properly charged battery may take overnight to drop to 12.6 volts after the engine is shut off (charge terminated), if not loaded.
Back in the old days, when batteries had cell caps, I never saw a "new" battery with more than 1/2 charge, specific gravity 1.215. Dry charged must have a proper forming charge done on it, immediately, or risk plate destruction due to a chemical process C&D Technologies (a manufacturer of serious industrial and telephone batteries) calls "hydration", white crystaline deposits on the plates.
I once monitored battery specific gravity on a new battery installed without this initial bench-charge, relying on the alternator to bring it up to full charge with "normal daily driving". Took a month. Not good!
>800 mA/hr is not normal and may get your battery drained >sufficiently enough to not start the next day. >Remco There is no "/hr" in the units for electrical current. "800 mA" is correct.
Tom Willmon near Mountainair, (mid) New Mexico, USA
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Thanks for the info Tom.
This was a Motomaster Eliminator from Canadian Tire up here in Canada. They are notorious for being of low quality. I also have one for my 98 civic, and I have to say I am not impressed, I will probably go for a Honda OEM battery next time, my original lasted over 8 years!
However, it is not a maintenance free battery. I pulled the caps off, just to make sure the water level was good, but did not perform any other tests on the electrolytes.
So the big question here, is 800mA enough to drain a battery over night, or a couple days?
Terry
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On 2005-05-18 loewen_tatyahoo.ca@ said: >Newsgroups: alt.autos.honda >Thanks for the info Tom. >This was a Motomaster Eliminator from Canadian >Tire up here in Canada. They are notorious for >being of low quality. I also have one for my 98 >civic, and I have to say I am not impressed, I >will probably go for a Honda OEM battery next >time, my original lasted over 8 years! >However, it is not a maintenance free battery. >I pulled the caps off, just to make sure the >water level was good, but did not perform any >other tests on the electrolytes. >So the big question here, is 800mA enough to >drain a battery over night, or a couple days? >Terry We don't know what the capacity is, since cranking batteries are rated in cranking amps.
But, I have a Group 27 fishing battery here, 12" x 6 1/2" x 8" = 624 cu. in., 115 AH capacity.
My mid-80's Civics use a Group 51, 9" x 5" x 8" = 360 cu. in.
Capacity might be proportional to volume. 360 / 624 = .577 x 115 66 AH for Civic battery.
If the battery were fully charged (it wasn't), .8 A would discharge it in 82 hrs.
Based on the terminal voltage reading you gave, I'd guess it was about 1/3 charged. So you're probably in the ball park.
Crappy batteries usually come with their plates only partially formed, and need a stiff initial charge. Start at around 10 hr. rate (capacity / 10), monitor voltage, limit it to 16 V. When current falls to, probably, 2 A, you're done. Leave the cell caps on, so you don't get acid sprayed around. (removing caps for charging is an old mechanic's tale!<G>; so is putting it on a board.)
Don't do this to a sealed battery.
Tom Willmon near Mountainair, (mid) New Mexico, USA
Judging from the taste, I'd say the other one is shinola.
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You are right in stating that mA/hr should not have been used: I started typing something else and forgot to delete the /hr.
Actually - not to have the last word - but there is a measure called Ampere-Hour or Amp/Hr in relation to batteries - it is in relation to the useable capacity of a battery (commonly referred to as C rating. ie C/10, C/20 state the discharge rate over time).
If you draw more current than specified per hour, your battery capacity is diminished. But batteries are rated at some Amp-Hr. A 80 Amp/Hr battery would put out 20 Amps for 4 Hour or 1 Amp for 80 hours before it is totally empty.
Anyway, 800mA is not a normal current draw for a car parked - that's what I meant to say.
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On 2005-05-18 snipped-for-privacy@THISyahoo.com said: >Newsgroups: alt.autos.honda >> >800 mA/hr is not normal and may get your battery drained >> >sufficiently enough to not start the next day. >> >Remco >> There is no "/hr" in the units for electrical current. "800 mA" >>is correct. >You are right in stating that mA/hr should not have been used: I >started typing something else and forgot to delete the /hr. >Actually - not to have the last word - but there is a measure called >Ampere-Hour or Amp/Hr in relation to batteries - Yeah. But let's drop the Amp/Hr idea. Here's why:
1 Ampere = 1 Coulomb [unit of charge] / second.
Amp / sec. would be Coulomb / sec (squared). That would be something like acceleration, seldom useful in ordinary electricity. I've never seen it in engineering work.
>it is in relation >to the useable capacity of a battery (commonly referred to as C >rating. ie C/10, C/20 state the discharge rate over time). >If you draw more current than specified per hour, your battery >capacity is diminished. >But batteries are rated at some Amp-Hr. A 80 Amp/Hr battery would >put out 20 Amps for 4 Hour or 1 Amp for 80 hours before it is >totally empty. >Anyway, 800mA is not a normal current draw for a car parked - >that's what I meant to say. I agree.
Tom
An oyster is a fish built like a nut.
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in
While it isn't used very much in most electrical engineering applications, the Amp/Hr measure is one way they spec batteries. I agree with you that in the strictest terms it doesn't make much sense.
You must also have EE or related training -- seems like many of us just come out of the woodwork when electical stuff comes up, doesn't it? :)

I like that saying -- have to remember that one! Thanks!
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remco wrote: || 1 Ampere = 1 Coulomb [unit of charge] / second. || || Amp / sec. would be Coulomb / sec (squared). That would be || something like acceleration, seldom useful in ordinary electricity. || I've never seen it in engineering work. | | While it isn't used very much in most electrical engineering | applications, the Amp/Hr measure is one way they spec batteries.
I take it you mean Ah (ampere-hours, aka A*h)?
That's a useful measure for capacity. 10Ah means 10A for 1 hour, or 1A for 10 hours.
|| An oyster is a fish built like a nut. | I like that saying -- have to remember that one! Thanks!
I get ampere-hours, but I don't get that saying. :/
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It is a rate of current change, which is meaningful in inductive loads. Steady amp/sec change across an inductor produces constant voltage, and vice-versa. In automotive work it would only be used for ignition coils, but it is the big factor in analyzing whether communication sites get whacked when lightning strikes. The typical standard for lightning is 10K amp/sec, simulating a 1000 amp strike with rise time of 0.1 seconds. At those rates of current rise, a sharp bend in conductors usually causes lightning to break back out into the air. The inductance of a straight piece of 4/0 welding wire is enough that lightning won't always stay inside, but often flashes along the surface.
Mike
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Odd - I didn't see it on the Volvo forum (but I haven't been there this evening - maybe in half an hour). No matter - the regulars there would tell you the common sleeper here is the light inside the glove box. You can remove the bulb to test that theory. If that fixes it, finagle with the door to get it working right.
Mike
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Thanks guys.
After taking all of your advice, we found nuthin!
BUT, there is this blade fuse in line with a wire coming directly off of the positive terminal of the battery. Apparently, it feeds the fuel pump relay. Its a 30 Amp fuse.
Anyways, when I pulled that fuse, the draw on the battery went from 0.87amps to 0.01amps. I'm thinking my problem is there.
Any ideas on how to fix this? Once the power goes to the relay, where would it go from there?
t
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disallow wrote:
| BUT, there is this blade fuse in line with a wire | coming directly off of the positive terminal of | the battery. Apparently, it feeds the fuel pump | relay. Its a 30 Amp fuse. | | Anyways, when I pulled that fuse, the draw on the | battery went from 0.87amps to 0.01amps. I'm | thinking my problem is there.
800mA certainly doesn't sound right for "idle current".
| Any ideas on how to fix this? Once the power goes | to the relay, where would it go from there?
Don't know much (anything ;) about Volvos, but on a regular Civic it would go through the "main relay" into the ECU, which keep it at an open circuit until it wants to power the fuel pump. You wouldn't happen to have any schematics of any sort, would you?
I hope your fuel pump is not running 24/7? (or at least until the battery is dead...)
A quick google shows that Volvo's of that generation have problems with wire harnesses quite a bit (insulation eroding away? wtf? :)
http://personal.linkline.com/dbarton/WireHarnesses.html
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you may a stuck or fused fuel pump relay which is also a common problem

is
wire
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Yes indeed! The problem was with wiring starting sometime in the early 80s and finally corrected by choosing a different supplier in 1988. My Volvo is an '85 :-(
Affected wire, all the exposed small guage wire outside the passenger compartment, will lose the insulation if touched. You have seen twigs where the bark was just a loose crust on the wood? It's exactly like that. Replacing the engine harness got rid of the majority of the affected wiring, but I have already replaced or reinsulated dozens of feet of wire besides that, including all the fuel pump wiring.
Mike
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